Part 1 [8/3/13]
“Okay, so we are now away from Mandalore,” Lightning says. “Pity we couldn’t bring the sarge with us.”
“He would have been shot on sight for being a Mandalorian,” Hunter reasons. “That’s what he was probably scared of.”
“Come on!” Tracyn scoffs. “The Mandalorians were the ones that trained us. Why would they shoot one of their commanders?”
“But they aren’t commanders,” Aranar states. “They were effectively castaways when the Jedi came to Kamino to collect us. Never even brought along for the ride.”
“Or invited,” Tracyn says.
“And the history does state that Mandalorians once hunted Jedi,” Hunter informs. “Maybe still do. They hated the Kaminoans enough.”
“Who couldn’t hate the Kaminoans though?”
“Coming up on Corsin,” Lightning informs. “And boy do they seem to have picked up some traffic.”
“How?” Hunter asks, instantly back on task.
“A lot of ships from two points, but not moving anywhere, with anyone straying far from the restricted routes getting a missile up the tailpipe.”
“What?” the other three clones shout.
“I’m guessing one thing,” Lightning says.
“Invasion and occupation,” Hunter finishes.
“This is an unmarked shuttle, isn’t it?” Tracyn asks.
“Yes,” Lightning replies. “Why?”
“Take a look at the rear view screen.”
Crowding around it, the four look at the screen and see a blue triangular craft. It was closer than any of them would have liked, and was following them.
“If the planet is occupied by the Seps, we really don’t want to go crashing down there for them to find us like this, do we? “Aranar asks.
“With all our armour?” Hunter questions. “You’re mad if you do.”
“Let’s just see what happens first,” Lightning calls. “Going straight around the planet to avoid the Seps.”
Speeding around the edge of the planet, close to the gravitational pull, was the best was to both avoid the Seps and continue on to the Hydian Way hyperspace route.
The triangular shaped craft behind them decided they didn’t need to reach the hyperspace route however. Firing a blast, it strikes the shuttles engines.
“Armour off! Now!” Hunter shouts, as the shuttle angles down and starts shaking its way through the atmosphere.
Part 2 [30/3/13]
The clones start stripping off their armour plates, trying to keep balanced with the bucking of the shuttle. Lastly, the clones place their helmets in the seats and Aranar hunts down spare clothes for the four of them. The good thing about an army of clones was you only had to stock one size.
Clothes equally distributed, the clones removed their black bodysuits and pulled on their new clothes, difficult under the current situation.
"Angling- the ship- for a smoother descent," Lightning gasps. "And hopefully we won't die when we crash."
"That's heavy," Tracyn says.
"But it's a risk we have to take," Hunter remarks. "Now then. Helmets. All data needs to be wiped from them."
The four clones take their helmets and start wiping the memory of them. Tapping the keys within them, the data is quickly wiped.
"Now then. Quickly. We need somewhere to store all this kit."
"The locker," Aranar states. "Tracyn - with me. We can take it together and store it then lock it. Hopefully no-one else will be able to get at it."
Tracyn and Aranar pick up the armour and helmets and walk to the back of the shuttle. Hunter looks out at the viewscreen as Lightning straps in to the pilot seat.
"Tell Aranar to find some other helmets or sun visors. If we need to pass this off, four of the same faces will just give the game away," Lightning orders. "And tell them to get strapped in. One minute until crashdown."
"Considering I'm meant to be in charge, I'll let you off due to the fact we're about crash and possibly die." Hunter then runs off to the back of the shuttle, and all three clones return after half a minute, rushing into seats and strapping themselves in.
All four stare blankly at the viewscreen, Lightning wrestling with the control yoke to bring them in for as smooth a landing as possible. But inside their heads, they are all thinking the same thing. The inevitabilty that death was so near.
The shuttle smashes into the ground.
Part 3 [17/4/13]
The smoke rose on the far off distance of the hills and forest. It had flew down with smoke trailing from it, and small corrections had been made occasionally to keep it on course and give it the best opportunity of landing.
If there was one thing he knew, it was that only military would be able to keep it stable and make the least amount of impact on landing. And no Separatist forces were operating in this system, beside themselves. So they had to be Republic. But this was only a guess.
The guards operating in the sky were known to make mistakes occasionally. This could have been a simple civilian of this world, panicking and fleeing, only to get shot down when not complying. But like he had said, a civilian would have been killed in the landing, and reports would show the shuttle had exploded.
Another thing it could have been were pirates, and if it were, they would be destroyed fully. There was no need for pirates here, and they would only bring the Republic here if they were let go. Pirates were notorious for giving information for the right price. They were famous for it.
There was always the off-chance it could have been a passerby from another system. This was a planet of high demand, and it was taken because the Republic didn't have a foothold in this entire sector. And that was a good thing, as no Republic forces would even be passing by.
There was the chance though, that lost Republic forces had taken an easy way back home. A dangerous way, but quick and easy nonetheless. And if these were Republic forces, no matter how small, they must be dealt with.
Cleanly, and quickly.
"Well," says a clipped Serenno accent, "Are you ready for your first real test?"
Part 4 [16/5/13]
"Hunter? You alright?"
Lightning groans as he struggles to release the straps. looking next to him, he sees Hunter trying to do the same. Both then cough and turn to look behind them. Neither Tracyn or Aranar were in their seats.
Getting fed up with the straps, both clones rip them from the seats. They automatically see Tracyn and Aranar clutching the back frames of their chairs, and in their other hand is the strap that must have been ripped from the chair.
"Now I understand why we should never take our armour off in tight situations like that," Aranar gasps.
"Just count yourself lucky to still be alive," Hunter remarks.
"And it's a good thing we decided to change now rather than later," Lightning says, who was leaning over the control board to see through the side of the viewscreen.
"And why would that be?" Hunter asks, as he helps both Tracyn and Aranar up.
"Because whoever's controlling those droids hasn't wasted any time in bringing them here."
Hunter walks up and lightly moves Lightning out of the way. Looking out at the same position, all he says is "Shab."
"That bad then," Tracyn states.
"Well we can't fight our way through like normal," Hunter says. "This is more Separatist space than Koru Neimoidia is, simply because they are actually here now. And if I'm not mistaken, one of their heads will be here to oversee the operation."
"Could be good," Lightning says. "But what exactly are we going to do?"
"Well, I asked for head gear to cover our faces, and our helmets' data removed so-"
"Oh, you are not even considering that," Aranar exclaims.
"He is," Tracyn matter-of-factly states. "You can tell."
"Well, why not?" Hunter questions. "It's not like they could use the armour. And if we could track it down later, when we make our escape we can grab the armour as we go."
"So long as we can track it down, and as long as it doesn't get moved to another area. Or worse, another planet."
"It's a risk we're going to have to take. Now get that head gear."
A knock on the hull then draws all four heads to turn to look at the hatch.
"Open up if you're in there," a Battle Droid calls. "If you don't open within a minute we will blast our way in."
Part 5 [25/6/13]
The droid knocks again. "Thirty seconds until we blast our way in," it then shouts through the metal of the shuttle. It then steps back.
"Are we really going to shoot our way in if they don't answer?" another Battle Droid speaks up. "They might be civilians."
"There is no-one in there except for clones. That's why the shuttle was shot down in the first place. And even if they aren't clones, they are still Republic personnel anyway."
"Cool your jets," a voice floats through the hull. "We're only after some work."
The ramp of the shuttle lowers as much as it can and four people in assorted head gear are standing at the top.
"Come down here," the Battle Droid commander commands.
The four walk down the ramp, and as soon as they reach the bottom, droids surround them with weapons pointed.
"Check the shuttle out," the commander instructs the remaining two droids, which then run up the ramp.
"The only thing you'll find in there is a load of Republic equipment," one of the captured men say. "We were planning on selling it, but if this is the way the Separatists treat their clientele, we might just go somewhere else."
"Hmm... Merchants?" the commander asks.
"Yeah," the same person says with a suggestive tone. "Merchants. We specialise in battlefields."
"Where did you come from?"
The man doesn't reply straight away, instead cocking his head to one side as if thinking. "Malastare."
The two droids in the shuttle then come out with all the equipment the men had stated was in there.
"We'll take them and this lot back to base. You two stand guard."
Two Battle Droids split from the group guarding the men to take the equipment from the droids now standing guard. Then the march to the base in the city began.
Over the hills that surrounded the city, only the top of the highest tower could be seen from the hill's summit. At the peak though, all of the city could be seen. A sprawling complex of low quality houses on the outside, with the quality of those houses getting greater the nearer one got to the central tower, which was the governmental building. Or as it was now, the Separatist stronghold of the entire city, and soon, then entire planet.
Part 6 [25/6/13]
Upon reaching the tower, the droids file into a lift, which gets crowded with all of them and the four prisoners.
Dooku thought of them as prisoners as that's what they would become. The droids must have fallen for whatever story they had given, and he couldn't wait to hear it. He'd play along, agree with them, then somehow force them to go to the forests.
He'd already dismissed Greivous by filling him in on the plan. Now it was just a matter of getting it to work.
The doors opened and the Battle Droid commander walks forward. Following it out of the lift were a group of six other Battle Droids surrounding a group of four men in assorted head gear. This head gear covered their faces, and that was why the Battle Droids hadn't uncovered them for what they were.
"Well, what have we here?" Dooku asks.
"These were the people in the shuttle that was shot down," the Battle Droid commander says. "Battlefield merchants. They had a lot of Republic equipment on them, including weapons, that are being processed elsewhere."
"Battlefield merchants, eh? And where were they last searching?"
Dooku laughs in his mind. Battle Droids could be dumb indeed. To have come here from Malastare, they'd have had to come half way across the galaxy. Only a Battle Droid would be dumb enough to be in the military and not know that. Still, he'd play along. He had to.
"Malastare, you say... A hot bed for a war if ever I knew one. Now then. If you need more work, I can offer some."
"No thanks. I'm good," the Battle Droid commander replies.
"I was talking to the group of men. Not you."
"Well, if you have anything going, I'm sure we'd love to. As soon as we get paid for-"
"Oh, not to worry," Dooku interupts. "I'm sure the payment will be sorted by the time you get back from this job."
"Fine. We'll accept. What is it?"
"There was a battle on this planet not so long ago, between some locals. They have taken refuge in the forests to the east, and have taken some of our supplies. Since this is a small operation, we haven't had time or resources to look ourselves. You are the perfect opportunity we have been looking for."
"We'll head out right away. But what are you doing on th-"
"If you are indeed battlefield merchants, those are not questions you really should be asking," Dooku warns. He then calls to the Battle Droid commander "Escort them out and show them to the eastern forests."
Dooku waited until the four clones were led out of the room and back in the lift before activating a communication to the two guards of the shuttle the clones arrived in.
"Destroy that shuttle fully so it is not flyable at all and report back to base."
Part 1 [21/1/13]
"It must be bad," Hunter says, "if he needs us to evacuate him."
"Who knows," Tracyn says. "All I know is that if it is Mandalore we have to go to, forget it."
"What are you on about?" Aranar counters. "He's our instructor! Other clones would help save their instructors."
"Yes, we know," Lightning agrees. "But what would Spec Ops says were we to go off on a personal errand?"
"Can you see any Jedi around here?" Aranar questions. "Besides, he's like a brother to us. We never leave brothers behind."
"Oh come on," Tracyn scoffs. "Try telling that to all those who lost brothers at Geonosis."
"Don't bring Geonosis into this!" Lightning shouts. "I've heard of the stories. We all have. Brothers of other squads were killed, and they got reformed. Just be lucky none of us were killed."
"That's right," Hunter says. "Now then. We can go now, and rescue our brother. Or we can go after we contact Special Operations, and possibly lose him. I know which one I want."
"But we'll be disobeying direct orders," Tracyn states. "Simple fact, technically, we can't."
"But we can," Lightning says. "We're not droids. We can think for ourselves. That's why we were created, or haven't you thought of that fact yet."
"Look," Aranar interrupts. "All arguments aside - are we going or not?"
"Really, we have no choice," Hunter says. "I suppose it falls on me, the leader, to give the final words. But we were chosen for this. That's why we, specifically, were selected out of everyone else.
"He needed someone he could trust. No matter what."
"To Mandalore then."
"And remember, we are Mandalorian," Hunter quietly says. "It doesn't matter what we were bred to be, it's what we're raised to be that counts."
Lightning then calculates a jump to Mandalore and throws the switch. The starscape changes to the angularities of hyperspace.
Part 2 [27/1/13]
The ship blasts out of hyperspace to see the planet Mandalore, forests and water with a desert at the pole, and the two moons orbiting.
"Now we're here, anyone got any ideas on how we're actually going to track him?" Aranar asks.
"Well, we can't just announce that we're Republic and we're hear to claim a Mandalorian," Tracyn jokes.
Hunter is already on it, however. "Communications Central, where was the last comm made from Mandalore to Republic personnel?"
"Information is being processed," the voice comes back. It sounds like a female vocoded droid. "The last call was made in the forest region Olankur."
"Well that shrinks it down," Lightning says. "Head on down?" he then asks Hunter.
The ship then heads down, keeping near the forests of the northern hemisphere.
"Well, this isn't doing us any good," Aranar says. "We need to get lower down. Into the trees."
Lightning manouvres the ship lower down, skimming the tops of the trees. In an opening of the trees, he cuts the speed right down, turning the ship and lowering it through the gap. The whine of the engines as they power down is like a sigh of relief that no-one spotted them.
"Right then," Hunter says. "Lightning, stay here and be tracker. Me, Tracyn and Aranar will go out on foot."
"Sure. But what if someone does come?" Lightning asks.
"Don't let them in and ask what their purpose is here. And I'll also need the jetpack again."
"Sure. Take it."
Hunter, Tracyn, and Aranar walk out of the ship, Hunter adjusting the straps on the jetpack. All they can see is a lot of trees.
"Nice place for a vacation," Tracyn comments.
"We're here on a mission, not for a holiday," Hunter remarks. "Now then, load up your maps and pin this location. We'll need it if we get lost."
All three get their datapads out and mark the location. They then walk off in a random direction.
Part 3 [31/1/13]
"There got to be more of this forest we haven't explored yet?" Aranar asks. "It feels like we've explored all of it."
They had indeed been trekking through the forest for about an hour now, but there was still no sign of who they were looking for.
"This forest is vast," a voice then says through their helmet comms.
"Was that you speaking Hunter?" Traycn asks.
Hunter lightly hits Tracyn's backplate and makes the had signal for 'Quiet'.
"Come on," the voice says. "Even with the speed I know you guys can pull, there's no way you could have explored this forest in an hour by foot."
"Sarge!" Tracyn shouts.
"Where are you?" Hunter asks, seriously.
"About a klick south of your position," the voice states. "Holed up somewhere. I won't say exactly where, as they are hunting me. They could be listening on this circuit."
"Don't worry. We'll find you," Hunter says. With an eyeblink, he then cuts to the squad only circuit link. "Lightning, did you get all that?"
"You've found the sarge, he's being hunted and is in hiding, and you've got to trek a klick south to find him," Lightning sums up.
"I think that covers it," Hunter says.
"So, you want air support?"
"If you can give it. Just scan the area from the air. Track the EM scanner and we should be able to find him."
"Sure. I'll get onto you when I'm in the air and have him located."
"Okay. You two. Let's go," Hunter says to the other two.
"Do you really need to ask?" Aranar remarks.
The three clones walk through the forest, pushing away twigs sticking out from the trees, and ducking under fallen logs. Small litterings of light swam through the gaps in the trees.
With half of the distance covered, Lightning then gets on the link again. "I'm in the air now, and I'm sending a rough location of where I think the sarge is. However, there's a number of people stealthily following you."
Part 4 [5/2/13]
"Are you sure?" Hunter asks.
"Well, they are stationary for the time being," Lightning says, "but they seem to be focused on two points. One is your position, and one is the sarge's."
"Well, it looks like we'll have to get this rescue done real quick. Get the ship near our position, and get ready with the cannons." Hunter then switches back to Darjate's link. "Don't worry. We're coming. But Lightning has tracked other people in this area who seem to be focusing on you and us."
"Shab," the voice comes back. "Well, hurry with this rescue. Otherwise we'll be stuck in a firefight."
"No worries. You trained us for combat like this."
"Yes. And I'm happy to have trained you."
Hunter, Aranar and Tracyn run south, and reach the position in minutes. Looking around, Hunter spots an arm appear out of a bush. Calling the other two, they pull Darjate out, and stare at each other for a moment.
"I'd ask what happened on Geonosis but that can wait," Darjate says. "We have to go-"
"Nowhere," another voice, harsher, spits out. "You four are going to stay right where you are."
Hunter, Aranar and Tracyn look around. Pointing at them are an assortment of guns from differently coloured armoured people.
"Everyone is going to stay calm while we sort this mess out," the voice says again. "I am Pre Vizsla, of Clan Vizsla. And you are?"
Hunter had a feeling this Vizsla was referring to him and his men. "We're Re-"
Darjate interrupted him. "These are my teammates who have come to rescue me from this place, and after being chased by you through this forest, I'm glad I have."
"Not yet, you haven't."
If Lightning was listening to the conversation, he couldn't have timed it better. The ship appears over the trees, spraying the area with lasers, and during the distraction, Hunter grabs Aranar and flies up with his jetpack while Darjate does the same with Tracyn.
At the ship, the hatch is open, and so they fly through it, stumbling to a landing as the hatch closes.
"Hurry up here," Lightning calls. "I'm taking the ship straight out in twenty seconds."
The four of them untangle themselves and get up, then quickly rush to the bridge and strap in.
Part 5 [10/2/13]
The ship blasts upward at roughly seventy degrees, but slowly starts angling to horizontal again. Lightning zig-zags the ship to avoid the lasers from Mandalorians shooting at them.
"What's wrong?" Hunter asks.
"Well apart from the fact we have lasers flying over us, the ship is almost out of fuel and won't take us higher than one thousand meters, and that is steadily declining," Lightning alerts.
"Well, that's our trip home busted," Aranar states.
"Not so fast on the defeatism," Darjate says. "There are a number of settlements on Mandalore that might suit our needs for more fuel. Hunt down the settlement of Norg Bral and land near to the outskirts. I will need to go on alone once we land."
"Is it not safe then?" Hunter asks.
"Oh, it is safe," Darjate says. "But clone commandos in Mando territory? It wouldn't hurt if you'd deserted but... You're still serving. They wouldn't take kindly to it."
"Desert? Who would do such a thing?" Tracyn asks.
"Not many now, but mark my word. How you lot came to be made, and how you are treated now, will make you question your loyalties to the Jedi."
The cockpit is silent after that, for a long time, until Lightning alerts them that they are about to land. When the ship does, Darjate exits the ship and the four clones see him walk, while also with telltale signs that he was on the in-built helmet comlink.
When out of sight, the clones started to talk.
"Do you really think we will?" Tracyn asks. "Question our loyalty?"
"I'm not sure," Hunter says quietly. "He was the closest thing to a brother we ever included in our team. In fact, he was more like our father."
"And now I think about it," Aranar speaks, "what exactly did the Jedi do, during the Battle of Geonosis?"
"Get caught, try and rescue their own, then get beat and get us in this sorry mess in the first place," Lightning accounts. "Then they ship half of us back off to more battlefields after an initial chill down, while the others go through more training."
"I don't care for this talk," Hunter says. "yes, the Jedi might mistreat us. Send us to battlefield to battlefield with no rest. But we're soldiers, and there's a war on. What do you expect?"
No-one had any answers.
Part 6 [15/2/13]
When Darjate appears again with another Mandalorian riding a speeder and carrying supplies, the mood inside the ship is still frosty.
Darjate then comes aboard again, and knowing the mood of the clones, says "Sorry if I caused you any unrest. What I said wasn't very tactful of me."
"But you know, don't you?" Hunter asks. "You know of clones who have already deserted."
"I've only heard stories. That's all any of us have heard."
"Hey! Veerl! You coming to help me out here?" the other Mandalorian asks.
Darjate looks round at the entrance, and the others follow his gaze to see a red Mandalorian helmet looking into the cockpit.
"Oh. Republic, hah?" she says. "Bralor. Rav Bralor. I couldn't care less for the politics of the Republic, but I care for its soldiers."
"Um..." Tracyn prompts.
"Cuy'val Dar. Just like me," Darjate states. "All us Mando instructors still keep in contact with each other."
"Yes. True," Bralor says. "So, it's just the fuel?"
"Yes," Hunter says. "Just the fuel, and then we'll be on our way."
"Oh, and be careful. If you've been seen with this mir'sheb, then you'll have Vizsla on your tail."
"The Mandalorian who we met earlier," Darjate informs.
"Ah," Hunter acknowledges. "Why are you running from him?"
"Confidential. Now let's get fuel in here and get underway."
Hunter helps Darjate and
Bralor attach the fuelling pipe, and watches the gauge as the tank fills. He then helps take it out again once the tank was full, when Darjate pulls him aside and says "You do realise I'm not going with you, right?"
"But you called for extraction!" Hunter exclaims.
"No. I only called for help. I'll be making my own way off Mandalore soon, but there's something I still need to do."
"I understand. The others won't take it well."
"I'm sure you'll calm them down. I'll be off with Bralor then."
"Take care, and don't get caught again."
"I'll try not to."
Darjate then walks to the speeder of Bralor, and Hunter watches them speed away. Once out of sight, he then turns and walks back to the cockpit of the ship.
"Where's the sarge gone?" the others instantly ask him.
"He's... He's not coming back with us. And don't argue! There's nothing we can do."
"Who's arguing?" Lighting says, turning around and activating the engines.
Hunter takes his seat, straps in, and Lightning raises ship and blasts to the atmosphere.
The call had come from their instructor, Darjate Veerl. The call had come from Mandalore, a place where no clone bar one had been. The history of the place was plastered across history, most of all for the formidible warrior culture the Mandalorians had.
It was common knowledge that Mandlalore was more alligned with the Separatists, even though it was a neutral planet. Which meant any of the Republic weren't welcome.
Part 1 [8/12/12]
"Where did those clones appear from?" Darth Maul asks, still with one hand raised.
"The- There wa- was a ship, m- my lord," the Neimoidian stutters. "Tha- That claimed to be c- carrying supplies."
"And did you not scan it?"
"It was a droid that was on the line."
Maul then flicks his hand, and the Neimoidian flinches. What happens though is that the console gets flung across to the entryway of the deck, blocking the four clones who were making their escape.
Maul then turns to them, and finds one drawing a lightpike.
"I know these. A tremor in the Force."
The clone with the lightpike then rushes forward and strikes. Maul doesn't even bother with a gesture and Force Repulses the clone backwards. Looking back to the entrance, the console has been moved from the entryway and the other three clones have disappeared.
The fourth is running to it as well. "No you don't!" Maul calls, and without a gesture again, pulls the clone towards him, at the same time as activating his lightsaber.
The clone twists his arm around and deflects the incoming lightsaber with the lightpike, pulls it back to whack Maul on the head, causing the Force concentration to slip long enough for the clone to get away.
Maul gives chase, but spots a grenade coming his way. Batting it with the Force, still keeping an eye on the clone running away, another one then comes from behind. Spinning around, he destroys this one with his lightsaber.
Facing the door again, the clone had gone. But the clone couldn't have got there in time, so he had to be hiding behind a console.
"Look under all the consoles and shoot the clones on sight!" Maul commands.
"Sir. There is no clones under any of the consoles. The droids would have spotted something," a Neimoidian says.
"Well-" It was then he remembered.
The clones had a member with a jetpack.
Part 2 [10/12/12]
"They must be gaining ground quickly," Maul says. "Get all droids hunting them down."
"And you will be?" one of the Neimoidians asks.
"Hunting them down as well, of course."
Maul then runs out of the deck and along corridors. The alarms start blaring and a droid voice calls over the intercom "Invasion. Republic forces spotted in the facility. Find them and detain them."
How slow Neimoidians could be. But when he came to power, they would be the first to go. How Sidious could have even thought to use them in the Battle of Naboo. Their Battle Droids were more than useless, designed to use sheer numbers over brute force, and the Neimoidians themselves were little more than cowards. He despised them, and they would be the first to go in his grand plan.
Focusing upon the Force, he finds the four clones easy enough. And sure enough, they had set a trap. The clone with the lightpike stands ready in challenge, with the other two a bit further back and either side of the forward-most clone. Using the jetpack to stay high is the fourth clone.
Reviewing his options, Maul goes for straight out attack. Running forward, he attacks the clone with the lightpike, to which the other clones immediately start firing, and the clone with the lightpike blocks the attack.
Maul is thrown backward a bit, but then sees two grenades coming his way. Using the Force to throw them behind him, he hears electronic squeals as Battle Droids get blown up. All four clones had now reverted to pistols and were firing completely at random. Three at a time. Then one would stop and another start.
Exactly the same move they had pulled on Geonosis. Still blocking the lasers, Maul evens the favours by collecting all the droid parts using the Force and throws them towards the clones.
The clones break away and fold themselves up on the walls or floor. Maul quickly gets into action and runs to them, but is blocked by the clone with the lightpike. Two of the others start running. Maul goes to attack again, but this time doesn't see the grenade coming his way until the last second.
By the time he deflects it, the other two clones have caught those that ran first.
Part 3 [13/12/12]
The chase continues, and Maul is catching the clones up. With no idea where they were headed next, he couldn't order the droids to effective positions, and was forced to split them to block every ext out of the corridor.
Only to then find the clones had already beaten the droids and had moved on. Only recently had he got a hint of where they were going, and that was through the Force. Upon sensing it, he had sent Super Battle Droids and Droidekas to that location. From the reports he was hearing about their direction, it seemed it was true.
Reaching the next intersection of corridors, Maul sees more proof that normal Battle Droids are useless in confined spaces. The debris of what looks like ten droids is littered across the floor.
Looking on the walls, there are no blaster burns to indicate missed shots. Whatever these clone troopers were, they were deadly accurate.
Turning right, he sees the entrance to the hangar. Activating his lightsaber, he speeds up and rushes through the entrance and into the hangar whole, where he sees the scene has already turned to devastation.
The clones are fighting through the Super Battle Droids and even the Droidekas as though they were regular Battle Droids, using a variety of stun pistols, stun grenades and heavy weaponry.
There are only three clones fighting, though, and he couldn't see the fourth. That one must have been killed a while back, as he couldn't see a body. Looking at the clones more closely, he could see that the one with the jetpack wasn't with them. Maybe it had imploded and killed him.
That would have been nice.
There were only a few Super Battle Droids and just one Droideka now in play. Maul wouldn't have this, and so charged through the litter of droids and to the clones. His comlink then activates and a loud voice says "Sir! We have found a whole pile of explosions in the communcations room!"
At this exact moment, a loud voice echoes throughout the hangar. "Hey! Maul! Lights out"
This brings Maul to a halt as he twirls around and sees a fourth clone hovering in the air with a jetpack and a charge held in his hand. He presses the button on it, and the lights go out at the same time the communications dissolve into static.
Part 4 [15/12/12]
Four shadows move to the nearest shuttle, three running one flying and enter it. Before Maul could even call to the Force, the shuttle had already taken off. So instead, he uses the Force to run as fast as possible back to his own ship.
"What's happening?" a Neimoidian calls, but Maul hardly hears.
Inside the Scimitar, up the lift to the bridge, and activating the controls, Maul also takes off. He knew the clones had an advantage as they had got away first. He didn't expect the shuttle they had been riding to be slowly arcing down to the ground.
Considering another hair brained scheme, Maul speeds up and catches to the shuttle, blowing it up when in range. Slowing down and watching the ashes burn, a warning light on his board flashes.
There was another shuttle taking off within the forest!
That was unfortunate. For them. Maul raises the speed again and loops around. This new shuttle they had was fast. The Republic really were giving their all for this army. He had the better vehicle though, and could run circles around them if he so chose.
But that would be poor use of his time when he could just blast them out of the sky.
Slowly edging nearer he then senses that he is close enough to fire. A small jink of the clones' shuttle makes those lasers off target.
That then makes them realise that they have a pursuer, and they start going through a wild spin of erratic turns, even looping back as though to attack.
Maul activated the comlink to see if it had a signal again, but the clones had done a good job with the communications relay. Using the Scimitar's in-built comlink wouldn't do much good to contact the surface, but maybe he could contact the numerous cruisers around to set their targets on the clones' shuttle.
He spots the erratic error he had made however.
The clones were planning on stopping him doing exactly what he was planning by forcing his hand to react to their next plan. Setting course for the nearest of the mainstream cruisers, a Lucrehulk-class Battleship, Maul follows the clones in to land, giving them a fair chance.
He wanted to see what else they had up their sleeves.
Part 5 [18/12/12]
Landing in the battleship, he sees chaos everywhere as he flies deeper into the superstructure. Deciding to take the safer route, he turns around and flies the Scimitar out of this side and to the other side, where he lands the Scimitar and uses the Force to speed run across the entire superstructure and into the main area of the battleship. From there, Maul quickly heads to the bridge.
"Maul, my lord," a Neimoidian stutters. "W- we saw you coming."
"What about the squad of clones in that shuttle? Didn't see them, did you?"
"W- We were tracking them, but they've split."
"Yes. It is impossible to locate them."
"Not for a Sith," Maul growls. "Pull a map up of this battle ship."
The Neimoidian does as told and puts the map on a screen on a console. Maul walks over to it, places his right hand inches from it, and closes his eyes. For a few seconds, he is silent. Then he lifts his head and opens his eyes.
"There is one about to fire the heavy weapons, one is trying to destroy the main reactor, one is waiting by the escape pods, and the other is inside the shuttle they used to get here."
The Neimoidian doesn't even ask questions but starts issuing orders.
"I will deal with the one at the main reactor. Just make sure the others are killed."
"Yes, my lord."
As he starts to make his way to the main reactor, one of his Force insights comes true when the heavy weapons fire up. Another comes true when he reaches the main reactor to see the clone with the jetpack zoom away.
Maul sees that the clone has placed a timer bomb on a high area of the reactor. Smiling, Maul calls it down with the Force. Beeping then starts up, faintly at first, but Maul heard it all the same.
Using the Force again to gain a speed boost, he makes it to the Scimitar just as the first explosion rocks the battleship. By the second, he had already took off. More explosions were starting up with rapidity, and as Maul escapes from the battleship, he sees the shuttle of the clones. Planning on blasting them out of space, he turns the Scimitar to face them, but a warning light comes on, and his craft jumps to hyperspace.
Part 6 [20/12/12]
“Ha! Ha!” Hunter cheers. “That shows them!”
“Yeah,” Traycn agrees. “It does. But we’re still in danger here.”
“How?” Aranar says. “You held the escape pods while I set the guns to blow up the other battleships, and Hunter blew the main reactor. Then we ran to the escape pod and ran before it fully blew.”
“And now all we need to do is wait for Lightning to pick us up,” Traycn comments.
“Which should be any time now,” Hunter speaks, activating the in-built comlink within his helmet. “Lightning, you hearing?”
“I’ve done a sweep of the area and nothing around. And Maul bit the dust so that’s a plus for us,” Lightning says over the link.
“What? He’s dead?”
“Negative. Jumped to hyperspace by accident due to damage when the battleship blew.”
“Hope he lands in a star. Track us and pick us up. We should be able to do a quick transfer.”
“Okay. Coming around now.”
Hunter switches back to outside vocals. “He’s on his way. And we can stay here as long as possible. There’s no-one else here.”
“Except for that base down there on the planet!” Traycn exclaims. “It won’t take long for… But without… Ah.”
“See. We think of everything."
The transport of the clones pulls into view, locks onto the side, and a minute later opens its airlock to allow Lightning to cut through the windscreen of the escape pod. With that done, he stands back to allow the other clones access to the shuttle.
Closing the airlock, the four start chatting animatedly while walking to the bridge. Taking seats, Lightning takes the shuttle away from the planetary gravity well for the jump to hyperspace.
A beeping stops them from jumping to hyperspace.
“Akaan Squad of the Grand Army of the Republic, we have been asked to relay a message to you.”
The speaker is male and there is no picture.
“Go on,” Hunter speaks up.
A picture then appears of a Mandalorian, who could have been in green armour, though from the blue tinted holo, it was hard to say.
“Boys,” the Mandalorian speaks. “I have failed in my duty and am in deep trouble. I have been chased far across this planet by my own, and am desperate for help. Akaan Squad. My boys. I trained you for this. Do not fail me.”
Part 1 [26/11/12]
"Hunter. Tracyn. Aranar. Lightning. You're squad held up against the rest during the Battle of Geonosis, and you have been a great asset for the last few months. We understand that you were given a higher priority over other clones during training."
Akaan Squad had been called into the Jedi Temple months after the events on Geonosis. They stood in the center of the High Council Chamber, an honour no other clone had been given personally, it seemed, and Mace Windu was addressing them.
"Our training instructor tutoured us, and the Kaminoans granted him permission to upgrade our rank. From then we were given specialised training over the other clones."
Hunter did all the talking. He was squad leader. Unless otherwise instructed, the others would remain silent.
"And we understand that you have proved to be most efficient at dealing with lightsabers and those who wield them."
The honour of this meeting was not yet being explained. The honour of such a meeting no doubt heralded to the amount of victories the squad had produced. Being clone commandos, they had a range of missions given to them including sabotage, infiltration and abduction. However, their new rank from the glory days of Kamino meant they were a bound squad of ARC troopers, and that gave them higher priority over most of the clones.
Only High Command could really give them prioritising orders that they had to follow. The others they could leave or take.
And a few days after Geonosis, the second mission Akaan Squad were to take drove them to the depths of Separatist stronghold. As other missions to a hundredfold of planets took place, including Qiilura, Tatooine, and Eredenn, and the Separatists dispersed, Akaan Squad had travelled to Koru Neimoidia with instructions to test the strength of the planets defences and the leadership of the planet.
Part 2 [28/11/12]
The shuttle pops out of hyperspace to a scene of total defence. The four troopers inside it weren't worried though.
"State your name and intentions, incoming shuttle," the broadcast announces.
"Take it away, Traycn," Hunter says.
"Koru Neimoidia, crew of four with major supplies for the main base," Traycn says in an official voice, opening the mic for transmission. The clones were out of armour, with all the electricals of them powered down.
There is a minimal wait before the voice responds again. "Shuttle, you are cleared for landing. Follow the ping to your destination."
"Thank you," Traycn says, before cutting the transmission. "So, what do you guys think?"
"It didn't sound like a droid on the line," Lightning says.
"And be thankful for that," Aranar says. "A droid would follow procedures. It's their programming."
"Get your head checked," Traycn responds. "Everyone knows droids are dumb."
"Battle droids, yes. Bu-"
"Shut it, you two!" Hunter calls. "Droids are as smart as the person who programs them. Which is good for us. Everyone knows Neimoidians are cowards."
"So, how do we go about this?" Lightning asks. "Blow the engines half way there and control it into a landing?"
"Sure, just so long as you know what you are doing."
In response, Lightning extends the speed of the shuttle to near enough its limit. As it hits the atmosphere, it starts vibrating uncontrollably. Deeper into the planet the shuttle goes, following the course it was given.
"Get this thing in autopilot, set a random route, and let's get out of here," Traycn calls.
"Why? We're doing fine."
"Have you even seen what's following us?"
"What?" Lightning turns on the rear camera of the shuttle and puts the image on the big screen. Following them is three flights of droid starfighters.
"Guess they didn't buy it, eh?" Aranar says.
Part 3 [30/11/12]
"Slow your speed down," the voice comes through the speaker.
"Okay. Maybe not," Hunter says. "What we saying?"
Lightning makes a hushing gesture with his hand, and with the other activates the transmission. "We're trying. Something's not right."
"The starfighters will try to pull you on course and slow you down."
Lightning then switches the transmission off. "See. No worries."
"Except they'll be pulling us on course," Hunter blandly states.
"They'll try. However, this thing won't budge. It's going at too high a speed to be altered."
"Whatever you say."
The droid starfighters come up beside them, and the shuttle increases speed slightly. The droid starfighters accelerate to keep up. The shuttle picks up more speed. This keeps happening until the droid starfighters can't keep up. By this time, the tops of the trees can be seen.
Then the shuttle decelerates hard with inches to spare. It tilts to one side and gets through the trees, then slams into the ground and skids. As soon as it stops, Lightning powers down all systems and calls to the others, "This thing is still flyable, but we need to make it look convincing if anyone comes looking!"
"How!" Aranar shouts back.
"Use the spare cargo we have stashed and mix in some of the spare clothes," Hunter says. "Then get away from here. If they start giving search parties and see us, this infiltration will be for nothing."
"We'll be right on it."
Hunter and Traycn leave the shuttle to keep lookout, leaving Aranar and Lightning to set up the confuser. With that all set, they walk out and meet with the other two. They then start walking towards the rising hills, where a collection of buildings show the Trade Federation base.
Part 4 [2/12/12]
"How are we going to get inside?" Aranar asks. "Once we get there, it's going to be obvious that four clones are going to try and get in."
"Four clones won't be trying to get in. Lightning, one shot, remember?" Hunter leads the group, and give the main of the plan.
They then stop, and watch the hills. Sure enough, a speeder comes down the hill, piloted by a droid. As soon as it hits the edge of the forest, Lightning fires a silent sniper round. The droid is blasted sideways and falls off.
He then runs, taking his helment off and releasing two wires from the mouthpiece, then picks the droid's head off the floor and wires everything together. With the droid head held in one hand, he puts his helmet back on and accesses the information stored in the droid.
"They really ought to put tighter encryption on these droids," Lightning says, but his voice comes through the droids vocoder, and not the mouthpiece of the helmet.
"Can you find their main comms base?"
"Got it already. Now, be quiet while I make the call."
A few seconds wait.
"I found some clone trooper armour. I'm putting it on as best I can so I can bring it back."
Lightning then removes his helmet. "I'll be taking this speeder back then." Unwiring the droid head, he chucks it on the floor. "Wait for my signal to come out."
Sitting astride the speeder, he then turns around and speeds up the hill. Hunter watches him go, then starts counting and looking at the timer on the left wrist of his armour.
Five minutes and a beeping sounds from the comlink.
"Quick! Let's go!" Hunter shouts.
Out from the edge of the forest, the three others make a break up the hill. Blaring lights can be seen in the distance.
Part 5 [4/12/12]
"Get going!" Hunter calls.
All three clones draw their weapons. Battle Droids had already started marching down the hill. Lasers started crossing the air, both from droids and clones. The clones had the protection of the Katarn-class armour. The droids had no such protection, and were cut up easily.
More than just Battle Droids were waiting at the top however, as Super Battle Droids and Droidekas started up their weapons. While simple fire did no harm, over time the rapid fire would reduce the ballistic properties of the Katarn-class armour.
The clones ran quick, however, and reached the gates. Using the attachments for the DC-17, they climbed over the gate with the winch. They then run down the corridors, taking potshots at droids who get in the way.
"Hey! Over here!" Lightning calls to them.
The other three join him. All four then run down a new corridor, and into the storage area where racks upon racks of bombs lie in wait.
"Shall we just introduce a remote detonator?" Aranar asks.
"Sure," Traycn says. "Give them a good boom."
After placing the remote detonator, the four head out and run down another corridor.
"Got any ideas how we're going to get out of here?" Lightning asks.
"Well," Hunter says, dodging another laser bolt and giving one himself to the offending droid. "We could destroy the hangar after grabbing ourself a ride home."
"Good idea. But where is the hangar?" Aranar asks.
"Who knows. All we can do is keep battling on until we find one."
"Good plan," Traycn shouts.
Now getting more fired up, the four clones start using melee tactics, and Hunter even uses his lightpike. Running at random now, they had no plan whatsoever other than to find a hangar bay with a ship of some kind in it.
At the next turn, they feel that they have struck gold and found a hangar, but only one ship is on the deck where a lot of computers manned by droids are.
Part 6 [6/12/12]
"Get down here," Lightning calls on helmet comms, hidden behind an unused computer.
The others quickly follow.
"So what do we say about this?" Hunter asks. "Grab the ship when they aren't looking?"
"Does anyone else think that design looks familiar?" Traycn asks.
"Nah. Course not," Aranar says. "You're just confusing a million different designs we've seen during our training."
"I wouldn't say that," Hunter says slowly, peeking around the computer console. "That ship does look familiar."
"Who cares. Are we going to nab it or not?"
"Hey! What are you doing here?"
"Shab!" Hunter curses, looking up.
A Battle Droid is looking down at them. A second later, it is on the floor with them due to Lightning grabbing one of its legs and pulling. Traycn then pulls its head off.
"Much rather have it destroyed with a nice satisfying bang," Aranar says.
"What, and have us all blown up?" Lightning shoots back.
"Hey. Quit it," Hunter calls. "There's something going on over there."
The others stop arguing and also peek around different areas of the console. The ramp of the ship, which was underneath the strip that indicated the engines, had lowered. The person hadn't exited yet, but must have been talking to the Neimoidians who were on the deck.
The four clones withdraw their heads from their spying places and turn to face each other.
"Well. What do we think?" Hunter asks.
"I'd like to see who it is in that ship," Traycn replies.
Hunter looks around again, and withdraws pretty quickly. "No. Not him."
"Who?" the others ask.
The question is answered immediately, however. The console is pulled straight up from the ground, spraying sparks everywhere. Through these sparks a cloaked figure can be seen standing on the ramp, holding a hand up.
Through the hood, a red and black tattooed faced is contorted with rage.
Part 1 [1/11/12]
In the apartment given to him when he first arrived, Darjate Veerl sat thinking about the training of the Commandos. One group in particular was gearing up to be a true Mando squad. And it was this group he had, as well as thirty or so others, which he had the responsibilty of training.
And he would do all he could to train them. He wanted them to be the very best. They would be his.
Getting up from his seat, he walks out of the room and into the whiteness that is Kaminoan hallways. At the parade walk of the training ground, the commandos are already lined up.
"Good," Veerl says. The clones straighten up a bit more at the sound of his voice. "You're here. You are about to undergo training via the Mandalorian way. Any who fail in training won't survive when it comes to real battle. You will be trained with a multitude of evasive and attack maneuvers by me and other training seargeants."
"Sir!" It is one voice, spread across thirty six men.
Veerl then leads them down to the training ground where the group splits into their squads. He then runs basic tests with them and is impressed at the speed with which they grasp each attacking stance.
All of the clones are kitted out in grey armour so like the Mandalorian armour it was as though they were all long lost brothers. Mandalorian armour was much better, however. The beskar iron made them resistant to most blaster bolts as well as lightsabers. His own was dark green, which in spirtual terms was related to duty.
And Darjate Veerl never shirked from his duty. He wasn't wearing his armour at the minute though. When it came to the tougher tests, then he would.
He also had a number of specialist weapons that had cost him. Money was no object here though, as the contract was a hefty one, and came with a lot of credits. He would be able to quit the bounty hunter work once this contract was over, and it was a simple contract, to be training troops for battle.
There was just one thing to hate about this assignment. He'd checked with Jango about who the army was for, and he wasn't too keen to be working for the Republic, as that meant working with Jedi.
He just hoped he didn't run into one here, as it would mean the end of his contract.
Part 2 [6/11/12]
"Good," Veerl says. "Very good."
The clones stand to attention again. Each one now out of armour he could see them properly. They were indeed clones of Jango.
"Now then. Warfare is more than just fighting. It's about tactics. It's about stealth. And more importantly of all, it's about the bond between you and your comrades. Now while you are under my care, your squads will be bonded together, and you will all mix as one. You will have time with your individual sqauds, but if you get deployed together, you lot will already know each other and will have bonded. Once you get that down, then the serious stuff comes in. You must hunt your enemy. You must fire at him, defend yourself if you fail to kill. But you will not fail to kill, as you will have lightning fast reflexes. You will fight hard because you must be the best."
"Sir?" one of the clones ask. "Were you ever a bounty hunter? That sounds like one of their advertisements."
The others laugh, and even Veerl smiles. "Yes, I was, until I took this job to train you. Once this finishes, I might even go back to it."
"You won't be staying?"
"The contract is for six years. And besides which, I'd rather avoid Jedi entanglements. Let's just say relations between us Mandalorians and the Jedi isn't a good one."
"Why? What happened?" another clone asks.
"Another time. But when I do tell you, you are still to obey them. They are still your masters, even if you are riding the road to become Mandalorian."
"But what if we don't want to become Mandalorian?"
"Then you will be someone we call Dar'manda. It menas you have no identity. No soul. How would you like it if I called you that from now on? Eh, Darman?"
"So you've just given him an identity?" a third clone asks.
"No. To have the identity, you need to know all about the Mandalorian culture. Now then, what are your names?"
"Er. We don't have any. The Kaminoans just gave us numbers."
"Really. Well, we need to sort that out."
And so he starting thinking up names for the soldiers to be, most of which with Mandalorian meaning.
Part 3 [11/11/12]
The training of the commandos was coming on great, as the weeks became months, and the troopers were used to their new designations. Veerl was looking for expert squads to take up a special posting with him.
The only problem was that all the squads were performing expertly. These clones were quick to adapt to anything, and worked as hard as possible to overcome any challenge. To choose any qualifying team for the speical honour would be hard.
"Right!" Veerl calls, a year into the six year training. He was now in full Mandalorian armour, complete with the lightsaber of his last kill. When he had entered in armour, the clones had been impressed with the design. When he had pulled the ligtsaber from the side pocket of the forward slung pack, they had started asking questions. He had quelled those questions instantly. He didn't want to remember the ordeal that had led him to own the lightsaber.
"Now, as gunners, you must be able to shoot even the quickest of targets, with any weapons that come to hand. And if that target fights back? Get down fast. So, while you try to shoot at me, I'll be fighting with this." He activates the lightsaber blade. "Now I won't be aiming to kill, I'll only be aiming to disarm and block the lasers sent my way. Let's see how long you can last, or hit me as fast as you can."
The first two squads were quite good, but felled easily. The next two up had only one member fall within the first minute, then after another two managed to get a shot through his armour. The other groups that followed weren't as good, and Veerl managed to disarm all of them within two minutes each. The last two groups were next.
The first group split and ran firing towards him from different angles, firing at different times. This was a mistake however, as Veerl implemented the lightsaber in a complicated weave and reflected the bolts back at the owner. Three of the troopers were struck down. The armour of the troopers blocked the laser from penetrating to the skin. However, once struck, they knew to stand down. The last of the squad was dispatched easily.
The last group ran at him, all firing at the same time. One then stopped firing and ran around him, dodging all the lasers Veerl managed to send his way. Then he started firing again, as another trooper stopped and ran to the other side as well. All four then stopped firing and charged inwards, then as one fired one laser each. Getting out of the way, he then feels a pang on his armour.
Looking down at the timer on his forearm plate, he sees only a minute had passed. The other squads start cheering, and even Veerl smiled from inside his helmet. He'd continue watching this group until he made his final decision.
"You could be a Jedi with those moves, sir," a clone says.
The smile Veerl wears turns to a scowl, and he was very glad the troopers couldn't see it. Be a Jedi he could.
Part 4 [18/11/12]
Twelve more months had past and the clone commandos had undergone training from the numerous instructors within the complex, most of which were Mandalorian.
Veerl had also seen his share of commando squads from other instructors, including numerous other Mandalorian named troopers like Darman and Atin. On one memorable occasion, he came into contact with Dred Priest, a former member of the Death Watch, or so he said. The conversation had erupted into a fight, and some of the clones had stopped to watch. It was only when Jango himself had arrived that the fight was cut to an abrupt end.
At least the clones had learnt something, Veerl commented to Jango after Priest had stormed off and the clones had wandered off. All Jango had said was save it for the proper training sessions.
The drastic weather conditions of stormswept Kamino was starting to get to him. And so were the Kaminoans. He had heard some of the instructors call them aiwha-bait, or gi-haal, but the most he'd ever call them was a hut'uune. Not a hero. No-one who cloned like the Kaminoans did would be a hero in his eyes.
It was also getting to him that he couldn't leave whenever he wanted, and had no contact with anyone outside the planet. He was starting to wish he could escape, or even contact someone, but he knew the contract made meant he couldn't. The only thing he could do was think about the big sum of money for training the troopers, and his own wish for the troopers.
The next training session with his own batch went smoothly. From the first session where only two groups had managed to hit him, with one under a minute, all of them could do it in under thirty seconds.
He had now started teaching them to use specialist weapons, and categorising them into who was best at a particular skill. And also it gave the other instructors something to think about when they next taught them.
All in all, Veerl thought, he may as well desert if it wasn't for the fun of these training sessions. But he had more than one contract resting on this assignment.
He would not fail his duty.
Part 5 [22/11/12]
The squads under his command were to be put through what the Kaminoans called the Killing House. Training for house clearances was essential for any soldier, and the Kaminoans had a crude way training the clones for this.
The bullets were real, and the clones had to carry on if one of their squad was killed. Otherwise you were all killed. The staff inside were always aiming to kill. While Veerl watched, one clone was struck in the left arm. In fact, the whole thing looked like so much fun that Veerl had considered going in as well. And the only weapon he would take would be his lightsaber.
Turning away from the viewing monitor, Veerl walks out to where his own squads are waiting.
"Right. Killing House time," Veerl booms. "I want each and every one of you to survive. I'll be entering with you, but under no circumstances will I help you out. I am just part of the team, but we have all got to look out for each other, but we also have to look for ourselves.
"We will be called when the last group to enter has finished, and the place has been cleaned up."
"Cleaned up?" one of the clones asks.
Veerl choses not to comment. After about half an hour, the Kaminoan in charge calls them forward.
"This house clearance is to test you in accuracy and stealth," the soft spoken Kaminoan says. "You will working as a team to complete the test. You will be timed.
"You may begin."
Instantly splitting up into their respective squads, the clones walked in slowly, weapons at the ready. Turning a corner, a bolt flies from the far end. The clone in the opening dodges quickly and fires in the direction it came from.
Veerl charges forward and employs a wild move to spread those bolts fired by the clone even further apart. He then moves forward and attacks.
The clones also move in, splitting into the different rooms and calling clear. Once the whole of the lower floor had been checked, they all then proceed upstairs. However, four clones are missing from the group.
Part 6 [24/11/12]
Up the stairs and to the next floor, those four clones are surrounded. Firing upon all the terrorists, only one is left, and Veerl sees a flash of a shining hilt.
"Down!" he shouts.
"No," one of the clones say. "Leave it to us."
Just as expected, a vzzuuummm sounds as the lightsaber is activated, and instantly raises to block the bolts. Then the terrorist charges down one of the clones, who rolls out of the way as the other three fire.
The terrorist dodges all the bolts, either getting out of their way or deflecting them with the lightsaber. The fourth clone then starts firing as well, and the four directions of fire get too much for the terrorist, who then ducks out of the way. The terrorist then picks up a grenade on the floor, and the clones, seemingly defeated, run. Two seconds later, the grenade then blows up.
"Heh," Veerl laughs. "Right then, you lot. Follow me!"
Following Veerl, the other clones then reach the four heroes, where they cheer.
"You lot will get your darasuum kote for sure," Veerl says to the four clones.
"Eternal Glory. Right, sarge?"
"Exactly. Now let's get this exercise finished."
The rest of the house clearance goes quickly, and soon they are back outside.
"That was a good time for the house clearance," the Kaminoan says. "And I have to say, I think it was the best."
None other than Lama Su, Prime Minister of Kamino, then walks in. He heads directly to Veerl and looks around at the clones.
"I must say, this clone squad I just saw has most impressed me. Therefore, I have decided to renege on my previous statement, and I will allow the conversion of that group to a new and special status."
"They have more than exceeded expectations," Veerl says. "That would be more than fitting."
"What is this, though, sarge?" one of the clones asks.
"Uni-" Lamu Su begins.
Veerl coughs. "Perhaps I'd better make the announcement, since I'm the instructor."
"I would be more than willing to let you, since you have trained these superb units."
"Okay. You four, this means that your new squad name becomes Akaan squad, you will get access to all of my power and wealth, and have the opportunity of coming with me if you so choose, when I leave here."
"Hunter. Tracyn. Aranar. Lightning. Welcome to a new league of the group."
Back to when the Clone Troopers were being trained, and the Mandalorian instructors took charge of the Commandos and the ARC's. There were non-Mandalorian instructors too, but they were different in teaching the ethics of war. The Mandalorian trained troopers also had a better sense of identity.
And so, on Kamino, the training continues.
Part 1 [17/8/12]
Mace Windu stood at one of the windows of the High Council Chamber, overlooking Coruscant. Yoda was sat in the only chair that had been flipped into position.
"You brought them with you," Mace acknowledges.
"Allow us bring back the most Jedi, this option did," Yoda comments. "Otherwise, overrun would you have been."
"Well, I'm thankful for the help they gave us. Without them, it would not have been victory."
"Victory?" Yoda asks. "Not victory. The shroud of the dark side looms over everything. Begun, the Clone War has."
Mace just stares out of the window. "It was a shame that Qui-Gon had to be killed, and by the one he most trusted as well. Did you recover his body?"
"Brought it back, the clones did."
A beep then brings the attention of the two Masters to the centre of the chamber. A hologram resolves into a man. "The Separatists have invaded more places than we would like. One of importance," The door to the council chamber opens. "is Malastare."
"What?" the voice of Anakin says from the door.
"Special Operations will deal with the organisation of the clones, but we will put in a request for that world to be given priority."
"Okay." The hologram then derezzes.
"I want to be part of that mission," Anakin says.
"Make sure that you are part of the mission we will," Yoda says.
Anakin sighs in relief and starts walking out.
"But be warned that not an official part of the Jedi Order you are. Might not accept, Special Operations could."
"Then if they don't, I'll go myself."
"Concerned for your mother, we realise you are. Make sure she is safe, we will."
Anakin takes this without a word. He then walks out of the chamber. The door closes.
"Do you plan to make Anakin a part of the mission?" Mace asks.
"See what Special Operations has to say first, we should," Yoda replies.
Part 2 [21/8/12]
In invasion army jumps out of hyperspace.
First two Lucrehulk-class Battleships, which then start to spread out to either side of the planet. Then came ten Providence-class Cruisers, which split into two groups, each half heading for one of the Lucrehulk-class Battleships. Then fifty Munificent-class Star Frigates, which immediately set about blockading the planet.
Then came the Scimitar. Darth Maul watches the scene of all the spacecraft preparing for battle with ease. Each of the commanders knew what they had to do, and as far as Maul was concerned, all were expendable.
Landers of all varieties then pull from the hangar bays of all cruisers and head down to the planet. Droid Starfighters accompany them.
Reports then start coming in of areas took. It looked like it would be a washout. It looked like overkill.
Until the first of the Republic cruisers pulled out of hyperspace.
Darth Maul couldn't see them, but he heard the reports of those that were stuck in the fighting. Apparently some fighters had got down into the atmosphere of the planet, followed by landers.
Maul communicates with the commanders on those cruisers to send out more starfighters and to also alert the starfighters on the ground of the incoming fighting force.
The battle was under way, but Maul wasn't going to join yet. He had to wait. Wait until the wild card came into the fray.
"Sirs," the Special Operations officer reports. "All our forces are being beaten badly on the campaign of Malastare. What should we do?"
"We can't just give up," Plo Koon says. The entire Jedi Council was in session to hear this report. "There must be something we can do."
"Send you we could," Yoda says. "Able to command the forces there you would."
"Then I shall go," Plo Koon says, turning to the hologram. "Inform the commanders in that campaign that I will be on my way shortly."
"It will be done," the officers acknowledges, then the hologram derezzes.
"If this meeting is at an end, then I will be on my way."
"It is," Mace Windu says. "Council adjourned."
Part 3 [4/9/12]
The Republic Acclamator cruiser pulls out of hyperspace to see the devastation the battle has already produced.
General Plo Koon, stood beside Commander Wolffe, look out at the amassed Separatist force.
"Launch fighters and prepare to fire turbolasers," Plo Koon says.
"With respect sir, shouldn't we wait to fire turbolasers? Wait until we're closer?"
"Very good Commander. What else would you suggest then?"
"For a start, it is no good to concentrate fully on attack. Keep half or a quarter of the fighters here to defend us if anything should get past the main attack group, and two cruisers to one Seppie cruiser, which would give us an advantage."
"And what advantage would that be?"
"Two possible outcomes. They'd stay as they are, or some would swap targets to overpower two of our cruisers. At which point, we switch targets and destroy them."
"That would be good if we had a large task force. As it is, we only have five cruisers."
"In which case, the plan would still work. Just on a smaller scale, of course."
"I am willing to accept that could work, Commander. Let's just see how it goes."
As Plo Koon gives the request, he casts a glance at the commander. A strategist could be what might win this fight.
Maul watches from the Scimitar at the tactics of his enemy. They focused wide band, then forced some commanders to try to overpower the Republic ships, at which point, they would be blown apart by the ships they weren't attacking.
Some others would just keep to their target, but those also didn't fare well. They took longer to get blown apart, but get blown apart they did.
Getting onto the link with the reserves, Maul speaks. "Once the full of the main force has been destroyed, go for the attack while they are launching craft for a ground assault."
"And do what?" the Nemoidian on the other end asks.
"Let the landers get through, and destroy those cruisers."
"Affimative, Lord Maul."
The link then broke. Darth Maul watches as the last of the main force get destroyed.
Part 4 [4/9/12]
The Republic cruisers are destroyed quickly and systematically by the reserve force. Satisfied the job is done, Maul then drives the Scimitar to the surface.
Some of the clones had already landed. Maul would congratulate them with a quick end. Landing some way off from the town he knew the clones had landed at, Maul quickly opens the hatch, heads down in the lift, then pulls the bike out of the hatch. Getting astride it, he starts the engines and powers his way to the town to deal damage to the clones, and protect his prize for the wild card.
Mace Windu and Yoda listen to the report Plo Koon gives them.
"And we no longer have any air support except for the ships that survived the landing, but even then, the battle in the skies is tough. The CIS have a lot of resources in this campaign and have used every last one of them. Even if we do find Skywalker's mother, getting her out again is going to be nearly impossible."
"Focus on protecting the city then," Mace tells Plo Koon. "We will dispatch Skywalker and more cruisers. But this might be the last time we can do so. If after this, Malastare is still not in Republic hands, there might not be anything we can do."
"I understand. We will- cus o- ing the city a-"
"Communications breakdown, mean only one thing it can," Yoda somberly says.
"I know. Summon Skywalker and I'll get Special Operations to task more cruisers to the Malastare campaign."
"Tell them you wish to send Skywalker, will you?"
"No. But I will tell them that we wish to inspect this force and give them specific orders personally."
"Understand that, I do."
Anakin was wondering around, not really feeling he could be doing much expect finding some way to Malastare when Yoda and Mace Windu walk up to him.
"We wish you to accompany us," Windu says. "You will be part of the third force to go to Malastare."
"Finally," Anakin exclaims. "And what are my orders?"
Part 5 [17/9/12]
Darth Maul watches through some binoculars as more Republic cruisers arrive as backup. He smiles as the reserve force gets destroyed. As the forces start heading down to the surface, a manic gleam appears in his eye.
In one of the starfighters, he knew Skywalker would be heading directly for him. This was good. The duel would take place far from where it needed to be, then drive ever closer to the all important finale.
Withdrawing the binoculars, there was no need for them now that the starfighters were near enough to see with the eye anyway, Maul activates his lightsaber. Instantly, one of the Delta Athersprite ships rolls up and pitches down, heading directly for Maul, guns blazing. Blocking all of the shots, Maul heads backwards. Deflecting one last bolt, Maul spins and runs.
The Athersprite fires one last bolt, but it misses, then lands. At the instant it touches down, Maul spins and throws his lightsaber at the cockpit, but it is blocked by a shining blue saber emerging from a sand yellow hilt.
"You're going to pay for all the clones and Jedi you've killed in the last few days, Maul!" Anakin shouts, as he rushes to attack.
"Me?" Maul smiles a predatory smile. "Why should I pay, Skywalker? You should have stayed with us. But no matter. In the end, you will return to us."
As a reply, Anakin swings his blade from behind him with force to attack Maul's head. Maul blocks the blow just above his cranial horns, then swipes the blades to the left. Striking quickly and wildly with the opposite blade, he spins just out of reach of Skywalker's counter attack.
The people in the houses watch this battle, happening at blinding speed, and cower in case the battle goes nearer to them. The children have little sense of the fear of the adults, and watch with their noses pressed against the windows. They have never seen a battle as furious as this before.
Anakin had been striking at Maul, pushing him backwards for a while, keeping his mind focused. It was only when a particularly strong attack from Maul brought him out of this focus, he then realised what part of town they were in.
"Anakin? Is that you?" a voice calls.
Part 6 [10/10/12]
"Mom! No! Get back inside!" Anakin yells.
Shmi Skywalker looks to Anakin, blade held in front of him, to the red and black tattooed face of his attacker and the dual blade he wields. She turns to back into the house, but is pulled towards Maul through the Force.
Anakin does not attack.
"You have strayed from the Sith, and you have strayed from the dark side where you belong," Maul says. "Rejoin us, and you will be rewarded. Fail to do so, and your mother dies."
"Get - off - her," Anakin grounds out.
"I'm warning you! Bow before me, or she will die."
For a reply, Anakin launches himself at Maul. Not concentrating, acting in anger, he feels the blade slow as it starts chopping through flesh. He gives a satisfied grin as the blade continues through, but the scream issuing is higher pitched than Maul's voice and so he stops. Deactivates his lightsaber. Looks down.
Cut halfway from the left shoulder to the middle of her stomach, is Shmi, hanging limply from Maul's grip.
He casts her aside, throwing her on the floor.
"You're anger is powerful, Skywalker. The dark side will be with you, always. No matter what you do."
Anakin looks up into Maul's eyes. His mind is full of grief and guilt that he killed his own mother.
His eyes smoked of hatred.
His lightsaber activates again, this time held steady. It rises up, and Anakin growls out "You," before swinging wildly at Maul, who sweeps out of the way and runs.
"COWARD!" Anakin screams.
The Jedi are forced to pull out of Malastare. Anakin has no interest in the fight. He has no interest in anything. On the return journey, Plo Koon tries to confort him, but Anakin shrugs this off. During his report to the Jedi council, Anakin speaks blankly and does not look up.
He is too full of the guilt of what he has done. Too full of the darkness within him. He knew Maul to be telling the truth. He wanted to cast the darkness aside, but the anger and hatred grew within him anyway.
But still the war continues.
Part 1 [9/7/12]
Yoda had landed on Kamino. The diminutive Jedi Master was met, just as Qui-Gon was, by Taun We and taken to see the Prime Minister of Kamino.
"The clones are obedient and will accept any order without question," Lama Su tells Yoda.
"A great pleasure to hear, this is. But more info on this donor I wish to hear."
"He is a bounty hunter who is free to come and go as he pleases. He was first- and foremost a centre of the construction of the armour and training programmes for the clones."
"But deeper into his heart I wish to know. Know that what drives him, I want to hear."
"He is a bounty hunter. What more is to be said?"
"Ready for action are the clones?"
"We have two hundred thousand fully grown and awaiting deployment, with another one million well on the way."
"Take those that are ready with me I will."
"Follow me then," Lama Su says.
As the two beings, one tall and one small, walk through the facility, battle alarms start blaring. All walls and ceilings are white, and so is the clone armour, Yoda notes. Looking deeper into the Force, he senses no malice in the Kaminoans. Only something which could be described as proudness to see their 'product' so efficiently going about their business.
By the time they reach their destination, a large parade ground hundreds of feet wide with cruisers landed on it, regiments of clones stand at attention in front of ramps. Ground vehicles are being loaded, walking up the ramps. The clones then follow, marching up in brigades.
"Well, here I leave you, Master Jedi."
"Yes. Goodbye this is, for now. Look forward to see the clones in action, I do."
"They will do their job to maximum effectiveness."
Yoda then walks to one of the officers, who leads him onto the bridge of one of the Victory-class Star Destroyers.
All the cruisers retract their ramps from the ground, and take off from Kamino, rising into the atmosphere and into the depths of space. All around, more than one hundred cruisers of a variety of shapes and sizes wait.
Then, as one, they all jump to hyperspace.
Part 2 [17/7/12]
The Republic jump out of hyperspace as one.
On the bridge of one of the Victory-class Star Destroyers, Yoda watches as the clones go about their duties. They are smooth and efficient at working, and now they would get their first real battle.
"Sir, the landing craft are ready," one of commanders on deck says. "However, we have no idea where to set down on the planet, and there are those other cruisers in the distance."
"Tell you where to land I will. On board one of the landers will I be."
Yoda then shuffles off to the turbolift and rides it down to the hangar deck level. There, LAAT/i craft wait. Walking to one of them, Yoda signals the deck officer.
"Launch all fighters will you. They will be a distraction while the landers make for the ground."
"Yes, sir!" the deck officer says, signalling the other pilots to get ready.
The landers take off first, with Yoda riding in the foremost of the landers. V-19 Torrents follow, overtaking the landers and heading for the Trade Federation cruisers.
This happens across all of the main cruisers, with the smaller cruisers and frigates heading down into the atmosphere with the landers.
"An arena next to a spire, need to be we do," Yoda commands.
"Sir," the pilot says, relaying that to the other pilots.
The landers change course, and soon a spire can be seen rising up from the ground. And next to it, seemingly joined onto it, an arena. Inside the arena was full of Battle Droids, except for a small circle where faint meter long lights wavered.
"Fire on the droids!" Yoda commands.
All LAAT's fire concussion missiles, lasers, and ion beams down onto the droids, destroying many of them while leaving the Jedi untouched.
"Around the survivors a perimeter create," Yoda says.
While continuing firing, the LAAT's pull into the arena. Yoda manages to spot figures in cloaks walking away from the arena through a tunnel, but then the lander drops even lower as it lands and the view is lost.
Mace, Ki-Adi-Mundi and Kit Fisto climb into Yoda's LAAT. Across the way, Yoda sees Anakin, Padme, Qui-Gon and an Astromech droid enter another.
No Battle Droid is left surviving, and all the landers take off again. However, rising up above the arena walls, more droids are seen.
A lot more. The battle was only just beginning.
Part 3 [21/7/12]
Darth Maul and the rest of the CIS contingent walk through the tunnels of the Geonosis catacombs and into the control room.
When at the control centre, General Grievous peels off and continues down another tunnel. The rest stand around a holoboard showing real time images of the battle taking place.
Poggle the Lesser talks to an army commander, then looks back at the others. "All of our communications have been jammed! We are under attack, on land and from above."
"The Jedi have amassed a huge army!" Nute Gunray cries.
"How could this happen?" Darth Maul asks. "Where could they have come from?"
"This doesn't seem possible," says Dooku, sounding perplexed. "How could the Jedi have come up with an army so quickly?"
"We must send all available droids into battle," Nute Gunray says.
But before the order could be carried out, Maul stops him. "Let the Jedi have this small victory. You have thousands of other droid making facilities across the galaxy. And besides that, there are too many to fight."
"Order the retreat," Poggle the Lesser says. "I am sending all my warriors into the catacombs to hide." As he finishes, he nods to the other Geonosians in the room, who relay the orders via comlink as they walk out.
"I will go and track down the Jedi an hunt them," Maul says.
Before he could so much as walk a step however, four clones in grey and painted armour rush in.
Maul activates his blade.
The commando squad rush into the command centre. The Zabrak in the black cloak actives a dual lightsaber. The others start backing away down other tunnels.
"We'll never take him," one of the clones says over the inbuilt comlink.
"Sure we will," another says. "Just get ready with the distraction."
"Whatever you say, Hunter," the first replies.
The clone called Hunter then takes a lightpike from his backpack and raises it in challenge. The others spread out across the room.
The Zabrak attacks first, but Hunter is ready for him. Blocking the left strike, then the right strike, he then makes an attack of his own. But instead of going for a block, the Zabrak goes for another strike, this time at waist height.
Knowing it would be useless to carry the attack on, Hunter shifts the lightpike to a reverse grip and stabs down, blocking the attack the Zabrak made at him.
The other three clones then fire upon the Zabrak, who defends himself rapidly with the blade. A datadisk slips itself out of a port, however, and slips itself inside the Zabrak's cloak. The Zabrak then makes a run for the exit.
"Lightning, now!" Hunter calls. The clone with lightning bolts painted on his armour boosts down the tunnel with a jetpack, but gets pushed back into the command centre, along with the grenade he had thrown.
"Cover!" one of the other two calls. All four of them get away from the grenade, which explodes, only cracking a small amount of the machinery inside the command centre.
Hunter then activates long range comms. "Target acquired. The command centre is now ours."
"Good work. The techs will be with you shortly to begin stripping down the machinery in there."
"Okay. But one thing. There was a Zabrak who I fought. He used the Force to pull a datadisk from one of the computers. What it might contain, I have no idea, but get the Jedi on the job. Wearing a black cloak with a double-bladed lightsaber."
"Okay. Relaying now. Good work Akaan."
"Thanks." The link is then closed. Akaan Squad then watch the battle unfold as the techs start arriving.
Part 4 [1/8/12]
The Acclamator-class assault ships had now landed on the surface and were bringing forth their compliment of 36 Self-Propelled Heavy Artillery, or SPHA's, into the battle. With twelve legs, the SPHA's were massive, and weighed a great deal, hence why they couldn't be brought into battle like AT-TE's could - via LAAT/c's.
They looked like fortresses, and had one massive weapon, which was even longer than the vehicle itself. It could also be elevated to fire at large objects in the sky. The weapon located at the top of the SPHA variated between sub-model. An SPHA-T's weapon was a turbolaser, and this is what most of the SPHA's carried into battle.
The gunship carrying Anakin, Qui-Gon, Padme and R2-D2 received a message via the clone piloting it that Darth Maul had took a data disk from the computer in the control room and left. This had happened while he was dueling a clone. The others had opened fire on him when ordered, and that was when they noticed the data disk flying from the computer port and into his cloak.
"That's fine," Qui-Gon says. "Keep a look out for him."
"Will do sir," the clone's mechanised voice replies.
"Wait! There. On that speeder," Anakin calls.
"Good spot," Qui-Gon remarks. "Follow that speeder."
Yoda, watching at the command centre, sees that several of the Trade Federation battleship cores were taking off.
After dropping off Mace Windu and the others, Yoda had requested to be taken to the command centre he knew the clones had set up. From there, he had watched the battle unfold, and the SPHA's walk into battle. The clones had been fighting vigilantly, and many droids had been destroyed.
But when the battleship cores started taking off, the vehicles, mainly AT-TE's, had aimed their guns upon them and fired.
To no effect.
"Concentrate all fire on the nearest core," Yoda commands to the clone commander.
"Yes, sir," he says, then relays the order.
All at once, SPHA-T's fire upon the nearest core, all in sync with each other. AT-TE's also add their fire, and after a few moments, the nearest core pauses. Explosions then ripple through it, and it starts falling down to the surface. As it impacts, dust and sand is blown in all directions, creating a sandstorm that impairs the vision of all combatants on the field.
Part 5 [5/8/12]
The speeder led them to a hangar. There, both Anakin and Qui-Gon rush out, lightsabers active. Padme waits in the LAAT, but then sees, through the other open side of the craft, two Geonosian fighters approaching. As they fire, Padme makes a quick exit.
The LAAT is blown up. The Geonosian fighters then slam into the opening as Padme makes it inside. The opening is only partly blocked.
Anakin and Qui-Gon move to block the figure, as it moves to a starfighter similar in design to the Geonosian fighters. The hangar in which they stood was circular, and had a lot of wires hanging and on the floor. The colour of the walls was the same as the dull orange sand of the surface outside.
"My, my," the voice from the hood then says. "I seem to find myself cornered."
The hood then lowers, revealing Count Dooku.
"Dooku! You are going to pay for all Jedi you killed today. You, and that creature Maul." Anakin calls.
"And there I was thinking we were on the same side."
Anakin then rushes in, blade active, heading for Dooku, despite Qui-Gon calling him back. Dooku raises a hand and lightning strikes from his fingers. Anakin is blasted aside.
Qui-Gon the walks more slowly, blade held in defensive position.
"As you can see, my powers are now far beyond any Jedi," Dooku mocks.
"I shouldn't hold onto that for long," Qui-Gon says. "That confidence."
Dooku then moves forward and strikes with his red blade. Qui-Gon blocks. The two dance around the hangar, using boxes as shields or weapons, and using cables and wires to snag or bind the others feet.
Padme watches this from her vantage point. But it is obvious that Qui-Gon can't hold on much longer. Dooku's style is more smoother. But even so, she is still unprepared for his death.
It happens quick, and sudden.
After a quick flurry of exchanges, Dooku parries an attack from Qui-Gon, but keeps his blade going and chops off his sword hand at the wrist. Then turning around Qui-Gon with the grace of a dancer, he then stabs the blade through his heart.
Unable to bear it, Padme fires her pistol at Dooku. The bolt is blocked and is headed back for her. But Qui-Gon's blade moves of its own accord and blocks the bolt back at Dooku. The hilt of that blade then slams into Anakin's left hand, his right already active.
"Brave, but foolish lad," Dooku scolds. "I would have thought you would have learned by now."
"I'm a slow learner," Anakin smiles, and wades into battle.
Part 6 [11/8/12]
Anakin uses both blades effectively, but the old style of fencing that Dooku uses keeps one blade away while the Force sways the other. The battle keeps up pace until Qui-Gon's blade is cut from Anakin's left hand.
But still he continues to fight. But from the loss of a blade, something else emerges. A fierce will to continue the fight and end it.
Dooku can feel this easily through the Force.
"You were a natural dark warrior," Dooku mocks. "But you will soon learn." He swipes a cut at Anakin and rides the block around to Padme. He then grabs her and pulls his blade to her neck. "Stand down or she dies, Skywalker."
A small echo starts up in the hangar. A small cane hitting the ground then sounds, and the echo starts up again. "No need for that, my old Padawan."
"Yoda," Dooku scoffs, retreating his blade from Padme and throwing her to Anakin. "I don't need you to tell me what to do."
"Join the dark side fully, why did you?"
"The corruption of the Republic, by the one named Sidious."
"Sidious? What to do with this does he?"
"He is the one that started all this, and he has thousands of Senators in his grip."
"Believe you I do not."
"Do so at your own peril, my misguided Master."
"Going somewhere, my fallen apprentice?"
"Yes. Escape." And with a last look at Anakin, Dooku flees to his ship and calls for the pilot droid to immediately take off. Only the suddenness of his escape stopped Yoda from grabbing the ship with the Force.
Flicking a wrist at the ramp closure controls, Dooku walks to the cockpit and sits down in the copilot seat.
He just hoped that Maul and Grievous and the others had escaped.
At The Works, a Scimitar comes in to land at a dock. A figure already awaits the ship, and is standing patiently for it to land.
A minute later, Darth Maul emerges from the ramp and greets the figure in the robe. "The Jedi have suffered great losses in their ranks, and the war has begun."
"Excellent. Everything is going according to plan. You have the plans for our new weapon?"
Darth Maul produces said plans.
"Excellent. I have received word from Dooku that Skywalker is no longer in our fold. Send a fleet of Trade Federation ships to Malastare to take the planet. Have then search in particular for Skywalker's mother. That will provide the leverage we need."
"Yes, my Master."
Part 1 [31/5/12]
In the Grand Convocation Chanber, the Naboo box was in the center of the grand hall. Pods in their thousands filled the outside, which could then be floated down at will of the driver. In the direct center stood the tall Chancellor's Podium. This chamber was the same in which Padme Amidala had called a vote of no confidence in the previous Supreme Chancellor, Finis Valorum.
Now Jar Jar Binks was speaking to all the Senators of the chamber, remembering what he had been instructed to do, but still a little nervous at having been asked of such a privilege.
"Dellow Felegates," he starts.
At the opening to where Naboo box would have been, Jedi Masters Yoda and Mace Windu stood watching. Mace wills Jar Jar to stay strong, this being very important. So important, it could rip the entire of the Republic apart.
"Me'sa propose to given immediate emergency powers to da Supreme Chancellor," Jar Jar finishes, adding a little bow.
Palpatine then stands up. "I love democracy. I love the Republic. But in the growing need of trial, I have given this offer a serious considering. I will lay down these emergency powers when this crisis has abated. And the first act I pronounce, is to create a Grand Army of the Republic to repel the growing threats."
The chamber halls clap and cheer in agreement. Mace had to admit, if anyone other than a representative of Naboo would have proposed this, then an agreement wouldn't have been made so easily. Mace then looks down at Yoda.
"It is sorted then. I will collect what Jedi we have available and see if we can rescue Anakin and Padme. And also Qui-Gon if he needs it."
Yoda starts shuffling off. Mace follows.
"To Kamino I will go," Yoda says. "Visit these cloners I will and see this army for the Republic they have created for myself."
"Traitor," Qui-Gon Jinn calls up at the arena box where Dooku stands.
"Oh, no. No. You have misread me entirely," Dooku says. "I only mean good. The Republic is all well and good, but it is rotten and decadent. Surely you know this."
"Don't listen to him!" Padme calls out.
"Now. Now. Don't be too hasty," Dooku says. "Just think about where you are stood."
Faint clanking can be heard. Soon it rises. When the first Battle Droid appears and fires, Qui-Gon's lightsaber is out and is deflecting bolts. Using the Force, he calls a droid to him and destroys it with a swipe of his lightsaber and using the Force to send the gun to Padme.
"Follow me. We need to get gone."
Rapid laser fire then sounds up and Qui-Gon looks at the sky to see his ship being piloted by his astromech, firing down upon droid after droid. A Super Battle Droid fires on the ship and it blows an engine, unable to be controlled.
"Artoo, come here!" Anakin calls.
Brave R2-D2 rolls forward through the Battle Droids fast advancing.
"Get a message to the Jedi Temple! Quick!"
As R2-D2 scrambles a signal relay, Anakin protects him with his own lightsaber.
Part 2 [4/6/12]
"A message from an astromech droid," Tayli De'har calls to Mace Windu as he walks back into the temple.
"Another message from Anakin," Mace sighs. "Let's hear it."
"Follow me," De'har says. The two walk to the communication center. A protocol droid waits.
Beeps and whistles then fill the communication center and the protocol droid translates. "Geonosis, it seems, is a hive for Battle Droid production. Master Skywalker and Mistress Padme are surrounded, and Qui-Gon Jinn is doing everything he can to stop the droids. Anakin has his lightsaber as well, and Mistress Padme is armed, but we are falling back rapidly. We have no choice but to escape into the catacombs where the Geonosian hives are. We might need your help rather quickly."
"Hmm," Mace says. "I came here to collect as many Jedi as I could to get to Geonosis and rescue the three. Now it looks like I will need a lot more."
"We have a few hundred Jedi waiting in the Temple," De'har says.
"Gather two hundred and get them to the fastest transports we have."
"Yes, Master Windu." She then turns back to the comm gear, contacting different areas of the temple.
Mace then walks away.
"Artoo! Did you get that message through!"
The droid beeps an affirmative.
"We have to head deeper into the tunnels," Qui-Gon says, deflecting laser bolts madly. "It might be our only chance."
"I agree," Padme says. "But that means we could get lost."
"Better lost than dead," Anakin says.
The group head deeper into the tunnel they are following, Anakin and Qui-Gon deflecting lasers at droids and Padme picking off droids when she can. The Battle Droids keep hunting them, and soon the trio arrive at a junction.
"Which way?" Anakin asks.
R2-D2 turns to face the right facing tunnel.
"Are you sure buddy? Looks to be winding forever that way."
"Well, whatever other choice do we have?" Padme asks.
"Okay Artoo. Lead the way."
The trio continue along the tunnel, which then opens up into a control center. R2-D2 titters in that droid like way. The meaning is taken as 'Oops'.
Computers line the walls and sat at them are Battle Droids and Neimoidians. Stood in the middle of all this is a droid of a type not seen since The Sith Wars. White and bony, with a head with inset yellow eyes, and a synthsac held within its chest, it looks around at them at R2-D2's titter.
"Well. Well," the cyborg says with a menacing voice, if that was possible through a vocoder. "Jedi. I was expecting you to show up here. The Senator of Naboo has to stay with me to be executed in full witness of the dury. But no-one said anything about you two."
Part 3 [8/6/12]
The vehicle Mace rides is a tank. He and Luminara Unduli had just destroyed the last of the cannons stopping the rest of the Jedi from landing.
Well, all but one.
"There isn't much time, and sneaking around or up a mountain will take too long," Luminara says over the comlink.
"Stay here and monitor the comms. I'm going out on foot," Mac says.
"Alright, but be careful Mace. That base is probably defended well."
"I will." Mace then exits the tank through the top hatch.
Walking on foot through the arid plains of Geonosis, Mace passes through a gate that is the start of the Geonosian base. No droids. Odd.
Then firing starts from multiple positions at once, and Mace draws his blade and instantly starts blocking bolts left, right and centre.
No wonder there's a load of boxes around here, Mace thinks. They make excellent cover positions.
Jumping to the nearest of those boxes, Mace discovers two droids. He destroys them both. He then backflips over a pile of boxes and drives his blade in intricate arcs to deflect bolts into more hidden droids. When he lands, he pushes into the ground and lifts the droids he landed in between up and away from him. Using the Force to control his lightsaber in an arc when he lets it go, both droids are cut up while still in the air, and the blade returns to Mace's hand, deactivated.
The maze of boxes then came to Mace as he stood in the middle of it. Settling into the Force, Mace uses his special ability to find the way. The was the ability to see Shatterpoints. Early on in Jedi training, he had discovered this ability came easy for him, but that other Jedi had to train for ages and even then it wasn't as clear.
The Shatterpoint Mace was looking for was located over a large pile of boxes that reached into the sky. Walking around them, he was instantly ambushed bu Geonosians. Ugly bug-like creatures that stood two crooked legs, they carried sonic rifles and used them to great effect. The sonic energy that erupted from them, when hit directly to an organism, would cause instant death by rupturing the internal organs. These blasts could not be deflected by a lightsaber, so for a Jedi as well, the best option was to avoid them at all costs.
This was what Mace was doing, dodging side to side, rolling and jumping, to get close enough to the Geonosians to cut them up. Half of them killed, more droids came rushing onto the scene, so Mace, deciding that fighting was no longer an option, dodged all lasers, deflecting what he couldn't and made it to the middle. While keeping with the Force, he looked at the power nodes surrounding the large cannon, and swung his lightsaber at the most critical point of one of the nodes. That power shortage caused a rupture in which all of them started to be destroyed.
All Mace did was jump high.
As the cannon itself blows up, Mace curls up into a ball as he is thrown by the expanding particles of the explosion. That overdraft takes him out to where he and Luminara had left their tanks, and he lands in a crouch lightly.
"Well, I must say, that was impressive," Luminara says, watching from outside her tank.
"Thanks," is all Mace says as he looks into the sky.
The first of the Jedi starfighters streak past, lasers flashing and destroying who knows what on their way to the previously captured CIS outpost. Mace and Luminara enter their takes again and head for the same point.
As Mace looks up, RTT's are being inserted into the location.
Part 4 [12/6/12]
The lightsaber's of Qui-Gon Jinn and Anakin Skywalker flip into their hands. They cyborg grabs a hold out blaster from his right thigh. In his left, he grabs hold of a comlink and activates it.
"I have the Jedi and the Queen. We are-"
But the comlink is pulled from his grasp by a twitch of the Force. But still, the cyborg shouts into it. "-in the communication centre."
The last part isn't heard. The comlink has been destroyed. The cyborg has murder in his eyes.
"Fine!" The cyborg chucks the hold out blaster and from the place he originally stood, he draws two lightsaber hilts. "These were the kills of my first two Jedi. I will gladly add your two sabers to that collection here and now."
And then he activates both blades and lunges. One blade aiming for each Qui-Gon and Anakin, it is quite an easy move for the two to dodge, and as both did, their blades flick up or down depending on position to slice through the arms.
But the blades just ramp up energy as they are drove harder, both trying to cut the arms.
"You are fools if you think that you will be able to strike me down."
"I don't intend to," Qui-Gon says flatly.
"No. But I intend to do that to you," another voice says from the direction Anakin, Qui-Gon, Padme and R2 originally came from.
Qui-Gon doesn't even have to turn around to see that Darth Maul was standing behind them, or that he was hungry for revenge.
"Maul. Why do we have to run into each other again? Surely you have better things to do?"
"You have avoided my blade one too many times. But then I caught you out at Malastare, but I couldn't continue the fight without revealing Dooku's intent. Now we have free reign. Now we will finally find out who is more supreme."
"I don't think so. And next time we meet, I will finish you."
"What makes you think you are going anywhere?" the cyborg says.
"Now!" is all Anakin shouts.
At this command, both Anakin and Qui-Gon leap over the cyborg, and Anakin adds a flourish that brings his boot in contact with the cyborgs head. With this, Padme and R2 move to where Anakin and Qui-Gon are, with Qui-Gon providing a Force shield around the two so they are not reeled in by Maul.
All four then run down the passage with Anakin pulling down rocks over the passage exit.
"Clear this rubble up," Maul says.
"And get to finding them!" Grevious shrieks.
"But make sure the Jedi are kept alive," Maul purrs.
"The Jedi," both finish. "The Jedi I will execute personally."
Both then whip around to face each other, each flashing the other a death stare.
Part 5 [17/6/12]
"The Jedi are mine to kill!" Grievous shrieks.
"Master Sidious said I should kill any Jedi I run into so that my skills improve," Darth Maul states.
"And Master Tyrannus told me the same thing!"
"Master Tyrannus is not a Lord of the Sith!"
"But his orders are from Lord Sidious, and that includes instructions about me."
"Then you are a lackey in Sidious' basket."
"As are you, by being an apprentice."
"An apprentice is aware of more than a servant."
"Er, sirs?" a Battle Droid speaks up.
"What?" both Maul and Grievous round on it.
"Er... Geonosians have cornered the two Jedi in another catacomb chamber."
"Fine," both Maul and Grievous say.
Maul then turns to the pile of rocks blocking the entrance and pushes with the Force. All the rocks blow out down the tunnel, leaving the entrance free to traverse.
"You cannot use the Force. You would not have been able to do that."
"With a body capable of stopping a lightsaber cutting through and the strength provided by powerful arms, I should hardly think I need to."
"Fine. I'll take Jinn. You take Skywalker."
Both then walk through the tunnel, sabers active.
Mace Windu walks through the tunnel. Jedi had been inserted into the arena stands quietly and with no-one noticing.
He could see a man in Mandalorian armour. He could see a figure in a black cloak and he could also see the robes of the Neimoidians. All were looking down at the arena floor.
The Niemoidians he knew. Rune Haako and Viceroy Nute Gunray. The bounty hunter he supposed was Jango Fett, the clone donor for the Grand Army. He had been wondering why Jango Fett would be in league with both Republic and Separatists on the journey to the arena. Then he had dismissed the idea as being purely coincidental.
The other, he was sure, was Darth Maul.
Which is why, when he worked his way to the arena, to where Jango stood just by the tunnel entrance, and Mace had activated his blade just below Jango's chin, he was surprised when a familiar voice said "Ah. Master Windu. What a pleasant surprise."
"Dooku," Mace says. "What are you doing here?"
"Waiting for the show. Maul must have found your Jedi and the Senator by now. But I forget my manners. Why don't I introduce you to a show of my own."
"What are you talking about?"
As Dooku says "Let me show you," clanking starts echoing from down the tunnel.
Mace pulls his blade from Jango's chin to salute his blade.
The coded signal is given. Roughly one hundred and fifty Jedi blades activate within the confines of the arena seats. Mace doesn't notice this however. Super Battle Droids fire their lasers upon him. Mace deflects each one madly, but smoothly.
A growing feeling in the Force alerts him to the fact that neither Dooku or the Niemoidians have moved.
Jango however, fires a flamethrower, forcing Mace to jump from the arena box. Other Jedi are forced down to the arena floor as well by scores of Battle Droids and confused Geonosians.
As the battle starts up, there is a final detail. Two Jedi are forced onto the arena floor by a dual-blade wielding Sith.
Part 6 [21/6/12]
Roan Shryne backflipped over the seats and landed on the arena floor, cutting up two droids as he did. Looking briefly up, he saw that his Padawan, Ola Tuune, had driven off some droids and was working her way down to the arena floor.
A slight glimpse of his former Master, Nat-Sem, and Shryne was back to fighting. Four Super Battle Droids came at him, and with a swift strike of his blade, he dismantled all of them. Human, sharp blue eyed, and with a slight beard and a mustache of brown, Shryne wielded a blue lightsaber, but with a lack of Force sufficiency.
Reverse thrusting his blade into the head of a Battle Droid, Shryne looks up. His Padawan, also human, leaps to the arena floor. Her blade, however, is shot from her hand. But other than that, she makes it to the floor.
"How was that, Master?" she asks, blocking two lasers with a Force Shield.
"Good. But without a lightsaber, how do you propose to fight?"
His Padawan then looks to Nat-Sem, who is blocking fire from a semi-circle of droids. One gets through, then another.
Shryne senses his former Master's death and looks around, still blocking the fire coming at him. As Nat-Sem drops, his blade deactivates and flies through the air. Shryne looks back to his Padawan to hear her say, "It's best to take opportunities when they present themselves."
"True," Shryne replies, but before he could go any further, a laser strikes Ola Tuune full in the head.
She drops to the floor.
"Why?" Shryne calls out, feeling alone. "Why?"
Padme Amidala twists and fires her pistol at the figure fast approaching. The figure holds two lightsabers and deflects the laser up into the ceiling. Rubble falls down into the tunnel the three traverse.
An astromech hovers quickly following its mistress.
"I hope we've brought them enough time," Padme says quietly to the droid.
"If it wasn't for the public execution you are meant to be having, I would kill you now," the cyborg chasing human and astromech shouts with menace through its vocoder.
Padme doesn't listen, but can't help feeling a slight hint of regret. She was here, simply because of a personal dispute of Viceroy Nute Gunray. Because she had been a strong supporter against the Trade Federation in the debates in the Senate.
She then turned a corner and arrived at the arena floor.
The Jedi were fighting hard. But more droids kept coming. Looking back, the cyborg wasn't behind her. Looking across the way, she saw Darth Maul dueling both Anakin and Qui-Gon.
Rushing forward she dodges and fires upon droids of all varieties, but gives the Droideka's a wide berth. Their shields make them formidable opponents.
Darth Maul then detaches from Anakin and Qui-Gon and jumps up to the arena box. The cyborg is also on the box.
"Mace Windu! Jedi of the Order," Count Dooku calls, as all Battle Droids stop firing. "You have fought valiantly. A worthy recognition of the Jedi Archives. But you are outmatched. Surrender."
"We will not become barter for you to play with, Dooku!" Mace Windu shouts up to the box.
"Then, I'm sorry, my old friend. Droids, fire."
As the droids cock weapons to fire, Padme looks up to the sky and shouts "Look!" pointing her gun up to the sky.
All look up. Hundreds of droids are destroyed.
The Grand Army of the Republic had descended upon Geonosis.