STAR WARS - THE BAD BATCH: PROJECT SAC-1
This is a short chapter, but only because I have some writers block and don't know how to continue for some reason. My brain is dead, so I'm just posting what I do have to not deprive you of content 😊 idk when the next chapter will be, but I'm trying to overcome this brain fart 🤪😆 but there's some artwork for this chapter, so I guess that makes up for it!
Little did Tala and Hunter know that Cut and Suu had a perfect view of the pair while they were outside from their place at the head of the table and even though they were facing the chance that their livelihood was in danger they couldn't help but share a secret, knowing smile while observing their interaction. And after breakfast when the two of them carried the dirty dishes into the kitchen and began washing them, they quietly discussed what they saw.
Cut tittered, scrubbing the plate in his hands. "I can't believe it, the usually dignified and reserved Sergeant turned into a puddle of nerves because of a woman, tripping over his words and getting all ruddy in the face when he tries to go out of his comfort zone and talk with her."
"You did the same when you started feeling something for me, ma sareen." Suu recalled with amusement, taking the now clean dish and drying it off with a towel. "You'd jump away every time we touched and become flustered when trying to talk with me."
"To be fair, every time we touched I felt like I was on fire and your voice sent tremors through my body," He said with a dopey grin on his face, "Which I had never experienced before nor been taught to know what that meant."
"That Tala is obviously feeling the same for him, but clearly doesn't know what it means." Suu said.
Cut paused his movements and hummed in thought.
"What?" Suu asked in concern.
"We should help them." Cut decided and began scrubbing again. "Because you're right, she probably doesn't understand what she's feeling, and Hunter might, but won't act on it because of his being the leader of the squad. She needs to know that she's capable of having feelings for him, he needs to know it's okay to have feelings for her despite being the leader, and they both need to know that they should ignore the stupid rules the Kaminoans set for them and be happy."
Suu took the clean plate. "I'd never object to helping Hunter, but why should we help the woman who's probably going to turn you in?"
"What is it we always tell the kids?" Cut asked, jogging her memory.
Suu looked down. "Never turn away those in need." She recited, then gave him a small smile.
"Right. And she's a lot like Rex was when he first came here, and I managed to make him understand my decisions and he never turned me in, so perhaps I can break through her programming and make her understand. Then, we get to work; we have a week at most."
Suu gave a small laugh. "I never took you as the meddlesome type."
Cut gave her a charming grin. "It's nice to know I can still surprise you after two years of marriage."
During the meal, the boys started catching up with their friends, for they hadn't seen each other in almost eight months. Obviously though, the first thing Cut and Suu asked about was their new addition to the squadron. Tala gave a short summary about her enhancements and time with the squad, not wanting to give up too much information about herself to a deserter, but Tech ended up going on a long rant about her different genetic host, her enhancements, the skills she possessed because of them and how they greatly benefitted the squad.
Throughout the whole thing, Tala was very uncomfortable not just because she was dining with a deserter, but also because his daughter kept staring at her with wide, curious eyes from her place across the table from the female clone. Not at all experienced with children, she had to fight the urge to scream 'WHAT?!' several times, but figured her parents wouldn't appreciate it. She thought the kid latched onto Crosshair, so why was she staring at her?
When the couple went to wash the dishes, Tala let out a breath that puffed her cheeks and murmured to Crosshair, "Can I have a 'pick?"
He wordlessly took out his pack while Hunter asked, "You okay?"
She took out a toothpick and stood. "I'm being forced to ignore my sound morals, so I need to take a breather if I'm to remain civil. I'm going outside for a little bit."
Once out of the house, Tala put the toothpick in her mouth and crossed her arms with a sigh. Being raised on Kamino and being in space so much, her eyes squinted from the almost blinding sun, not used to it, and the arid atmosphere made her feel thirsty. A flock of starklebirds flew above her and then landed into a nearby greater cake tree, and the family's crops towered around the farmstead.
The clone was pondering her squad's questionable choices when she felt Shaeeah peek around the side of the house, and looked to her right only for the girl to hide out of sight before Tala's eyes landed on her, but she knew the girl was there.
"I'm not in the mood for games, kid, so come on out." She said rather grumpily.
After a couple of frustrating seconds, Shaeeah finally did let herself be seen, her demeanor shy.
"What do you want?" Tala asked gruffly.
"We don't get many visitors here... especially girl ones." Shaeeah revealed, approaching Tala. "It's usually Uncle Crosshair, Wrecker, Tech and Hunter, or this other clone." She looked up at the woman with eyes full of wonderment. "Jek gets to see other boys, but I finally get to see another girl!"
"You do realize that your mother is a girl, right?"
Shaeeah shrugged. "Yeah, but it's different." Her eyes lit up. "Want to see my tree house?" She asked excitedly.
"Your tree house?" Tala repeated with furrowed eyebrows. "You don't look like an ewok to me."
"My daddy built it for me so that I have my own space since I share a room with Jek, and he's not allowed in there because it's girls only." Tala made a face, not really in the mood for looking at a childs playhouse, but Shaeeah gave her puppy dog eyes. "Pleeeeeeeaaaaaaaase? Mom's the only other person who's been in the tree house." She grabbed Tala's hand and tugged at it. "Please please please -"
Tala felt her resolve crumble after five seconds of this. "Oh, alright!"
Shaeeah cheered and pulled her in the direction of the tree house, which was in the backyard. It's outside looked as unattractive as the farmhouse, made up of scrap metal and wood pieces, and honestly didn't look that safe and steady to be in, but she still climbed the rope ladder after Shaeeah, and found herself in a tiny, eight feet by eight feet playhouse. There was two large cushions full of patches on opposite sides of a tiny, low, crude wooden table that had a couple of tea cups set on top on the back wall, with a couple of small, patterned blankets stitched together to form a nice, cozy teepee around it; a small corner shelf had three shelves packed with art supplies, and the bench next to it had a handmade tooka doll and some nicknacks; the walls were filled with pictures and paintings created by Shaeeah's hand, and there was a string of colorful, decorative triangle flags that adorned the wall above them.
Tala was only five foot six, but she still had to walk in a crouch. Shaeeah sat her down on one of the cushions and she sat cross-legged while the little girl enthusiastically brought over things for her to look at.
The first was the tooka doll on her bench. It was thrust into Tala's hands with a squeak, and when she looked it over with curious eyes she had to smile when she saw it had the same facial discoloration as Shaeeah and was wearing a mini version of her own frock.
(decided to design the tooka doll for fun 😆 I think it's adorable!)
"Her name is Jewel," Shaeeah explained brightly, "Dad gave her to me when he married mom, and mom helped me make the dress for her. She knows all my secrets and loves to have tea parties with me and mom."
Tala nodded slowly, not knowing what tea parties are or what kind of secrets a child like her could possibly have, and handed the doll back wordlessly.
Next she was shown various artwork that Shaeeah had created. There were drawings of her happy family, animals and illustrations of stories her parents told her. But one picture made Tala laugh out loud - a crude drawing of the Bad Batch that her mom helped her draw... but it was specifically Crosshair's portrait that made her laugh. How she knew it was him was because of the unique tattoo drawn over his right eye. Crosshair was practically sticklike compared to the others, had a toothpick in his mouth, and most funny of all was the wide smile he was drawn with like the others.
(you have my full permission to laugh at this drawing or be mildly disturbed. 😆 Me and @starwarstbbfan had to channel our inner child to create this masterpiece)
It was hilarious how Shaeeah saw Crosshair like this and loved him so much, when in reality he was a... Well, Tala couldn't say that word with Shaeeah around. Cut apparently had a conversation with the Bad Batch when they first visited to refrain from swearing around the children, and Hunter warned Tala she was banned from cussing during the duration of the trip, much to her chagrin.
Tala was very awkward as Shaeeah showed her prized possessions, not knowing what to say when Shaeeah looked at her with wide, hopeful eyes. A nod would make the girl happy, and sometimes Tala muttered 'Very nice' and that would make Shaeeah beam with pride at her work. Tala had seen much better artwork during her travels throughout the galaxy if she was being totally honest, but then reminded herself that Shaeeah was a child, so she supposed the drawings were good for a girl her age. She really didn't know.
Shaeeah was smarter than Tala gave her credit for though. "Are you going to turn my dad in?" She asked out of the blue when she finished showing off her collection.
Tala looked at her with surprise. "What do you know about that?"
"When I turned ten, my parents told me about how dad ran away from the army and that if he was found he'd get into a lot of trouble, so that's why we live so far away from people... to keep him safe. And you don't like him because he ran away, which is why you want to turn him in."
Tala stared at her for a moment. "In my book, kid, what your dad did is very wrong, and I do believe he should get in trouble for it."
Shaeeah pouted. "But why would you want to take him away from us? Didn't you see all the pictures I have of us, and Jewel? And didn't you see how much of a good dad he is? He's always trying to make us happy, and protects us when we're in trouble. He's not a bad guy."
Tala now felt torn, and didn't understand why. Why should she take the word of a child? "It's not something I think you would understand."
Shaeeah didn't like this answer, but the conversation was cut short when a woman frantically called out her name from down below.
"Yeah, mom?" Shaeeah shouted back, hurrying to the door and looking down at her frightened mother.
"Are you alright?" Suu fretted.
"Yeah, why?" She wondered as Tala rose and walked up behind her.
"Because I heard you're with... well, never mind. Come on down. Your uncle's want to show us their new starship."
Shaeeah gasped excitedly, grabbed her tooka doll then scurried down the ladder and Tala followed. Suu quickly checked over her daughter, much to the girls annoyance, then looked warily at Tala before taking her hand and pulling her away from the female clone, who felt troubled by the action.
Ma sareen = my sweet (in twi'leki)
This was a short chapter, but I hope the artwork made up for it 😆 idk when the next chapter wi be out because like I said my brain refuses to work but I hope it won't be too long ❤️