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: Recall
“Feel, listen, don’t think,” Kanan reminded with a soft voice.
Ezra’s eyes were closed. His hand was outstretched in front of him, his mind trying to focus on lifting the crate a few feet away. He could hear the wind whip through the grass, feel it all around him. He sensed Kanan standing behind him, right hand cradling his bearded chin in his typical deep thinking pose.
He even felt the life force of two lothcats. They were sunbathing somewhere in the Lothalian grassland to his left, nowhere near interested in his training. To be honest, he kind of felt the same way about his training… at least today.
And getting the crate to move an inch off the ground was proving to be impossible. Ezra readjusted himself, forehead wrinkling and lips pursing in concentration.
After several long seconds, the crate finally began to levitate, rising slowly, but it only managed to get an inch above the ground before falling back down.
He reopened his eyes and angrily glared at it, this object currently standing between him and his chance to do something else with his time. He so badly wanted to progress in his training and become a Jedi, like Kanan, but his insecurities with the Force had only increased as of late.
His annoyance and anger finally bubbled to the surface.
“I am feeling, Kanan!” Ezra snapped at his Master, no longer hiding his irritation. “Just everything but that crate…”
He let out a heavy sigh and let his arm fall to his side before plopping himself down in defeat. Ezra’s aggravation quickly dissipated into disappointment, directed at himself.
The former street urchin and Lothal native had been part of the Ghost crew, officially, for more than a few months now. Even though he was eager to learn and even more eager to make his new master proud, it had been a frustrating transition for everyone involved, to say the least.
“I’m just not good at this.” Ezra thought, his inner voice small, upset, self-berating. He subconsciously brought his knees to his chest and wrapped his arms around his legs, an action he always did when he felt defeated, lonely or scared.
Honing his connection with the Force felt like chipping away at a boulder, without being able to use any of the necessary tools to get the job done right. Why was Kanan even training him?
“Failure is the best teacher of all…” Kanan’s voice echoed in Ezra’s head. “I was right where you are now and I still get frustrated at myself most days.”
He looked up to see his Master walking toward him.
“See, you are growing,” Kanan grinned, his bright eyes soft with understanding. “A few weeks ago, we wouldn’t have been able to connect so well with the Force.”
Ezra returned a smile, just lifting at the corners of his mouth. Maybe he wasn’t doing as bad as he thought.
He sensed Kanan had more to tell him and glanced up at his Master again.
“We won’t be here forever, Ezra,” Kanan continued, sitting down next to him. He stretched his legs out, lifted his face toward the sun and closed his eyes. “We need to focus on your training while we have the time. Who knows when we’ll be back on the Ghost heading to who knows where.”
“Yeah, yeah… I know…”
The young Jedi Master smiled a bit at his Padawan’s response, but he opened his eyes and shifted himself to look at him more directly. The amusement in his blue-green eyes soon grew more serious and heartfelt. He lifted his arm and placed a hand on Ezra’s shoulder.
“I’m here, but I won’t be here forever,” Kanan said with a somber tone. “I didn’t have my Master for very long and I wasn’t prepared. I want you to be prepared…”
Ezra opened his eyes. He was still in his room on the medical frigate, but this time he was calmer. He wasn’t panicked, but he felt fresh tears sliding down his cheeks.
Why am I crying? He thought, furiously wiping away the salty water with the back of both hands. Who was that talking to me?
Images flashed in his head, but none that made sense. That man talking to him in different places. Thrawn’s red eyes beckoning him to follow. Someone showing him a holopic of a little boy with his parents. A white lothcat earnestly mewing at him. A giant lothwolf saying “Dume” to him over and over again.
It was all too much. His heart was beating too fast, and it was about to jump out of his chest. A dull ache throbbed behind his eyes, making it hard to focus with the bright lights around him. He closed his eyes and took a few minutes to breathe slowly and deeply, in and out, in and out until he felt in control again.
Ezra reopened them a few minutes later and glanced around the room. This time he noticed he wasn’t alone. That wild pink hair. The girl in the armor was sleeping soundly in the chair next to the bed.
What was her name? Sa- Sabine… Sabine… Sabine Wren!
Now he felt like he was getting somewhere. For some reason, he was able to recall her name like before and he vaguely remembered that she was Mandalorian, seeing her helmet and armor up close. The corners of his mouth pulled up in a tiny smile. Her presence was soothing and for the first time since he had been on the frigate, Ezra felt a little less frightened and sensed he had somewhat of a handle on his situation.
Sabine shifted slightly in her chair, breathing in deep and letting out a small sigh. She raised her arms above her head, reaching high and stretched out her entire body.
“That definitely wasn’t comfortable…” she mumbled to herself as a couple of her joints cracked, relieving pressure buildup from sitting in one position for so long. She didn’t realize Ezra was awake.
Suddenly, the door swished open and Hera walked in, her eyes zeroed in on the datapad she held. “Do you think Ezra will want Ka-” She stopped, her green eyes landing on the Jedi in question, her mouth wider than a gundark’s. Ezra shielded his eyes with his hands in an effort to try and see her. His headache was getting worse.
“Do you think you could turn down the lights?” He asked through a grimace, eyes squinting. “My head hurts… I can’t focus with the light…”
Hera nodded warmly, regaining her composure. She turned to the touchscreen near the door, her lekku swinging behind her with the swift movement. She delicately tapped the digital controls for the room a couple times to switch the setting and dimmed the overhead lights so they covered the room in a softer glow.
“Your voice.” His whisper caught both Hera and Sabine a little off guard. Hera’s heart was beating erratically and her headtails quivered at knowing Ezra was awake. She turned back around and looked at Sabine. She soon realized that her friend was just as nervous as she was. Ezra must’ve just woken up, then.
The boy she’d grown to love like a son was typically the one to loudly announce what he was thinking without a second thought, which meant that he would get an admonishing look from her or a swift smack to the head from Sabine or both at the same time, usually. His voice sounded so small now right now and that worried the Twi’lek.
“What about it?” Hera replied, keeping her outward appearance steady and confident. Showing that things were as calm and as normal as possible seemed the right thing to do.
“It sounds so familiar. Do I know you, too? Like I know her?” He made a small gesture past the right of his bed to where Sabine was sitting. “I remembered her name when I woke up.”
Ezra turned his head and met her eyes while fighting the urge to shut his own because of the pain that pulsed in his skull.
“It’s Sabine, Sabine Wren.” His voice a little louder and more confident as he said her name. It felt right rolling off his tongue. Ezra’s heart fluttered a bit in that moment and he silently wondered how many times he had spoken her name out loud before now.
For a second, Sabine and Hera shared a rather hopeful look, but the Mandalorian immediately let her face go neutral.
“Yeah, that’s me,” Sabine replied, clearing her throat. She was curious whether he could remember anything else. “And that’s Hera. Did you remember her name? What else do you know about me? Or her?”
Ezra lowered his hands, uncupping them from around his eyes and softly shook his head no, but immediately sensed a pull toward someone else on the ship. His connection with the Force was returning and was getting stronger now that the sedative was making its way out of his system. The presence was odd. It was familiar but new. Definitely Force-sensitive. It felt like an echo of someone he already he knew. He frowned. His head was pounding now, but he had to fight through the pain.
“I don’t really know…” He hurriedly confessed. He wanted to keep his focus on his newfound connection, but he couldn’t manage to split his attention, not with his increasing discomfort. “I’m sorry.”
“No, no…” Hera shook her head profusely and quickly walked to his side. She placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder. “Don’t apologize. You’re trying and that’s all we ask.”
She smiled and Ezra nodded in understanding, starting to feel unsure whether he could fully trust either of them. He was feeling a little uneasy, getting the impression that they were keeping something from him, but he continued.
“I keep having dreams with this man in them. I don’t know who he is, but he makes me feel… different… like we had this bond or something…”
Ezra glanced up to see Hera and Sabine sharing another look, this time clearly more apprehensive. About what, he wasn’t sure. He tilted his head a bit, confused at their apparent unwillingness to share whatever it was they were thinking. Why were they asking him all these questions? He should be the one asking them questions. He needed answers, answers about what had happened to him.
“But what about me? How did I get here?” He asked, crossing his arms in front of his chest. His voice was even more confident this time and had a slight edge to it. “I can’t remember anything from before I got here. I know something’s wrong with me… and I want to know what it is.”
“Why don’t you get dressed?” Hera countered, trying to placate him. “And we’ll go get the doctor so he can check on how you’re doing. Then, we can talk more after that.”
Ezra shifted his eyes between the two women, realizing that the only way he would get answers was to play along.
“Fine.” He replied icily. “Also, I’m starving. Some food would be nice.”
“I’ll handle that one,” Sabine interrupted, rolling her eyes as she got up from her chair to go with Hera. “You don’t need to be so rude about it.”
The women headed toward the door, but the Mandalorian turned around. Even though she knew he wasn’t truly himself at the moment, she didn’t like Ezra’s tone.
“And trust me, we’re here to help you, Ezra.” She barked back. “You would know it if you…” She trailed off, letting the words drift away instead of saying them aloud. “We’ll be back in a little while.”
A twinge of guilt settled in Ezra’s stomach as they walked out into the hallway.
They were only trying to help, you idiot. Way to go, making Sabine mad…
But he let his thoughts go for the moment and refocused his attention on the Force-sensitive being he sensed on the ship. Ezra’s head was still throbbing, and it scared him, but he needed to know who this person was and why they were here.
“Well, that’s good, isn’t it?” Zeb pointed out, his ears perking up at Hera’s news. “He knows Sabine and knows your voice, too, Hera.”
Sabine raised a finger to her lips, silently shushing the Lasat ever so slightly, hoping Ezra hadn’t heard too much of his boisterous voice. She didn’t want him to overhear and get to thinking they were talking about him behind his back.
Zeb rolled his eyes and heaved a heavy sigh in response. A frown landed on his face, pushing his relief back down. He seemed to be the only one who was happy to hear Ezra’s memory was returning.
“That may be,” Kallus interjected, his voice with its usual even-keeled tone. “But he only recognized names. There’s still so much he isn’t remembering. Ezra isn’t the young man we knew on Lothal.”
As he glanced around at each one of his friends, he knew he struck a nerve. While they had gained so much, him especially after coming to the side of the Rebellion, this group had experienced profound loss as well.
“Well, not yet.” He added, trying to assuage the doubts and fears among them. He subconsciously reached for Zeb’s hand, a small act that would provide much-needed comfort for his partner during such uncertainty concerning Ezra. Zeb’s large, purple, furry hand subconsciously squeezed back.
“No, he isn’t.” Sabine concurred with a sad whisper. She took a step away from their impromptu hallway huddle and sat down on a nearby bench. Hera watched her warily, unsure what the Mandalorian’s next choice of words would be.
“I love Ezra, we all love Ezra,” Sabine continued. “And I don’t want to see him hurt, but we need to try and help him remember… everything. With his powers as a Jedi and his connection to the Force returning, because we know it probably already is or will sooner than later, he’s going to become dangerous and unpredictable. And with Ahsoka handling that refugee situation with Rex on Ansion, we don’t have anyone who could match that strength right now. ”
She paused, noting all their eyes were on her. They were expecting a solution, which she didn’t have.
“The doctor said he believes it’s retrograde amnesia, so his memories should come back, right? I think we tell him everything… but I say we take a vote on what to do next.”
Hera’s opened her mouth to respond, but Sabine held up a hand to quiet her.
“After the doctor takes another look at him,” she conceded. “You know my vote.”
Zeb and Kallus shared a sobering look, but Kallus finally nodded at Sabine. “We need to try.”
“I want our Ezra back,” Zeb added, his response breaking a bit at his friend’s name. They all turned to look at Hera. She was slowly pacing, her arms loosely crossed across her stomach. Her lekku were shivering slightly, showing how nervous she really felt about the whole issue.
“Hera…” Sabine said, standing up and placing a calming hand on her shoulder. “What’s your vo-?”
“Wait…” Hera interrupted, motioning behind Zeb and Kallus. “Where is he?”
Ezra’s forehead creased as he listened to the murmurs behind the door. It was obvious he was the topic of discussion and he could feel the confusion, hesitation and fear popping up in each person as they voiced their thoughts out loud.
He looked back at the clothes laid out at the foot of his bed and decided he should get dressed like the Twi’lek, no, Hera had suggested. Sabine had been true to her word and brought him food. It lacked any kind of taste, but it had been edible, at least, so he would return the favor and do as they had asked.
He made his way toward his bed and bent over to stroke the fabric, scrunching his nose at the weirdness of it touching his fingertips. He had no idea what material the shirt and pants were made out of and in the end, he guessed it didn’t particularly matter. He sat on the opposite side of his bed, the one that faced away from the door, and carefully unfurled the pants, which were white and had a blue line down on the outside of each pant leg. He pulled them on and then slipped into the long-sleeved shirt of a similar design.
Distracted, he heard the door to his room open.
“So, what’s goi-” His heart started and stopped. The pain in his head increased ten fold though his stomach was electric with excitement. It was the being he had felt earlier and whoever it was had just entered his room. His connection with the Force was wildly alive, alerting him to this something, this someone that felt incredibly familiar yet was entirely new.
The words brushed against his own Force signature, peaceful yet, at the same time, forcibly working their way past a wall in his mind. It hurt and Ezra found himself locking his jaw hoping the pounding in his brain would go away out of sheer will.
“Who are you?”
Ezra shifted his gaze to the Force signature at the door only to find a little boy, maybe no more than six or seven years old. The youngling had a mop of green hair on his head and uniquely shaped eyebrows of the same color that were raised, curious.
And his eyes! They were a piercing blue, with a tint of that same green peeking through. Ezra had seen them before… on someone else, hadn’t he?
“My name…” Ezra paused, swallowing hard. “My name is Ezra.”
A flash of recognition appeared in those blue eyes. A lopsided grin quickly followed.
“Ezra? The one in mommy’s stories about daddy?”
“Stories?” Ezra’s breathing had become gasps now, the pain now too much to hide. Drops of sweat formed on his face, but he fought through it. “What’s your name, kid?”
“Jacen,” he answered, excited. “Jacen Syndulla.”
“Syndulla?” Ezra asked, letting a small groan escape from his lips. His vision was beginning to cloud now and the room was hazy. It was so hard to focus.
“Yeah,” Jacen replied, matter-of-factly. He took a few hesitant steps toward Ezra. “And my dad’s name was Kanan, Kanan Jarrus. You knew him, right? He was a Jedi, like you!”
The voice reverberated in Ezra’s head and the pain transformed into a blinding white, blocking his vision completely. He let out a guttural scream and fell to the floor.
“Mommy!” he heard Jacen yell, frightened, before the youngling ran back out the door. Ezra wanted to stop his scream, to close his mouth, but he couldn’t.
The wall in his mind came crashing down and all the memories flooded back in. The sensation was spellbinding and horrifying, all at once. It was as if this moment in time had been stretched and stretched until it double backed on itself. The memories were forming, putting themselves together like puzzle pieces in his brain. They had been hidden away, but the wall that had kept them from joining with his consciousness was crumbling. Everything, all that he had done for the Rebellion, for his parents, for the Ghost Crew, all that made him whole, returned.
Kanan. Hera. Zeb. Kallus. Chopper. Sabine. Ahsoka. Rex. Palpatine. Vader. Thrawn.
Hesitation. Joy. Fear. Anger. Love. Despair. Acceptance.
All that made Ezra… Ezra.
Training with Kanan and Ahsoka. Searching for his parents on Lothal. Joining the Rebellion. Connecting with Maul. Confronting the Emperor. The Purrgil. The Unknown Regions. Thrawn… the Chiss…
Darkness claimed him again.