Takes place in the Trooper storyline in Star Wars: The Old Republic before they take down the Gauntlet.
Lieutenant Aric Jorgan eyed the pieces of his disassembled weapon, making sure all were well oiled and ready to be assembled into his assault rifle. He picked up a piece, turning it over in his paw. His eyes drifted from the weapon to the captain as she spoke with Dorne. His sensitive Cathar ears could barely pick up the conversation.
“No need to worry. We’ll figure out this personal thing. Until then, I’ll continue to vouch for you.” Captain Dosna’s voice was low, smooth, and calm. He’d rarely seen her angry and never heard her yell. She was cool under pressure. She stuck up for her team. She was smart, creative, and stared danger in the face. She was the perfect leader for Havoc Squad.
He was head over heels in love with her.
Jorgan would never tell her, of course. She was his commanding officer. He was her second in command. They could never be together. He knew that. Still, he vowed that he’d follow that woman to hell if she asked him. He’d already followed her into more Imperial bases then he cared to count and he’d keep doing it as long as she kept him in Havoc.
The captain turned from Dorne and Jorgan lowered his gaze back to his weapon. Wouldn’t do to get caught starting.
Yuun, a Gand, popped his head out of the communication room, his compound eyes rotating around the command room before finding the captain. He spoke, his native tongue choppy but fluid somehow. It filled Jorgan’s translator and converted to common.
“Captain Dosna, General Garza coming through the holonet.”
“Thank you, Yuun.” The captain stood in front of the holocommunicator, her back and spikey dark grey hair facing Jorgan. He placed his reassembled weapon back in the weapon’s locker and joined her.
“We expecting any new assignments, Captain? I thought the Gauntlet was too important for anything else.”
“Not sure, Lieutenant. But if the general is giving us something new, you can bet it’s important,” She replied with a brief smirk before she faced the holo, her back rigid and her shoulders straight. General Garza suddenly stood before them, her uniform and neat white hair tinged with blue from the holo. The captain offered a crisp salute as the other members of Havoc Squad formed up behind Jorgan.
“At ease, Captain. I have bad news. Jonas Balkar is missing.” Jorgan could sense the captain tense next to him. Balkar was an SIS agent they’d worked with several times. He was a good agent, if a little too flirty with the captain, but he’d helped them out when he didn’t have to.
“Do we know what happened?” the captain asked.
“He was in deep cover on Balmorra, but he had a drop point. He’s missed two scheduled drops now. The information he is collecting is vital to the Republic, Captain. Of course, he isn’t officially on Balmorra so the Republic can’t send in an official rescue mission. But there is an SIS agent on Balmorra with more information about Agent Balkar’s last known whereabouts.”
“I understand, General. Thank you.”
“Garza out.” The holo went blank. The captain stared at it for a moment before she turned to face her crew.
“Looks like Havoc Squad has a mission.”
“Sir,” Dorne piped in, her Imperial accent filled with concern. The captain put a hand up, stopping her before she started. Jorgan’s fur bristled. He already knew what Dorne was protesting. They couldn’t officially go to Balmorra and rescue the SIS agent. Jorgan didn’t think a little think like official orders would stop the captain. Besides, they had the general’s blessing so any repercussions would be minor.
“I can’t order any of you to take part in this mission,” the captain started. “If you want out, this is your stop. But I’m going in. I don’t leave people behind.”
Jorgan stepped behind the captain before she even finished the first sentence. “I’m right behind you, Captain.” She smiled at him. Her ceremonial facial tattoos shifted, making her smile appear wider, brighter.
“Of course we do not leave people behind,” M1-4X stated. His mechanical voice did little to squash his patriotic fever. “Agent Balkar is a valiant hero of the Republic and must be rescued.”
“The path leads to Balmorra, so I will follow the captain there.” Yuun added. Jorgan wasn’t sure what the path the Gand referred to was, but he was glad to have the tech with them. It would make it easier to slice into any computer terminals that needed to be hacked.
“Regulation 23-C81 states that any personnel with important information regarding the survival of the Republic be placed in Republic hands.” Dorne might be a stickler for regulations, but Jorgan had to hand it to her: she knew how to twist the regulations when she needed to.
All eyes turned to the last of their crew, the Weequay Tanno Vik. Jorgan did not like this solder, and he made no qualms about it either. Vik was reckless, self-serving, and didn’t follow orders all too well. He was also the best damn demolitionist in the Republic and they were probably going to need him to break Agent Balkar out of whatever prison he was held in.
“Will there be Imperials?” the pruney faced alien asked as he leaned against the frame of the command room.
“I can’t promise it, but most likely,” the captain replied, folding her arms over her chest. “You come, though, you follow my orders. We do this my way, Vik.”
Vik frowned and pushed himself from the door. “All right. If it means I get to destroy some Imperial prisons, I’m in.”
Captain Dosna looked around the command center. She met every solder’s eyes, finding Jorgan’s yellow eyes last. She didn’t need to say thanks. She just nodded. “All right, set course for Balmorra.”
Vik bolted for cover and covered his ears. The door to the detention block blast open, setting off alarms and covering the ward in smoke and debris. Captain Dosna stood and gestured to her team.
“Forex, Vik, watch the corridor. Dorne, grab your med kit. Jorgan, cover me.”
She didn’t bother to double check if everyone followed her orders before she ran toward the smashed door, Dorne at her heels. Jorgan turned to the Weequay and droid. “Tell Yuun to get the evac ship ready to go on my orders.” He could hear blaster fire inside the detention block.
“Affirmative,” M1-4X replied. “They approach.” His blasters fired, each taking down an Imperial guard. Jorgan saw several more behind the ones Forex shot down.
“This’ll be fun,” Vik shouted before taking off down the hall, his techblade drawn. Jorgan hurried to the captain, his assault rifle pointed at the entrance to the detention block, ready to shoot down anything Forex or Vik let through. As he backed into the room, he noticed a few Imperial guards lying face down on the floor.
“He’s in bad shape, Sir,” Dorne was saying from one of the cells. Jorgan glanced around. The detention block held six cells, three on the left, three on the right. He found Dorne and the captain in the second cell on the right. The captain was on her knees next to Balkar, her hand on his chest. Dorne had her med kit out and was injecting something pink into his neck.
“Balkar,” the captain said. He could detect a bit of panic edging into her voice. . “Hey, can you hear me?” she asked. Jorgan couldn’t see the agent, but he heard a moan.
“Fey,” he whispered. “Fey. You have to leave. They’ll get you.”
“Shhh,” the captain whispered. “Dorne?”
“I’m not sure we should move him, Captain.”
“That’s not an option, so stabilize him so we can get out of here. You hear me, Balkar. I didn’t go through all this trouble to watch you die here.”
“You shouldn’t have come,” Agent Balkar whispered again.
“Specialist Vik is wounded,” M1-4X called from the front of the detention block. Captain Dosna stood, unstrapped her blaster rifle ran forward. “Grab him while I cover your,” she called back to Jorgan. The Cathar didn’t hesitate. He didn’t leave people behind, no matter how much he hated them.
Blaster fire filled the hall outside the detention block doorway. The captain bull rushed the first Imperial, slamming the butt of her rifle across his face. He crumbled to the floor, leaving an opening for Jorgan. He charged ahead, pumping his assault rifle as he did. An Imperial in front of him fell to the ground. Blaster bolts whizzed by his head, cover fire from the captain and Forex. An ion blast hit an Imperial to his right and he seized up as the electricity surrounded him. Jorgan didn’t look to see if he survived or not. The captain was watching his back.
Vik clutched at a wound on his side, but his free hand still swung his techblade, as he fought off two Imperials. Jorgan pulled the trigger on his gun, releasing a charged up bolt. One of the two Imperials stumbled to his death moments before Vik finished off the second.
For a brief moment, the hallway was empty of living foes, but Jorgan could hear the pounding feet of backup on its way. Without speaking, Vik leaned against Jorgan and half walked, half limped back to the make-shift cover in the prison entrance. Vik slumped to the floor, a kolto pack already in his hands. M1-4X stood over him, his blasters pointed down the hall.
Jorgan rejoined the captain and Dorne again. “How’s he doing?” he asked.
“Almost stable,” Dorne replied. She looked up at the captain. “But it’s not going to be easy getting him out of here alive.”
“If it was easy, they wouldn’t have sent in Havoc Squad,” the captain replied. Jorgan could tell she was tense. There was a pitch in her voice that normally wasn’t there. He’d been in hundreds of scraps with the captain, most of them life or death situations. She was always optimistic about their chances of survival, but he could hear the worry now.
“Captain,” he said softly. “A word.”
She led him a little ways away from Dorne and the others, but her eyes drifted back to Balkar.
“Captain, you know I don’t like leaving men behind, but-“
“We’re not leaving him.” She turned to stare at Jorgan, grey-blue eyes hard behind her brown facial tattoos. “We get our people out.”
“Yes, sir,” Jorgan replied quickly. “But sir, if I may ask, why is Agent Balkar so important? He’s in pretty bad shape. He might not make it anyway. Couldn’t we just get the information he retrieved? Is his life really worth risking the lives of our whole-“
“He’s my husband,” Captain Dosna whispered, her gaze settling back on the wounded man.
Jorgan felt his heart drop into his stomach and explode all at the same time. Her husband. The captain was married. She’d never- He’d never- Things clicked into place all at once: Balkar flirting with her when they were on Nar Shadda; Balkar’s sudden involvement on Tatooine; The hint of jealousy whenever Balkar teased Jorgan about being jealous of their flirting; Balkar’s willingness to help Jorgan, to help them, find the Deadeyes.
“You’re Fey,” he whispered back.
“Captain Feyree Dosna Balkar.”
“But, when? How? It’s not in your record or file. I’ve combed through all your personnel records.”
A tiny smile graced her lips. “Almost four years. It’s officially an unofficial marriage. We couldn’t risk someone using me to get to him. Or vice versa once I was made the commanding officer of Havoc Squad. As far as any one knows, we’re just an elite squad rescuing an important asset.” She looked back to Jorgan then, her eyes pleading with him.
“That’s why General Garza told you.”
“Yes. She and a handful of other brass know about Jonas and me. I have an understanding with the general when it comes to my husband. And I’m not leaving him here, Lieutenant.”
Jorgan paused for a moment. “What would happen if the situation were reversed?” He asked, but he already knew the answer.
“You should see what that man can do when he is inspired.”
Jorgan didn’t need to hear any more. “Dorne, let’s get Agent Balkar ready to move. M1-4X, Vik, be ready to lay down some cover fire on my mark.” He hit his com. “Yuun, we’re gonna need that evac ready to go. We’re coming out hot.”
The captain nodded and put a hand on his arm. “You’ve got my back?”
Jorgan snorted in reply. Captain Dosna just nodded again. She returned to Dorne and helped her get Agent Balkar to his feet.
“Dorne,” Jorgan snapped once Balkar was to his feet. “Vik was wounded. Check him out before we get going.”
“Sir?” she asked the captain. The Zabrek nodded. Jorgan deliberately turned his back on them, blocking them from the eyes of the other. He couldn’t block out their whispered conversation.
“Fey, you shouldn’t have come.” A wince. “What if something happened? I couldn’t-”
“Shh. I wasn’t going to leave you, Jonas. We made a promise to each other. I’m getting you out of here. Now, come on.” A grunt. “That’s it, love.” Louder, “Jorgan.” He glanced back. Balkar’s arm was slung over her shoulder and his other hand clutched her backup blaster pistol. “Let’s move out!”
“Havoc Squad, let’s go!”
Jorgan opened the door to the medical recovery room the Republic assigned Agent Balkar. The captain sat on the bed next to the agent, her hand firmly held in his.
“Captain,” he said, trying not to look at their joined hands or how Balkar was gently rubbing her fingers with his thumb. “They’re shipping us out on assignment. General Garza will have the details once we’re in the air.”
“Understood, Lieutenant. You’re dismissed.” Jorgan turned and closed the door softly behind him, but not before he heard a muted “I love you.”
With the door securely shut behind him, Jorgan allowed himself a small sigh. He knew they could never be together while they were in Havoc Squad. He planned on retiring in Havoc Squad, so he’d given up on the dream of them being anything other than CO and XO. Still, in the back of his head, he’d always hoped that maybe, one day, when they’d both retired he could confess his love for her and she would return it. He put his hands on his hips and shook his head. Any fantasy about a life they could have growing old together was up in flames. It had been a stupid fantasy anyway. The Cathar sighed again and ran a pawed hand over his face.
He could always leave Havoc Squad.
He dismissed that thought immediately. He wouldn’t leave Havoc. He wouldn’t leave Captain Dosna. So what if she was married. He would still do everything in his power to protect the Republic at her side.
The door opened behind him. “Ready to move out, Lieutenant.”
“Lieutenant Jorgan,” Balkar called from inside the room. Jorgan looked back. The two men made eye contact and Jorgan realized that Balkar knew. The SIS agent knew that he was in love with the man’s wife.
“Keep her safe out there. She’s something special,” Balkar called. Jorgan nodded.
“I’ve got her back.”