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Mew-Chapter 2: Brotherhood
Class: Clone Trooper
Category: Field Command
Job: Leader of the 501st 2nd Squadron
Through the slightly musky filtered air of his helmet FC-2719 gave a tense sigh. He hadn't particularly liked sending his men into the ruin with no outside Intel but orders were orders and they had to be followed. He now waited with bated breath as the sound of fighting from inside the temple had died. It had been a chilling sight to see a single clone come running out of the temple then suddenly halt and then be dragged backwards through the air to whatever fate awaited him. The other twenty five of his men had their blasters at chest level ready to fire at a moments notice. FC-2719 could see on his HUD, the small heads up display on the inside of his helmet, the increased heart rates of all the clones. He shouldered his weapon with a sigh and turned to look at his assembled squadron. He of course knew they were dead. He had watched all fifteen of their heart rates flat line on his HUD. This fact made him all the more curious when six of the fifteen trooper's heart monitors began to beat with a steady pulse once again. This surprising turn of events caught him off guard and it wasn't until an eerily similar voice began repeating his name over the comm. that he realized he had been staring intently at the bottom of his HUD for two solid minutes.
"Captain, Captain. Do you copy?"
It was CT-1229, his first class private.
"Yeah, sorry about that 29, tell command that we have six survivors inside the ruin. We might need an extract to get them out."
The comm. channel was silent for a few seconds before FC-2719 received a reply.
"S- survivors sir?" the privates voice was hurried and full of concern.
"That's right private. What are you still on this line for? I believe I gave you an order."
"Yes sir, sorry sir. It's just that it's hard to believe."
FC-2719 sighed. He understood 29 was still a recruit, but that was really no excuse for him to linger like this.
"29, get on the comm. with command now!" the harsh order was quickly followed by a short click of the comm. channel being hung up. FC-2719 watched the heart rates of the clones inside the ruin closely as he received a message from command detailing the plan in order to protect the extraction team. FC-2719 sent a message to his squad detailing their individual instructions and then opened a channel to the injured troopers as the instructions stated.
"Calling Scout Troop Alpha this is your Commanding officer FC-2719 do you copy?"
FC-2719 waited patiently for a reply hearing only static. He decided to try and hail them one more time.
"I repeat, this is FC-2719 to Scout Troop Alpha. This is your CO do you copy?"
More static filled his helmet before a voice broke through.
"This is – hurt badl – evac immediately – injured – Jedi got – over." The voice was chopped with bursts of static.
"Scout Troop Alpha we are sending an evac in momentarily. Can you tell us where the Jedi are?"
"The Jedi – shot two – ran – cave – need evac – two injured."
FC-2719 turned his comm. channel to reach main command.
"Command this is FC-2719 Captain of the 501st 2nd Squad. What is the ETA on the evac team? We have two injured clone troopers inside the ruin and four others in unknown conditions. I've only been able to contact one who has provided us with Intel telling us that the Jedi have retreated to some sort of cave. Apparently they have managed to shoot two of the Jedi. Any advice command?"
FC-2719 didn't have to wait long to receive a answer.
"This is Command to FC-2719. We' ere gonna go ahead and ask you stand down until the evac team arrives and then proceed as planned. ETA is two minutes and counting."
"Affirmative Command." FC-2719 ended the call and turned to his men. "Alright men, we have an ETA of approximately one minute thirty on the evac team. I'm going to split us up into two teams. 29, I want you to take 42, 13, 71, and 50 and hang back with the evac team as they make the extraction. Me and the rest of 2nd squad are going to go into that cave and see if we can flush out the Jedi."
FC-2719 received an affirmative click over his comm. receiver signifying 29 had understood. Nearly a minute later three men dressed in red striped clone armor stood at attention in front of FC-2719, they each had large red crosses painted across their bodies and helmets. He returned the salute before addressing them.
"You must be the evac team. Great, I assume Command has already updated you with all the information you need about the clones inside. You will be escorted by 29 and his team as you make the extract while me and my men will try and flush out the Jedi inside the cave. You ready?"
The three red clones saluted and joined 29 drawing their blaster pistols as they did so. FC-2719 clicked his comm. twice to ensure everyone was good to go and received twenty eight clicks in response. He watched on his HUD as three more heart beats appeared with a vague outline of red crosses drawn behind them. FC-2719 signaled his men forward and dropped into an offensive stance with his blaster rifle held firmly next to his helmet in standard procedure. Slowly the clones approached the ruin walking down the beaten path towards the large doorway of the palace. He quickly signaled for his clones to take up defensive positions on either side of the doorway. With ten clones on each side of the doorway, 29 and his evac team slightly behind him and to his left, FC-2719 placed his helmet against one of the large bronze doors and attuned his helmet to a higher sensitivity. Faintly he heard groaning and the sound of shifting armor. He clicked his comm. once more signifying everyone to be ready. Taking a deep breath he unhooked a smoke grenade from his belt. With menace he kicked open the large door hurling the grenade inside, as he did so he turned and dodge rolled backwards as the two teams of clones on either side of the door way rushed in to clear the room. It was eerily silent as the clone troopers expertly made their way around the large living space clicking their comm. units to affirm through the smoke that each sector was clear. FC-2719 entered with his blaster shouldered as the evac team rushed by him to retrieve the troopers. One by one they were carried out, he watched as one of the evac members tried to communicate to a clone with a lightsaber gash in his side but the injured trooper pointed at his helmet futilely as he was rushed out on a makeshift stretcher. When all the injured clones had been rescued he signaled for his team to search for the entrance to the cave. Immediately he received a double click from his Corporal standing near the east side of the room. The clones gathered around the narrow passageway staring into the gloom. FC-2719 understood now why the Jedi had retreated down to the caves, the clones would be forced to walk single file down the staircase making them an easy target for the Jedi to plow through. FC-2719 sighed; he felt his blood surge with adrenaline and fear as he new that he was walking into certain death.
"Turn on night vision team. Looks like were going into the belly of the beast."
FC-2719 turned on his own night vision and began walking calmly down the staircase keeping as alert as possible even though he could only see fifteen feet in front of him . As they walked he noted the dead flares that periodically lined the staircase as they walked. A few times FC-2719 held up his arm in alarm causing his team to crouch and take careful aim, only to find it was a false alarm. Two minutes of careful walking later FC-2719 neared the end of the passage way. He stopped ten meters from the entrance to the cavern and began drawing a battle plan using the HUD in his helmet. Using the sensors in his gloves armor he traced a brief plan of attack sending five of his clones to the left and five to the right while the other ten would form a wedge formation to maximize firepower on the Jedi. FC-2719's heart raced as he received the affirmative clicks over the comm. and he watched in grim silence as the hearts of his clone brothers began to beat abnormally fast as well. Bending his body forward slightly he held his blaster close and double clicked his comm. to begin the maneuver. Quickly and silently his team entered in the cavern. Each of the twenty clones did as they had been instructed creating a small defensive semi circle around the entrance to the cavern. The small amount of natural luminescent light in the cavern allowed him to see roughly 75% of the cave bringing him to the conclusion that Jedi were in no way occupying the cavern. He called up his communications officer with a wave of his hand and a man dressed in green armor broke from formation to join him.
"Set up a short range sensor. Have it search for infrared signals and any life signs. The Jedi could be putting us under the illusion they are not here."
The clone in green reached onto his back and extracted what looked like a small satellite dish. Setting it up the clone hooked a small data pad from his hip up to the device and waited a few seconds.
"It's all clear sir."
"You sure private?" FC-2719 did not like what was happening here.
"Affirmative sir. The Sensor reads no life in here larger then a few lizards."
FC-2719 dropped his blaster and placed a frustrated arm on the back of his helmet. Bringing his hand down and around to his chin he addressed the private once more.
"Get a direct line to Command and tell them the situation. Ask them if they have seen any activity up top."
FC-2719 looked around feeling glad that they had not met any Jedi, and yet at the same time wary, as though someone were watching them. He directed a few men to keep watch on the exit and had a few go and collect fresh water from the large pond in the middle of the cavern as a small reward for his men. One of the clones handed him a small metal flask full of the clear water and just as he hooked it into his suit his communications officer turned to him.
"Sir, I've been trying to reach Command but these walls are too thick for communications waves to penetrate. We need to gain some altitude sir."
FC-2719 nodded and signaled for his men to pack up and move out by twirling his hand in the air and pointing towards the exit.
"We're moving out men. Let's go tell Command that the Jedi have escaped."
FC-2719 and his men began walking single file once again up the dark staircase. It had been months since his last drop of fresh water and he was taking every moment to enjoy its pure clean taste. He sighed; recycled water just couldn't match the real thing.
"This is Command to any outlying – we need - ."
FC-2719 snapped out of his daze at the distress call. His hand flew to the side of his helmet and he held up his left hand to stop his men's march.
"Command, this is FC-2719; can you repeat that last message?"
"FC-2719?" the voice paused for a moment. "Where have you been FC-2719? You were supposed to check in with us nearly ten minutes ago!"
"Sorry Command, it's just that the wal-"
"Never mind that now soldier. We have a much larger problem. The Jedi are topside wrecking havoc with the 501st."
FC-2719 signaled his men to follow him and began to jog up the stairs.
"Jedi sir? We have just been in the cavern, the Jedi must have found another way to escape no one came past us."
The voice sighed. "You're damn right no one got past you. You let them through!"
"Those six clone troopers that we evaced were Jedi in disguise. We didn't realize that our self until we got one of their helmets off. You had better get up here quick and lend a- Shit! Private, form a defensive perimeter around that door. Get it locked I don't want them coming in here! FC-2719, you had better get here quickly those Jedi are right outside our door."
"Affirmative, we are on our way."
FC-2719 tuned his comm. channel to address his men.
"Well boys, turns out those six clones we saved were Jedi. Command is under heavy fire right now and we are going to double time up there understood?"
FC-2719 received twenty clicks almost simultaneously. Holding his blaster firmly with two hands he double clicked his comm. and began running full speed up the stairs. Thirty seconds later FC-2719 and his twenty clones burst through the slender door way still running across the marble slab floors. Adjusting his helmet back to its normal visual setting he shouldered the heavy bronze door open. Out side was a mess of dead clone troopers hacked and strewn across the green grasses of the plain. Clones lay dead dying and injured all trying to survive the vicious surprise attack. He stopped for a moment to allow his men to catch up with him, and then proceeded to begin running once again. Leaping over dead bodies FC-2719 ran east towards the large metallic tent set up where the back of the 501st used to be located. He stopped outside the tent seeing smoke pouring from a large hole in the large steel door. He ordered five clones to keep watch outside and then proceeded to enter with the remainder of his men. Inside the command tent was worse then what FC-2719 had witnessed on the plains. Nearly thirty clones lay dead in all sorts of positions across the sensory equipment and racks of weapons. He turned his comm. onto speaker and spoke hoping to find a survivor.
"This is FC-2719 Captain of the 501st 2nd Squadron. Is… is anyone alive?"
FC-2719 listened intently and was relieved to hear a single click. He had his HUD locate the source of the signal and found a clone trooper sitting against an instrument panel. FC-2719 was amazed that the clone was still alive though he had a savage hole where his stomach should have been.
"What happened?" FC-2719 paused for a moment adding "Sir." After he noticed that the clone was wearing blue Intel armor that was so covered in blood he now looked like a member of the evac team.
"The Jedi-" The man coughed. "The Jedi realized we had a hold on their ships. They came here looking to turn off the tractor beams holding their ships to the ground." The man coughed again, FC-2719 thought he could hear the blood hit the visor of the clone's helmet. "C-call for a bombardment, have them d-destroy this entire sector."
FC-2719 could scarcely believe what he was hearing.
"That would kill us along with it." FC-2719 was not even speaking to the injured clone anymore.
The dying trooper grabbed FC-2719's arm and pulled him down towards him. The Intel clone removed his mask revealing his features to be exactly as FC-2719 had expected the clone to look like. The clone leaned forward and spat blood onto the floor.
"You must do it f- f-…" the clone sagged and coughed violently unleashing another tide of blood from his mouth. The clone wiped his mouth and gave a tired smile. "F-for the Republic” Having said his peace the man sagged slightly. FC-2719 watched as the clones eyes slowly glazed over and the natural weight of his body caused him to slide slowly down the instrument panel leaving a small rainbow of blood along the metallic surface. FC-2719 stood up and looked to his men. He turned and gave the officer a quick glance before opening his comm. channel.
"You heard the Officer. Get me communications with the GreenSeed, have them bombard this entire sector."
FC-2719 walked outside, his mind was performing back flips as he heard his communications officer recite the co-ordinates. He saw something move faintly in the corner of his eye, turning he had his helmet zoom in on the target.
"Jedi!" he growled as he made out six forms holding glowing swords running towards their distant ships.
"Regroup men; let's keep those Jedi on the ground!"
FC-2719 tagged the six targets on his HUD, and without double clicking his comm. he began running towards the distant figures. Angry at the loss of his squad, at the loss of his company, and even worse the loss of his fellow brethren, FC-2719 found himself running faster then he had ever before experienced. His feet left deep heavy set impressions as he bounded across the earth leaving behind his twenty troopers. Their calls through his comm. fell on deaf ears as his attention became fixed on the six figures getting steadily closer. He was a little over one hundred meters away from the six Jedi when he felt his legs begin to ache from the harsh sprint. Angry at the inability of his own body to keep going he deftly drew his blaster to his chin taking careful aim. He allowed the computer in his helmet to make quick minor adjustments and let loose a single shot. He nearly cried out in glee as the head of one of the Jedi became a sizzling mess and he stumbled and fell to the ground dead. FC-2719 began firing off more shots towards the Jedi as they turned around to see their comrade fall. One of them, holding a silver lightsaber, only turned to glance backwards but never stopped running. The other four stopped but only one ran towards the fallen Jedi. FC-2719 enhanced his vision with his helmet and watched as the Jedi moved to aid his friend. As FC-2719 watched he became aware of his squad around him firing diligently toward the small group of Jedi. The man who had run towards the fallen Jedi had dropped his lightsaber as he kneeled at the corpse. The man's mistake became imminent as a bolt of plasma struck him in the chest sending him careening backwards clutching his smoldering shirt. Immediately the other three Jedi jumped to the man's aid fending off bolts of plasma. One of them, an elderly man, hooked his arms around the injured Jedi and began dragging him slowly backwards as the other two kept them clear of fire.
"FC-2719 this is the victory class star ship GreenSeed we are in position to start bombardment on your position, over."
FC-2719's hand shot to the side of his helmet. His gaze never left the retreating Jedi as he spoke.
"This is FC-2719, you have clearance to start bombardment. Good luck."
FC-2719 heard the comm. go silent. A sudden rush of air followed by the roar of starship engine brought his attention skyward. He watched as a grey ship began climbing quickly upwards into the atmosphere slowly becoming a small dot in the sky. FC-2719 turned his attention back to the Jedi and glanced towards his fellow brothers who were all still firing at the retreating figures. Looking back at the sky he watched at the clouds disappeared in a storm of heat and chaos as a rain of plasma came cruising steadily down through the heavens. He watched fascinated by the intense blue light that began to appear and shine across the ground, bathing the entire area in a heavenly aura.
FC-2719 opened his comm. to his unit. "You can stop shooting now brothers." He said.
His troopers stopped firing; they lowered their weapons and turned to him for instructions. He lifted a single finger towards the sky.
"It doesn't matter anymore."