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The World Inside of Me

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It was supposed to be a normal mission. The kid was with Greef and his most loyal bounty hunters, the bounty was only a system away, and Cara was along for the ride. Split with the former shock trooper, the credits would be enough to carry him and the kid for a while. 

It would have been a normal mission had the bounty not bribed a local crime syndicate into protecting them. The razor crest was shot down the minute they got through the roughest part of the atmosphere. Din managed to land it with quite a lot of cursing and a former rebel fighter yelling at him the whole time. 

Upon impact with the ground, Din was promptly thrown forward and knocked out. He woke up to even more of Cara’s badgering. A hand waved in front of his visor and he groaned. His head was killing him. 

“Hey Mando.” Cara said, sounding stern but also worried in her unique way. “You good? Trouble’s on the way.”

He waved a hand in the air loosely and sat up slowly from where his body had prostrated itself on the controls. 

“Yeah I’m good.” He said, definitely not being good. There was no way that the pounding in his head would be going away anytime soon. 

Cara gave him a hand and he dragged himself up from the chair, swaying a little bit but covering it up in a way he hoped wasn’t too obvious. 

They made their way out of the cockpit and into the main compartment of the Crest. The Mandalorian sighed as he witnessed the mess that the landing had created. Just another thing that he would have to take care of while keeping the kid distracted long enough so that more chaos wouldn’t be made.

Grabbing his phase pulse blaster from where he stored it and making sure that all of his weapons were ready to go, he followed Cara towards the descending ramp. The shock trooper took lead with her blaster in hand, and Din found himself looking out at a dusty gray world. 

With lots of rock cover around, anyone could be hiding in wait for them. His only consolation was that the rough landing had secured them some ways away from where the concussive shot had been fired towards the ship which meant that they might have some time before a follow up was sent to see if they were well and truly taken care of. 

A quick scan while standing at the top of the ramp showed him that there didn’t appear to be any immediate lifesigns, so he took a moment to walk down the ramp and see how the ship was looking. 

A bit scorched, but that was normal at this point. He tilted his head, ignoring the next round of pounding that it set off in his brain, and thought that the ship would still be able to run just fine. 

Of course, the minute he thought that, a piece of the side came crashing down and landed on the ground with a clank and a small cloud of dust. 

He sighed. Better than nothing. 

Turning back to Cara, he tapped the command for the ramp to go back up, and they made their way towards where they knew the town and the origin of the attack on them to be. 

His friend’s calculating eyes turned to him after a few moments of silent walking. 

“You’re being oddly quiet over there, tin can.” She said with a teasing smirk. “Usually you’re more talkative.”

He glared at her from under the helmet and an amused snort escaped her. 

They continued that way for some time, Cara feeling it necessary to make comments along a similar vein when she felt like it and Din trying to ignore the fact that the crash landing may have affected him more than he cared to admit. He tilted the light filtration slightly on his visor when Cara wasn’t looking, and was already thinking about where he had a stash of medical supplies to take care of the headache on the Crest.

It was during one of these ruminations that they were shot at. 

Again.

The shot bounced off of his armor with a cloud of sparks and the two dived behind boulders on either side of the small path they had been walking down.

Din placed his blaster on top of the boulder and took a shot in the direction that the attack had come from. Someone cried out, and he noticed Cara beginning to shoot from her side as well. 

His mind focused on the battle and ignored the pounding in his head. 

All in all, they took out probably fifteen attackers. Most in the first few minutes, the others as they tried to sneak around the various obstructions. 

A particularly amusing take down was when he was able to jump down behind the person and see their look of shock before putting them out of their misery. They were lucky the kid hadn’t been there, or he would have been more aggressive about it.

Or, less aggressive? Peli had given him a talk about “setting good examples” for the kid and apparently it wouldn’t be good for the little one to watch so much of it. On one hand, he could see her point. On the other? Well, he was a Mandalorian. Enough said.

After doing what they could with their attackers and spotting the target village, for that’s what it looked more like than a city, Cara and Din laid down out of sight and took a look at the place with their scopes.

Lo and behold, there the target was. Loading up a small freighter with a few very large guards and a lot of urgency. 

Cara turned to look at him. “Got a plan in there?” 

He stared at the freighter. “You know what we did on Nevarro with Moff Gideon?”

“Absolutely not.” She said.

He remained silent.

“No! I’m not letting you grappling hook yourself to another fast flying ship, jetpack or no. I’m not!”

“There’s no way to rush them with just the two of us over this long flat terrain and hand to hand isn’t an enjoyable thought with the size of those guards.” He turned to look at her, hoping that she picked up on enough of his body language and logic to let him do it. “I propose that we wait for them to take off and then I can take them down from the sky.”

She sighed. “Well what am I supposed to do?”

“There’s a speeder by the ship. When those who are left on the ground are distracted with the stunt I’ll be pulling, you grab the bike and follow along. No doubt a few of them will survive the crash and I’ll need some backup.”

Giving a moment to think about it, or at least to figure out if it would work, she finally acquiesced. “Fine. But if this goes wrong, remember that I was against it.” 

Pleasantly surprised by the approval and silently dreading the possibility of having to admit to being wrong to someone who would never let it go, they settled down to wait. 

It only took a small amount of time before the target’s craft took off with the bounty and two of the very large guards.

With a hand signal, Din started his jetpack and shot towards the ship, Cara running beneath him towards the speeder that was left behind.

Acknowledging that using the grappling hook would be a very bad idea (his shoulder hurt for weeks after doing that the first time), he instead decided to fly right next to the ship.

Now, what he had expected them to do, what he would have expected any sane pilot to do, was to swerve out of the way once he was spotted at their side. 

What instead happened was that they took one look at him and decided to ram into him with the ship.  

Having not expected it, it was all he could do to find a quick hold on the side as the full weight of a small craft barreled into him. This was going to hurt more than his shoulder and Cara would never let him live it down. 

Speaking of Cara, she was doing just fine cruising along underneath them, and it was the thought of her backup that had him lunging forward to place an explosive on the wing of the craft. It wasn’t a TIE fighter, but he hoped it would have the same effect as what had happened with Gideon. 

Unfortunately, unlike with Gideon, the crash against the side of the ship had gotten him tangled with it. So the explosion not only knocked the wing off of the side, but also sent him flying. He was hit by multiple pieces of debrief and only briefly noticed his jetpack firing as he hit the ground and found peace in blessed darkness.

The peace didn’t last long, as he found himself waking up to someone tapping incessantly on the side of his helmet. 

“Mando. Mando wake up.”

It was Cara. That was alright then, he could sleep a little longer.

As if she knew he had woken up, Cara paused her tapping for a moment before lowering herself to be right in front of his face and glared. “Din get up.”

Well if she was using his name, he guessed that he had to do something. 

“What?” He said, with a slight groan escaping his lips at the pounding in his head. 

“You passed out on impact with the ground. I put the bounty in carbonite and dragged your sorry ass all the way back to the Crest so you better not die on me.”

He flailed an arm in the air, narrowly missing the shock trooper. “I dunno I’m feeling just peachy.”

Cara was silent for a moment. “Yeah you’ve definitely got a concussion. Where’s your medkit?” 

“Drawer.” 

“Which drawer?”

“Uhhhhh.” He lowered his hand and winced at the clank it made against his chestplate. “One of them.” 

“Well that’s really helpful, thank you so much for your service.”

He hummed under his breath in acknowledgement before pausing. 

“Hey Cara.”

“What’s up buttercup?”

He slowly moved himself up into a roughly seated position and looked over at his friend who was searching the drawers to find the med kit which was in there somewhere. Her very unimpressed expression was directed at him as he raised up one finger.

“I think. I think you may need to turn around.”

Her eyebrows drew together. “What are you talking about.” 

Din opened his mouth to explain, but instead ended up lurching off of the pallet and stumbling towards the nearest bucket while yelling for Cara to turn around.

Without even waiting for her to confirm that she wasn’t looking, he unlatched his helmet and pulled it off just in time to throw up into the closest container. 

That having been done, he sprawled backwards onto the floor, resting his head on the cold floor of the ship. Sweat drenched his curls and plastered them against his forehead, but he could see enough to know that Cara was awkwardly standing with her back to him and a hand clamped over her eyes. 

Din slowly dragged his gloves off of his hands and continued to lay there.

“Hey Cara.”

“Yeah?” She said, voice strained and a little muffled from the direction she was facing.

“I think I have a concussion.”