Barrissoka: Red Eye
The explosion nearly engulfed them both. Barriss Offee and Ahsoka Tano led the defense for the city of Gravena on Planet Nidos.
The city was being evacuated as the droid armies approached with intention to slaughter and burn the capital and its inhabitants. The evacuation was a masterful display of patience and organization by Master Unduli. Holding off a droid army while maneuvering several hundred thousand people to dropships was no easy feat, but the Jedi made the escape look flawless. The only drawback was the General leading the droid troops.
Omega-3 was a ruthless, and rather large, droid General. Most of the clones that fought against his troops simply nicknamed him "Red Eye". The droid had 2, but one of his eyes was a large red scoping scanner. It was not a dangerous weapon, but it looked scaring when it was focused on you. The droids large claw hands were the main danger.
Red Eye pushed its soldiers to overwhelm the defense line and it spotted the two young Jedi holding up the wall of Clone Troops.
Red Eye's solution, of course, was to remove the Jedi. The hulking droid attempted to do so with a rocket launcher that almost vaporized Barriss Offee. Ahsoka was quick and observant, however. She grabbed her friend and dove for cover.
Ahsoka's heart had almost stopped when she saw the stream of smoke and the bright metallic tube soaring at her comerade Jedi. Not just a friend and comerade. Barriss Offee was her heart and soul.
Red Eye was just a droid. Large and deadly in close combat, but just a droid. Yet, in that moment, the Large Red Eye was focused on Barriss, and Ahsoka now saw it as a demon, a horror from the pit of perdition's flames. The thing had already cut down many of her men, and Ahsoka agonized for each loss.
But the fight was on a new level when it chose to extinguish her love, her angel of mercy. Loving Barriss raised the stakes in brutal war, and Ahsoka would risk it all in that moment when the missile almost struck true to its mark.
Barriss was not completely helpless. She was busily striking down a crowd of droids with her skillful saber moves and techniques. The regular CIS droids were no match for her.
But the missile.....she had just glanced it from the corner of her eye. She was always ready. Every day could be her last. Being ready for death, however, did not stop the dread feeling in that split second.
But Ahsoka was fast.
They fell into a crater near the defense line as the missile impacted nearby and sent shrapnel everywhere. The line started to crumble, and Ahsoka's back burned with the stings of dozens of hot pieces.
"Ahsoka!! Ahsoka!!" Barriss had to move fast. The troops started to break and retreat. The droids were also taking cover from the missile, but it would be a matter of seconds before they resumed their advance. Ahsoka was unconscious, and Barriss sometimes wished the Togrutan would not be so stubborn about protecting her. Barriss had no doubt in her mind she would have done the same thing had they been switched, but it was equally dreadful to push through the war without her beloved. Ahsoka made her feel alive when they were together, made her feel there was more in life than just the Order, or meditations. Ahsoka was her life. But now Ahsoka was unable to move.
Barriss awkwardly grabbed her and tried to carry her in the retreat.
Red Eye saw the Jedi through smoke and fire and static. Its red eye gleaned enough to know that victory was in its grasp. But it still concluded that the Jedi must die. Red Eye began its advance. The Hunt was on.
Explosions erupted behind Barriss as she carried Ahsoka. Most of the rest of the troops had run ahead to the dropships in the city. Nidos was lost, the Republic had been withdrawing from it for several days, but only the Jedi Master Luminara organized the evacuation of the citizens. A daunting task, but Barriss and Ahsoka held up the droid advance with what few troops were left, and that allowed the city precious time to help innocent people escape.
Barriss trudged along as she carried Ahsoka on her back. They could hear some remaining soldiers fighting, but could also hear the clanging and drumming of the droid troops marching.
"Barriss" Ahsoka whispered weakly "You know I love you. I love you more than anything in the world. I would give up the jedi Order for you." She rambled. It was a desperate confession, one that Barriss knew was born out of accepting a fate that had not happened yet.
"I know. I love you too. More than all knowledge, and more than all the harmony the Force could grant. I love you with all my heart." Barriss whispered as she walked slowly, trying to keep her footing. The city gates, busted open by missiles from a previous assault, were so close yet so far. And marching feet were getting louder. The roar of Red Eye's smoking engine and steam punk servos could be heard closing in as well.
"Then leave me here" Ahsoka desperately begged "I cannot let us both be killed."
Barriss ignored her and kept trudging along. Ahsoka closed her eyes and sensed danger was getting closer. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that. I wish..."
"I know..." Barriss smiled a little as she stopped and put Ahsoka down. She spent a moment healing Ahsoka's wounds, and then gently kissed her. "I cannot think of a better way to finish this life, then to be with you at the end of all things. Here and now. I could not live without you. I will never leave you."
The hulking brute droid, Red Eye, lumbered at them, smoke trailing its almost victorian style chassis. Its red eye beamed at them, analyzing them as hostile, scanning them. It walked faster and pulled out its sharp melee sword.
But Ahsoka and Barriss just looked at it with calm, accepting the end.
"I think the last of the drop ships have gone by now, and the rest of our troops have lifted off. Maybe we will have done some good here today." Ahsoka sighed and grabbed her light saber for one last hurrah.
"We DID do some good. With every man, woman and child that escaped Nidos today, I know we will live on in their future generations. That is all the immortality I will ever need." Barriss smiled and felt a little watery as she held out her hand.
Ahsoka took her hand and they faced the Beast known as Red Eye. But Death was not to be victorious today. The roaring engines of the last drop ship fired defiance above them, its blast of hot air halted the droid advance. It was a fat angel from Heaven for the two Jedi, opening a portal and revealing the nurturing Mother that would not leave such brave children behind. Luminara beckoned to them as the Drop ship blocked the droids. Barriss and Ahsoka put away their weapons and jumped to the open hatch.
"I have them!! PULL UP!!!" Luminara called into a speaker. The door closed as hundreds of red blaster projectiles flared all around the drop ship. Red Eye was denied his targets, but there would be another day, and there were plenty of Jedi to hunt.
Barriss helped carry Ahsoka to the medical section of the ship. It was crowded with refugees and soldiers, and Ahsoka stubbornly refused to cut in line. But that was fine with Barriss, who continued to tenderly look after her lover's wounds. Both of them quietly smiled with love in their hearts. They replayed that final moment in their heads. Overrun by the enemy, wounded in an explosion, saved at the last minute.
Luminara tended to other wounded people, but glanced over at her Padawan. She was grateful to see Barriss doing well, though she did not see the look the two were giving each other. For Luminara, it was a miracle on Nidos that she was able to save many people, but in her heart the greatest victory was rescuing Barriss and Ahsoka from the jaws of destruction. The war goes on, but every life saved was a new hope for a better tomorrow.