Rummaging in Our Souls

Title: Rummaging in Our Souls
Author: Saydria Wolfe
Fandom: Star Wars
Genre: Fix-it
Relationships: n/a
Content Rating: PG
Warnings: Kamino
Author Notes: “Rummaging in our souls, we often dig up something that ought to have lain there unnoticed.” ― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
Word Count: 1,638
Summary: Jango Fett catches a clue-by-four to the head. It looks like Obi-Wan Kenobi.



“Su cuy’gar, Mand’alor.”

Jango had to clench his jaw and swallow hard to keep his mouth from falling open. Taun We had brought him a Jedi. A Jedi that spoke his language.

A Jedi with a soul.

He had heard a rumor that one of his Cuy’val Dar had given a Jedi a soul. He had never thought that rumor to be true. But he had just been greeted as Mand’alor by a Jedi.

One that, clearly, spoke Mando’a.

“Who gave you a soul?” he demanded in his own language, breaking through the Jedi’s line of leading, taunting questions.

The Jedi smiled. If he wasn’t a Jedi, Jango would have said the smile was a fond one.

“My parent is Vhonte of Clan Tervho, House Mereel,” the Jedi answered—in perfect Mando’a. “Parent named me Ben of Clan Tervho, House Mereel.”

Jango felt faint. He knew Vhonte. She was a huntress without peer, a solid warrior, and an exacting trainer. So much so that neither he nor any of the other trainers he gathered had derided her for working for the so-called Duchess of Mandalore more than once.

And only Priest had been stupid enough to do it the first time.

If a Jedi could be given a soul…this changed everything. His stomach turned and churned and he felt lightheaded. He needed answers.

Jango sat and looked to his son. “Go get Vhonte. Bring her here.” He had to have answers.

The Jedi—Ben—seemed to understand something of what was going on with him. Ben turned to Taun We, wasting a beguiling smile on the longneck.

“I will be with Ser Fett for an extended period of time,” Ben said in Basic. “Surely you have other duties you must attend to.”

“Master Jedi!” Taun We’s neck swayed in a way that read as scandalized to Jango. “You are our single most important customer! All other duties will wait until you are satisfied.”

In reality, Jango knew too much about the Jedi and the Longnecks’ mutual shadow patron. And the real reason for the clones’ existence. The Longnecks wouldn’t want the Jedi to have unfettered access to him. It would be bad for their business.

There was a strange, unseen ripple in the air when the Jedi spoke again. “I will require quarters for my stay. Perhaps you would be willing to go and arrange them.”

“You will require quarters for your stay,” Taun We repeated. The hair on the back of his neck stood up. “I will go arrange them.”

“My thanks,” Ben said brightly and bowed.

Jango managed to not turn his back on the Jedi as he escorted Taun We in the direction of the door.

“Something is very wrong here,” the Jedi said, again in Mando’a, the second the door was sealed behind Tuan We. “How old are those children they are calling battle-ready soldiers?”

“The oldest are twelve,” Jango admitted, “but those aren’t for you.”

“And the ones that are?” Ben demanded.

“For you?” he asked to both clarify and delay. He needed to think, dammit.

“Yes,” Ben hissed.

“The oldest are ten.” Then he heard what he had just said. “Ten years, chronologically. Physically, they are around twenty.”

He had to sit down again or he was going to fall. He sat on the couch. Ten-year-olds. He was training enslaved ten-year-olds. Ten-year-old versions of himself.

“Not old enough for a coming-of-age trial.” Ben turned from him.

Jango wasn’t the best on unarmored body language but the Jedi’s shoulders looked tense to him. Maybe angry. Probably confused. The hand stroking his beard as he staired out the transparisteel outer wall was a clear sign of contemplation.

The Jedi Ben was plotting.

The door to his quarters opened and Boba preceded Vhonte into his quarters. Boba came to him and together they watched Vhonte and Ben’s reunion.

“Ben!” Vhonte called.

Then she pulled off her helmet to look at Ben. They had the same color and shape of eyes. Nearly the same color hair. When they hugged the difference became clear—Ben’s hair was lighter than his parent’s. But, if he was Stewjoni like Vhonte, bleaching his hair was a sensible move to protect himself.

“Parent,” Ben greeted simply.

They hugged—something he hadn’t thought Jedi were allowed to do.

“I knew you would be the one to find us.” Vhonte slapped her child’s back heartily. “We have a great deal of fixing to do around here.”

“So, you aren’t a real monster, too?”

“Aren’t you the one that told me that systems are best changed from within?” Vhonte responded but her voice seemed distant to him.

Ben had used the word demagolka.

Jango flinched. He was the real monster, here. One of the many behind the clone project but he had a soul. He knew better. He knew children were the future—that was why he had demanded one from the longnecks. So he would have a future.

Jango fell back in his seat and stared at the ceiling. He was demagolka. What would Jaster say? He felt the faint impression of a slap to the back of his head. Never hard—Jaster would never do him harm—but an admonishment all the same. A wake-up call.

Jaster would want him to wake up. To redeem himself.

“The Clones have chips in their heads,” he blurted. That was the second time he had entirely lost control of his mouth in maybe twenty minutes. He blamed the pretty Jedi.

Vhonte and Ben looked to him with identical expressions of surprise.

“What?” Ben asked faintly.

Jango pushed himself back upright. “The Clone soldiers made for the Jedi have chips in their heads. Two-part chips. One to speed up their aging and healing.”

“And the second part,” Vhonte growled out the question.

“It’s unnatural,” Jango said. “Their food has enzymes that keep it active.”

“What does the second part do?” the pretty Mando-Jedi asked.

“It’s a control chip,” Jango admitted. “To contain their emotions and keep them pliable.” Jango hesitated but he was in this. He hadn’t started it, but he had to end it. It was his job to fix this and save the children if he ever wanted to march on with his three parents and the other Mand’alore. “They turn the boys into meat droids. The right words and they will kill anyone. They won’t have a choice.”

The Jedi looked a little green.

Which enzymes?” Vhonte demanded.

“I don’t know,” he had to admit. He had never had a head for medical knowledge that deep and complicated.

“Well, we have to find out,” Vhonte said. Her face promised him pain if he didn’t cooperate. “Ben can sneak around and reprogram the mess droids to free the children but we have to know what to change first.”

“I have documents but they don’t mean anything to me,” he admitted.

Vhonte nodded and, without any sort of leave, activated her comm. “Mij, we need you in Fett’s quarters. ASAP.”

“On my way,” Mij responded immediately. “Anything special I should bring?”

“Your field pack, if it includes bacta.”

Mij scoffed and closed the line rather than respond.

Before he could ask why they needed bacta, Vhonte backhanded him. With her helmet.

“We will fix this,” Vhonte said lowly. “We will free these children from the chips. We will evacuate them from Kamino. We will strategically disappear. The children and all of those that can be trusted with them.

“They will not go to war. They will not die for your revenge. Am I clear?”

Jango nodded. Partially because he agreed. Partially because she might have broken his jaw and he wasn’t stupid enough to speak and make it worse before Mij got there.

“This Mij is a medic?” Ben asked.

Jango glared at him for his evident amusement.

“Mij Gilamar of House Mereel,” Vhonte answered when he didn’t. “And he’s a doctor. Trainer of the medical troops.”

Ben nodded and focused on him. “You will give us all of the documentation you have about the clone army—”

“They call themselves the Vode,” Boba blurted because, apparently, his lack of control was catching. He hoped the Vode didn’t catch it, that would get noisy.

“Thank you,” Ben nodded to Boba.

Boba grinned.

“You will give us all of the documentation you have on the Vode, everything you have on the people that actually hired you—including your contract and whatever else they have paid you to do since.”

He would include every contract he had fulfilled while under contract. How would the Republic react to know their chancellor was paying people to instigate the small conflicts that were shaping up to be the foundation of a civil war? If they had any sense, the man would be drawn and quartered before he knew that the general public had learned this ugly truth.

If he was honest with himself—and put himself in Tyranus’ place—he knew too much to be left alive.

Tyranus’s recent order for him to lead the Jedi into a trap on Geonosis could easily be a double-blind. At least a trap for him, if this was going to be the battle that started the war like he suspected.

The door to his quarters hissed open again and Mij stepped through with two of his best students a step behind. All three of them were carrying sizeable medpacks.

Mij took one look at him and his mouth dropped open. “What the kriff happened to you?”

“He angered a cornered strill,” Ben offered with a speaking look at his parent. Vhonte shrugged, unbothered and unrepentant. “He got bit.”

Mij snorted and muttered something that sounded suspiciously like “about time.”

Jango magnanimously ignored it.

“Helix, get your scanner,” Mij ordered. “The rest of you better tell me what the hell is going on here.”



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  1. Yours is the first story I’ve read with Obi-Wan with a parent in it. I like your story and thanks for the read.

  2. Nice. Jango needs to get punched far more often.


    Holy fuck! I love it!

    Please imagine one little ole lady dancing like a demented strill around my living room.

    Awesome beyond belief!

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