This is great! One of the better Boba Fett fan fics ive read. But i must offer a bit of criticism: the stormtroopers of the Empire, dont have any trace of Jango in them. The only true copys of jango are in the 501st. And the Stormtroopers have a much smaller life span then the Clone Wars clones. Like a normal Stormtrooper, would be ready for combat at age 5, or so. So YT 597 would be ageing rapidly. Thats all i can think of, but other than that its all good. I hope you finish it, im looking forward to seeing the end.
Thanks a lot for the tips on Imperial clones, Mandal. I wasn't sure about whether or not any of Jango's genetic material was still used, but it doesn't really matter either way. That part about Imperial clones having a really short life span hurts though............not sure if I'll be able to take that into accout in my story or not. It really kills my long term plans. You sure about that? How many good years do they have? And what's your souce? *not doubting you, but I'd like to see where you got that as I've tried to look it up and failed; and I'm curious just how canon that is*
Here it is, hope you all enjoy
As the last vestiges of light faded from the Taris wastes, Mandalore Fett and YT 597 watched as the work detail they had been observing started back for the barracks, their shift over. The guards used force pikes set on low to prod slow moving individuals in the right direction. None of the prisoners resisted or tried to defend themselves. They slowly walked back to their barracks, heads down, stirring a cloud of dust as they dragged their feet up the path leading back to their camp. Those jabbed by a pike only raising their hands defensively and stumbling back into line.
Mandalore scanned the formation as it worked its way out of the ruble and into the city of simple barracksÃ¢Â€Â™s, mess halls, and support buildings they had constructed. There must be five thousand prisoners in each of those work crews; and only about fifty guards combined. They must really be sure of themselves; that will work to our advantage. Several binary loadlifters used another trail away from the site. Most had been working to haul away the debris freed by the prisoners, while others used pincer like graspers to crush chunks of foundation too large for the men to move. The ponderous droids worked their way to a large building at the edge of the completed settlement that apparently served as their hanger.
So this is the fate the New Republic gives to the most feared army in a thousand years; mindless slaves building their own prison. A fate far worse then death for a Mandalorian. The question now becomes is there a soul of a warrior locked in those minds, waiting to be freed. Or are they just what everyone believes; useless servants of a dead tyrant.
The sound of coughing and gagging from the column filled the clouded air. The air filter in MandaloreÃ¢Â€Â™s helmet kept the dust out of his lungs; and the guards wore breath masks. However, YT 597 only had a rage to cover his nose and mouth with, while his brothers had nothing.
Stalking the column from the hill-like mounds of debris that rested above the camp, the pair stayed out of sight. The column passed the first erected buildings, moving toward the mess hall. The mess hall was in the center of a well lit open area about one hundred and fifty meters in diameter, with barracks surrounding the outside of the area. A light hung over the entrance to each of the buildings. The mess hall had large flood lights on poles above each of its four corners. The buildings were prefabricated multipurpose plasteel storage units converted for use in the camp. As the column approached, two doors opened. Inside, Mandalore could see stacks of food parcels on the left and right of each door. The guards then split the disorderly column into four single file lines, two entering each door. Shortly after entering the building, the columns exited the rear and broke up; each man finding a place on the ground to sit and eat. Shortly after all the prisoners had left the mess hall, one of the guards removed his breath mask just long enough to blow a whistle. Upon hearing it, the prisoners slowly rose to their feet, leaving the parcels and whatever might have still been in them for the sanitation droids that scurried from their port adjacent the hall. Forming back into their column, they marched to a long, narrow building on the outskirts of the eating area.
Ã¢Â€ÂœTheyÃ¢Â€Â™re being marched to the showers,Ã¢Â€Â whispered YT 597. His emotionless expression couldnÃ¢Â€Â™t conceal the anger in his eyes.
Mandalore detected the hate that was building in the man next to him. Ã¢Â€ÂœWhat happened there?Ã¢Â€Â
YT 597 looked away for a moment. When he returned MandaloreÃ¢Â€Â™s gaze, he was grinning slightly. Ã¢Â€ÂœThatÃ¢Â€Â™s where I woke up.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœWhat do you mean?Ã¢Â€Â
YT 597 looked back toward the showers. Ã¢Â€ÂœAfter I learned of the EmperorÃ¢Â€Â™s death my mind seemed to be in a nebula. I have almost no memory of my capture, coming here, or of the things I did while I was a prisoner. Only incomplete images and scenes; like in a dream. All that changed about four weeks ago. I remember standing in one of the shower booths, my clothes still on, trying to get off the layers of dust that had hardened to me. One of the guards walked by and said something. I didnÃ¢Â€Â™t say anything back to him, I donÃ¢Â€Â™t think I even understood what he said; I just kept rubbing at the dirt that was caked to my face and chest. Suddenly my entire body seized up.Ã¢Â€Â YT 597Ã¢Â€Â™s stare hardened; his memory replaying the incident before his eyes. Ã¢Â€ÂœThe guard had stuck his force-pike into the water around my feet. I could feel the electric currents running through my body as I was frozen there. When he finally pulled it out, I just collapsed onto the floor. I could feel the water evaporating from my skin. As he walked away, I clearly heard him talking to himself. He said Ã¢Â€Â˜I bet that felt like he was hit with a Mando disrupter.Ã¢Â€Â™ He said it with a laugh.Ã¢Â€Â YT 597Ã¢Â€Â™s hands had formed white knuckled fists as he recounted the story. Ã¢Â€ÂœStrangely enough, despite the pain, I felt like IÃ¢Â€Â™d waken up from a long sleep. For the first time since the EmperorÃ¢Â€Â™s death, I was aware of my surroundings. I felt alive again.Ã¢Â€Â
Hearing MandaloreÃ¢Â€Â™s voice brought the former stormtrooper back to the present. Though he relaxed his hands, hatred still kindled in his stare. Ã¢Â€ÂœI managed to shake off the effects of the shock and got to my feet. The only thing I could think off was killing the guard who had done that to me. I looked out of the stall and saw him walking down the row; he was still laughing. I stepped onto the walkway and ran after him. It had been so long since I had run my legs nearly buckled under me, but I kept going. He heard me coming and started to turn just as I reached him. I hit him with all the force I could. He must have hit his head pretty hard when we landed, cause he didnÃ¢Â€Â™t even try to get up.Ã¢Â€Â YT 597 again cast a burning gaze in the direction of the shower building. Ã¢Â€ÂœHe looked up at me as I stood over him with the pike in my hands. I set it to maximum and shoved it down into his chest.Ã¢Â€Â YT 597 looked down at the white dust at his feet. He picked up a handful and watched it slowly pour out of his palm. Ã¢Â€ÂœI donÃ¢Â€Â™t know how long I pressed the pike into him. I only stopped when one of my brothers grabbed me. He told me follow him; that we had to hide in the ruble. I guess he had been awake for some time, but had been acting unchanged. We ran toward the entrance. A guard somewhere behind us must have seen the body and yelled out. As we ran through the doorway, the man who was helping me ran into another guard. They both hit the ground. I stopped; I didnÃ¢Â€Â™t know what to do. He yelled at me; telling me to run. The last I saw off him he was struggling for the guardÃ¢Â€Â™s blaster.Ã¢Â€Â
Mandalore watched as the still soaking prisoners were ushered outside. Ã¢Â€ÂœAnd you blame yourself for leaving him.Ã¢Â€Â
YT 597Ã¢Â€Â™s sharp stare darted to the man next to him. Ã¢Â€ÂœI could have helped him Ã¢Â€Â Together we could have killed the guard and escaped.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœPerhaps.Ã¢Â€Â MandaloreÃ¢Â€Â™s dark visor gleamed slightly in the moonlight that was falling around them. Ã¢Â€ÂœYour heart is in the right place now. You were confused and disoriented, and canÃ¢Â€Â™t be blamed for your actions then. What matters is that you would have helped if you could. In the future you will know what to do.Ã¢Â€Â Mandalore leaned slightly closer to YT 597. Ã¢Â€ÂœTell me. When you killed the guard who had mistreated you; how did it feel?Ã¢Â€Â
The question surprised YT 597; his eyes looked away for a moment. Looking back at his leader, a slight sneer showed on his face. Ã¢Â€ÂœIt was good.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœI donÃ¢Â€Â™t know.Ã¢Â€Â Running his dirty fingers through his short brown hair, his mind wrestled with the question. Ã¢Â€ÂœIt felt good because I was getting even for what he had done to me; but not just because of that.Ã¢Â€Â YT 597 closed his eyes, searching for the words to explain his feelings. Ã¢Â€ÂœIt felt good because he thought he was strong and I was weak.Ã¢Â€Â Opening his eyes, he clenched his right hand and returned MandaloreÃ¢Â€Â™s dark gaze. Ã¢Â€ÂœBecause he was armed and armored while I had nothing; because I won in the face of certain defeat and killed him with his own weapon.Ã¢Â€Â
Mandalore gave a slight nod of his head. Ã¢Â€ÂœSo it is true. You have the heart of a Mandalorian.Ã¢Â€Â Mandalore put his hand on the other manÃ¢Â€Â™s shoulder. Ã¢Â€ÂœCome; letÃ¢Â€Â™s see if your brothers do too.Ã¢Â€Â
Slightly confused by MandaloreÃ¢Â€Â™s reaction to his answer, YT 597 shook his head and followed his leader down the jagged slopes and broken foundations toward the camp. When they finally reached the cleared area that the camp rested in, the work detail had been broken into groups of five hundred and each sent to a barracks. Moving undetected behind one of the barracks, Mandalore and YT 597 watched as the guards emerged from the dull gray metal buildings and met with the perimeter defense units who arrived to relieve them. Over one hundred strong and armed with heavy blaster rifles rather then force pikes and pistols, the perimeter defense unitÃ¢Â€Â™s job was to keep the prisoners in their barracks and foil any escape or riot attempts. As the guards headed back to their own barracks, the perimeter units broke up into three man groups and started patrolling the camp.
Pulling his head back from watching the Republic troopers, YT 597 turned to Mandalore. Ã¢Â€ÂœThis could be tricky; thereÃ¢Â€Â™s more night guards then there used to be. You donÃ¢Â€Â™t need any ID to open the door; you just turn the handle. But thereÃ¢Â€Â™s no way to open it from the inside.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœLet me worry about that; step aside.Ã¢Â€Â Moving around the corner of the barracks, Mandalore positioned himself in a kneeling stance facing the mess hall. With a flick of his wrist, a targeting reticle appeared before MandaloreÃ¢Â€Â™s eyes on his HUD. Extending his arms strait ahead, his left hand supporting his right, the bright red crosshair moved in unison to the center of his line of sight. Breathing slowly, Mandalore patiently waited for the perfect window of opportunity. With a seemingly benign clenching of his fingers, a dart fired across the open field toward the mess hall from his Mandalorian armored gauntlet.
YT 597 looked to see what Mandalore had shot at. A team of guards was half way across the open area and calmly walking in his direction. Ã¢Â€ÂœYou missed.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœKeep watching,Ã¢Â€Â responded Mandalore as he reloaded the launcher; this time with a HE explosive rocket dart..........just in case.
The moment Mandalore stopped speaking one of the mess hallÃ¢Â€Â™s floodlight trees erupted in sparks and fell to the ground. Ã¢Â€ÂœHow did you do that,Ã¢Â€Â asked a saucer eyed YT 597.
Ã¢Â€ÂœNever ask stupid questions while on a mission; come on.Ã¢Â€Â Already on his feet, Mandalore swung his blaster rifle from his shoulder and into his hands. When they reached the front of the building Mandalore shouldered his weapon and sidestepped his way to the door, keeping the guards to his front. Ã¢Â€ÂœOpen it,Ã¢Â€Â he ordered.
Turning the handle, YT 597 slid the large door open just enough to slip through. He starred into the blackness of the barracks for a moment. Ã¢Â€ÂœDonÃ¢Â€Â™t shut the door or weÃ¢Â€Â™ll . . .Ã¢Â€Â Before he could finish he heard the doorÃ¢Â€Â™s lock snap back into position. He turned to see Mandalore stepping away from the closed door. Ã¢Â€Âœ. . . be trapped. Well, weÃ¢Â€Â™ve got a long wait until the guards find us in the morning.Ã¢Â€Â
Mandalore walked past YT 597. Ã¢Â€ÂœTrust me,Ã¢Â€Â said Mandalore calmly as he stepped deeper into the complete darkness of the prison barracks. His helmetÃ¢Â€Â™s light amplification adjusting automatically, allowing him to clearly see the two rows of triple bunk beds stretching to the end of the building. It was painfully obvious that the building was overcrowded. Many prisoners were sharing beds, while dozens more slept on mats or just blankets on the floor. To MandaloreÃ¢Â€Â™s right several prisoners waited in line to use the barracksÃ¢Â€Â™s single refresher. The stench from the backed up unit even penetrated the air filters in his helmet.
Leaving the refresher, a prisoner slowly shuffled back to the bunks. Although he was identical in height to YT 597, the prisoner had dirty blond hair, a slightly leaner physical build, and a different face. There was more diversity in the barracks than Mandalore had expected. The Empire must have been using well over a dozen models of clone when the Emperor died. There are at least ten different faces in here.
When the prisoner tried to pass, Mandalore turned and stepped in front of him. The prisoner stopped for a moment, then tried to walk around the armored figure. Mandalore stepped to the side, again blocking the cloneÃ¢Â€Â™s rout. Unable to get by, the prisoner just stood there. Examining the creature before him, Mandalore observed the prisonerÃ¢Â€Â™s slouched posture, his distant expression, and unfocused eyes.
Using his left hand to lift the prisonerÃ¢Â€Â™s head, Mandalore raised his right index finger and moved it back and forth in front of the prisoners face. Ã¢Â€ÂœLook at me, trooper.Ã¢Â€Â The prisoner showed little response. Ã¢Â€ÂœLOOK AT ME Ã¢Â€Â The clone shuddered slightly and looked up; though his gaze was distant and unfocused. Ã¢Â€ÂœI am Boba, son of Jango Fett; does that mean anything to you?Ã¢Â€Â
The man began to show a glimmer of reaction. His eyes cleared for a moment, and he seemed to try to concentrate on the words he had just heard. However, he began to fade again.
In a quick motion, Mandalore grabbed the prisoner by the shirt with his left hand and struck him across the face with the other. The prisonerÃ¢Â€Â™s eyes cleared again and he raised his hands in a show of defense.
Using only one hand to hold the prisoner up, Mandalore pulled him closer. Ã¢Â€ÂœI have come to rebuild the Mandalorian clans; will you join me?Ã¢Â€Â
The prisoner looked blankly into MandaloreÃ¢Â€Â™s visor, confusion spread across his face. Then, as if some part of his mind had suddenly been unlocked, he understood what had been said. Shaking his head slightly, he rubbed the side of his jaw where he had been hit. Ã¢Â€ÂœYouÃ¢Â€Â™re the lost son of our Father Jango Fett,Ã¢Â€Â asked the prisoner weakly.
Ã¢Â€ÂœI am,Ã¢Â€Â responded Mandalore as he let go of the prisonerÃ¢Â€Â™s shirt.
YT 597, who had been watching the exchange, came forward and put a hand on his brotherÃ¢Â€Â™s shoulder. Ã¢Â€ÂœItÃ¢Â€Â™s true. HeÃ¢Â€Â™s been teaching me about our heritage. With his help, weÃ¢Â€Â™re going to escape this place and live our dreams.Ã¢Â€Â
The former stormtrooper gathered his thoughts. He was still confused, having just awakened from the murky existence he had been living in for over a year. He again gazed into MandaloreÃ¢Â€Â™s visor. Ã¢Â€ÂœYou have come to return us to the ways of our ancestors?Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœFirst answer two questions.Ã¢Â€Â
A ray of hope was beginning to show on the prisonerÃ¢Â€Â™s face. Ã¢Â€ÂœAnything.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœAre you part of a secret Mandalorian cult inside the Imperial stormtrooper corps?Ã¢Â€Â
The prisoner turned to the man standing next to him. YT 597 gave him a nod. Ã¢Â€ÂœYes. Now that the Emperor is dead, all clone stormtroopers wait for the day when a true Mandalorian comes and leads us back to the ways of our fathers.Ã¢Â€Â
Mandalore tilted his head back slightly. Ã¢Â€ÂœI am that Mandalorian. Will you follow me on a crusade that will forever be remembered in the annals of our people?Ã¢Â€Â
The prisoner had a light in his eyes that even YT 597 could see through the darkness of the barracks. Ã¢Â€ÂœYes. IÃ¢Â€Â™ll follow you to the ends of the galaxy if you ask me.Ã¢Â€Â
Mandalore put his hand on the manÃ¢Â€Â™s shoulder. Ã¢Â€ÂœAnd perhaps beyond; if that is where our destiny lies. Come, weÃ¢Â€Â™re leaving.Ã¢Â€Â
As Mandalore and the prisoner moved deeper into the barracks, YT 597 looked back over his shoulder as he followed. Ã¢Â€ÂœBut you locked the door. . .Ã¢Â€Â
A chill ran through Colonel Caldrone as he stepped out of the shuttle and into the night air. As the small craft lifted off, Caldrone scanned the landing pad. The first project to be Ã¢Â€Â˜financedÃ¢Â€Â™ by senator Tarik, it was his pride and joy. Originally designed to be just large enough to land a single large freighter, the senator made a friendly suggestion that a much larger pad would be much more profitable for Taris and for the colonel. Claiming there had been a mix-up with the design plans he had been sent, Caldrone was able to explain away the size and cost in materials. With the war raging and supplies in high demand, it was actually easier for him to skim extra resources into the camp then it would have been in normal times. The New Republic was swamped with matters far more important then his camp, and inconsistencies on his projected supply needs could never be fully investigated.
Rubbing his hands together, he entered the primary control tower, which was part of the durasteel wall that surrounded the padÃ¢Â€Â™s perimeter. Entering the operations deck, Caldrone was greeted by the night watch officer.
Ã¢Â€ÂœColonel, welcome back. How was your trip?Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœTolerable, lieutenant.Ã¢Â€Â Caldrone was only able to conceal most of the satisfaction he really felt about the trip. Ã¢Â€ÂœIs the inspection team on schedule?Ã¢Â€Â
The young officer dutifully checked his arrivals readout. Ã¢Â€ÂœYes sir. TOA is still estimated at zero nine hundred hours.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœVery well. IÃ¢Â€Â™ll be in my quarters.Ã¢Â€Â
The young deck officer started to turn back to his panel, but then a thought hit him. Ã¢Â€ÂœColonel; how did you know we had an inspection coming? We only got the landing authorization a few hours ago.Ã¢Â€Â
Damn!!! Caldrone thought for a moment. Ã¢Â€ÂœMy droid contacted me shortly after I left Taris. Why?Ã¢Â€Â
The lieutenant realized he had overstepped his bounds and shifted to the defensive. Ã¢Â€ÂœNo reason sir. It just seemed odd that you would already know considering you where off station.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœOn your toes; thatÃ¢Â€Â™s good. Just save that observant nature for those murderers out there,Ã¢Â€Â said Caldrone as he pointed out the south viewport toward the prisoner camps.
Ã¢Â€ÂœYes sir; I will sir,Ã¢Â€Â the lieutenant responded, unsure if he was in trouble or not.
Old fool; letting yourself get caught by a young punk like that. This is no time to get sloppy. One more inspection and the galaxy is yours. Caldrone took the lift down to the underground section of the facility. The most sophisticated part of the compound, it was largely built by professional builders during the early stages of the campÃ¢Â€Â™s construction. He decided to detour to his office and update his financial files. Locking his office door behind him, Caldrone settled in behind his large desk.
Ã¢Â€ÂœSecurity sign in; Colonel Caldrone.Ã¢Â€Â He couldnÃ¢Â€Â™t be more pleased. Caldrone was always full of self satisfaction while recording another large addition to his accounts.
The screen to the colonelÃ¢Â€Â™s computer came to life without his having to switch it on. Ã¢Â€ÂœVoice print access code recognized. Welcome, Colonel Caldrone.Ã¢Â€Â The soothing female voice always made it a pleasure to activate the system. "This system has had a security breech.Ã¢Â€Â
Caldrone arched his eyebrow. WhatÃ¢Â€Â™s been going on here? Ã¢Â€ÂœSource of security breech.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœData files were reviewed without authorization 15.24 standard hours ago.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœShow security footage starting at the time of the unauthorized entry,Ã¢Â€Â ordered the colonel as he rubbed his forehead. The screen went blank for a moment, then returned to life. The image of Captain GranÃ¢Â€Â™ell, captured by a secret holo camera hidden behind a see-through panel opposite the desk, nervously opening the phony data files came to life. As time passed, Caldrone could see GranÃ¢Â€Â™ell becoming more comfortable as the files he accessed opened without difficulty.
Take me for a fool, do you? Caldrone hadnÃ¢Â€Â™t expected any trouble from his subordinates, but never the less took the precaution of setting up a dummy file that would easily be available to unauthorized entries onto the system. He tapped a button on the corner of his desk, then proceeded to update his real financial records.
As he was finishing, CZ-37 unlocked the door and entered. Ã¢Â€ÂœIt is good to see you again, Colonel Caldrone. I hope you had a pleasant trip. What do you require?Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœDid I have any callers while I was away,Ã¢Â€Â asked Caldrone as he completed the last entry.
CZ-37 tilted its head as it tapped into its memory storage. Ã¢Â€ÂœYes. Captain GranÃ¢Â€Â™ell was here fourteen hours, seven minutes, and twenty two seconds ago. He requested to see you after the inspectors have gone. He also said that you would be very interested in what he had to say.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœIÃ¢Â€Â™m interested already.Ã¢Â€Â Caldrone grinned to himself as he shut down his desk terminal. Ã¢Â€ÂœSet the appointment for later that night so nothing will disturb us.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœAs you wish, Colonel Caldrone. Will 10:30 that evening be late enough?Ã¢Â€Â
Caldrone stood from his desk and looked at the near edge of his desk. Ã¢Â€ÂœThatÃ¢Â€Â™ll be just fine.Ã¢Â€Â
The harsh Sullust heat even burned through the captainÃ¢Â€Â™s heat resistant suit. Through the volcanic haze, Captain Panah could see one of the stasis ships, its engines going from a low red to white, lifting off in the distance. Its four oversized landing struts, shaped like the foot pads of an AT-AT, revealed their own engines as they slowly bent back into flying position.
Who would have thought WE would ever use these damned things. Turning around, he scanned another one of the monstrous vessels. The engine compartment, which was an extension off the back of the squared hull, loomed over him and the main loading ramp. About as long and far more massive then a Mon Cal Star Cruiser, the ship had only one purpose; the transport of slaves. They carried millions of Wookiees and other enslaved species to the Death Star projects; and their deaths. One and a half million single creature cells line the walls of the shipÃ¢Â€Â™s interior. In stacks of four, the cells were designed for the prisoner to lie on his back through the entire journey. Once all the cells were secured, they would be filled with a sedative gas that would render the prisoners unconscious for the duration of the trip, giving the ship its name. After the battle of Endor the only three vessels of the type known to exist were captured. Abandoned, they were still orbiting the far side of the moon where the Imperial fleet had left them. We should have blown the evil things into space debris then and there.
Prisoners were supposed to be inserted into their cells using some sort of device that was never recovered, making it necessary for New Republic guards to force prisoners to crawl into their cell. This inefficient loading method was the reason all three ships were being used for the transfer. Each ship was capable of carrying the entire camp population. However, it would have been nearly imposable to load prisoners into the top rows and would have taken days to get them all on board.
As his last act as head of security for the Sullust POW camp, Captain Panah watched as the last group of prisoners and their guards slowly emerged from the underground facility and made their way toward him. Taken from the top security section, these were the only dangerous prisoners Panah had dealt with in the year since the camp had opened. Attacks on guards and constant escape attempts had condemned these men to a life of chains and isolation. Most were basic stormtroopers, each identical to one of the twenty seven clone variants that were cataloged in New Republic records. Two hundred and seventy eight, however, were different. All identical to each other, they didnÃ¢Â€Â™t match any clone seen before, and were initially the only fully conscious prisoners in the camp. Slightly taller than the standard stormtrooper, they were completely different psychologically than any stormtrooper, clone or not, that anyone had seen before. They seemed to posses a leadership trait that was remarkable for a clone. Mixed in with the general population, they somehow began to wake up the other clones and started making trouble. The number of conscious clones jumped to over a thousand, and all were getting harder to handle. The decision to segregate the conscious clones before their numbers could grow further sparked outright attacks and large scale escape attempts. Someone in New Republic intelligence decided that it would be better if no one knew about any of this until they could figure out how the unique clones were able to bring others back to their senses. Several attempts by intelligence officers to interrogate the maximum security inmates as to how they had maintained or returned to clarity had gone sour, including the death of one New Republic intelligence officer and severe injuries to another.
Standing at the foot of the stasis shipÃ¢Â€Â™s ramp, Panah watched as the prisoners shuffled past. Tightly chained around the ankles, they made very slow progress. The guards, who had their force pikes and shock shields out, struggled to watch the prisoners and fight off the heat at the same time. The prisoners were only wearing the full body coveralls they had been issued. The searing heat was cutting through them like a vibroblade. Worse, their arms were secured behind their backs by maximum security forearm braces, preventing them from even protecting their eyes from the burning ash and dust that filled the air.
Ã¢Â€ÂœWhat do you think?Ã¢Â€Â
Captain Panah looked over his shoulder to see the base commander. Ã¢Â€ÂœI donÃ¢Â€Â™t think theyÃ¢Â€Â™ll give us any trouble, sir.Ã¢Â€Â Looking back at the column, Panah observed as the prisoners started up the ramp. Ã¢Â€ÂœTheyÃ¢Â€Â™re dangerous enough, but theyÃ¢Â€Â™re also smart enough to know when to play along.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœMaybe; just make sure your men are extra careful getting those barves into their cells. ItÃ¢Â€Â™ll be distracting enough getting them in there even if they wanted to cooperate. If one starts to resist, it could spark a full blown riot.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœWeÃ¢Â€Â™ll be careful, sir.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœI know you will.Ã¢Â€Â The general held a hand over his mouth and nose. Unlike the others, he wasnÃ¢Â€Â™t wearing a breath mask.
Ã¢Â€ÂœYou still think this is a mistake, sir?Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœColonel Caldron says he has the facilities to deal with them, but I just canÃ¢Â€Â™t get over this feeling in my gut that something is wrong.Ã¢Â€Â A smile crossing his face, the old general looked over at his second in command. Ã¢Â€ÂœMaybe IÃ¢Â€Â™m just nervous about getting a field command again.Ã¢Â€Â
Captain Panah got a chuckle out of that. Ã¢Â€ÂœI doubt that, sir.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœAnyway, itÃ¢Â€Â™s not my decision to make; about them, I mean.Ã¢Â€Â Turning to face the captain, the general extended his hand to his longtime subordinate and friend. Ã¢Â€ÂœHurry back, captain. ThereÃ¢Â€Â™s a lot of fighting left out there, and some fool wants us back in it.Ã¢Â€Â
Grinning, Captain Panah took his generalÃ¢Â€Â™s hand and gave him a nod. Ã¢Â€ÂœI will sir.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœCome on, sergeant. LetÃ¢Â€Â™s get these barves to Taris,Ã¢Â€Â yelled the captain to one of the sergeants.
Barely able to squint due to the intense heat, the clones shuffled up the ramp as fast as their shackles allowed. As they got farther into the loading bay, the heat subsided.
Ã¢Â€ÂœHurry, keep moving; our brothers behind us are still burning,Ã¢Â€Â came whispers through the ranks.
Toward the back of the column, the shackles burning into his flesh, one of the clones never took his watering eyes off Captain Panah. No longer. When we reach Taris, weÃ¢Â€Â™ll put up with this no longer. YouÃ¢Â€Â™ll see, rebel. Chained and shackled as we are, weÃ¢Â€Â™ll show you how we can die, thought JC 225. Like Mandalorians
"You set a code to live by. I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted...I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other men, and I require the same from them."