- Recommended Age Rating:
- PG-13 (Violence)
- January–April 2012
- Star Wars: Clones
- Previous books:
Trauma's Prequel: Backtrack(Cancelled)
- Hammer's Prequel: Dark Depths
- Next book:
- Book 2: Cover Fire
If you enjoy this book, please check out my YouTube channel, since I'll be starting an audio version of this series on September 21!
Chapter 1: Birth
Commander Trauma watched the small round object floated around in a containment tube, “So this is what I looked like five years ago.” He was amazed at how small the object was, and how rapidly it seemed to grow, in a few months it would be as large as a normal 5-year old human. It was amazing how the process of cloning worked. He handed the tube back to the Kaminoan who stood in front of him, and she placed it back in a large cylinder filled with several more of the tubes. Trauma smiled, and took one last quick look at the tube, it read 29-5590, he would remember this number, and return here in a year to see how this clone was coming.
A year and a half later…“CT-29-5590, attention!” Lieutenant Keeli shouted as he looked into the eyes of the seventh and final clone in the team that stood before him, “Shinies.” He thought to himself. “Shiny” was the term applied to a young clone, whose armor was metallic white from the lack of battle, it was also somewhat an insult, implying that the clone had almost no training. Keeli pressed a button on his wrist armor, and he yelled, “Show me what you got!” the room instantly went black, except for the dim glow of the seven young clones’ DC-15A Blaster Rifle Scopes. The young clones moved slowly, and the leader of the team, CT-29-5597 said, “5596, how many droids we got?” The clone a few feet to his left pulled out a pair of night-vision binoculars from his satchel, and he stared through them ahead. “I see two Supers up on that ledge there, but they haven’t spotted us yet.” He turned to the right and stared upwards, “And at least four Commandos up there, two have sniper rifles, and a third has a stationary Z-6 modified rotary blaster cannon.” The leader of the team said, “Alright, 5596, 5592, and 5595, you’re with me, 5593 and 5594, sniper positions, I want you to get rid of that Z-6, and 5590, I want you to stay back and give me cover fire.” The clone sighed and looked slightly disappointed, but he nodded and crouched down on the ground, aiming his rifle towards the Super Battle droids. His leader and the other three clones he had commanded rushed forward, crouching behind small ledges and firing upon the Commando Droids to the right. 5590 aimed his rifle upwards towards the super battle droids, firing several rounds at it. The droid fell to the ground, and the other turned towards where the shots had come from, opening fire on 5590. The young clone ducked behind a ledge, yanking out his clip and shoving in another one, he whirled back around the corner, firing several rounds at the super battle droid, until it fell to the ground. He turned to see that his leader had already lost two of his troops, who were lying on the ground, wounded from enemy fire and removed from the battle. Now only his commander and 5596 remained. 5590 looked through his scope, aiming it towards the commando droids he had seen earlier. Two of them had been downed, one of which was a sniper, but several more had emerged from an opening in the wall. Now there were at least ten of them on the ledge. He looked back towards his two brothers who had been told to get into sniper positions; one of them had already been taken out. The other had gone for cover to reload. 5590 turned again, aiming his rifle towards the Commando droids, he looked hard at the sniper, and then pulled the trigger. BAM! Downed in two shots, he turned again, aiming for the one with the Z-6 rotary blaster cannon. BAM! Downed in one shot and the Z-6 was shot off its tripod with another two shots. He held his hand to his helmet and said, “Commander, requesting to move in closer so I can get a better shot.” There was static, then an answer came, “Negative, I can’t lose my cover fire. If you get hit, I’ll be shot down moments later.” 5590 held his hand to his helmet again, “With all due respect sir, if I don’t get a better shot, we’ll both be taken down anyway.” His leader replied, “I said, that’s a negative!” 5590 held his hand to his helmet a final time, “I can’t hear you over all the static and laser fire sir, moving in!” Shouts were heard over his comlink, but he ignored them as he rushed forward, diving for cover behind another ledge, then peeking out to pick off two more of the commando droids, now there were only six of them. Four of the commando droids jumped down from the ledge, landing with perfect balance on the ground below. They rushed forward, using their E-5 blasters to shoot down 5596. 5590 aimed, then held his breath and pulled the trigger, BAM, two of the droids went down, and a third was shot down by his leader. The Fourth jumped into the air, putting its hand behind its back and attaching it to a vibro-blade, unsheathing it. The Commando Droid Captain lands on the ground again, slashing several times with the deadly blade. 5590 rushes forward, just missing getting shot by the two remaining droids on the ledge. He jumps forwards, kicking his feet forward and knocking the commando droid captain to the ground, pinning it to the floor with his foot and holding his rifle to its neck. He fires several fatal shots, blowing the head off the droid. He and his leader dive for cover, and reload, “I’ve only got one clip left, that’s 100 shots at those things, then I’m toast.” His leader says, “I’m on my last clip as well, let’s make those shots count. “The two of them peek out from behind their cover, looking up towards the two remaining commando droids, His commander fires several rounds, downing the first one. The second jumps backwards, aiming its rifle down at them, and firing a shot that wounds 5597 in the arm. 5590 peeks out again, firing his last ten shots at the droid, and misses. His leader pushes his own rifle towards the clone, saying, “Make those shots count.” 5590 grabs the rifle, aiming carefully, “I’ve only got fifteen rounds left.” He dives out from behind the cover, firing five shots at the droid, knocking it off balance. He aims carefully once again, and then finishes the droid off with another five shots, leaving five rounds left in the clip. “That was too close for comfort.” The lights turned back on, and the four downed clones walked out of the elevator, dusting off their armor, looking exhausted and humiliated. 5590 and his leader, as well as the third surviving clone who had stepped out now from behind the ledge, walked forward. Lieutenant Keeli looked at them, then said, “You still need some work as a team, but you still managed to take down those droids. Your number of casualties was far too high though, at best you shouldn’t lose a single trooper. You may only lose up to two to pass the test. You may try again in a week, dismissed.” The seven clones walk down the hall to the mess hall, and they sit down at a table and begin to eat their meals. They talk amongst other clone teams, and compare their scores with each other, all of them trying to prove they are the best. 5590 finishes his food quickly, and gets up to return to the small room that he shared with another three clones. When he got there, he was surprised to see there was another clone already there. The clone was clad in thick camouflage armor and an ARF helmet. He had a green and light gray pauldron over his shoulder, and a modified DC-15S blaster carbine with an extended clip and night-vision scope attached to it. The clone turned to look at 5590, and removed his helmet, a smile on his face. He said, “You wouldn’t happen to be 29-5590, would you?” The younger clone nodded, and said, “And you are?” The clone smiled and said, “Commander Trauma, I was here when you were…born. I vowed to return here in a year to meet you, and see how your training was coming. I was unable to return due to a large battle on Geonosis, I was stuck in a prison with my team and General for almost four months.” 5590 said, “Well, I can assure you that my training is coming along well. Lieutenant Keeli says I am very good at sniping, and may become an ARC Sniper Specialist someday.” Trauma said, “Do you have a name yet? Many clones find their names based off their training and personality.” 5590 said, “No, I don’t, Jedi Master Krell says that clones don’t need a name. Our lives are too short, and it’s pointless to become attached by a name to other clones. “Trauma frowns and then says, “I don’t doubt how wise Master Krell is, but I find a name makes it easier to become acquainted, and easier to make body counts when in battle, it’s less likely to lose a man if you know each team mate and their names. I find you a very good sniper as well, and though you disobey orders from your leaders at some points, it shows quick thinking and planning, for this reason, I would like to give you the nickname, ‘Ace’.” 5590 said, “Thank you commander, but I think I’ll stick to my number, I have to get back to my training now.” Trauma looked disappointed, but nodded and replaced his helmet and left the room. He would never return to Kamino, for two months later he would be slaughtered mercilessly by Savage Oppress on the planet of Devaron. 5590 walked down the hallway back to the training room, where he met up with two of his fellow troopers, 5593 and 5595. The three of them spent some time training in the room they had tested in a few hours ago. Suddenly, there was a loud sound, and the room’s lights went out. A few moments later, the dim red glow of the auxiliary lights came to life, and suddenly an alarm sounded. A voice shouted over the intercom, “Droids have entered the base, alert! Everyone to their stations, we’re under attack!”…
Chapter 2: Defensive Positions
5590 rushed down the corridor with his two fellow troopers, and they soon met up with the rest of their team. The team aimed their DC-15A Blaster Rifles down the hall, and suddenly the door at the end exploded and twelve Super Battle droids began walking through the opening. 5592 and 5593 opened fire and began picking off the droids. A shot from one of them hit 5593 in the arm, and he fell to the ground, yelling in pain. 5592 grabbed him by the legs and dragged him backwards, and 5590 and 5594 opened fire, picking off the rest of the super battle droids. 5596 rushed down the hall with a small electronic screwdriver, and opened up the panel at the end. He turned a bolt and clipped a wire, and the emergency doors slammed shut, but several shots from the other side caused large dents to appear in the door. The seven young clones knew the door wouldn’t hold for long. 5592 dragged his wounded comrade back towards their chamber, and the remaining five clones set up in sniper positions, waiting for the emergency door to be destroyed. It felt like hours, even though it was only a matter of minutes, every dent was noticed, examined. 5590 thought, “That one’s from a Super, that one’s from a Droideka.” Finally, the door gave way, and the room was filled again with the red and blue laser fire. 5590 looked through his scope, and aimed carefully, knocking off two Super Battle Droids. He stared at the Droideka at the back of the room, waiting for it to come within range. BAM! The laser shot fires straight and true, but it’s pointless, the Droideka is laser shielded. 5597 shouts, “Fall back!” and the five of them rush back around the corner. Suddenly, a shot from the Droideka zooms down the hall, and takes out 5595, downing him with a laser bolt in the back. The remaining four troops turn back around, and 5597 says, “That thing is too strong for us, but it’s slow, for it to move faster it has to remove its shields. 5596 and I will open fire at it from the front, and when it transforms, I want 5594 and 5590 to open fire from behind, take that thing down.” The three of them nod their heads, and take up positions. The Droideka rolls down the hall, turning towards 5597 and 5596, opening up and preparing to activate its shield. BAM! Only one shot is needed, right in the back of its optical sensor, causing it to jump around and trying to get a lock on the clones it had seen moments before. 5597 opens fire, making sure it’s dead with several more shots in the head. The team regroups at their room, reloading their weapons and grabbing more equipment. 5593 is placed on his bed, and 5592 tends to his wound, the remaining four troopers open the door that leads to the hallway. 5597 peeks out and looks around, and yanks his head back, just barely missing getting shot in the head by a Commando Droid. The droid rushes forward, killing two clone troopers from another room that weren’t lucky enough to have their armor on yet. The commando droid turns back towards 5597 and raises its blaster, but before it can fire 5590 shoots it in the arm, and a second shot knocks its head from its shoulders. The four clones rush down the hall, peeking around the other end. They watch in horror as three of their fellow clones are stabbed repeatedly by a Commando Droid Captain wielding a Vibrosword. The Droid turns towards them, aiming with its E-5 Blaster using its free hand. The four clones duck back around the corner, and 5597 throws a grenade round the corner. The four clones duck as the grenade explodes. They look up, and are surprised by the Commando Droid Captain, undamaged, preparing to fire its Blaster at the four clones. 5590 dives towards the droid, quickly grabbing it by the arm and twisting it around, causing the droid to let go of its Vibrosword. 5590 grabs it from the droid’s open fingers, twists around so that he is now holding the droid by the neck, and stabs the Vibrosword through its chest armor. 5590 turns around, still holding the Commando Droid; which ends up saving his life as two more Commando Droids rush down the hall and open fire on him. The dead Commando Droid takes most of the bullet shots and acts as a momentary shield, long enough for the other three clones to pick off the two droids. The dim red glow of the auxiliary lights goes out, and moments later the main lights come on, filling the room with light. The clones blink their eyes as they adjust to the bright room. They stare around, the dead bodies of clones and droids are all over the place, and the new silence seems strange. Moments before there had been shouting, screams of death, blaster shots, explosives; now, just the low hum of the lights on the ceiling. The four of them rush back to where the form of their brother, 5595 lay dead, killed by the Droideka they had destroyed only minutes ago. The four of them take a moment to give him a last goodbye, before he is taken away by two medics. They return to their room where their comrade 5593 is lying down on his bed, receiving medical care from another clone. The medic wraps a bandage around his arm, and says, “That should do it, thankfully it didn’t hit one of your vital organs, that would have been a serious problem, it should be completely healed up in a month or so.” 5593 says, “Oh joy, I get to sit and watch you guys fail miserably at training, that’ll be a blast!” The medic says, “Though your arm is hurt, since it’s not your dominant arm you should still be able to handle a weapon fine.” 5593 says, “Nonono, I’m fine with watching.” The medic gives him a look as if to say, “Don’t be lazy.” And then leaves with his supplies. The six clones removed their helmets and began walking around the facility, staring at the damage that had been done. After questioning several of the clones who had been involved in the main fight, they managed to piece together what happened. Four clone snipers had spotted a Trident Drill Assualtcraft moving towards the base. They opened fire, but were soon shot down by the TDA. The TDA had flown out of the water and rammed itself into one of the primary cloning chambers, and apparently a Sith known as Asajj Ventress had been on board. She had been sent to steal the original copy of clone DNA and destroy it, thus ending the creation of cloning based on Jango Fett’s Template. But Jedi General Anakin Skywalker stopped her before she could leave, and returned the DNA to its proper location. The Sith had left, and it was unknown as to where she went, or if she would return. Several well-known clones had been killed in the fight, namely Commander Colt, a special ops ARC trooper, who had been slain by Ventress when he had tried to stop her. A deformed clone known as “99” had also been killed while trying to help Commander Cody get grenades to fight off attacking droids. After the battle, two clone troopers, CT-27-5555, nicknamed “Fives”, and CT-21-0408, nicknamed “Echo” had been promoted to ARC troopers for extraordinary effort and quick thinking in battle. “Big deal” 5590 thought, “We killed a Droideka and at least ten Commando Droids with only one casualty.” As if on cue, Lieutenant Keeli walked in and said, “You boys did outstanding work today, better than most of the veteran clones did, you killed a Droideka, that’s usually a feat only able to be accomplished by a Jedi or a very well-aimed grenade. I’m proud of you.” 5597 spoke, “Thank you sir!” Keeli turned and was about to leave, but he stopped and said one last thing before leaving, “Take out those separatists, I want to hear stories about each and every one of you, make me proud.” 5597 said, “Thank you sir, we will make you proud.” 5590 spoke, “Guys? Do you think it’s necessary to have a name other than your serial code?” 5596 spoke up, “Yes, I think it is, it builds character and shows uniqueness.” 5593 chimed in, “Then I guess your nickname would be Womp Rat.” They all laughed, but then 5594 said, “Why? Do you have a nickname in mind?” 5590 hesitated, then said, “Actually, yes, what do you think of the name, Ace?” 5597 nodded and said, “I like the sound of that, it suits you well.”…
Chapter 3: Battlefront
The six clones stared around. They were in a LAAT/i Gunship flying near to the ground of the planet Muunilinst. CT-29-5590, now known as Ace, loaded his clip into his DC-15S Blaster. He had been forced to switch to this due to his DC-15A Blaster Rifle malfunctioning, exploding, and nearly killing him. Though the DC-15S was virtually the same weapon only smaller, it lacked several important features. Namely a scope, making it only useful for close range battles, unless you were a really good at spot-shooting. Also, the gun didn’t feature the ability to hold it easily with both hands and lie down while using it, making it uncomfortable for advanced battle tactics. Though the weapon did have one feature that the DC-15A didn’t have, rapid fire, it could fire around ten shots in a single second, making it useful for hitting a moving target. Unfortunately, he still felt at a disadvantage, as all the other five clones in his team still had DC-15A Blaster Rifles. Ace looked down at his arms; they were painted Dark Blue to match the 501st legion, and their leader, Captain Rex. Ace turned to look at the Captain, he was bleach-blond haired, with two DC-17 Hand Blasters, and a DC-15A modified Blaster Rifle strapped to his back. He had a calm and determined look on his face. The Captain put his helmet on, and spoke, “Alright boys, we’re going to move in from the east bridge here, then enter the smaller building here, that’s the power center, we take control of this, and we can black out the whole facility. Any questions.” He said this as if it were a statement, and not a question, he already knew the answer. “Good. Then let’s move.” The fifteen clones inside the gunship readied their weapons, and the blast doors slowly opened. Instantly the quiet sounds of laser fire from the outside muffled by the soundproof blast doors filled the area. Several shots just barely missed the clones inside the ship, and they all rushed out onto the battlefield, crouching low and picking off droids that were coming from the building. A second gunship, this one an LAAT/c carrying an AT-TE lands, and the clones rush towards it. Two of the veteran clones are picked off as they enter the AT-TE, and the thirteen remaining clones jump inside. The clones watch as the LAAT/c is literally blown to bits while still attached to the AT-TE, and the remains of it fall off the armored tank. The massive armored vehicle slowly moves forward, and the clones watch as several other AT-TEs are blown to bits by an anti-armor turret mounted atop a wall on the building. Rex holds his hand to his helmet and says, “Shoot down that turret!” The turret turns its long barrel towards them, and Rex yells, “BAIL!” The clones inside the AT-TE rush for the exit hatch above, and jump off just as a shot from the turret zooms down and hits the AT-TE’s mounted cannon, leaving it in a heap of flaming metal on the ground. Rex holds his hand to his comm and says, “Status report!” a clone behind Ace says, “We lost four more plus the pilot in the explosion, and CT-43-7791 is wounded badly in the arm.” Rex says, “Get him to safety.” Rex turns towards 5597, “Looks like it’s just me and your team now.” Ace’s leader nods and Rex shouts, “Let’s move! We’re sitting droid bait here!” The team runs down the bridge, surprisingly empty compared to the other bridges nearby, almost no droids are on it. Ace aims and tries to pick off a droid, but he misses. He curses under his breath at his DC-15S that doesn’t have a scope, and reloads, nearly getting shot while doing so. He rushes up at the droid, firing several shots at its head. The blasts easily down it, but Ace still finds the DC-15S far inferior to the DC-15A. The small team of seven enters the building from a side door, downing two Commando Droids who are stationed just inside the room next to the door. The team rounds the corner and Rex straps his DC-15A blaster rifle, now out of ammo, to his back, and draws his DC-17 Hand Blasters that are strapped to the sides of his Kama. Suddenly Rex looks up and says, “Take cover, Clankers!” The team scurries in random directions, diving behind ledges and boxes. Ace looks up at the ceiling, watching as six Commando Droids drop down. They had been using magnetic energy to keep themselves attached to the ceiling. The droids begin firing at the clones scattered around the room. Ace watches as Rex rushes up to one of the droids and grabs it around the neck, whirling around and around using the droid as a shield and picking off the other droids in the room. After several shots Rex holds one of his blasters to the droids head, firing a fatal shot through its CPU and throwing its body towards another one of the droids. 5592 and 5593 rush forward towards the hall at the opposite end of the room. 5593 rips the panel off the code pad near the door, and begins hotwiring the inside. 5592 turns and begins firing at the oncoming droids in an effort to defend his comrade. Suddenly a Commando Droid Captain jumps forward, drawing its Vibrosword and slicing through 5592’s rifle, causing it to explode. The trooper is hurled back in the explosion, and he lies motionless on the floor next to 5593. The Commando Droid captain walks forward, preparing to kill the 5593 as well. Ace sees what is about to happen and holds his DC-15S up to his head. He stares at the measly little crosshair at the end of the blaster that can’t even begin to compare to a full-sized long range scope. He closes his eyes, and fires several shots towards the droid. He opens one eye, then the other, and lets out a breath of air as he sees the dead form of the Commando Droid captain on the floor. Without another moment to celebrate his outstanding shot; he rushes forward towards the door which was now slowly creaking open. The two of them rush through the door, soon followed by the other four Shinies. Rex turns to shoot down another Commando Droid, and then picks up the Vibroblade that had been held by the Commando Droid captain. He stabs it into the code pad wiring, and then rushes through the door as it closes. The group turns back around and stares at the massive city in front of them that lies at the end of the hallway. Ace lets out a gasp as he stares at the massive structures, awe-inspiringly tall, with intricate patterns and carvings throughout the pillars and walls that support the buildings. But the moment only lasts for a few seconds, and Rex yells, “Get down!” as a droid dropship zooms over the top of their heads, raining down blaster fire on the clones below. Rex yells, “Take Cover!” and the team scatters around the ground, diving behind pillars and plant life that surround the massive buildings. Ace rushes behind a pillar on the left side of the street and turns to see 5594 next to him. He spots 5593 and 5596 crouching across the street behind a nearby pillar, and 5597 and Rex in a patch of bushes nearby. He looks up at the sky, squinting to see if the dropship was gone. His eyes widen as the dropship zooms right above his head, raining down more blaster fire and several grenades down on his head. He and 5594 throw themselves backwards, and roll with the explosion, landing in a crouch next to the wall that used to be covered by the building’s roof. Now half the building’s roof is caved in and the beautiful pillars that supported it are in shambles on the ground, destroyed in a matter of seconds. Rex yells over the comm, “Get inside the nearest building, then they’ll have to come fight us on the ground!” Rex and the three other clones rush into the building nearest to them, and Ace and 5594 rush into the building with the half-destroyed roof. Ace takes a moment to take off his helmet and reaches into his pack, pulling out a pair of heat-sensitive binoculars attachment and clips them onto his helmet. He folds them down over his eyes and looks towards the sky, staring up at the droid dropship. The vehicle slowly lands on top of the building Rex and the other three clones are in. Several standard battle droids, at least twenty, plus a team of five Commando Droids rush out, aiming their guns around. Ace says, “Let’s get on that balcony, we can snipe them down from there!” The two of them rush up the huge platinum stairs in the middle of the room, probably worth several million credits in just raw material, and the designs on them were so intricate and small that it was probably considered priceless by the Muuns. Ace reaches his hand out towards his fellow trooper saying, “I can maybe take down one or two of those droids with my DC-15S, but I can take out five times as many with your DC-15A.” 5594 hesitates, and then he hands the rifle to Ace, who gives him a nod of approval. Ace turns around and looks through the scope of the rifle, looking closely at the droids as they begin to blast their way through the ceiling of the building, trying to get to the clones below. Ace aims carefully and then fires, picking off four of the Battle Droids and a Commando Droid. Twelve of the Battle droids and the four remaining commando droids jump through the opening in the ceiling, and the other four Battle Droids begin firing at Ace and 5594. Ace rolls to the side, and fires a spray of bullets at the droids, downing two more of them. 5594 fires several shots from Ace’s DC-15S Blaster, downing another droid. The remaining droid turns and is about to flee, but a shot from inside the building blows off its head, and it falls to the ground, its legs and arms twitching as it malfunctions. Ace lowers the rifle and watches as four clones emerge from the hole in the roof. The droid pilot stumbles out of the dropship, reaching for the E-5 blaster that a Commando Droid had been holding. Rex lifts his arm, and pulls the trigger, blasting the pilot fatally in the chest. Rex lets his arm fall limp, and he doesn’t even bother to use the comm as he yells to Ace, “Let’s keep moving, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover before the mission is over!”…
Chapter 4: Ace
Ace aims his DC-15S blaster at a Commando Droid perched atop a turret about fifty yards away. He struggles to get it in his sights, and growls impatiently at the blaster carbine. Its crosshair just isn’t working, no matter how hard he tried; he couldn’t get that little speck of a droid to line up with it. He lowers the carbine hopelessly turns to Rex and says, “I can’t hit him, he’s out of range.” Rex walks up and takes Ace’s carbine, then without more than a few seconds of looking through its crosshair, he pulls the trigger. Ace’s eyes widen as the droid’s top half falls from its legs due to a perfect shot to its ribcage. Rex tosses the carbine back to Ace and pulls out his Blaster Pistols. He then says, “Alright, we’re at the building, we’ll need to move quickly, they’ll be checking in with that droid in a few minutes and soon realize it’s down, we have to be in that base and take them by surprise before security is alerted.” The team rushes along the ground, moving quickly, Ace looks down at the carbine, and he opens his helmet’s log data and leaves a reminder to himself about adding a short-range scope to it. The team reaches a door in about a minute, and Rex pulls a grappling attachment from his belt. He attaches it to one of his blaster pistols and fires it upwards. It lodges itself into a small balcony above them, and he begins repelling himself upwards. The rest of the team follows, and soon they are all standing on the balcony. Ace aims his blaster at the door’s small window, and is about to shatter it, but Rex stops him, “They wouldn’t put in windows without some sort of alarms built in. No, we’ll have to get through a place without glass.” Before they can even begin looking around, the door opens and a battle droid says “All clear here-” The droid stops and stares at the clone team, then says, “Uh oh.” Rex dives at it, pulling it into a choke-hold and rushing into the building. He uses the droid as a shield and blasts two more droids standing inside the door. Ace and the rest of the clones follow, aiming their blasters around and preparing for any other droids. None come, and Rex says, “We must have gotten them just when they were checking in, that means we’ve got another few minutes.” The team rushes down a hallway on their right, and they all stop as the reach the end. The hall widens out into a massive cylinder-shaped chamber, in the center there’s a large thin laser going upwards, this appears to be some sort of power source. Rex says, “We’re here, I see several droids up there on that ledge, Ace, 5593, and 5597, I want you three to come with me, we’ll take control of the power supply. 5594 and 5596, I want you two to hold off those droids.” The two nodded and they began shooting at the droids on the ledge. Rex, Ace, and the other two troopers bolted from outside the hall, running around the grated walkway around the edge of the laser, looking for a control area of some sort. Rex points with one of his blasters towards a room two levels down below, and fires a blaster shot down at one of two commando droids standing next to the door. Ace fires several repeating shots and downs the other one. 5597 begins walking down the stairway to the level below, but suddenly a grenade lands behind him, thrown by a commando droid two levels above them. He dives over the railing, and screams as he falls three levels down. Ace dives over the ledge, and in one swift movement he fires a grappling cable upwards, magnetizing it to the railing above. He fires several repeating rounds and blasts the commando droid’s head off. He repels himself downwards to his wounded comrade. 5597 groans and grasps his leg with one hand, and shakes his free arm violently as he tries to hold in the pain. Ace disconnects the grappling cable and drags his friend to cover. Then he puts his hand to his helmet and says over the comm, “Captain, I think his leg is broken, we need to get him out of here fast!” Rex replies, “Can you get him outside safely?” Ace says, “I think so!” Rex holds down his comm button and says, “5596 and 5594, I need you to get to the bottom level of the building on the outside, then get 5597 out of here!” They both nod and rush towards the hall they had entered through. Then Rex turns to 5593 and says, “Alright, let’s get this thing shut down!” Ace drags his friend along the ground, firing several shots at a droid to his left. Suddenly his gun makes a grinding noise and Ace clips it to his belt shouting, “Blast! Out of ammo!” Ace grabs on with both hands to 5597’s arms and drags him faster along the ground, a blaster shot zooms over his head, and he ducks as more shots just barely miss him. Ace pulls his last grenade from his belt, throwing it at the door several yards ahead. The door explodes and falls outwards, and Ace rushes through the opening. He finds 5594 and 5596 standing nearby, and they grab ahold of 5597. Ace looks at his useless DC-15S blaster, then spots a commando droid’s E-5 Blaster on the ground. He grabs it and rushes back into the fray of battle, shooting down several droids that had almost reached the doorway. He holds his hand to his comm and says, “Captain, have you secured the command center?” Rex says, “Almost, has 5597 been evacuated safely?” Ace says, “Yes, it’s just me now that’s able to give you cover fire sir, I’m not sure how long I can handle these droids, my DC-15S ran out of ammo and now I’m being forced to use an E-5.” Ace is surprised to hear Rex chuckle in reply, “Now you realize how much you get when you can use a DC-15S. We’ve taken the command center, get out of there and evacuate with the other troopers, we can handle it from here.” Ace rushes back out the doorway, and runs towards his fellow troopers who aren’t too much farther ahead of him. They all look back as the massive beam going up into the air fades, along with the rest of the shield being created around the building. They watch as Rex and 5593 emerge from the doorway. Moments later, the building is barraged with aerial attacks from several LAAT/i Gunships. About an hour later after the firefighting has died down, an LAAT/i Gunship lands nearby and picks up the team. Rex pulls of his helmet and says to Ace, “You did well today, You took down at least fifty droids by yourself, and you risked your own life to protect a comrade, since your leader didn’t show the same leadership skills you did, and rushed in without following orders and nearly getting himself killed, I’m officially putting you in charge of this team.” Ace looked surprised, and his ex-commander, 5597 looks at Rex and shouts, “What?!” Rex puts his helmet on and says nothing. A few hours later the team is back in their room on Kamino, and Ace sits and listens as 5597 complains about various things, “My bloody leg is broken, I’ve been deprived of my rank, and I have to use A DC-15S blaster now thanks to Ace here leaving it behind instead of grabbing it.” Ace ignores him, and stares down the back of his DC-15S Blaster. He measures it carefully, and then begins drawing out a blueprint for a medium-range scope and a floodlight. Then he goes and cuts himself the metal and plastic required to build the attachments.
Ace slides the last mirror into the scope and closes it up. Then he slides it into place onto his DC-15S blaster along with his recently finished floodlight. He smiles at how well it fits on the blaster, and then he walks outside to give it a test. He aims it out at the sea, and fires several rounds at a sea turtle floating on the water. He lowers the blaster and stares at the turtle slides over onto its back, killed from a wound in its head. He flips on and off his light, testing its dimness settings. He is about to shut it off, but he notices a reflection. He switches it off, and stares through his night vision scope at the water that is blackened by nigh. He notices it again, a tiny reflection of metal on the water. He squints at it, becoming slightly annoyed at the fact that his blaster. No matter how hard he tries, couldn’t fit a full-sized long-range scope, and only this medium-range one, but he catches himself as he realizes he never would have noticed this in the first place if it weren’t for this scope. He looks at it closely, and his blaster drops to his side, “Aqua Droids!” He says in a loud whisper…
Chapter 5: Water War
Ace reaches for the comm on his helmet, but stops as he realizes the droids are probably tapping the comm frequency. He quietly moves towards the door, and bolts down the hallway to commander Keeli’s room. He bursts in and says, “Droids are attacking the base!” Keeli jumps out of his bed and yanks one of his blasters off of his belt that’s hanging on the wall, aiming it at Ace. Keeli’s dazed eyes clear up and he lowers his blaster, then he says, “What are you talking about?!” Ace says, “I went outside to test my new scope attachment, and I noticed several Aqua Droids moving in the water and surrounding this section of the platforms!” Keeli wakes up his other three troopers, then they rush down the hallway back outside. The five of them stare out at the open water quietly, and one of the other troopers pulls out a pair of long-range binoculars, scanning the water. He stops, and zooms in on a spot a little ways off. The trooper points to the spot on the water, then hands the binoculars to Keeli. Keeli looks through them and then lowers the binoculars and says, “I’d say we’ve got about three-hundred or so of them in there. Go wake up your team and some of the advanced snipers, we’ve got to take out as many as we can before they know we’ve spotted them.” Ace nodded and ran back to the building, he poked 5596 and said, “Droids, we’re under attack, we need to wake up as many snipers as we can.” The clone nodded and they both went down the hall in opposite directions, waking up snipers as they went. Soon they had a team of about a hundred clone snipers. Ace spoke to them all in a loud voice and said, “Alright, we’ve got a team of maybe three-hundred Aqua Droids. I want sixty of you to get into LAAT/i Gunships and snipe at them from above. The rest of you get on water-adapted clone gear, you’re with me. We’re going to attack them head on.” The clones nodded, and Ace suddenly felt a cold chill through his spine. He was barely an official clone trooper, and he had just given orders to more than a hundred clones. He shook off the feeling as he realized the forty clones he had ordered were already preparing for underwater battle. He rushed over to the armory, grabbing a special water-adapted helmet that had breathing tubes coming off it. He removed his own helmet and put on this one. He stared through the heads up display; it had special auto-lock detectors and an air-level timer on it. He made a mental note on his normal helmet to try to add auto-lock detectors to it. He grabbed a water-adapted barrel and screwed it on to his DC-15S blaster. This would make sure that the chamber was completely sealed air-tight until a millisecond before the laser was being shot from the blaster. Without this the blaster wouldn’t be able to ignite the bullet as it was being launched from the barrel of the blaster. Ace slid a large air-tank onto his back, plugging the tubes on his helmet into them. He stood up, surprised at how light the tank felt. Then he realized with astonishment that there was a third tank, filled with helium, designed to help make the tank lighter. He was amazed at the engineering put into it, and decided to make a note of this as well; the idea might later prove useful. He grabbed onto a pair of flippers on the wall, and began walking down the hallway towards the team of forty snipers. He also noticed that his team, 5593, 5594, and 5596 were also clad in the water-adapted armor. (5597 was still wounded from the previous day’s battle, so he couldn’t fight). Ace motioned for the team to follow him, and they all walked outside slowly. He watched the battle unfold, three gunships zoomed overhead, blasting down at the water. He watched as several Aqua Droids floated to the surface, and blaster shots came out of the water, wounding and killing a few of the clones in the gunships. Ace ran towards Keeli, who was ordering his men to take up sniper positions on the platform. Keeli nodded as Ace walked up, and Ace said, “Sir, I have a team of forty men ready to engage the droids in close-range combat, permission to attack!” Keeli said, “Permission granted, as soon as the gunships land and there won’t be any chance of you accidentally being hit by falling debris and troopers.” Ace watched as two of the gunships landed, and as the third was about to land, a blaster shot from an Aqua droid zoomed out of the water, hitting the pilot. The gunship swerved, and Ace stared as it missed the landing point by several feet, hitting the platform full force, and exploding. Ace yelled over his comm, “Attack!” He dove over the edge of the platform, followed by his three teammates, and then the forty snipers. Ace barely remembered what happened in that battle, there was so much laser fire; he was lucky as the one leading the attack to not be shot down. Ace just fired several shots forward, downing a few Aqua Droids, and then he just struggled to not run out of air. A few seconds after the fight had started; one of his tanks had been hit by an Aqua Droid. It wasn’t the oxygen tank, it was the tube holding the helium, and he had trouble staying above where the fighting was going on, since he kept sinking below the battle.
A few hours later…
Ace pulled off his Aqua-adapt helmet, and he watched as his three comrades entered the room behind him. He breathed a sigh of relief; none of them had been killed. Keeli walked into the room behind them, and said, “Ace, you did well in the attack, you were fast to make a plan, and executed it well, we only lost about thirty of the clones, which is amazing considering we were outnumbered three-to-one.” Ace nodded and said, “Just as a heads up, you might want to talk the engineers who built those air tanks. Without the helium to hold us up, I kept falling to the bottom of the water, see if they can make the tanks thicker, or maybe even consider another way to keep us up.”Keeli nodded and left the room, and Ace was left to try and add an auto-lock detector to his helmet. He slowly ran a sharp blade along the top of the helmet, splitting open the hard metal-plastic alloy shell that made up the helmet. He pulled out the electronic viewing screen and the padding, and then began to enlarge the front of the helmet to make space for more electronics. After some work, he had added about a third of an inch to the front, and he put the electronic viewing screen and padding back in. There was just enough room for a circuit board. He went to the armory and grabbed one of the aqua-adapt helmets and began looking inside. He slid out the circuit board for the auto-lock detector, and began slowly copying it by hand with his own tools. After some work, he slid it into place in his own helmet and flipped it on, and then he put the helmet over his head. The helmet was noticeably heavier, but he smiled as he saw the auto-lock detector flashing to the left of his HUD (Heads-Up Display). He walked out into the hallway and threw a piece of the plastic that had been in his helmet towards the other side of the room, and he watched as the auto-lock created a thin line around it. This would come in very handy in stealth missions. He took off his helmet and rubbed his eyes, realizing that he hadn’t slept in almost a whole day, and had skipped sleeping last night because of the fight and him testing his scope out. He brought the Aqua-adapt helmet back to the armory, and then returned to his room to get some very much needed sleep…
Chapter 6: Tests
Ace shook the sleep from his head as he looked up into the face of 5593, now known as Circuit. It had been almost a week since the battle on Kamino, and he had gotten a lot of time off from the fighting. 5594 and 5596 had also chosen nicknames, Jolt and Spike. The only one on the team who hadn’t taken on a nickname was 5597, who still appeared to be angry about his demotion. Circuit said in a surprisingly cheerful voice, “Rise and shine you lazy bum, it’s time to take the test again, remember, if we pass we become official troopers.” Ace sat up and he said, “Is everyone else already ready?” Circuit nodded and Ace said, “Alright, give me a few minutes, I’ll meet you there.” Circuit gave him a look as if to say, “You had better not go back to bed.” And Ace said, “I’m up I’m up!” Circuit left the room and Ace began attaching his armor plates to his suit, and grabbed his helmet and backpack from underneath his bed. He slid his helmet over his head; he had made a few more adjustments to it, such as adding a long-range communications antenna. He grabbed his DC-15S blaster from off the wall, and slid the scope and floodlight attachments onto it. He walked down the hall towards the training room, stopping by the armory to grab four extra clips and a grenade, which he slid into his backpack. He walked into the training room, and Keeli said, “Alright, is everyone ready?” Ace nodded his head and flipped on his HUD, and the test began. Ace held his hand to his communicator and said, “Circuit and Spike, cover fire. Jolt and-” He paused as he thought for a moment that he had forgotten somebody, then he realized, “Jolt and 5597, you’re with me.” 5597 grunted through the comm, annoyed that he had been forgotten simply because he didn’t have a nickname. Ace ignored him and ran forward, followed by Jolt and 5597. Ace aimed carefully and picked off three Commando Droids perched on a ledge, and ducked for cover as a group of ten super battle droids emerged from around a corner. Suddenly 5597 dove from behind his cover, shooting at the droids ahead, downing two of them. He was shot down in an instant, and removed from the battle. Ace silently cursed, annoyed at how 5597 was acting so recklessly. Ace and Jolt peeked out from behind their cover, seeing that the droids had been shot down by Circuit and Spike. Jolt and he rushed forward, shooting down two more commando droids that had emerged from behind the corner. Ace pulled out his grenade and threw it behind the corner, and it exploded, destroying several more droids who had been hiding back there. Suddenly Ace whirled around as Jolt was shot down. Ace looked up and spotted it; a commando droid sniper that was up atop a ledge on the other side of the room. He lunged to the left, ducking behind cover, then peeking out to pick it off. The room lit up again, and Keeli walked in. Keeli said, “You failed again, you may only lose one trooper in this test.” Ace pulled off his helmet and said, “But, when we first took it you said we could lose up to two!” Keeli said, “You’ve already lost two of your troopers in real battle, due to the fewer troops, you are limited to only one casualty in the test now.” Thoughts rushed through Ace’s mind, as he realized that if 5597 hadn’t been so reckless, they would have passed the test. He walked up to Keeli and said, “Permission to talk to you privately sir?” Keeli nodded and they walked into the control room of the test chamber. Ace spoke, trying to keep his anger in, “All of my troopers have followed my orders to the letter, except for CT-29-5597. He’s disobeyed me every time since the battle on Muunilinst.” Keeli said, “There are only two options, since the minimum number of troopers allowed on a squad is five. The first; is to keep him and try to take the test again next week. The second option; is I can request a transfer and put a trooper who’s lost all his teammates in battle, and 5597 will be moved to the KDS.” Ace said, “I need to think about it sir.” Keeli nodded and said, “I’ll give you until tomorrow, but whatever your decision is, you only have one more chance to take the test.” Ace walked back to his chamber, and thought hard. The Kamino Defense Squadron, KDS for short; was looked upon as weak group. Their jobs were simply maintenance and minimal defense in case of a small attack, and they were made up of troopers who failed to pass the final test in three tries or less. He didn’t like 5597 very much, but he didn’t want to be the cause of a trooper being permanently assigned to such a shameful team. He decided to get something to eat, and walked to the mess hall on the other side of the platform. On his way, he was surprised to bump into Rex, the captain who had led him on Muunilinst. Ace said in a surprised voice, “Rex, I didn’t know you were on Kamino.” Rex looked just as surprised to see him as Ace was to see Rex, “Yes, I was stopping by here to see about getting a new team of troopers, since the battle on Muunilinst, I’ve lost nearly my entire original team. What are you doing here? I thought for sure you would have passed your test by now.” Ace frowned and said, “Actually, we just took it for the second time and failed, I’m afraid it’s because one of my troopers is a bit reckless, due to him being demoted, and me taking his place.” Rex said, “Have you reported it to your drill leader?” Ace nodded and said, “Yes, and Keeli has given me two options. I can either keep him on my team and retake the test, or he can assign another trooper and 5597 will be assigned to the KDS.” Rex said, “And you don’t want to make him mad?” Ace nodded and Rex said, “Well, if you’re wondering what to do, I’d kick him off the team. A loose cannon is the last thing your team needs.” Ace was surprised, Rex was the last person he would expect to hear to not give a trooper another chance. Rex said, “Each clone is bred with a few small different traits, I’ve dealt with loose cannons before, and they rarely change. Either they get shot down in battle because of their recklessness, or they cause the death of other troopers. If you keep that trooper on your team, he’ll cause only his own death, or the death of another of your team.” Ace nods, and he walks into the mess hall.
The next day…
Ace walks up to Keeli and says, “I’ve made my decision, I want to request another trooper, and I’d like to specifically ask for a medic, since that’s the only role our team currently doesn’t have filled.” Keeli says, “Alright, I’ll see what I can do, I’ll also inform 5597 that he’ll be assigned to the KDS.” Ace walks away, hoping he hadn’t just made a terrible mistake.
An hour later…
Ace’s eyes close and his neck muscles tense as the door to his room flies open, causing his blaster to fall off its small shelf on the wall. 5597 stares at him with anger in his eyes, “You requested for me to be reassigned?!” 5597 dives at him, wrestling him to the floor. Ace struggles as the other clone punches him in the mouth, causing it to swell and bleed. Suddenly Circuit and Jolt walk into the room. They both stop talking to each other and their’ eyes widen. They grab onto 5597 and pull him off of Ace. Jolt yells, “What are you doing?!” 5597 says, “This idiot requested for me to be assigned to the KDS, and Keeli’s granted the request!” Jolt lets go of 5597’s arm and looks down at Ace, shocked. Suddenly Keeli walks in, and grabs ahold of 5597’s arm and says, “I told you to report to the armory and that you were not allowed to speak to any other troopers unless I specifically told you to.” 5597 walks out of the room with his fists still clenched. Keeli follows, keeping a close eye on the trooper. Circuit closes the door and Jolt looks at Ace, “You requested for him to be assigned to the KDS?” Ace slowly nods and says, “It was a hard decision, trust me. I didn’t just make my decision based off of the battle yesterday. He’s been disobeying me ever since he was demoted.” Jolt says, “Well, I didn’t really like his attitude much either, but you know the shame that is carried around with the KDS, they’re walking failures! 5597 will spend his life cleaning up in the mess hall, he’ll never fight on the front lines again, unless it’s a small attack on Kamino.” Ace nods and says, “I know, but a wise clone told me, once a clone has been bred, it’s almost impossible to change him.” Keeli walks back into the room, followed by another clone with an orange ‘+’ Symbol on his shoulder. Keeli says, “I’d like you all to meet CT-29-5469, he will be your replacement teammate, he’s trained as a medic.” They all look at the clone, his hair is dyed a bright neon orange. Ace notices a hint of fear in the clone’s eye, and makes a note to go a little easy on him. Keeli says, “Alright, you all had better get some sleep, you may try the test for the last time tomorrow…
To be continued in Book 2 (Link at the top of the page)
Behind the Scenes and Trivia
The inspiration for this series mainly came from the book series Star Wars: Republic Commando, as well as Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series. Originally this book was supposed to be the only one in the series, simply a SW: TCW short story, but I enjoyed writing it so much that I decided to continue it.
The team was originally supposed to become fully-fledged clone troopers after their bravery on Kamino at the end of chapter two, but I changed my mind since my goal for the book was supposed to show Ace's time in training throughout the entire book.
Ace's original nickname was going to be Hammer, but it didn't fit his description, and as many of you know, I later gave this name to a certain special Republic Clone Commando.