Join Date: Jan 2004
Chapter 4: Escape from Magenta
The comm. tent was abuzz with activity. The execution of Order 66 was big news and one that would change the galaxy. Hundreds of Jedi were being shot down across the galaxy, some escaping the wrath, but facing it inevitably. The killing of Seliqa Camman had also brought and end to the activities of the sector and now all that was left was to eliminate Separatist activity and clear the planet. There were some twenty odd teams across the planet, clearing out the caves and mountains. Most radars had detected their zones clean, but it was the deadzones where the teams were sent.
It was mid-afternoon at the time Capt. Wefive had sent the message that Order 66 was successful. Commander had ordered all troops to return base, if their objectives were complete. Already, ARC-170 Starfighters were systematically docking themselves at a makeshift hangar in the base. Gunships rose and left the hangar, to aid the return of teams. Republic Assault Ships were looming above in the atmosphere, approaching closer every second, awaiting the mass boarding that would occur.
Magenta’s leader was furious. He was assigned to take out the Jedi, but apparently White’s lead wasn’t of the same opinion. Evidently, he was an ARC trooper. Magenta was now racing Seliqa and Wefive, almost parallel, on the other side of the chasm. At regular intervals, a trooper would get to his knees, aim and fire, unsuccessfully hitting dirt and rocks and then bearing the lead’s curses. What made Magenta lead even more furious was the message he received from base. It was a comm. operator, a novice. “Magenta Squad, Order 66 has been executed, return to base. Repeat, mission complete, return base. Base out.”
Magenta lead stopped in his tracks and initiated comm. with base.
“Magenta lead here. What was that? Order 66 executed? We still have White’s Jedi on our sights! She’s running with White Lead!”
“Base here. Are you sure, lieutenant? We received the message from White Lead, Capt. Wefive.”
“It was a trick. He’s an ARC, he’s with the damned Jedi!”
There was some silence on the line, interrupted by frequent static. The operator was talking with someone, probably of higher authority. After a while, he returned.
“Very well, eliminate both the Jedi and Capt. Wefive. Remember, the priority is the Jedi. Base out.”
Magenta lead looked at his squad, aiming and awaiting his orders.
“Alright, get your assault rifles and let’s go get those turncoats.”
Captain Wefive was at the dock door. He was struggling with the hard-coded lock system the Separatist security had installed. He was trying his best to slice in, but with no equipment and limited skill, it was no use. A few feet away, Seliqa stood, her hand towards the door, concentrating. After a while, she gave up the attempt and sat on a rock. Captain Wefive’s helmet was abuzz with curses and slicing techniques. “Can’t use your Force?” he called out, not turning away from the console.
“No. It’s a strange technique. Never learnt it. Tell me something. What had the Chancellor told you before? Any recordings?”
“No, general. He told us to erase and eliminate all recordings. I wouldn’t know, but I have a feeling he even commanded to keep and eye on us ARCs. He said that he foresaw a plan by the Jedi, to betray the Republic and turn on it.”
“What would the Jedi want to do such a thing?”
“They wouldn’t! I and lots of other ARCs know that. But the other clones are mindless slaves. They’ll do anything. He said that the Jedi don’t want the betterment of the Republic and they’ll turn on him. In his dream Republic, he wants us clones to fulfill the tasks of Jedi. To… wait a sec. Okay, got it. I got the code. Now just to…”
A soft click confirmed that the door was unlocked. A red panel on the door turned green. Seliqa got up and readied herself. Captain Wefive stepped back and reloaded his gun. With a nod, he proceeded to the green panel and pressed it, opening the door.
The bright, yellow light was blinding. Captain Wefive walked ahead, his finger on the trigger. Seliqa followed, shielding her eyes from the sun. It took time, but her eyes eventually got used to the brightness. Ahead was a large dock, a few speeders parked in it. It’s walls were of rock and at the end was a ramp that led to the surface. Wefive dashed for a blaster-equipped speeder. Seliqa followed.
As the two strapped themselves in, they began to discuss their strategy. The speeder majestically rose, it’s repulsorlift kicking into action. It’s well-used blaster cannons extended their muzzles. The hum slowly filled the dock, echoing through the rocky interior. The inside was quiet and the hum was considerably muffled. “Okay,” started Seliqa, adjusting the navigational controls, “We have the speeder. Now we need to make a dash for the… where?”
“Base. I’ll be carrying your dead body. We can get a transport there.”
“Too risky. If something goes wrong, we couldn’t last against a whole base.”
“There’s nobody there! You saw the strength. Some twenty soldiers, that’s all. You can handle them alone.”
“Sure we can’t find any other transports? What options do we have?”
“We can ask from help from some patrolling ARC-170 or a LAAT, but again, it’s a risk. And that means we’ll have to give up the speeder.”
“What do you think?”
“Base. Safer, but we’ll have to pull it right.”
The speeder advanced slowly, and turned towards the exit. Suddenly, the door opened and in came the armour-clad Magenta squad, their guns opening bursts of laserfire. The entry was rushed and fortunately, hardly any shot landed on the speeder. The speeder’s engines roared to life and it blazed out, followed by a number of blaster shots. Magenta followed it to the edge, aiming the speeder with their sniper rifles, but in vain.
The speeder flew in the Crysm skies, leaving a white trail behind. Seliqa had already taken to the guns, looking out for any potential targets. Wefive piloted the craft, flying towards the base.
“Okay, General Camman. Get off those guns. Dead Jedi don’t play with speeder blasters. Do you Jedi have some tricks for faking death?”
“Plenty. I know a good one, works great with Mind Trick.”
“Good. Use it. I’ll try to get to the hangar and steal whatever I can. You find a way keep yourselves and them busy. Oh, and unless you want be a really dead Jedi, don’t try anything stupid.”
“Alright, Captain. Hope this works out.”
“Honestly, I don’t think we have a chance.”