[In context the year is 1ABY and Jaden is 10 at a height of 4'8]
Jaden looked down at his feet apprehensively. He didn’t want to be in this place- especially here, surrounded by a slew of people he didn’t know. Looking around, it was quiet- eerily so. There were three others with him as they boarded the Rebel ship, all of them dressed as Rebels. It seemed like a risky plan, but Vi had agreed to lend an Imperial remnant Jaden’s services as a slicer. The prize of information would be well worth the risk if it succeeded. Or so he kept telling himself as he tried not to panic. The plan was simple enough. Blend in long enough to get the information, slice into the security systems to create a lockdown, and make an escape in the chaos. He heaved a groaning sigh and one of the men looked over. “Oh, come on. It’ll be fine. This place is just filled with regular old Rebs, nothing special” he assures, ruffling the child’s hair. “You just focus on those systems” he ushered Jaden along as the other two loitered behind.
They received a few odd looks walking down the halls, particularly because of Jaden being a child. He tapped into his datapad, having been slicing into the maintenance systems along the way. He broke in and forced a small system failure- something to look coincidental. He kept walking with his ‘companion’ until they came to the room with the downed terminal. Jaden glanced down the hall, trying to hide his nervous feelings as the man… what had his name been? Finn? He didn’t really care for the group anyway. ‘Finn’ made a smooth discussion with one of the Rebels at their post. He’d only paid half attention, but it was of course to the extent of them being there to fix the ‘broken terminal’, brandishing a small bag of tools. “This one yours?” the Rebel gestured towards Jaden, “Oh, yes. He’s learning to be an engineer. Wants to work for the Alliance when he grows up. Good kid” he chirps, patting Jaden’s head. “That so?” The Rebel leaned down slightly to inspect Jaden, who smiled sheepishly in return. “Yes, sir” he uttered quietly. The Rebel made an amused chuckle and waved Finn in, “Get on with it, then” he straightened up. “Thank you, sir” Finn ushered Jaden into the room.
The door slid shut behind them with a quiet hiss of air. Again the air was filled with an uncomfortable silence. Apart from the hums and beeps from machines. Jaden moved briskly to the terminal in the room, hooking his datapad into it. Finn sat beside him with his bag of tools, “See? Nothing to be afraid of. Just get into the main systems and we’ll be good” “Working on it…” he murmurs.
A long period of silence passed as he worked. This small fact hit Jaden hard suddenly and he wasn’t quite sure why. He’d kept calm enough through all this so far, even smiling at the Rebel guard. Why then was he experiencing a potent feeling of anxiety? His breathing picks up and he looks over at Finn, trying not to have a panic attack. Finn stared off at the far wall, looking calm as ever. He shook his head. It was all in his head after all, right? The feeling of bad news? Yes, of course. Everything was going smoothly.
It felt like an eternity as he waited for the systems to crack. The silence left him to feed on his seemingly irrational fears. He stared ahead the console blankly in thought.
The small chime from his datapad nearly made him jump out of his skin. “You alright there?” Finn asked when he jumped. “Fine” he nearly whispered. “Well if you’re in, let’s rack ‘em up” he said quietly, standing. Jaden nodded and started to copy information to his data chip. It wouldn’t be long before they noticed. Especially from what they were taking. He worked as quickly as he could manage, going into the security system while the files copied. He injected one of his specialty viruses into the systems. He’d nicknamed it ‘shackles’. It put everything into lockdown- shields, doors, escapes with a password encryption over it. Jaden could access specific doors of course through his datapad. He readied the reboot to the weapon systems so their escape root wouldn’t be shot down.
Alarms started to blare in the halls outside. There was pounding on the door and the muffled shouts to open up. Jaden finished copying the data and stowed the chip away. “Can we get out now?” “Well, if your virus worked, it should seal off their reinforcements until they can get rid of that virus. Or cut through the doors. Enough time for us either way. Stay there” he moves to the side of the door, opening it. The Rebel floods in with his blaster raised at Jaden, “Freeze! Hands up! … Where is your friend?” he seems to glance around. Jaden remains still with his hands up as Finn moves quietly in from behind and raises his blaster, bashing him over the back of the head with it. The Rebel slumped to the floor and Jaden heaved a small sigh of relief. “This way, hurry” Finn lead the way out of the room. He opens up a vent grate and sends Jaden in first, “Just open up the hatches to take us to the docking bay. Close everything behind us”
Jaden made a roll of his eyes as they crawled forward. He tried to be quiet while moving, despite the alarms which was a distracting noise in itself. He could hear commotion echo through the vents from the surrounding halls. He opened the needed vent hatches as quickly as he could, cringing at every noise along the way. Finn spoke quietly into a comm behind him. “Jaden, unlock the far entrance to the docking bay so the others can prime a ship” he spoke quietly. He did so, struggling to move forward as he tapped on his datapad.
The vent eventually spilled out into the back of the hangar bay. A large shield sprawling across the hangar separated them and the other two Imperials who scurried onto a ship. Finn moved around to the few remaining ships, planting something on each as Jaden dropped the hangar shield and re-sealed the doors. “Shouldn’t we be going?” “Just making sure they can’t follow by other means. Relax it’ll only take a minute. They can’t get through the doors that fast”
Jaden stood to the side, watching. There was that sinking feeling again. Anxiety. Something was wrong. He scolded himself, glaring at the floor in silence. “All done” Finn announced, walking across the bay towards Jaden. An echoing sound burst into the hangar. Jaden blinked. It was a familiar sound and yet misplaced. Their faces snapped towards the rear door close to them.
A blue beam protruded at the top of the door. They both stared for a dumbfounded moment. Oh, maybe that’d been the source of the feeling. “There weren’t suppose to be any Jedi here?” It was a statement that came out more like a question as the blade moved quickly in a circle, slicing a hole in the door. The metal chunk flung back into the room forcefully and Finn turned to bolt off, firing a few rounds in what Jaden could only guess was an attempt to slow whoever was there. A small amount of smoke emanated from the melting metal surrounding the door and Jaden backed up behind some crates for cover. There was a blur of movement and Finn was taken down before he’d made it half way over the hangar. The robed figure seemed to waste no time running towards the powered up ship next.
Jaden tapped quickly into his datapad, raising the shield across the back of the hangar bay again. The Jedi grinded to a halt in front of the shield, staring out at the small ship. Jaden moved briskly and quietly across the hangar, grabbing Finn’s blaster before making a quiet backup. The Jedi stormed towards a console that could probably release the shield. He either didn’t notice or didn’t care for Jaden. Jaden raised his blaster evenly with the console, “This is ranking pretty high on a scale of one to stupid” he groans quietly to himself, unconsciously using the force to help him aim as he fires off a bolt. The Jedi jumps a bit as the console sputters out of life, leaving the shield’s remaining controls to Jaden’s datapad. He stares ahead, momentarily proud of hitting such a far target.
He jolts back to reality as the Jedi throws his blade against the shield in short, frustrated blow. The Jedi whirled around and had closed the gap between them with a jump in an instant. The quick movement startled Jaden and he fumbled with the blaster, quickly tossing it down and raising his hands in front of himself. He didn’t immediately look at the Jedi’s face, preoccupied with staring at the lightsaber looming threateningly overhead ready to strike.
A moment of awkward silence drifted by and he lowered his lightsaber, though still glowering down at Jaden and glancing to the side as if debating which was a more pressing matter at the moment. Jaden made a few short glances at the Jedi, but kept his eyes on the lightsaber for the most part. He could see the grip around the hilt tighten- and hear it in the silence for that matter.
A couple Rebels stepped through through the hole in the door, looking over and walking towards the Jedi. The Jedi brought his saber up next to Jaden in an almost pointing manner, “Don’t move” he said sharply, turning and walking a few feet to meet the Rebels. They chatted quietly, the Jedi pointing at the ship in the hangar which still hadn’t taken off. Perhaps they were trying to figure out a way to get to him? He hoped so. He still had the data after all. They couldn’t leave without both of those. They'd probably rather opt out to risk their lives here than deal with Vi’s wrath for that kind of failure.
He tried to imagine the colorful words that may be flowing through the ship’s comm from the Rebels about now. Jaden shifted his eyes to the other spacecraft in the hangar thoughtfully. Well, as thoughtfully as he could in his scattered and panicked mind.
The Jedi had just motioned at Jaden to one of the Rebels before starting to head towards the door when everything spilled into chaos. The small ‘objects’ he’d seen Finn place on the spacecrafts exploded in a thunderous mess. Being near the middle of the area, Jaden was spared from flying shrapnel for the most part. The two Rebels and the Jedi received a more hearty blow, sprawling out on the ground.
Jaden wasted no time scrambling towards the large shield. He lowered it as he came closer, seeing one of the Imperials standing on the ramp looking out at him. He didn’t want to look behind him, feeling it would probably do more harm than good. It didn’t matter. He could hear thumping footsteps of armored boots crossing the hangar bay and closing. Jaden crossed the shield threshold and looked at his datapad as he ran, tapping into it. He felt as sudden jerk backwards in a strange feeling- not by hands. His fingers hurriedly hit a final prompt and the shield raised back up. There was a resounding thud, causing a moment of silence as Jaden processed the hard surface he'd hit in his disorientation. He glanced around, seeing he’d thudded against the shield of the hangar bay. A glance backward was rewarded with a scowling Jedi on the other side. He looked rough from the explosions, but Jaden didn’t want to stick around to find out the man’s feelings on the matter.
Jaden wobbled to his feet and quickly moved towards the ship, setting the weapons to reboot as planned originally. The ship quickly started to take off while the ramp closed. The Imperial inspected Jaden for immediate injuries, peppering him with questions in between. Jaden handed off the datachip in the end and flopped onto a couch in the lounge, falling asleep almost immediately.