[In context the year is 4ABY and Jaden is 13 at a height of 4'11]

The crew of Talon started to pool at the docking bay of the ship. Talon had touched down at a recreational Space Station near Coruscant. This was a regular routine with Vi's crew- stopping off at resting points when off duty to wind down. The ramp lowered and everyone started to pile off the ship, scattering every which way after reaching the main deck. Vi turned and looked down at Jaden, "Be careful if you go off on your own. Stay in populated areas" she warned. Jaden offered a smile, "Yes, my Lord" he responded. She seemed satisfied enough and walked off with the others. He watched her disappear into the crowd and turned, nearly jumping out of his skin. Ko, the assassin of the crew stood next to him, seeming as if he'd just materialized there.

He was a pale man that stood tall, leveling at about 6'2. He had long, raven black hair that was tied back into a ponytail. A few hairs fell over his face. Not that he could see much of his face anyway with a mask always covering half of it- from the nose down. His attire was black and shaggy clothing, though he wore a surprising amount of Cortosis. This included boots, bracers, and a curved sword. Jaden knew he carried a blaster and grenades as well, but he seemed to seldom use them.

“Oh man, you scared me pretty good” Jaden laughed. Ko’s silver eyes drifted down to Jaden, studying him with an indiscernible look. He shifted awkwardly under the gaze, never quite sure what the man was thinking. “Just didn’t hear you come up” he continued, rubbing the back of his head. Ko blinked once, “That is my job” he said simply, speaking in a soft tone before walking off. “Right” Jaden murmured quietly with an awkward laugh. “Just gonna go wander around then” he said to no one in particular.

He spent the next while doing just that- mostly window shopping around the various technological shops. He liked to keep up with the latest technologies and related ‘toys’. As he made his way further into the Space station, the floor started to hum at a steady beat. “Hm?” he uttered quietly, the pulsing getting steadily louder as he moved forward. He expected to round on a cantina pumping out loud music, but instead found an arcade. He paused mid step as it suddenly filled his view.

The inside was very dark, lit up brightly with black lights and the occasional neon bulbs. Game machines lined the walls, sputtering noises from being used, barely being audible over the pounding, upbeat music. Further in the back were holovisions, a food court, and prize counters. He stepped inside without thinking, the music vibrating up his legs. Kids ran about in groups, yelling and laughing with each other.

The scene made him freeze in thought and a fair amount of awe. He didn’t often see other kids, and definitely not in these numbers. He looked around again, this time taking note of any adults, guards, or security cameras. It was a natural paranoia to someone of his profession. He moved over to a nearby machine and exchanged a few credits for token points on a game card it spat out. He spent the next while trying out various games, snacking at the food court, and playing on his datapad. It was a wonderfully leisure setting. Something nice and different from the murderous blaster crossfire he was used to. Or even street gangs for that matter. He could safely say he’d been to more cantinas than arcades.

He glanced up from his datapad, sipping at a Ruby Bliel when he noticed another small boy surrounded by older kids. He stored his datapad, watching silently from his seat. The other boy seemed to have a griefed expression as the older kids quietly shuffled him off out a side exit door. Jaden waited a couple minutes, thinking in silence before standing and following outside. The heavy door clicked shut behind him, dulling the music to a low rumble once more. He looked around. It seemed to be a side hall- like an alleyway for dumpsters of the arcade and store next door. Quiet voices came from a little further down the hall behind a dumpster. Jaden’s mouth buckled, knowing it was a bad idea, but went to investigate anyway.

The other boy was being pushed around by the three older kids, one holding a credits and a game card triumphantly. “Maybe we should teach him a lesson about talking back” one suggested, jerking the small kid up by his collar. Jaden moved in behind them, “Leave him alone!” he yelled. The hall went dead silent for a moment as they all turned to look at Jaden, looking surprised. That quickly melted away as they gave him a once-over, “Or what, kid? You gonna do something about it?” “If you have what you want, just go” he retorted. The boys looked between each other. One snorted, “Beat it, kid. Unless you wanna be next” he kneed the other boy his grip in the gut, laughing as he double over. Jaden lunged forward, slamming into the older kid and sending him crashing into the nearby dumpster, dropping the younger boy who scrambled away.

The two others grabbed at Jaden but he ducked out of the way, rolling to the side and kicking one in the shin from the side, taking his feet out from under him. The first recovered, going to grab the other boy again. Jaden looked over, moving to block him with the fallen kid snatched his ankle, sending him to the floor. The two older kids recovered next, now yanking Jaden up in a stronger grip. “You want to play hero? Fine. You can take his place” they threw the other boy to the ground.

The next few minutes were blurry and hard to remember, but definitely full of pain. Sounds of muffled cries, laughter, and punching barely registered.

Jaden’s eyes fluttered open and the hazy form of someone loomed over him. He blinked a few times and was slowly able to focus on silver eyes peering down at him. He tried to sit up and flinched, suddenly feeling the pain. He groaned, sputtering bloodied coughs. Everything ached and he had a pounding headache. “Take it slow” a quiet voice said. He turned, to the figure that at been looming over, his eyes clearing now to see Ko crouched down. “Ko?” he murmured, looking around. They were in the back alley still, though they were alone now. “What happened?” he asked, dazed. “I found you back here with those other kids wailing on you” he answered, looking Jaden over. He moved in front of him, “Follow my finger with your eyes” he instructed simply. Jaden followed the motion, “Where are they? And that kid?” he asked distractedly. Ko lowered his hand, “The kid is fine. Those other boys were dealt with” he said flatly. Jaden looked at him with a confused look and went to press further, but was cut off by Ko, “Can you stand?” he asked. Jaden looked down and tried. His head spun and he coughed a few more times. He wobbled to a stand, his sides feeling bruised, he looked over into the polished steel of a dumpster. The image was fuzzy, but he could see one of his cheeks tinged purple and the other was cut. Another cut split his lip, being the source of his blooded coughs.

He took a step and almost lost balance. Ko helped him along back to the ship, “If you want to be a hero, you have to know how to defend yourself. You’ll just put more people in danger otherwise” the assassin stated. His tone was mostly always flat, but Jaden sensed clear scolding to the words. “Sorry” he murmured, hobbling back to the ship with Ko.