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Star Wars the Clone Wars: Chapter Nine

Fan-Fiction: Love Is a Strong Word

Previous Chapter: Chapter 8

Source: Not Part of the 'SWTCW' Episodes: Original Chapter

~~Karri P.O.V.~~

Rex stared at Lina, walking away with the metal box in her arms. Rex clenched his fists with his helmet under his arm.

"I'm going to see what's wrong with Lina." Immediately, Rex rushed to Lina, going by her side. Lina looked up quickly at Rex, looking surprised.

"Hey Karri." My focus quickly left Rex and Lina.

My eyes went on Cody. "Yes, Cody?"

His lips formed a smile as he leaned close to me. "So, shall we resume our conversation back on the cruiser?"

I looked at Cody, confused. "What conversation?"

Cody shrugged. "Huh, well I don't know. Maybe that time you were jealous."

I pouted, crossing my arms. "I was not jealous, Cody." I felt a bit mad, by the way he said it. I wasn't jealous. Or, I think I wasn't. What is the feeling of jealousy?

"Don't deny it, Karri." Cody came closer, "You were jealous. Admit it. The way you assumed, kind of gave it away." I hate it when I'm too much of an honest person. If I lie, it would look obvious.

I rolled my eyes as I snarled. "Okay, and what if I was? What are you going to achieve, Cody?" My tone was a bit harsh.

Cody recoiled in surprised. "What's with the strong attitude, Karri? I've never seen this side of you before."

Again, I rolled my eyes at him and groaned. "No answer, huh? I guess you have nothing to achieve, Cody. How foolish." I began walking away from him before emphasising strongly on his name.

This caught Cody off by surprise. "W-Wait!" Cody grabbed my shoulder as he turned me around. "Hey, don't be like that." His smile narrowed. "I was mildly joking. I didn't mean for you to take it serious."

A strong guilty feeling struck my heart. I sounded a bit too harsh to Cody...

I sighed. "I'm sorry, Cody."

"For what?" Cody looked concerned and little confused.

"For getting like that," I frowned. "I didn't mean to sound like that either. I'm sorry." I know I repeated my apologies but I kinda felt bad for acting like that. I really don't take jokes well. I usually take everything seriously without knowing. This is why I can't make friends well when I was a youngling or even back on Naboo. I was always resented from the others kids and younglings... Beside Lina.

Cody gave me a soft smile. "You don't need to be sorry. Hey—" Cody clicked his tongue. "Stop looking sad, Commander."

I let out a big sigh. "I'm fine."

Cody sighed deeply. "No you're not. Look at me." I rejected Cody's command. I looked down at my wet shoes as if they were the greatest things in the world. I just felt embarrassed for exposing a flaw of me.

"Hey, Princess." Cody lightly grabbed my chin, as he brought my eyes towards him. My eyes widen by the name he called me. My heart wrenched by the sound of the nickname. He half smiled, "Ah, I got your attention now. Look, I'm sorry for being insubordinate. If you're uncomfortable talking about it, then just tell me. Let's communicate more on that, okay?" Cody's fingers fell to his side, having his touch lingered on my chin. That feeling he gave me... Why did it felt nice?

"Cody..." I said in a low tone.

"Hmm?"

"You're not being insubordinate. I was the one that was being too offensive." I sighed, "I'll admit. The way Lina hugged you kind of made me feel weird."

Cody chortled a little, "Feel weird? You mean jealous?" Is that what it is? Jealousy?

"Oh..." My voice trailed off, "I guess that's what I felt, huh?"

Cody's smile grew softer again. "I guess you never felt jealousy, huh?"

I shrugged, looking away from him. "I guess not. I don't think I express my emotions well." Why do I feel this emotion now? Jedi aren't supposed to have any emotions — not like this.

"I guess I'm not treating my own Commander right, aren't I?"

I perked up, "What do you mean?"

"C'mere, Princess." Without hesitation, Cody pulled me into a hug with one arm as his other arm held his helmet. His arm wrapped around my shoulder, squeezing a fraction tighter. Yet he was careful for my injured arm. Cody's body pressed against mine, feeling his cold, wet armor. For some reason, I didn't mind. The tension in my muscles relaxed. Why does Cody's hug feel so nice?

Cody released me. I felt surprised by Cody releasing me from his arms so soon. He studied my face and smiled. "Feel better, Princess?"

The words that left his lips made me smile. I slowly nodded, feeling much happier for some reason. "Yeah."

"You're a peculiar one, you know that?" Cody teased.

"Huh?" I said, feeling confused. "Um, is that bad or good?"

Cody shook his head quickly. "Oh no, I meant it in a good way! I mean, you're kind of special."

My face flushed by his compliment. Cody's eyes widen by his word of choice. He began rubbing the back of his neck. "I mean... You're special in a good way! Yeah, a good way." Cody's face turned a bit red by his scrambling words.

Suddenly, we heard somebody clearing their throat behind us. Cody and I turned to see who it was. It was Master Kenobi.

"Oh, Master!" I rushed up to him. "Is it time to go? I'm sorry for not reporting in with you right away."

Master Kenobi smiled at me. "No worries, Karri. Cody already reported in a while ago. We're going to be leaving in a while." Master Kenobi looked at Cody as he stepped forward to his General. His head was held straight and tall.

"General Kenobi, would you want me to round up the 212st to the cruiser?"

General Kenobi began rubbing the tip of his beard with his arms crossed. "Hmm, I thought you would have done that already." His eyes landed on me, "Distracted, are you Cody?"

"Uhh.. Umm." Cody began to stutter as he tried to gather his words.

I stepped forward. "Cody and I were just briefing about how things are going to be between us on missions. I realized that communicating would build up our relations with each other since we'll be working more together."

Master Kenobi gazed at us for a while but nodded. "I see. Well since we'll going to be working more often together. I suggest you both gather up the rest of the troops and then report in with me on the cruiser after you two are finished, hmm?"

"Yes, general!" Cody immediately responded.

I bowed to my Master, respectfully. "Yes, Master. We will do that right away." I looked to Cody over my shoulder. "Let's go, Commander."

Cody nodded to me as he followed along side me. I felt the tension between us gapped as we felt Master Kenobi's eyes on us.

I decided to break the tension. "Cody?"

He continued looking straight ahead. "Yes, Commander?"

We walked into the hanger bay where the battlefield is being cleaned up after the aqua droids.

I looked to him again, "Why did you call me Princess?"

Cody stopped in his tracks as his eyes finally came upon me. His eyes sparkled as his smile did. "Well, you told me to give you a nickname as Rex gave to Commander Skywalker back on Christophsis. So I thought "Princess" has a nice ring to it, don't ya think?"

I shrugged. "I guess so... But why Princess? Is it because I was once a Princess on Naboo?"

Cody laughed as he shook his head. "No. I nicknamed you that because you are truly a Princess at heart. Also, it's a reminder to me to treat you like a Princess as you should be. Does that answer your question?"

I blushed madly from hearing Cody's response. I didn't say a word. I was too flustered by his response. Why do I feel this way? Why am I blushing?! What emotion is that? What is even going on with my feelings?

Cody laughed once more. "I'll take that as a Yes. From now on, you're my princess and I'll be calling you that for now on. Am I understood?"

"Yes... sir." I responded slowly.

"I like the sound of that." Cody smirked as he put on his helmet. "Now let's get this errand run out of the way, Princess."

My smile grew a little bigger each time he calls me Princess. Why do I feel nice inside everytime he calls me that?

~~Lina P.O.V~~ (Back on Coruscant, The Jedi Temple (Jedi Accomantion Sector)

Karri and I walked along the hallways of the Padawan dormitories. I still carried my heavy metal box in my hand, feeling tired from carrying it all day. Before we came back to Coruscant, Rex was concerned about me and the box. I had told him that there was nothing to worry about and the box was just my memories when Jango Fett and I travelled during my time on Tatooine. I mean, I wasn't lying. Rex understood about my situation and gave me time to myself to be alone with my box on the cruiser. I felt guilty for Rex worrying about me, so instead I spent more time with Rex than my box. Also, we both knew we won't be able to spend much time with each other when we go back to Coruscant. On the other hand, I noticed Cody and Karri becoming closer than ever. I could already sense a strong connection between them.

Once we came back to Coruscant, Master Kenobi and Anakin went to Jedi Council to report about our mission. Rex and Cody went back to the Clones' stationary along with their battalions. Which means Rex won't be able to spend time with me again. Rex would have to write reports for his battalion and the Battle of Kamino. He would always have to take care of the 501st first before anything else. It's rare for Rex and I to see each other on Coruscant these days. Anakin would help me out sometimes and bring him out of the stationary, other than that, it's hard. There are times Rex would sneak out of his barracks and communicate with me through our holoprojectors. But the only time for me to do that is before Karri and I sleep because we share the same dormitory together.

Ever since we were younglings, we shared a dormitory together. Some Padawans don't share dormitory usually. But there are exceptions since there has been an increase of younglings and Padawans at the Jedi Temple. Although, the war has taken a toll on the numbers of Padawans unfortunately. The Padawans that Karri and I once trained with, few of them has died and others are still around. But for how long?

I glanced at Karri as she had her hands behind her back with a bright smile. She hummed happily to herself.

I smirked. "What are you all smiley about?"

Karri looked at me quickly. "Huh?" Her face looked confused.

"Your face. You haven't stopped smiling ever since we left Kamino."

Karri blushed as she giggled lightly, "Nothing really. I just feel happy."

"Why?"

Karri shrugged. "It's just a feeling, I don't know." As long as I know Karri, she always done things by the book. Literally. Whenever Karri is in an emotional crisis, she would always chant the "Jedi Code" to herself. "There is no emotion, there is peace. There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. There is no passion, there is serenity. There is no chaos, there is harmony. There is no death, there is the Force." It's the only rule that she follow. Another reason why I was surprised by how happy she was, she doesn't show much emotion. She's usually serious and blunt. Reasons why when we were younglings, nobody likes hanging out with Karri because she was always a killjoy. Yet nobody liked me either because everyone thought I was too good for them since I was the "Chosen One" supposedly, so they would exclude me out of everything. Karri and I were always left alone but that made our bond stronger. Excluding from our opposite personalities, Karri and I managed to become best friends due to our loneliness.

"Uh huh," I said, sarcastically.

She rolled her eyes but said nothing. Yet, her smile didn't leave her lips. Something is up... But it wasn't a bad thing.

Karri and I finally made it to our dormitory. On our door, we had two emblemed printed. On the left side displayed the Mandalorian crest and on the right side was the Naboo emblem. The Jedi temple allowed everyone in the Order to have a representing symbol of ourselves or symbol from our home planets. Since my homeplanet was complete trash, I represented myself with the Mandalorian crest with full pride. Technically, I am a Mandalorian since I carry the Fett name, but not by blood.

(The Two Emblems on Lina's and Karri's Dormitory Door)

Karri and I walked into our dormitory with great relief. Our room was bigger than the other rooms because we had to share, obviously. Karri slept on the right side while I slept on the left side of the room. We each had a desk and a small closet. Jedi aren't allowed to have many possessions so we didn't have much. Karri's desk had books and holoprojectors scattered while mine was a total junk yard. Literally. There was random gears, and scattered tools everywhere. Large boxes surrounded my desk. I'm not messy, it's just I build quite a lot on my spare time when I'm bored. On the other hand, Karri studies and reads in her spare time. We've been living together ever since we were brought here so we knew how to keep our spaces to ourselves. So we're comfortable with each other's space. The Jedi temple was only our first home. Our other home is Padme's Complex Apartment. There are times we stay there but we try to keep it incognito when we leave the Jedi Temple.

After Karri put away her lightsabers, she quickly collapsed, carefully minding her right arm, onto bed and yawned. "I'm going to get myself cleaned up before I sleep." She cuddled up against her pillow, looking at me. But with her injured arm, she was gentle with it.

Clank-clink - CRASH.

With one arm, I swiped my entire desk, having spare parts and tools fall onto the floor. I gently placed my box on my desk, relieving my arms. Then I started disarming my blasters and my lightsaber.

"Finally," I said as I started picking up the tools off of the ground. I tossed the tools back into my disorganized tool box. I sighed, picking up the spare parts. "What am I going to do with these..." I looked at the spare parts between my fingers. I've been too busy to build things and have been sleeping more ever since I've became a Padawan. I really don't have anymore time for myself or time to construct more blasters! Fortunately, I have already fixed up a perfect mandalorian blaster for me.

Karri got off her bed and gathered clean clothes and a towel. "I'll be back." With that said, she left — assuming she went to the lavatory.

I subsided in my chair, as I let out a long sigh. I stared at the metal box as I rubbed my temples. Just when my past was finally going away, it just somehow comes back.

I opened the lid off of the box and put it aside. I shuffled around and found what I was looking for. The wedding box. I never thought Jango would got me something like this...

I looked into the box and sighed. It's so beautiful...

I examined the necklace a little further and saw writing behind the pendant. It was in Mando. Lina Fett.

Again, emotions overwhelmed again. My last name that I now carry since marrying Jango back on Concord Dawn. I just miss Jango so much. Then I shook my head, trying to prevent my emotions. But there's nothing I can do about it. Jango is dead! Dead! I can't let my pass cloud my focus. I can't let my emotions get to me. It's not the Jedi way... As much as I love Jango, I have to forget about his love and focus on my studies as a Padawan. Distractions like this will only prevent me from becoming a Jedi Knight.

I straighten in my chair and closed the box. I'll start wearing this necklace on my next mission.

I grabbed the metal box and placed it under my desk. I'll be checking the entire box later when I'm alone. I don't want to be crying when Karri comes in. She would worry too much about me. I need to clean myself up and especially get some sleep. It has been a long day. Unfortunately, I have another mission coming soon with Anakin while Karri will be going with Master Kenobi. Don't get me wrong, I love going on missions, but the mood with Jango coming back just brings it down. I need to get my mind off of Jango.

I collected the spare parts off of the floor and placed it onto my desk. Then I brought my tool box on the side of it, I opened my top draw and brought out my semi-made mandalorian blaster. I was building this blaster specifically for Boba to use on his own missions. Boba always said he liked old-fashion Mandalorian blasters, so I started building one for him. Tinking around parts is the only thing that can take my mind off of things. Once I've made some progress, I would retire for the night.

I cracked my knuckles and smiled to myself. "Time to get working!"

~~Karri P.O.V~~

I walked inside the dormitory and saw Lina knocked out on her desk. Lina had her head rested on her arm as her other hand had a sharp tool. She's going to hurt herself with that. Yet I'm always the one taking care of her times like this. Ever since we were younglings, I've always the one taking care of her. At first, it was annoying but I've gotten used to it. There are times Lina would take care of me too, without complaint or hesitation. She's too selfless for her own good. The most selfless Jedi I've ever met — if that's possible. To me, Lina is a little sister that I never had.

I walked over to her desk and slowly started to clean up her mess. Steadily, I plucked the tool out of Lina's hand and placed it back in her tool box. I shifted her tool box beside her desk, gently so I wouldn't wake her up too soon. I clicked off her lamp, leaving the room dim. Time to wake up the beast.

"Lina..." I whispered as I shook her shoulder. "Go take a shower and get to bed."

Lina squeezed her eyelids and groaned. "Did... I.. knock.. Out again?" She said, groggily.

"Yep. Come on. Get up." I helped Lina get out of her chair as she lazily stood up. "Go get cleaned up. You stink."

Lina rubbed her eyes and yawned. "Yeah I know..." She lazily walked over to her closet and got her things. "I hope I don't fall asleep in the shower again."

I laughed as I sat on my bed. "I hope not either, I don't want to rescue you from being a jogan fruit again."

"I don't want to be scolded at either..." Lina mumbled, restlessly. "Be back."

"I hope so!" I said, laughing. Lina left the dorm, leaving me alone. I should be getting some rest too, but for some reason I don't feel as tired. I walked towards my desk and started stacking my books at the corner of my desk. Suddenly, one of my holoprojectors started blinking. I looked at it in confusion. Who is trying to contact me this late? I don't think Master Kenobi would contact me; he would just come to my dorm personally. Oh, wait. I think I know who it is.

I sat at my desk and clicked on the holoprojector. The hologram revealed Cody. He didn't have his helmet nor his armor. He was in in his black body glove.

"Oh Cody! It's you. Is there a problem?"

"No there's no problem, Karri. I was making sure you were settled in your residence." Ever since I've been under Master Kenobi, Cody has always been there to take care of me. He's the only one beside Lina and Padme who's been taking care of me.

I nodded to him. "Yes, Cody."

He smiled. "Good. I was just checking up on how you were. How's that arm?"

"Oh I'm fine. Don't worry about me," I said, giving him reassuring smile.

"Good to hear. I hope you'll recover soon. I'll be going now."

"No, wait," I said, quickly which caught Cody off guard. "You don't have to leave so soon."

This caught Cody by surprise. "You sure, Karri? I believe we will be having a mission any time now. Get some rest while you can."

I crossed my arms as I leaned back in my chair. "I actually can't because I'm waiting for Lina."

"She's awake as well?"

"Yep. She's taking a shower, actually."

"I see. But why are you waiting for her?"

"Oh, I'm waiting for her to see if she's going to fall asleep in the shower again," I said, casually.

Cody laughed, trying to keep it contained with his hand. "Again? What do you mean again? How many time she's done that?"

"Couple of times. It's becoming a habit, but I know the drill."

He let out another laugh. "When will you know Lina fell asleep in the shower?"

"When she doesn't come back after eight minutes." I said, "She doesn't take long to get herself cleaned up."

"How long has it been already?" I think it's been eight minutes... Yep, she fell asleep in the shower.

"Longer than she supposed to be in there for." I sighed, getting up from my chair. "I must get Lina."

"All right," Cody said. "I must let you go to sleep as well. See you soon, Princess."

Immediately, my lips curled into a big smile, after hearing that name leave his lips. "I'll see you soon."

"Have fun rescuing Lina." With that said, the hologram of Cody disappeared. I never expected to be this close with Cody. I mean, I don't mind being close to Cody. His presences soothes me. Somehow things happened this way between Cody and me. Nothing happens by accident. The phrase that Master Qui-Gon Jinn have always said.

"I best be going. I have to get Lina before the Masters yells at her again." I grumbled to myself. I hope Lina doesn't do this all the time after missions.

Next: SWTCW: Chapter 10

Chapter 10 will be the Episode of SWTCW, "Downfall of a Droid."

(If easier, find the next chapter on my profile.)

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