It's Not A Moon - Chapter 1 - polardefoxy (2024)

Chapter Text

"If the Empire has this kind of power, what chance do we have?" Tynnra Pamlo, the Senator of Taris, leans forward and scans the other rebel leaders in front of her. Many share her doubt, inclining their heads in resignation.

The new arrival, duch*ess Satine Kryze, halts at the entrance, watching silently as the rebel alliance council meeting unfolds as she expected. She had insisted on coming in person despite the danger, knowing that other planetary leaders would not treat Korkie—or a hologram call—seriously. Not when so much is at stake.

"What chance do we have? The question is what choice? Run? Hide? Plead for mercy? Scatter your forces? You give way to an enemy this evil with this much power and you condemn the galaxy to an eternity of submission."

Satine raises her brows in surprise at the unfamiliar voice. The girl has a point, and some rebel officers grumble in agreement while others shift uncomfortably. She keeps going, raising her voice so that the entire room can hear her clearly: "The time to fight is now! Every moment you waste is another step closer to the ashes of Jedha."

"The blood of all Taris will not be on my hands. If it's war you want, you'll fight alone!" Senator Pamlo replies equally forcefully, effectively stunning the room to an intense silence.

From far too many personal experiences, Satine can sense that the eagerness to fight is strong among most rebels here in this cramped space. Officers, squad leaders, captains, generals, and even Admiral Raddus himself stare at their leaders in anticipation, ready to receive their orders and finally fight the empire. For once, this eagerness does not bother Satine. Not a bit.

The senators, however, are less thrilled by the idea of fighting. The same concerns plague the hearts of every single one of them; Pamlo is merely the one speaking them out loud. Even Mon Mothma and Bail Organa look a bit pensive. They have all seen footage from Jedha, the first thing presented by Captain Cassian Andor, and the pure terror is horrifying even for the standard of Empire atrocities. The people of Jedha didn't stand a chance. One moment the ISD was leaving the surface, and the next thing they saw was the menacing green light that wiped out the entirely ancient holy city within seconds. When the empire has committed such cruelty merely for Saw Gerrera's splinter extremists, one does not have to think hard to realize the implications.

Satine has no doubt that no coward can be found within the walls of this rebel base—they won't dare join in the first place. But it is one thing to offer to sacrifice yourself, and another to sacrifice your people. What of the men, women, elders, and children you've sworn to rule, serve, and protect? What of the civilians on Taris, on Alderaan, on Chandria, and on Mandalore? If millions of innocents are to be killed in their sleep for a politician's bold move, can you ever make that decision in good conscience?

And that is the true terror of the death star.

Satine takes a deep breath and nods to her guards at the door.

"duch*ess of Mandalore." The proud announcement of arrival seems to break the trace in the room as rebels hastily step back to make way for one of their most respected figures in this galaxy. Not many can say that they face Palpatine toe to toe and survive to tell the story, while the duch*ess has been doing exactly that even before the empire. Armed with wise political maneuvers and a willingness to forsake personal pride to make compromises when necessary, the lily of Mandalore from the outer rim has fared well in the game of Coruscant with all things considered. Partly thanks to the big fuss over Mandalore's neutrality orchestrated by Palpatine himself, the duch*ess' publicity remains high, especially when many worlds look in hindsight and find the clone war to be utterly pointless. As the emperor keeps hiding in the shadow of darker and longer robes, the duch*ess wears her scars proudly with her regal dignity which the former can never dream to attain. Some even consider her to be the beacon of light during this trying time.

However, a peaceful politician can only do so much, especially when her opponents are not hesitant to break their own rules to win the game. While Mandalore's autonomy stands largely attached for now, the Council of Neutral Systems has been suspended, and imperial taxation on Mandalorians has tripled throughout the years.

On the other hand, without Mandalorians' sudden interest in manufacturing heavily armed merchant ships and agile outer-rim explorer starships in recent years, the rebel fleet would never have achieved its current size. Not to mention the Beskar equipment that armed the elite squads, accidentally found in deserted space stations and ancient bases, of course.

"duch*ess Satine, it's been a while. Your wisdom is more than welcomed—in fact, urgently needed here." Mon Mothma smiles at the newcomer tiredly and cuts straight to the topic, while other leaders nod in agreement. The Chandrilan senator in exile is mildly surprised by her friend's appearance. A pleasant surprise, it is. The Mon Calamari admiral and the young girl who does not fit well among the group, on the other hand, look a bit distrustful of the reknown pacifist.

"You're too kind, Chancellor.”

"My assumption is that you've been briefed on your way here, your grace." General Airen Cracken hands the duch*ess a hologram device after receiving a nod, which the latter receives gracefully: "But if you find yourself in need of more intel, here is your copy."

"Surely you will be the voice of reason here, duch*ess." Senator Nower Jebel cannot seem to wait for Satine to speak for herself; "we have no chance of winning. You've been a pacifist for all your life, and now it's time to make another compromise."

"Enough of this cynical defeatism!"

"Why not let duch*ess Satine speak her own mind now, Nower?"

The room again threatens to break into chaos as Admiral Raddus and Bail Organa speak up at the same time. Finally, Satine raises her arm to calm all parties and clears her throat.

“Senators, please. None of us desires the scourge of war to befall our cherished homeworlds. We all love our people too dearly for that. As a steadfast advocate for peace, I have tirelessly championed the cause of Mandalore, placing the welfare of my fellow Mandalorians above all else. Today, we convene with a singular purpose—for what’s best for our people.”

“Some may dismiss my convictions as the musings of a delusional dreamer. Yet, I maintain steadfastly that violence begets only further suffering, for peace is a prize that eludes the grasp of conflict. So long as even a sliver of hope remains, we must seize it with unwavering resolve."

Bail, who knows the duch*ess the best among his colleagues, watches in slight amusem*nt as some rebel leaders murmur in agreement too eagerly. He is certain that Satine has not shown her hand yet.

“Regrettably, Palpatine offers us no false sanctuary in hope. His intentions are clear, ambition boundless. He seeks not merely compromise or submission, but the subjugation of the entire galaxy unto his will.”

“Can Alderaanians stand idly by as Caamais are ravaged and exiled? Will the Tarisian marshes hum in peace while Wookies on Kashyyyk are ensnared in chains? Sundari will not shine the same, when Jedha lies smoldering in ruin."

“Make no mistake, senators. There exists but one path before us, and there is no peace when the darkness looms above the whole galaxy. The Empire tolerates no dissent, no hesitation. To acquiesce is to court our own demise. We stand together. Else we fall alone."

Satine holds her head high, her gaze unwavering, righteous anger burning in her chest. The room is now quiet enough that her whispered warning echoes around as the morbid moment prolongs, and she watches the implication of her words sink deeper into the minds of the senators.

"Alderaan stands." Bail steps forward, nods firmly, and puts his right hand on his wide chest.

"The Mon Cala fleet will fight!" Admiral Raddus raises his arms, his small frame more than made up by his enthusiasm.

"We fight!"

"Fight those bastards for real!"

"For Jedha!"

Senator Palmo huffs and nods in agreement, while Senator Jebel resigns in his silent confusion. The girl tears up in relief. A thunderous applause breaks out as more and more rebels join in, cheering for their leaders.

“We seem to have reached a decision then.” Mon feels that she can finally let herself smile now that a rock that she doesn’t know exists has been removed from her mind. Civilian leaders retreat to the back row as officers fill their space and General Cracken projects the map of Scarif on the hologram.

“We thought we had to go alone.” Cassian Andor fiddles with his jet pack to hide his mild embarrassment. "You know, go rogue. We were ready for this."

"Almost." Jyn Erso admits, her heart beating fast again now that they are approaching Scarif. "I tried to convince them... but I think if not for the duch*ess, they would not have agreed to it."

"duch*ess? Senators are bad enough; what is a duch*ess doing in our revolution?" Cassian asks in disbelief. He does not hold political elites in high regard, not really.

"Watch your tongue. Our duch*ess is not your typical nobility. Or politicians." A Mandalorian commando speaks up from the other side of the ship, quick to defend the Mandalorian ruler fiercely.

Mandalorians and their tempers. Cassian raises his eyebrows in surprise. "A Mandalorian duch*ess? Then she must be the one providing us with arms."

The commando gestures at Cassian's jet pack. Although his face is unrecognizable behind his helmet, Cassian is sure that he is asking if Cassian is dumb.

"Fine, I mean you or your duch*ess, no offense. You must have respected her a lot." Cassian observes, secretly wondering what it feels like to have a leader, an authority figure of any kind, watching out for you instead of trying to catch you. He has been on his own all his life, and a part of him is so tired. It matters not, he reckons; all is going to be over soon.

"Indeed. Lots of us would not have joined if not for her." A younger female Mandalorian speaks up: "That, and we hate Coruscant fat*sses, republic or empire."

"Hey! Viceroy Organa is a good man!" An Aldaraan rebel calls out.

"Quiet, we are jumping out of hyperspace." Bodhi urges them from the comlink. All fall back to an unsettling silence, checking their weapons again and again.

Here goes the leap of faith.

It's Not A Moon - Chapter 1 - polardefoxy (2024)


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