- Recommended Age Rating:
- PG-16 (Extensive Violence/Blood)
- August 2012
- Star Wars: Clones
- Previous book:
- Book 3: Empire Rising
- Next book:
- Book 5: Consequences
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Chapter 1: MemoriesAce laid in his bed onboard the Thrush, a Venator-class Star Destroyer that had been remodeled into an Imperial-I class Star Destroyer. Ace stared at his basic Phase III Stormtrooper helmet, and nearly spat as he looked at it as he remembered the day when he was given it.
I had been forced to switch armor yet again. My armor plates weren’t too bad, though not much of an upgrade from the Phase II. The helmet is what disgusted me. This newest “upgrade” had entirely removed the fin. It looked rather scary, far more intimidating than my previous one, kind of like a ghost. But what made me mad was the fact that I couldn’t put my telescopic eye or antenna attachment, and was told not to modify it due to it costing too much in materials, and it made mass repair and replacement too difficult. I told my officer that if I was shot in the face and died, and my helmet needed replacing, I’d take full responsibility for it. He put me on janitorial duty on the bridge for mouthing off. Secretly though, I moved my auto-lock circuitry to it, since it was only visible if somebody else put the helmet on, I also kept my old helmet, just in case I found a use for it later on.
Another stormtrooper came into the room and yelled at Ace, “Hey dimwit, quit daydreaming about geonosians and do something useful!” Ace rolled his eyes and walked out of the room.
Oh, and that was another thing that happened when I became an Imperial Trooper; we got a replacement for Circuit, I still remember the day Ice walked into the room three years ago, like it was yesterday.
Ice walked into the room with his head held high, his short blonde hair spiked up, and his mouth curled up in a prideful sneer like he owned the whole ship. His tone matched his face perfectly, “Ugh. Figures I’d end up on a team with all clones.” He walked over to Greeneye and stared down at him disapprovingly, “What the heck is wrong with your eyes?” Greeneye looked at him and said calmly, “I have a defect that makes them green.” Ice began to laugh and say, “Ha, you look ridiculous.” Greeneye looked hurt and said, “No I don’t!” Ice pushed Greeneye, almost knocking him over, it was then that I decided to step in. “Hey, back off pal, we’re all on the same side.” Ice came stomping over to me, and pushed his chest up against mine, towering over me by about 3 inches, and then said, “And who put you in charge, huh?” I didn’t like his attitude at all, but I held my temper as I said, “Lieutenant Keeli did.” I was shocked when Ice didn’t even seem the slight bit intimidated, and said, “Well, if you haven’t noticed, Keeli isn’t here, so why don’t you back off, shorty?” I stood on my tiptoes, putting me almost nose-to-nose with him, and was disappointed when we were interrupted by an Imperial Officer who came into the room, saying to me, “CT-29-5590, I have a mission for you and your team.” I stepped away from Ice, who gave me a glare and said under his breath, “This isn’t over, shorty.” I ignored him, and the Officer continued, “As you know, the Devastator recently captured a Rebel Transport, and captured Princess Leia.” Ace and the rest of the team nodded, and the Officer continued, “Unfortunately, right before she was captured, the Princess downloaded the plans for the Emperor’s Battle Station into an Astromech Droid, which escaped with the plans in an escape pod.” Ace was surprised that the droid had managed to escape so easily, then again, the Princess was known for her unstereotypical skills with a blaster. The Officer continued, “CT-29-5590, I want you and your team to take a transport shuttle down to Tatooine, and hunt the droid down and recover the stolen plans.” Ace nodded, and Ice rolled his eyes and said, “Don’t worry Officer. I’ll make sure the plans are actually recovered.” Ace wanted to punch Ice right then and there, but with the Officer there he couldn’t afford to make a bad display, he held his temper yet again. The Officer nodded, and the six stormtroopers headed down the hallway towards the left hangar. The group gets inside a Lambda-class Imperial Shuttle. I looked around the interior of the ship, it had a much smaller loading bay than an LAAT/i Gunship, but was supposedly able to hold more troops; just another downside of the Empire. The ship slowly lifted into the air and unfolded its wings, and then took off into the depths of space. As they flew down, Ice decided it was a perfect time to finish what he had started, “Hey shorty, come over here, I got something to say to you.” I took off my helmet and walked over to him, and he did the same. We both held up our fists, but once again we were interrupted by Snake, “Guys, we’re on a mission, we can’t afford to have any wounds before we even land.” I lowered my fists, Snake was right. But Ice thought otherwise, he lunged forward and landed a blow on the side of my face, knocking me to the ground. I stood up and spat blood that had begun to well up from my lip, and said, “Pretty brave, slugging a guy in the back when he’s not looking.” Ice just grinned and said, “Why don’t you come over here and teach me a lesson then?” I was just about to do that, but suddenly a voice came over the speakers, “There’s a dust storm brewing up down there, it’s going to be a rough ride as soon as we enter the atmosphere.” A few moments later, the ship was thrown to the left, knocking both me and Ice over. I got back to my feet, and grabbed onto a handle in the ceiling to brace myself. Ice did the same, and glared at me, saying once again, “You’ve lucked out this time, shorty.” I spat more blood, and held my free hand to my lip as we continued down.
We landed on the planet about ten minutes later, and nearly crashed into a massive rock in the middle of nowhere as we did so. The pilot said that the ship couldn’t stay stable on the surface for very long, so we got out and he took off soon after. I scanned the area, trying my best to see through the dust as it swirled through the unbelievably hot air. I spotted a small cave in the side of the rock we had almost hit, and I yelled over the comm for the others to follow me. We managed to get inside, and as we continued on into it, we came out the other side, where the dust storm wasn’t so bad. I pulled out my electrobinoculars, which were extremely inferior and less compact than my telescopic eye attachment, and scanned the area for anything of interest. I spotted something about two hundred yards away, and motioned for the rest of the team to follow me. We reached the point about five minutes later, and found that it was the remains of a Corellian Corvette Escape Pod. We searched the wreck, but found no sign of the droids who had been inside. Though we did find a set of footprints, and a set of Astromech marks on the ground, and we pushed on through the desert.
About an hour later, we arrive at a Jawa Sandcrawler, and through the help of a translator droid that they have onboard, we manage to figure out that the Astromech that we described had been sold not too long ago to a man named Owen Lars. The Jawa pointed us in the right direction, saying the hut was about a mile to the east. I thanked the Jawa, who nodded, and asked if I wanted to purchase anything while I was there, I said no, but Ice said he wanted to see if there was anything he might want to buy. He came out a few moments later holding something I couldn’t see in his hand, and he stuffed it into one of his pouches and we continued on our way.
We reached the Lars’ homestead about twenty minutes later, and Ice promptly kicked the door down, rushing into the room and aiming his E-11 around. A man came into the room, eyes wide as he said, “What’s going on?! I reached over and pushed the barrel of Ice’s gun down, and said, “I’m sorry for my trooper’s rude entry, we weren’t sure if you were armed. Are you Owen Lars?” The man nodded and said, “Now, I don’t want any trouble, I’m just a humble farmer, and I’m neutral in this war.” Ace nodded and said, “I’m sure you are, but you may be unaware that you recently purchased a droid that contained information that is owned by the Empire, we would be willing to pay you for this droid and be on our way.” Owen frowned and said, “I’m sorry, but the droid escaped this morning, my nephew went off looking for it, though I doubt they’ll find it, there are so many Tuskens out there nowadays, that little bucket of parts wouldn’t stand a chance.” Ace nodded and said, “We’ll go looking for it. I’ll pay for it right now, and if we do find it we’ll just keep it.” I handed him a thousand credit chip, and all of us walked outside. I took out my long-range communicator, and radioed our two nearest outposts to keep an eye out for it, if it was still in one piece, it’d end up in the city. As I turned back to call the rest of the team to head back to the spot where we were dropped off, my eyes widened as I saw Ice throw the object he had bought from the Jawa Sandcrawler into the Hut. I yelled, “No!” as it burst into flames, and I heard the screams of Owen and his wife from inside. I rushed over to the door, but it was already too late, they had both been burned to death. I turned to look at Ice, who was laughing with delight as he watched the flames grow larger…
Chapter 2: Meeting the Locals
Which brings us to the present, standing onboard the Thrush, walking down the hallway from my bunker room about three years after the battle of the first Death Star. I looked over my shoulder to see if Ice had left yet, and nearly ran right into an Imperial Officer. I came to a screeching halt, and said, “Oh, sorry Officer, I wasn’t paying attention.” The Officer just glared and said, “Next time be more careful.” I was about to walk away, but the Officer stopped me, “Wait, I’ve actually got a mission for you and your team.” I turned to face him, and he continued, “Recently we discovered that a Jedi by the name of Raun Seguri managed to escape during Order 66, and has been hiding out on Rhen Var, slowly killing off our outpost there. I want your team to land and execute him.” I nodded, and the Officer left. I remembered the time when he had traveled to Rhen Var, almost twenty-five years ago, back when he was still a member of the Republic.
I had traveled there in pursuit of a group of droids, and had lead a rescue mission to save his Captain, Rex, and his team, who had attacked the droids, but had been overwhelmed by the droids. I remembered Hammer, a Clone Commando he had become friends with during the Third Battle of Geonosis. Hammer’s teammates had been killed in the previous battle, and he had temporarily been reassigned to Captain Rex’s team. He hadn’t been in the first attack, and I had chosen him to be a part of the rescue party, along with Greeneye, who had previously been a part of another team, and the rest of Greeneye’s team. Unfortunately, every member of his team was killed except Greeneye, who would have also died if it hadn’t been for Hammer. During the rescue, they managed to defeat all the droids, who were hiding out in a small abandoned village. We began to head back towards the gunship, but I noticed something in the distance. I took a closer look and realized that it was a whole battalion of droids, and there was no way we’d be able to outgun or outrun them. That’s when Hammer said he’d stay to hold them off, I objected, but Hammer said there was no way that any of us would live if he didn’t stay, and I reluctantly agreed. We continued on our way, leaving him in the village. Thanks to him, we just barely escaped with our lives.
Ace walked back down the hallway, and held his hand to his comm as he said, “Jolt, Spike, Greeneye, Snake, Ice. Head to the hangar, we’ve got another mission.
Ace met the team inside the left hangar, and Ace said, “Alright, according to our base on Rhen Var, A Jedi named Raun Seguri has been hiding out on the planet since Order 66, and has been killing members of the outpost to try and gain control of it. We need to get down there, and kill him before he can do anymore damage to the outpost.” Ace saw a shadow fall over Greeneye’s face, he clearly was not happy about returning to the graves of his former teammates. Ice spoke up, and Ace was surprised to hear a hint of fear in his voice, “A Jedi, shouldn’t…shouldn’t we have more troopers? Maybe bring Lord Vader along as well?” Ace shook his head and said, “I’m sure you’ll be able to handle him, after all, you’re very good at murdering people in cold blood.” Before Ice could spit back a reply, Ace got into the ship, and the rest of the team got in as well. Ace held down his hand to his comm, trying to think of things to talk about with the pilot, like how long it would take to reach the surface, and what kind of landing they’d be in for. Ace already knew the answers, but he just wanted an excuse not to have to talk with Ice.The ship landed about ten minutes later, coming to a slow stop on the soft snow of the planet’s surface. Ace remembered what had happened last they had been on the planet, and warned the pilot to stay inside the hangar, and keep the ship’s heat on. The team slowly walked through the snow, which had a thick layer of ice below it. A couple of times, I put my foot through the ice and was nearly plunged into an old abandoned Wampa cave. Ice laughed when I did so, and I thought to myself, “This planet is perfect for him, it has the same icy cold climate as his soul, that is, if he has a soul at all.” We set up camp as it began to grow dark, and we quickly scrambled into the two tents in order to stay warm. I was about to lay down my head to rest, when I heard a ripping noise and a loud scream. I rushed out of the tent to see that the other one that had Ice, Greeneye, and Snake inside, had been torn open. A huge Wampa stood over the tent, and was about to reach its claw inside. I saw Ice come bolting out from the front of the tent without any armor on, and frantically shooting at the beast, but not landing a single shot. The creature just roared in anger, and dropped onto all fours, rushing at Ice. Looking back on it now, I probably should have just left him to die, but for some reason I didn’t. I unloaded a spray of bullets at the Wampa, landing a shot to its side, causing it to turn its attention to me. I yelled at it, “Yeah, that’s right ugly, you wanna go a few rounds?” By that time both Jolt and Spike had come out with their own blasters, and all three of us fired a stream of laser rounds at the creature. After a few moments, it was over. The creature roared in pain, then fell to the ground, dead. Ice took a few steps back, unloading more rounds into the creature. Finally Ace stopped him and said, “It’s dead now, don’t waste your ammo.” Ice didn’t seem convinced, but he stopped firing shots at the creature. Jolt and Spike agreed to take turns along with Ace to keep watch that night, to make sure they weren’t surprised like that again. Ace agreed to take the first watch, and he sat cross-legged outside the tent with a fire lit. He opened up his E-11 blaster and checked its parts, making sure the plasma cell was still full. That was one positive of the new equipment; the E-11 blaster was like the DC-15S, except it had a scope already attached. Also, instead of Tibanna Gas, the weapon used plasma, a slightly stronger material that would be more likely to penetrate armor. Ace slid the cartridge back into the gun, and scanned the area with his electrobinoculars. He spotted the abandoned village about eighteen miles to the west, which would mean it would probably be a half day trek tomorrow. Ace let out a yawn, and shook his head back and forth to keep himself awake, it was almost midnight. He yawned again, and walked into the tent to wake up Jolt to change shifts…
Chapter 3: Fire and Ice
Ace yawned and stood up as Spike nudged him. The sun was just beginning to rise from behind the cold icy plains, and its hot blue flames bathed the sky in a light blue aura. Snake and Greeneye were already awake, and Jolt was just getting up. Spike rolled his eyes and said, “Ice won’t get up from bed, he says it’s too early.” Ace stomped over to the tent. He had had just about enough of this cruel and lazy non-clone excuse for a stormtrooper. He loaded his gun, and fired a blaster bolt into the ground about five feet from Ice’s bed. Ice came flying out from under the covers, and said, “WHAT THE?!” Ace just glared at him and said, “Rise and shine you lazy bum, it’s time to head out.” Ice just stared around with sleepy eyes, and Ace walked back outside. A few moments later Ice came stumbling out of the tent, his chest armor half strapped on, and his mouth curled in a frown. The team packed up the tents, and continued trudging towards the village. After about two hours of travel, Ice fell over and said, “Guys, I’ve got to take a break.” I just glared at him and said, “We’re not even a quarter of the way there yet, get up off your butt, we can take a break in another hour.” Ice continued to lie there, and after a moment I kept walking. The rest of the team followed, all except Ice. I glanced back at him, and saw him slowly stand up and grab a STIM pack from his pouch. I turned to yell at him not to use it, but it was already too late. He stabbed it into his arm, and he got back up. After that he ran ahead of the rest of us, yelling back over his shoulder for us to hurry up. I tried to explain to him that using that stimulator would cause him to be exhausted after it wore off, but he just said, “Oh what-ever.” I didn’t press the matter any further, it served him right anyways. We kept on moving, and after another hour of walking, we stopped to eat lunch. Ice just rolled his eyes and said he didn’t need any lunch, and kept on walking ahead of us. I knew after about another hour of walking we’d catch up to him, and probably find him lying on the ground moaning about how hungry and exhausted he was. We all ate lunch, and Snake checked us all over to make sure we hadn’t begun to get frostbite. Greeneye had a small hole in his glove that had let in too much cold air, and we spent about twenty minutes patching it up to make sure it wouldn’t continue to make him cold. We then kept moving, and as I had predicted, about an hour later we found Ice lying on the ground, moaning in pain about how hungry he was. I tossed him the leftovers of sandwich, and he ravenously gobbled it down. I ordered him not to use another STIM pack, telling him if he did it might kill him, and he obeyed my orders, though I don’t think it was because I had told him to. We kept on moving, Ice trailing at the back of the group so that we had to slow down our pace so he wouldn’t get too far behind. About four hours later, we stopped to eat a small meal, and I figured we had lost about an hour and a half worth of time thanks to Greeneye’s frostbite and Ice’s stupidity. We were just barely half way there, and we would all be feeling sleepy in a few hours, we weren’t going to make it today. I decided that we should set up camp again, and sleep in late, then head off the next morning and arrive at the village around noon. We set up camp again, and this time Greeneye and Snake agreed to take shifts. I told Snake that if he got tired to wake up Ice and tell him to take the last shift.
I yawned and stretched, and sat up, then looked outside, my eyes widened as I saw that it was almost ten in the morning, I had slept in! I looked over at the other tent, and almost screamed as I saw Ice sitting there, sound asleep. I walked over, and set my helmet’s speakers to maximum, then screamed, “YOU IDIOT! YOU FELL ASLEEP!” Ice jumped up, pointing his blaster around. I was so close to shooting him right then and there, and just reporting it as the Jedi had killed him, but no, that would be going as low as him. The rest of us quickly got out of bed and quickly ate breakfast, then packed up the tents and kept moving. I felt myself glaring at Ice the whole time, trying my hardest not to go over and start punching him. About three hours later we stopped for lunch about two miles away from the village, and as we ate I privately talked to Jolt about how Ice was acting, we couldn’t keep him on the team if he couldn’t handle stress like this. Jolt agreed, but said that it would take a lot nowadays to get somebody reassigned, and after all, so long as we accomplish the mission, we have no strong reason to have him reassigned. We finished up our meal, and headed into the village.
I immediately knew something had changed since last time we were here, several of the buildings looked like they had been rebuilt using parts from the ruins of the least sturdy ones. There was no sign of the Jedi though, which indicated that he was probably out either hunting for food, or trying to attack our outpost right now. I took the time to head over to the building that I had last seen Hammer in, and as I dug through the rubble, I found his body. I stared at his face, a look of pure determination on it, lying around him were several dead droids, atleast half a dozen, and I faintly smiled at his courage and strength. I grabbed his helmet and put it into his GAR backpack, hanging onto it to help remember him. I picked deeper through the rubble, and managed to find his DC-17m, a very powerful weapon that would come in useful. It had three different attachments, transforming it from a Standard Blaster, to a Sniper Rifle, and lastly, an Anti-Armor Grenade Launcher. I loaded up all the supplies Hammer had into my backpack, and lastly removed his knuckle-plate Vibroblade. Along with the one I had taken from Gesko during my battle on Tatooine; it could be a formidable melee weapon. I heard a yell from outside, and came rushing out to see what was going on. Standing in the middle of the village was a male Twi’lek wielding a green lightsaber. He was standing over Greeneye, and I yelled, “No!” as I fired at the Jedi. The Jedi jumped into the air, deflecting my shots with ease. Snake rushed past, dragging Greeneye to safety. Jolt, Spike, Ice, and I continued firing at him, but as I ran out of ammo the Jedi jumped towards me, I shut my eyes, preparing to feel the sting of the lightsaber as it bisected me or sliced off my head, but no such feeling came. I opened my eyes, and saw that the Jedi had created a forcefield around himself and me. He deactivated his lightsaber and said, “You’re a clone.” I nodded, waiting for him to use some sort of force power to kill me, but he looked me right in the eye and continued, “Why did you turn on us? Why did you kill my brothers and sisters?” I looked at him and said, “You were the ones to turn on us, you killed my brothers.” The Twi’lek paused and said, “There has been a misunderstanding here. Tell me, what is your name?” I began to say, “CT-29-5…” but then I stopped and corrected myself, “Ace.” The Jedi continued, “Tell me Ace, did you want to attack me? Or were you ordered to?” I said, “I was ordered to, I was told that you attacked our outpost and were killing our troopers there.” The Jedi looked at me and said, “I was not the one to attack the outpost, the outpost attacked me, I had no choice but to defend myself.” I looked at him, unsure of whether or not to believe him, but suddenly I watched as the forcefield disappeared around me, and Ice came rushing forward, opening fire into the Jedi’s back, yelling, “Die filthy Jedi scum!” I shouted, “No!” and threw myself in front of the Jedi, but it was already too late. The Jedi let out a gasp of pain from a blaster wound in his heart, then whispered, “Ace, you have a choice, will you choose to follow those you know you can trust? Or those who are stronger than you?” He let out a heaving breath, then sank to his knees as he died. I stared down at his lifeless body, horrified. He was right, I did have a choice, but I had no idea which path to follow. On one hand, I had a path that lead to power and recognition, but it would mean doing what I knew was wrong. On the other, I had a path that led to freedom, but would cost me my reputation, and maybe even my life…
Chapter 4: Assault on Hoth
Ace stood in the right hangar room of the Thrush. He had been assigned to Sergeant Androx’s team, and would be participating in the battle of Hoth, the primary base of the Rebels. He would be inside the fourth AT-AT unit, of six that were set to land on the planet, as well as eight AT-ST units. Though Ace’s mind wasn’t on the battle, he was remembering Raun Seguri, the Jedi that he had been sent to execute a week before. Spike and Jolt were next to him, talking about the upcoming battle, and Snake was checking on Greeneye’s hand, which had become frostbitten during their trip to Rhen Var. Ace pulled Hammer DC-17m from his backpack, and snapped on the Sniper attachment. It would be very useful in the battle, since it had the ability to switch between Heavy, Sniper, and Standard attack types. Androx walked over to Ace, followed by Ice and twelve of Androx’s personal Spec. Op team members. They were all wearing strange modified helmets, a combination of the Cold Assault Gear, now known as ‘Snowtrooper’ armor, and their special ARF Gear, now known as ‘Scout trooper’ armor. Ace thought they looked ridiculous, but they probably had enough equipment in their helmets to hit a moving object from ten miles away. The team piled into Androx’s Lambda-class Imperial Shuttle, which was marked with a light blue imperial symbol. The dim red glow of the energy-saving lights came on, and the ship lifted off into space, along with several more shuttles, and the eight Theta-class barges. The shuttle landed in the soft snow, and the group stepped out. Ace watched as the Theta-class barges began to land. The first one slowly lifted back off the ground, revealing the lead giant metal “cat walker.” Ace’s heart skipped a beat when the second one began to lift into the air, and the AT-AT fell to the ground, crushing several of the ground troops under its weight. The third, fourth, and fifth AT-ATs landed fine, and Ace let out a sigh as the last one lifted, then he sucked his breath back in again as it swayed back and forth, and then came toppling down, only five yards from him. It crushed one of Androx’s men on the spot, and he screamed as the lower section of his body was crushed under its weight. Ace rushed over to help pull him out, but it was already too late, his ribcage had been crushed. Ace stood back up, mentally saluting the soldier; he hadn’t even been able to participate in the battle. Ace and the rest of the team were lifted into the fourth walker, and the four remaining AT-ATs began their trek towards the Rebel Base, followed by seven AT-STs. (One AT-ST had also been lost in the landing). The first hour was boring; all Ace’s time was spent staring through his electrobinoculars, trying to see if he could find at best, a tauntaun. While scanning the area, Ace spotted something about three-hundred yards off. It was a Rebel scout! Ace yelled for the driver to open the left bay door, and Ace aimed his DC-17m at the Rebel, picking him off with the first shot, it felt good to snipe somebody again. After that, things began to get exciting. Six Rebel snowspeeders came flying across the snow, an opened fire on the walkers. I admired the Rebel’s spirit. As I watched, one of their speeders flew head on at the third AT-AT unit, it didn’t stand a chance, and yet the pilot was so fast he managed to fire a grappling cable and wrap it around the legs of the walker downing it. Then I watched our ground troops. I almost spat as I watched as an entire team of Snowtroopers was wiped out by about twenty rounds from a single rebel ground unit. Did these pathetic shinnies get any training at all? I was disgusted by our troopers. The Rebels were very good, and our troops were complete newbies. No wonder they had been able to blow up the Death Star with only half a dozen ships, our troopers probably couldn’t figure out how to turn the bloody battle station on! I watched as the fifth AT-AT unit went down. I couldn’t tell how or why, perhaps it had just stepped on unstable terrain. That left us with only the lead unit, and the one I was in. Suddenly I spotted a small Rebel pilot on the ground, coming towards the walker, and he had a lightsaber. My eyes widened, the Rebels had a Jedi with them. I yelled to the rest of my team, “Bail!” the bay doors opened and we all jumped out, just as the Rebel threw a grenade into the hull of the ship, causing it to explode. I watched the Rebel rush back towards his side of the field, and for some reason I didn’t shoot him. I could have taken his life easily with a single shot from my DC-17m, but I had a strange feeling in my gut that told me not to. The Androx split us into two groups, my team and four of Androx’s Spec. Ops troopers, and he went with his other seven in another direction. I yelled for the team to follow me, and we headed towards a small Rebel turret field nearby. I switched to my Anti-Armor Attachment, and launched a grenade at the nearest turret, causing it to explode into flames. The four Spec. Ops troopers ran forward, unloading their clips into rebels that were manning the turrets. One of them was shot down by a Rebel with a heavy automatic rifle that I didn’t recognize, and I launched another grenade towards him, causing him to fly through the air. After that we managed to secure the turret field, and blew up as many of the turrets as we could. I spotted a tunnel that looked like it would lead into the Rebel Base, but decided not to go down it, due to it probably being filled with Rebels and would be way too hard a place to fight in. I yelled for the team to follow me.
Ice came up behind Greeneye and said to him quietly, “Hey, kid, Ace wants you to scout ahead in that tunnel and see if it leads to the Rebel Base.” Greeneye nodded, and ran towards the tunnel, aiming his blaster around…
Chapter 5: Man Down!
Ace fired a spray of laser shots at two Rebels that came running out from behind a rock, and they fell to the ground, dead. Ace fired his last grenade as a Snowspeeder came flying right at him, and the pilot screamed as the cockpit burst into flames. Ace ducked as it whizzed past, crashing in a heap of flames and burning metal about fifty yards away. Ace switched to his Blaster Attachment, and unloaded the rest of his clip into another Rebel. Ace grabbed another clip, and fumbled with it angrily to put it into the gun. The one downside of the DC-17m was that it had a clip load into the side of the gun. Ace made a mental note to try and modify it once he got the chance, and make it so the clip loaded from the bottom of the gun. Ace’s mind was yanked from his thoughts about modifications, by a scream over the communicator from Greeneye, “Ace! There are Rebels down here; I need some back up, fast!” Ace yelled back over the radio, “Down where?! Greeneye, come in!” No reply came. Ace frantically looked around, trying to spot where Greeneye had gone, but to no avail. Then he remembered the tunnel he had seen going into the Rebel base. He ran back towards it, rushing down the tunnel. His eyes flicked back and forth, trying to find his teammate, then he saw him, lying on the ground about twenty yards down the tunnel. Ace yelled a battle cry, firing at a group of Rebels that were standing nearby, looking down at Greeneye. Snake rushed forward, shooting a Rebel in the face and spattering his blood all over the wall behind him. Snake yanked off Greeneye’s helmet and Greeneye’s eyes flickered open, as he said, “Ace, I’m sorry…I failed you.” Suddenly Ace spotted a Rebel running down the tunnel with a Grenade Launcher. Time seemed to slow down as Ace yelled, “Snake, get out of there!” It seemed to be an eternity as the ball flew from the Rebel’s Grenade Launcher, hitting the wall right in front of Ace. Ace felt his body being thrown backwards, and he blacked out for a few seconds.
Snake stared back at the tunnel that Ace and the rest of his team had been standing in. He stared down at Greeneye, who had died moments ago. He wasn’t sure what had happened to the rest of the team, all he knew was that if he didn’t get out of there fast, he would be dead. He grabbed his own E-11 and Greeneye’s, and began to dual wield them as the fired at the Rebel with the Grenade Launcher. The Rebel fell to the ground, and Snake began to shoot at the caved in wall, frantically trying to break through to the other side. He turned back to see six more Rebels coming down the tunnel. He fired at them, trying to flatten himself against the wall as they fired back. Greeneye’s gun made a clicking sound and he stared at the readout. Snake mumbled under his breath, “Triple Zero.” As he threw it off to the side, holding his own E-11 with both hands. He downed two of the Rebels, and felt his back brush against the caved-in wall; there was nowhere to go now. He yelled in pain as a laser bolt hit him in the leg, and he fell to the ground, desperately trying to ignore the pain and keep shooting. His eyes flickered as the blood from his leg pooled out onto the ground, and his vision began to close around him. In his last moments, he fumbled for a grenade, and threw it at the Rebels. They scattered, and Snake watched the explosion, then his vision went completely black.
Ace shook his head back and forth as he got up, he stared at the wall that had once led down towards the Rebel Base, and he frantically dug, trying to reach Snake. He heard the sound of blaster shots, then the voice of Snake, though he couldn’t make out what he was saying. Then there was an explosion that rocked the walls around him, and then, silence. Ace yelled, “No!” as he realized both of his teammates were dead. Ace pulled his mind away from his massive grief, and yelled for Jolt, Spike, and Ice to follow him. The small team of four seemed so small now, but Ace ignored it. He ran back out the tunnel, and continued his march towards the Rebel Base. Ace switched to his Sniper Attachment, and zoomed in. He aimed carefully, and his gun’s barrel kicked into the air as he hit a Rebel that had been manning a Hoth Dish Turret. Ace watched as two shots from the MS-1 cannons mounted on the lead AT-AT zoomed overhead, hitting the Rebel Shield Generator about five hundred yards away. It exploded, and Ace and his team took advantage of the confusion to rush into another tunnel that was far closer to the Rebel Base. Ace jumped through a holographic minimap projector, and fired into a group of Rebels that were frantically trying to leave. Ace saw one of them yell into a microphone, “Imperial Troops have entered the base, Imperial Troops-” He was cut off as Ice shot him in the head, and he fell to the ground, dead. The team ran down the tunnel, and Ace was almost shot down by a Rebel hiding in a side passage. The Rebel’s blaster jammed, and Ace shot him down, trying to be more careful to not let the same mistake cost him his life. The team ran down the hallway, continuing to shoot down Rebels, until finally they reached a massive tunnel that held the Millennium Falcon. Ace had heard about this ship, it was owned by a famous Bounty Hunter named Han Solo, and had been the reason that the Death Star had been destroyed. It had flown in, shooting down one of Lord Vader’s wingmen, and causing Vader to spin out of control and out into space. As a result, a member of the Rebels had launched an explosive into a shaft in the Death Star, causing it to explode. Ace opened fire at a Rebel who was standing nearby, and the Rebel screamed as he fell to the ground. Ace watched the ship’s engines start up, and tried to do some damage to it, but to no avail. Ace turned around, and was almost knocked over as Vader himself walked into the room, staring in fury as the ship launched into the air. Ace stared at Vader, the same man who had led him in countless battles during his time in the Republic. Now instead of the brown-haired Jedi, a towering giant with prosthetic attachments and a scary black metal face stood. Ace felt a little sad at the sight of this person, who had once been a member of the Jedi council, that was now one of the most feared men in the galaxy. Ace’s mind snapped back to reality as a blaster shot flew past him, and his head swung to the left. Standing behind a group of boxes was a huge group of Rebels, atleast thirty of them. Ace was about to open fire on them, but he watched as Vader held out his hand, throwing it to the left and moving the boxes aside. Vader drew his lightsaber, and used Force Dash as he ran towards the Rebels. The ones that were farthest from Vader scattered to the left and right, but the ones in the middle had nowhere to hide. Ace watched as Vader swung his lightsaber to and fro, massacring the near-helpless Rebels. Ace was horrified by the screams of pain and pleads for mercy. In the Republic Era, enemies who surrendered would be granted it unless they had committed the most horrible of crimes, such as cold-blooded murder of high officials. Ace couldn’t bring himself to kill any of the fleeing Rebels, but only watched them be shot down by Ice and several other Snowtroopers who had entered with Vader…
Chapter 6: City in the Sky
Ace stood onboard the Thrush. The ship’s left hangar had been damaged during the battle on Hoth, thanks to a ground cannon, and the remaining AT-AT had been carried by the Devastator to the forest moon of Endor. Ace and his team had still stayed onboard the Thrush, and had been sent to the planet of Bespin, along with Lord Vader. Unfortunately, (or thankfully in Ace’s mind), due to the need to capture the escaping Rebels, Ace’s team hadn’t been assigned replacements for Greeneye and Snake. Ace wasn’t too concerned about this, mainly because he didn’t want to have to deal with two more non-clones quite yet. Ace was surprised though when he heard that Vader had requested that the remains of his team would be a part of his personal escort to the planet. Ace discovered later that this was because Sergeant Androx had been killed during the battle of Hoth, and since Ace had been assigned to his team, Vader clearly saw him as a good soldier. Ace stood beside Vader as the Imperial Shuttle landed on one of the many platforms, and a man came walking out to meet them. He had a disturbed look on his face and he said, “No, no, no, no, why me, why did they have to come here?” He stopped talking as he realized Vader had heard him, and he said, “My most humble greetings, I am Lando Callrissian, how can I help you?” Vader walked right past him and said in a cold voice, “The Rebels are coming here, and I am ordering that you turn the command of your soldiers over to me to aid in the capture of them.” Lando replied, “Well, I’d have to speak with a few people before I just do that, I mean, this is a democratic planet, we must have the citizens approval before.” Vader spun around and in one swift motion came to stand in front of Lando, towering over him and saying in a cold tone, “It was not a question, nor a suggestion, but as I said, an order!” Vader said as he held out his arm, using Force Crush on one of the massive engines that held the city in place, it began to sputter and smoke came from it as it began to implode, and Lando yelled, “As I was saying, I had a feeling you would be coming, so I already talked to my advisors, and they have agreed that we could spare our men for a few days for you.” Vader’s hand fell to his side, and the entire city turned a little to the side, causing me to have to brace myself. The six of us walked into the building, and Vader began shouting orders to Lando, telling him to gather supplies that would be necessary to disable the Millennium Falcon’s Hyperdrive.
After about twelve hours of work, the city was finally ready to trap the unsuspecting Rebels. I watched through a window as the Millennium Falcon landed right on schedule on the platform we had landed on this morning. I watched as Lando went outside, greeting Solo and the others, doing a perfect job of fooling them into thinking there was nothing wrong. I ducked into a corridor and watched them walk into another room, and after they were out of sight, my team and I followed. Lando led them into a long dining room, and sat them down to eat, and that was when the trap was sprung. Vader and my team walked into the room, and I pointed my blaster at Solo’s Wookie Partner, Chewbacca. Solo drew his blaster and began to fire at Vader, but Vader used Force redirect to block the laser bolts, and then used Force Pull to yank the blaster right out of Vader’s hands. Solo angrily accused Lando, who replied that he had had no other choice. I escorted Solo out of the room, and after that I was told by Vader to return to the ship, he would handle the rest alone…
To be concluded in Book 5: Consequences (Link at the top of the page)
Behind the Scenes and Trivia
Of all the books in the series, I enjoyed writing this one the most, and my opinion only changed after writing the Prequel about Hammer, which put Decisions in a very close second. I think I enjoyed it most because of the massive amount of time in between this book and the previous one, which gave me a lot of room for memories and flashbacks.
Originally Snake wasn't going to die, but I felt that if he had survived until the fifth book, he wouldn't have really fit in very well.