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Domino Squad (The members of the clone squad that occupied the base of the Rishi Moon base)
I laid back in my chair and sighed. I turned around in the main pilot chair. "How many more bases do we have to check?"
"Lina, how many times are you going to ask?”
“I’ll ask every time until we’re at our last stop.”
Karri sighed in annoyance, "Well you’re in luck. The next one is our last stop."
I threw my arms in the air. “Finally! I hate these inspection missions. They’re so repetitive,” I groaned, feeling so weary from boredom.
Karri put her hand on my chair, “Why did you even come along?”
“You know why I came along,” I said, smiling.
“Oh of course, you came because of Rex?” Karri cooed at me. I felt my face feel a little hot.
Karri and Cody found out about our relationship together. Thinking back, it was actually a funny story. It was the day of the mission when when we brought Jabba’s son back to his father. When Rex and I were alone in my quarters, both Karri and Cody wandered inside—without knocking. So they caught us kissing in my quarters, which was pretty awkward. This led to Karri and Cody knowing about our relationship. Fortunately, Cody and Karri promise to keep our relationship a secret and won’t rat us out to the Jedi Order or the Galactic Republic. I mean, Karri already knows about Anakin and Padme, so she already knows the situation. Even though Karri does things by the books, she is considerate of others’ feelings such as how Padme and Anakin feel about each other. Cody, on the other hand, Rex said he trusts Cody to not tell anyone, so I did the same. I was really nervous on sharing my secret with Cody since he’s a marshal commander. I thought he would be strict and loyal to his oath. But if it comes to his great friend, Rex, he wouldn’t want him to leave, jokingly speaking. Overall, Rex and I were just glad that we had great friends to trust and not hiding around the secret. Yet, ever since that day, our relationship has been growing bit by bit.
“Obviously, Karri,” I mumbled.
Karri giggled. “You guys make quite a pair.”
Cody and Rex walked into the room. Rex took a short glance at me as he sat down in the co-pilot seat next to me. We looked at each other and smiled. For a while, it was awkward between Rex and me being in a committed relationship. We barely knew each other but yet, we still had a strong connection. We got along quickly and both had mutual feelings for each other.
Cody stood by Karri. “Commander Shan, the ship is all prepped.”
Karri nodded to him. “I guess we’re ready to go then.”
“So what’s our next stop?” I asked.
“Head the hyperspace to the Rishi system," Karri ordered.
“Gotcha.” I pulled our freight carrier ship from the platform of the Pastil, tracking base that we inspected. “Rex, prep the hyperdrive for Rishi system.”
“I’m already on it," he said as he finished up entering the coordinates.
Once I brought the ship into space, Rex had the hyperdrive set. “Alright, jumping into hyperspace.” I pulled the lever and instantly, the hyperdrive pulled the ship in. The flickering light blue and white pulled us into a never-ending patterned tunnel. I relaxed my hands on the controls, having the hyperspace control the ship for me.
“So far, so good with the inspections,” Cody said as he looked at his datapad. He touched the screen on the datapad. “Shall we report in to General Kenobi, Shan?”
Karri nodded to him. “Cody and I will be right back then. Don't do anything stupid when we get back," Karri said directly to me. Her green eyes looked fierce and serious. If her engaging green eyes were alive, they would cut right through me.
Cody chuckled to himself as he put on his helmet on. He waited for Karri at the mouth of the corridor and then followed her once she went through. Rex and I were alone. It was quiet in the cockpit. The tension between us thicken.
Rex took off his helmet and placed it on the floor. He let out a long sigh but then smiled. His eyes set on me. "Commander Shan really is cautious. Such a buzzkill if you ask me."
"That's Karri for ya. She's always serious. She doesn’t take missions as a joke. That's why she's in charge of these kind of missions. I usually get bored of them." I pointed to myself. "For me, I'm just here because of you."
Rex faced towards me. His eyes relaxed as his smile did. "Well I was hoping that you would come along."
I smiled at him, "Luckily I did. I had to annoy Anakin for me to be on this boring mission."
At the moment, Karri, Cody, Rex, and I were on a mission to check in on vital bases in different systems to see if any Separatists were near the Outer Rim systems. We also had to check if the squad registered with the base are actually taking care of it. It wasn't much of an entertaining mission. Just repetitive baby-sitting, if you ask me. The only thing that kept me entertained was piloting this ship. I didn’t mind piloting because it’s something I enjoyed so much. I had came along because Rex was placed in this mission.
"Does Anakin always give you and Cody, these kind of boring errands missions?" I asked Rex whom was staring at me.
"Well most of the time because General Skywalker trusts Cody and I to pull through. Some don't."
"What you mean, "some don't?"
"There are times the Seppies will show up unexpectedly and thrash the mission," Rex said with a bit of irritation in his voice. "That's why the Generals placed their leading commanders, which are you, me, Cody, and Commander Shan to pull off the mission."
I nodded, "I see."
Rex noticed that the conversation had gotten serious and wanted to break through the tension. He began kicking the side of my foot. A minor sharp pain shot through my ankle.
"Ow!" I winced, "Why the hell you did that for? Stop!"
Rex started to kick my shins. "You said that you were bored and wanted to be entertained. So I'm entertaining you." The pain wasn’t bad or great, it was just annoying, but in a good way.
"That's no fair! You have armor on! I only got these leather boots that aren't armored," I whined, feeling defensive.
"Isn't that too bad, then?" Rex countered back with a chuckled.
"Rex! Stop!" I scolded jokingly. "Quit it! You're going to get me bruised."
Rex stopped kicking me but yet the smile remained on his face. His sly look made him look suspicious.
"Took you long enough to follow orders-" Just then, Rex pulled me out of the pilot seat, and onto his lap. His arms tighten around my waist, as my legs hung from the chair. My cheeks blushed as Rex's eyes stared at me with his sly smile. I'm still not used to Rex's affection. It's that... I haven’t been loved like this for a very long time. I’m not used to it yet.
"What's wrong, Lil' Skywalker?" Rex's face was filled with worry.
I shook my head, "Nothing, Rex. I'm just still shy whenever you hold me." My voice went soft.
"Then I should hold onto you more often then," Rex’s arms tighten around my waist, bringing us closer. His arms were broad and familiar. His touch and affection was completely different from Jango. Rex was gentle and tender while Jango was dominant and pleasing.
My hand slid along his jawline. "I would love that," I whispered before we briefly kissed. The moment felt nice for while. We felt unconcerned but at the same time cautious during necessary times. This moment is literally the only moment we can have. Other moments, we would not have any because of our forbidden love.
Without realizing, I heard Karri’s stern voice. "Get a room."
Quickly, I pulled apart from Rex and went to my main pilot seat. Rex had a sheepish expression planted on his face as a small pink rose on his cheeks. Rex isn’t used to showing affection in public. He not used to being a softy in love or being in love in general.
"Just when I wasn't bored..." I mumbled.
"How much longer are we going to get out of hyperspace?" Cody asked as he stood between the co-pilot and the main pilot seat.
I checked the scanners. The screen lit up green, showing our freight carrier had short line towards the end of the screen. "We're about to get out of here in a few minutes."
"Cody, contact the Rishi outpost once we’re out of hyperspace and tell them that were coming." Karri ordered her commander.
"Yes, Commander Shan." Rex moved out of the co-pilot seat and Cody sat in his place. Between Cody and Karri, I really think they would make a good pair. They’re both stern but sincere. Their personalities are somewhat similar and their knowledge is substantial. Even their tactics and interests are similar. There’s no doubt that they’re made for each other. I sense an intense connection between them but I feel it isn’t quite developed. I feel that time will only determine their true feelings between them.
Once we pulled out of hyperspace, I had the ship slowly fly towards the Rishi’s moon where the outpost is at.
"Rishi outpost, this is Commander Cody. Do you copy?” Cody tapped on the button again, but the screen was blank. “Rishi outpost, please respond." After moments, there was no response. Cody gave a look at Karri and she just nodded towards the transmission. Cody continued trying to contact the Rishi outpost. "Rishi outpost, come in!"
Then, a clone appeared on the screen. "Sorry, Commander. We're um, experiencing technical difficulties." Rex, Karri, and I exchanged glances with each other.
"This is the inspection team," Cody said to the clone.
"Inspection?" the clone's voice was confused. "Negative, negative. We, uh, do not require an inspection. Everything is fine here. Thank you."
"We'll be the judge of that," Cody said, sternly. "Prepare for our arrival.
"Roger. Roger," The clone's transmission went black.
"Roger, Roger?" I said, confused, "Do clones even say that?"
"Something isn't right here," Rex said slowly.
"Oooh! If this includes destroying some droids, I call dibs on this mission!" I shouted with enthusiasm. My missing void of thrill returned, feeling anxious for this mission.
"Fine but if anything goes wrong, I'm blaming you two," Karri's fingers pointed at Rex and me. Her piercing eyes struck me again.
"Why me?" Rex asked, looking puzzled.
"Because her brother told me that you will be looking after her. Which means you're babysitting, Lina."
"Just because I'm the youngest doesn't mean I need babysitting," I mumbled.
“It’s not because you’re the youngest, you’re the most reckless out of all of us.”
Cody and Rex laugh.
“Oh haha,” I mocked. “But hey, let’s just make this inspection fun.”
“Oh joy.” Karri rolled her eyes.
Just then, we entered into the Rishi system's orbit. We made our way towards the Rishi’s base platform.
"You know, Karri got a point there," Rex smiled. "I'll watch after Lil' Skywalker." He laid a quick kiss on my left temple, causing my fingers to tense against the controller. I'm so nervous with his touches. My body just melts whenever his lips lays on me. This feeling isn’t new but I haven’t felt it in a while.
"Good luck with that, Rex," Karri let out a small chuckle.
"Good job, Karri. Let those two reckless boneheads be in charge of the mission," Cody joked. “I’m having faith in them though.”
"It's alright, Cody. If anything goes wrong, we're still blaming those two."
"Works for me," I shrugged with a smile.
I landed the ship on the platform and there was no officer on the platform, whom should be welcoming us. I sensed that the Separatists were involved in this.
I put on my brown cloak and tucked in my hair into my hood. I looked over to Karri and saw her already in her cloak and Cody handing her lightsaber to her.
"Here, Lil' Skywalker," Rex handed me a DC-15S blaster and my hand-made mandalorian pistol.
I looked at him and smiled. Thanks." I took it from Rex's hands and clipped my DC-15S blaster onto my belt with my lightsaber. Then I slipped my mandalorian pistol in its holster. I slid my mandalorian blaster into its sleeve.
Karri came towards me, "Well Lina, you're in charge of this mission. So what's your plan?"
"Well first, we have to see if the clones that are occupying this base are still there," I said. "We have to see the officer on deck first."
Karri unlatched the ramp and the four of us went outside of the ship, carefully looking around our surroundings. Karri kept alert as she was by my side. Rex and Cody were in front of us, with blasters ready in their hands. My fingers lightly held onto my DC-15S blaster, getting ready to back them up.
"This is not good. I don't see the deck officer anywhere," Rex said.
"These boys are sloppy," Cody added. "There should always be an officer on duty."
We continued walking and saw the corridor of the base opening. It revealed to be a clone and he was walking to us. Karri and I quickly glanced at each other and then to the clone.
"I have a bad feeling about this," Cody whispered to us.
"Welcome to the Rishi, Commanders," the 'clone' greeted us.
Rex and Cody stopped as they held their blasters high. I gripped onto mine but I didn't show it from my cloth.
"As you can see, the outpost is operating at peak efficiency. Thank you for visiting, and have a safe trip back," the 'clone's' gestures seemed awkward but yet suspicious. This is not a clone. I don't sense any life from him.
Rex and Cody exchanged glances to us. I nodded to Rex and Cody to continue briefing with the "clone."
"We need to inspect the base just the same," Cody stepped closer but then, the clone came in front of him.
"Uh, there is no need," the 'clone' had his hands up in defense. "Everything is fully operational."
Rex stepped closer as well, "Take us to the sergeant in command."
"Roger, roger," The 'clone' nodded.
From behind a loud screech happened behind us. We turned around and saw a red flare explode into the air. Droid attack flare?
"A droid attack flare?" Karri questioned.
Rex and I looked at each other and nodded at the same time. We held our DC- 15S blasters towards the "clone" and shot right at the forehead of the helmet.
"Woah! Commander Skywalker! Rex! What the heck are you doing?!" Cody exclaimed.
"Relax..." Rex squat down to the clone and removed the helmet. It revealed to be a Commando droid's template. How in the world? They have a cloaking voice… That’s new.
"Just as I thought," I squatted next to Rex. “It was a droid.”
"Looks like one of those new commando droids that Master Kenobi mentioned." Karri added.
"That flare must have come from the survivors," Cody said.
Just then, Karri ignited her green lightsaber and deflected a shot that was supposed to strike Cody. "Ambush!"
I ignited my blue lightsaber, putting it in a reversal grip and held my blaster in my other hand. "Rex, stay behind me!"
"Cody, stay close by!" Karri shouted.
"Yes, Commander!" Cody shouted over the blaster firing. "Aah! Those clankers have tough armor!"
I shot down two commando droids with my blaster and deflected shots back, trying to protect Rex and myself from the shots. Karri already had Cody covered.
"Commander Shan! Over here," Cody shouted as he lead us to cover. Rex and Cody stood behind the boxes and shot from afar. After Karri and I discarded our cloaks, we stood on top of the boxes and deflected the shots from the droids, hitting them back.
"We need to get out of here!" Karri cried. "We're cut off!" The crossfire of the laser firing brought us into a corner. There’s no way we can continue this way when they have the advantage of taking us out.
Two commando droids ran out from the corridor of the base and threw three detonators towards our direction and the direction where the ship was.
"Off the platform!" Rex called out.
"Copy that." Cody said.
"Cables now!" I shouted after deflecting a last shot. Rex grabbed me by my waist and rushed off the platform. We began falling but then he shot his cable below the platform. I held onto Rex as smoke clouded my sight for a moment.
I heard Rex let out a long breath, "You okay, Lil' Skywalker?"
I opened my eyes and looked up to Rex, nodding. "Y-Yeah." I held onto Rex tighter.
"That was close but at least we're all fine."
Two commando droids entered onto the platform and threw three detonators into the air. They're coming right at us! And the ship!
"Off the platform!" Rex called out.
"Cables now!" Lina hopped off of the boxes and then Rex grabbed a hold onto Lina, as they both jumped off.
"Commander!" Cody grabbed my hand as he rushed me off the platform with him. I let out a shriek because I was unprepared for the jump. Cody shot his cable under the platform as he held onto my hand. Our hands gripped with each other, tightly. Then my hand began to shake in fear. Jedi must repel fear. We must not feel fear.
"It's all right, Commander." Cody lifted his arm, pulling me up to him. "I gotchu." By instincts, I quickly grabbed onto Cody as his arm held onto me tight. My face was against his chest plate and my breathing had gotten harsh.
"Commander. Are you all right?"
I nodded, quickly. "I-I'm a-all right, Commander Cody. Just got a bit scared for a moment. We jumped off so sudden."
"Sorry, Commander. I had to get us off quickly before we got blasted into bits." I felt Cody's arm tighten me, having us become closer. "It's alright now though because I gotchu."
I swallowed after feeling my anxiety fading. Cody brought us down to a surface and unlatched his cable. His arm let go of me as I slowly planted my feet onto the ground.
"Thank you, Commander Cody," I said, brushing myself off.
Cody nodded. "Anytime, Commander." Thankfully I have a Commander to rely on during wartimes.
Rex lowered us to the ground and after that, he unlatched his cable. As the smoke was thinning, we found Cody and Karri.
"Well, that sure complicates things, Commander Skywalker," Cody said as he walked to us along with Karri.
"Our ship is destroyed," Karri sighed. "We have no ship to get off this planet and our communications has been jammed. The only way to communicate with Master Kenobi and Master Skywalker is in the base.”
“I think those droids overran it so the communications would be jammed in there too,” I added.
"That's just great," Rex said sarcastically.
"What do we do now, Lina—Hold up," Karri quickly spun around and ignited her lightsaber.
"What is it, Karri?" I asked as I ignited mine too. Rex and Cody had their blasters ready in front of them.
"I sense three lifeforms ahead!"
Through the fiery gray smoke, three clones in armor walked towards us.
"It's the Jedi!" One of them shouted.
Rex and Cody came in front of Karri and me. "Take your sun bonnets off!" Rex called out.
The clones put up their hands. "Uh sir?" said one of the clones.
"Take them off now!" Rex said again, but much louder.
The three clones took off their helmets and they all had flesh.
Karri and I relaxed ourselves and deactivated our lightsabers.
"Survivors," Karri said.
Suddenly, a giant eel came out of the carter holes and roared to us, getting ready to strike. Rex and I turned to the eel. We held out our blasters towards the eel and with one shot to the eye ,the eel collapsed onto the ground, lifeless.
"I totally shot that first, Rex."
"Nah. I did, Lil’ Skywalker. You just lagged a bit."
"No I didn't."
"Ah, yes you did, Lil’ Skywalker."
"Okay! We both shot it at the same time."
"Nah. You lagged," Rex chuckled as he poked my forehead with his finger. I groaned as I rubbed on my forehead. I totally shot it first.
Rex walked passed by me and squat next to the eel. He removed his helmet and examined the eel's wound. Then Rex placed his hand on top of the Eel's wound which was seeping with blue blood. Rex’s entire hand was covered in the blue blood.
"Nice shot," said one of the clones.
"The name's Rex. But you'll call me 'Captain' or 'sir.'"
"Sir, yes, sir!" the three clones said at the same time.
"I'm Commander Cody, your new boss," Cody removed his helmet as well.
"I'm Karri Shan. A Jedi Padawan. Address me as Commander Shan."
"I'm Lina Skywalker. Also, a Jedi Padawan. You can call me, Commander Skywalker."
"My designation is trooper CT-27-5555, sir."
"We call him Fives. I'm Hevy," Hevy gestured a hand to other trooper. "This is Echo."
"Where's your sergeant?" Cody asked.
"Dead, sir," Fives said, "We're all that's left."
"Looks like we got ourselves a batch of shinies, Commander," Rex said as he confronted the three shines.
"Shinies, sir?" questioned Echo.
"That's right. Your armor, it's shiny and new," Rex put his hand on the left on Echo's left chest plate, "just like you." Rex left a blue hand print on the armor, almost matching the same color as Rex’s stripes on his armor.
"Commanders," Hevy said, "me and my batchers are trained and ready. We'll take back our post, shiny or not."
Rex let out a smirk and turned to the clones. By the words of Hevy, Rex kind of like his confidence. "There's hope for you yet, rookie."
Everybody gathered around Rex and me.
"So Lina, what's the plan?" Karri asked.
I looked up and saw the smoke was clearing up and so were the flames on the platform. Pointing upward, I said, "We need to get back on the platform and by time, I'll have a plan."
"All right! You heard her, shinies! Climb those rocks and get back on the platform," Rex ordered them.
"Sir yes sir!" The rookies said in sync.
Once we got back on the platform, everybody stayed low just in case any commando droids were on deck.
"Stay sharp, rookies. As long as those tweezers occupy this post, they can throw a few surprises." Rex handed his blaster to Echo as I handed mine to Fives.
"But there's so many of them," Echo said to Rex.
"Doesn't matter, kid," Rex pointed at the base, "We have to retake this base, so we will retake this base."
"Don't let the odds fool you, rookies," Karri added. "Having a smaller amount of people is actually a good offense."
"How do you propose we get through those blast doors, Rex? Commander Skywalker?" Cody asked us.
Rex looked to me and then I looked at him as well. I smiled as Rex nodded at me.
"Ahh, there's that Skywalker's look," Karri chuckled.
I looked at her, "There's a look?"
"You can't miss it."
"So Lil' Skywalker, you know what I'm thinking?" Rex asked.
"We are going to the corridor and-"
"Trick those droids?"
I nodded, "Correct, my Captain."
"Commander, these two get along pretty well," I heard Hevy whisper to Cody.
"Yes they do. They're a perfect pair."
"I couldn't agree more, Cody," Karri said with a smile. "All right, Lina. Tell us what to do and I'll trust you on this."
"All right. I want you and Echo go to the right side of the corridor while Cody, Hevy and Fives go on the left side of the corridor. Rex will become an imposter clone while I'll be his prisoner."
"Wait, how do they know that it's a trick?" Fives asked.
"They don't because droids are stupid."
"Exactly. Trust on us, rookie. As Commander Cody said, Commander Skywalker and I are a good pair," Rex elbowed my arm.
I smiled at him, "Yeah." The rookies exchanged glancing to each other, feeling unsure about our plan.
Rex looked at the rookies, "All right. Get on with the plan."
The rookies, Cody and Karri stealthily deployed to their positions while Rex and I waited.
Rex grabbed my hand, "C'mere." He lead us behind the destroyed ship and squat us down. The ship was completely charred and the metal expelled heat. Rex took off his helmet and quickly peck my lips.
"I had to do that," Rex smiled, "Couldn't help myself."
"Rex, we can't be fooling around like this," I said, trying to be serious.
"I know, I know," Rex said as he wiped his hand in oil and ashes. Then he spat it onto my clothes and rubbed the oil and ashed on my face.
"R-Rex!" I scolded at him, "What are you-"
"Relax, Lina," Rex continued to smear the oil and ashes onto my forehead and neck. Then he smeared some on my arm and legs.
"I swear you're going to pay after this mission," I growled.
"Aww, what are you going to do? Kiss me to death?" Rex joked. He stood up and helped me stand on my feet. Rex looked at me from head to toe. "Hmm, you look too beautiful. Lemme try this." Rex rustled my hair, causing it to go in various of direction and then smoothen out a few ends.
"Hush, I'm not finished yet," Rex began applying oil and a bit of ashes to my hair as I store my anger inside me. After he finished fixing me up, he looked at me from head to toe. "What's with the dirty look?"
I groaned, "You ruined my hair! And dirtied me! I look like dirt!"
"That's the point. We gotta sell the deception somehow and besides, I had other ideas for this plan but I want to do this plan."
"I did have other plans too. But why this one?"
"Because," Rex gently held my chin and kissed me for a little, "I wanted to be close to you as possible."
Behind the ashes and oils on my cheek, I blushed, "F-Fine.." That was all I could say. I didn’t want to disagree with him either.
Rex chuckled as he put his helmet back on. "C'mon now. You're my prisoner," Rex grabbed my wrists and put it behind my back after pretending to cuff my wrists. Then he held me close to him which made my heart race. I just want this mission over with now.
Rex and I walked towards the corridor as we saw everybody at their positions. "Keep your head low, go in a limp, and act like you're going to faint," Rex whispered in my ear.
"I already feel like I'm going to faint just being by you," I whispered quietly back. I lowered my head and followed Rex’s order.
Rex chuckled quietly, "I don't know if that's a good thing or not. But just let me do all the work."
Rex and I stood in front of the corridor and heard a droid's voice through the com. "Unit 2-6, is that you?" Rex looked directly into the visual eye. “You captured a Jedi?”
"Roger, roger." Rex responded.
"You sound strange. Is something wrong with your vocabulator?"
Rex rubbed his neck, "Roger, roger," and then his hand went back to my hands.
"Take off your helmet. Let me see your faceplate."
Rex nodded, "Roger, roger." Rex squat down as I looked at him. Rex gave me a nod and I used the Force to bring a fallen commando droid and brought it behind me.
"We're opening now, Unit 2-6," the visual eye went back into its socket. I Force pushed the droid away and then Rex quickly stood up and released my hands. I grabbed my lightsaber, igniting it as Karri did the same with hers.
The corridor opened with two commando droids looking at us in shock. "Jedi! Clone!"
Rex and I held up our blaster pistols, "Roger, Roger," we both said in sync and shot down two of the droids at the same time.
"Nice shot, Lil' Skywalker," Rex complimented. "Even though you look pretty ugly right now."
I rolled my eyes but I couldn't help but smile at Rex. Rex owe me still.
"Right, let's move!" Rex ordered everybody. Karri went in first as we followed behind her.
"Permission to take point, sir?" Hevy asked.
"I'm always first, kid," Rex charged in first and took the first shot at the droid.
I went in after him and deflected the shots from the Commando droids with my lightsaber, and shooting with my blaster. Karri took the left flank and slashed through some commando droids. The others took cover and aid us, taking down some droids.
Once we all took out the droids, Karri and Cody went to the controls and on their faces, they looked worried.
"It looks like we have more visitors," Karri said.
"Get to the windows," Cody said.
We all head to the glass windows and looked at the dark sky. There was nothing sight but it could be possible that they haven’t hit the atmosphere.
Echo used his helmet to take a closer look with his binoculars. "That's why they commandeered the outpost. They're mounting a full-scale invasion!"
"We have to warn command," Karri looked to me. "Check the control systems, Lina."
I nodded and rushed to the control system, and examined it. The functions of the system was glitching and some weren’t functioning at all. I sighed.
"Good or bad?"
"Both, actually. The droids destroyed the transmitters and they hard-wired the all-clear signal. I can fix the controls but that going to take a long while. But I can try quickly repair the control systems."
"That will be no use and we're running out of time," Karri sighed, "This isn't good."
"Look, Commander." Cody said as he pointed to a Separatist's ship landing on the platform.
"Looks like they brought reinforcements," Karri stared at the ship. "We can't protect the outpost any much longer against that army of droids."
"But we have Jedi with us. They can even out the odds," Fives said.
I walked back to the windows and shook my head, "Yes, we are Jedi but not all Jedi are powerful enough to go against them. We need more reinforcements to get through that army. And also, we can't risk anybody's life right now."
"We need to find another way to warn command," Cody added.
"We'll destroy the outpost instead," Rex said to us.
"But, sir, our mission is to defend this facility at all cost," Echo said.
"Well change of plans," I said, "Our mission is the warn the Republic about the invasion. They'll take notice when the all-clear signal stops."
"That's right. When they stop receiving our beacon, they'll get the message something's wrong," Fives said.
"We'll need every thermal detonator in the inventory," Rex said.
"It'll take more than a few thermal detonators to destroy this outpost," Hevy countered.
"We can use the LT. This moon freezes for over half the year. We use liquid tibanna as fuel to heat the base," Echo suggested.
"Liquid tibanna: highly explosive," Cody said.
"Good," Rex nodded. "Bring the tanks here and prime the detonators."
"All right everybody gather," I said. "Rex and I will explain the next step of this mission."
Everybody got away from the windows and went to the control room.
"Listen up," Rex said to the rookies in front of us. "There's only one target of interest in this sector: Kamino. It's the closest thing we clones have to a home. Today for we fight for more than the Republic. Today we fight for all our brothers back home. Understood?"
"Sir, yes, sir!" The clone said in understanding.
"Now get moving!" Rex called out.
The rookies and Cody went towards the inventory to arm up.
Before Karri went to get the liquid tibanna, she looked at me, "Lina, get cleaned up. You do look pretty ugly like that."
"Wow, thanks. I never knew that," I said sarcastically as I glared at Rex.
Rex smiled, "I'll help you get cleaned up, Lil' Skywalker."
"I can do it myself."
"No, I assist," Rex led me to a restroom to get my dirty self cleaned. I planted my rear on the counter and began cleaning myself up.
Rex wiped off the soot off of my face with a damp towel as I cleaned up my limbs.
"I'm totally taking a shower after this mission is over with. My hair is all gross," I mumbled.
Rex laughed. "I'm sorry, Lina. I really am."
I rolled my eyes at Rex. "Sure you are."
"No I am," Rex came closer to me with a small frown. "It's the only way-"
"I know. I know. Don't have to say it again."
"Then you aren't mad at me?"
"Never was," I chuckled.
"Then I worried for nothing," Rex's lips said against mine as his arms were held around my waist. "I've been waiting for a long time for this."
Then, I made the first move in kissing Rex this time.
"W-We have to g-go, Lil' S-Skywalker," Rex said between our lips.
"W-Wait..." I sighed against the movement our lips. Rex and I couldn't be with each other much due to our love being secret.
Seeing each other after missions was a problem. Rex would had to stay in the clones' stationary on Coruscant and I would stay home at the Jedi temple or living at Padme's apartment at the Senate Apartment Complex. The Jedi Council doesn't know that Anakin and I live with Padme and Karri (Karri was the only exception to live with Padme due to Karri belonging to the Royal House.) at their own apartment because all Jedi had to live at the Jedi temple. It's pretty common for Anakin and I to live in Padme's apartment because nobody notices. Not only that but Boba, my son also lives at Padme's apartment whenever he comes back from his bounty missions. There are some nights that Anakin could call out Rex from their clones' stationary and come stay at Padme's apartment. Obviously, Rex had found out about Padme's and Anakin's secretive relationship, which he was shocked about, but understood the situation. Rex promised to keep their love a secret as well. Padme was glad that I was able to fall in love again because she was worried that my previous lovesick for Jango would never go away. Which I have gotten used to forgetting but Jango could never be erased from my memories.
"Lina," Karri's voice came through my comlink. "The liquid Tibanna are set and everyone is armed and ready to go."
Rex and I pulled away. "We have to go," Rex sighed. "It's going to be a while when we can meet like this again."
"It's hard. I know," I sighed as well, "Keeping this secret."
"We will find other ways to see each other, don’t worry." Before Rex put on his helmet, he helped me off the counter and lead us out of the restroom.
I followed behind Rex and we found everybody in the control room, setting up the thermal detonators.
"Ready?" I asked.
Karri turned around, "Yeah. We just need to confront those droids and get the heck out of the base when it blows."
Cody who was by her side, said, "Rex, set up the tibanna’s handset while the shinies and I go to the frontlines." Cody handed him the handset tablet.
Rex took the handset from Cody, "I got it."
I watched Rex walked away to the tibanna to set it up.
"Lina, keep your emotions contained," Karri said, with a bit of worry in her tone. “I can sense that your mind isn’t in place.”
"I know," I sighed, "I'm trying." I said as I walked passed by Karri and Cody to join with the rookies in the frontlines. Without a word, Karri and Cody followed behind me.
A droid's voice went through the com. "Open up. Reinforcements have arrived."
"All right, rookies. Get ready," Cody said before he opened up the corridor.
Hevy stood in the front of the corridor with his heavy blaster. The corridor slowly opened up.
The battle droids reacted to our presence, “Clones!”
Hevy shook his head at the droids, "Didn't say please." With that said, Hevy began blasting at the droids.
I used my electromagnetic left glove to equip my mandalorian pistol from it’s holster and began blasting as I defended myself with my lightsaber.
As the droids began closing in on us, Karri shouted out, "Fall back! There's too many." She used the Force to close the corridor entrance as the clones ran back to the control room.
"This will buy us a little bit of time," Karri said as we ran back.
"Rex, time's wasting!" I heard Cody called out.
Once Karri and I were back to the control room, I pushed the button that closed the corridor to the control room.
"What's going on, Rex?" I asked as he was still by the tibanna tanks.
"The handset isn't linked to the tanks," Rex sighed as he stood up. "Hevy!"
"Yes sir!" Hevy came over.
"This detonator isn't working." Rex handed the handset to him.
"I'll take care of it," Hevy nodded over to our escape route. "You guys get out of here."
"Just make it fast," Rex said to him. "Those droids are getting close."
Rex and I rushed to the maintenance pipes which was our escape route. He took out of the metal vent covering.
"Lil' Skywalker, you go in first. I'll follow behind," I nodded as I crawled through the tunnel first and then, Rex following behind me. Of course.
After Echo went in the vent, Cody and I was the lasts ones to go in next.
"Go in, Commander Star."
"I think you should go in before me," I insisted.
"All right but don't be looking at my rear too much," Cody joked.
I giggled, "You wish."
"Hey Commanders, quit flirting and get out of here!" Hevy said to us.
Cody chuckled and went inside first. I followed behind Cody's rear as my smile remained on my face.
I used the Force to push the metal vent covering and jumped out first. Then, Rex, then the two rookies, and lastly Cody and Karri. Rex took the lead and we followed him to the far side of the crater. We came to a halt after we were at some quite distance.
Rex quickly turned around. "Hevy, hit the-" Rex paused. "Where's Hevy?" He pushed his comlink. "Hevy, get out of there."
"The remote isn't working. I have to detonate it manually," then, suddenly, we heard blasting firing through his comlink.
"We've got to get up there," Karri said. "Back to the maintenance pipe!"
"Let's move!" Cody ordered the rookies.
"It's no use." Hevy's voice went through the comlink, "I know what I have to do."
"I don't like your tone, rookie." Rex said before we all rushed back to the maintenance pipe. Rex, Cody, Echo, and Fives continuously try to contact Hevy but it was no use. He wouldn't respond.
Before we could get close to the maintenance pipes, the base has exploded from the inside. Debris of the base began to fall and the platform fell apart. Everything burst into flames in seconds. Falling debris of the ship was about to fall on us but then I stopped it with the Force.
"K-Karri! A-A little help!" I clenched my teeth. Karri opened her palms toward the debris and aid me in moving the debris from our range. Once we dropped it into the pit, Karri and I let out a sigh of relief. It’s all over now.
"Now the Republic will know about the signal," Cody said. "Help is on their way."
"Hevy... He always hated that outpost.." Echo said sadly.
"We must respect our fallen comrade," Karri said as she closed her eyes. I did the same.
"The Force is with him," I said.
"Hevy was truly one heck of a hero," Rex added.
After a while, the gunships arrived to rescue us and transported us to the Jedi Cruiser. Our thoughts never left Hevy, especially Fives and Echo who trained with him.
Master Kenobi and Anakin met us at the hanger bay. They greeted the clones and then to us. Other clones were lined up in two lines with Rex and Cody at the ends of the lines. Karri and I stood by our Jedi Masters. Master Kenobi and Anakin stood in front of Fives and Echo.
"On behalf of the Republic, we thank you for your valiant service." Master Kenobi said to them.
"And we honor your comrade's sacrifice." Anakin said as he and Master Kenobi put metals on the Echo and Fives.
"Your new unit is lucky to have you." Anakin said. “Make those who sacrificed their lives today, proud.”
Master Kenobi gestures a hand to Karri to follow him and she did. Anakin looked at me.
"You should better get yourself cleaned up, Lina. You look like a wreck." Anakin chuckled.
I glared my eyes at Rex. "Yeah. I know that."
Anakin chuckled, "Well, clean yourself up and get some rest. It has been a long day for you."
I nodded to Anakin. "I will, big brother."
Anakin nodded to me with a smile. "Good job, though. You did well." He said before following behind Master Kenobi and Karri.
Cody and Rex turned to Fives and Echo.
“Congratulations, you’re not shinies anymore,” Rex said to them.
Fives and Echo looked at their armor. It was no longer white. There was dark smudged here and there but certainly wasn’t new.
“With all due respect, sir, we failed our mission,” Echo said to Rex. “We don’t deserve this honor.”
“No, if it weren’t for you, the Republic wouldn’t have learned of the Separatists’ invasion until it was too late.”
“You showed me something today,” Red said, sounding proud. His eyes switched off between Echo and Fives. “You’re exactly the kind of men I need in the 501st.”
“Sir, yes, sir!” Fives and Echo both said together as they saluted to Rex.
I smiled at them. “Welcome to the 501st Battalion, Fives and Echo. I'd be proud to fight beside you anytime, anywhere."
Both Echo and Fives nodded to me with proud smiles.
Rex dismissed Fives and Echo. Then Cody dismissed the other clones.
"I'm going to join General Kenobi and Commander Shan with the briefing." Cody said to Rex.
Rex nodded. "All right. I'll join you in a while."
Cody let out a smirk as he put his hand on Rex's shoulder, "Don't be out too long." Cody walked passed us after he nodded to me.
Rex came to me, "Well Lil' Skywalker, time to get yourself cleaned up." Rex laughed to himself.
My eyes still glared at Rex, "I'll hit the showers, myself. Thank you very much."
"You sure you don't need my help?"
"No. I got it," I said, sternly.
Rex smiled, "All right. I'll wait for you in your quarters then." I nodded to him before leaving the hangar bay. For my first inspection mission, it wasn’t that bad, but unexpected.
Next Chapter: SWTCW - Chapter 7
Chapter 7 will be the Episode of SWTCW, "Arc Troopers."
(If easier, find the next chapter on my profile)