Join Date: Jan 2004
Chapter 5: The Infidel
The Republic Base on Crysm was very busy. The unexpected contradiction by Magenta had caused quite a stir. The Commander was now sure that the ARC was involved in saving the Jedi. He knew that he couldn’t leave either alive. Commander Soy had seen many battles and learnt tactical planning faster than most other clones. His unique style of strategy and efficiency had gained respect with more than one Jedi.
As soon as Magenta reported that Capt. Wefive and Seliqa Camman had escaped in a blaster-equipped speeder, he had put all starfighters he had back into their patrols. With that, he assigned all radars to track Separatist-ID vehicles, hoping to catch the speeder in the net. Unfortunately, the speeder was not of Separatist build and had a unique ID signature. Soy’s next tactic was to calculate the opponents plan.
Commander Soy knew that the two had to get off the planet, but all known Separatist bases had been cleared and destroyed. Wefive would have to return base to find a Hyperdrive capable vehicle. He could try to board an orbiting RAS, but the resistance inside would be too strong for them. Continuous communication would prevent them from hijacking any vehicle. Even they did find a plan that Commander Soy hadn’t thought of, they wouldn’t have the time and resources to pull it off successfully. With all his bases covered, Soy walked out of the planning tent. The twin Assault Ships were still in the atmosphere, blocking the sun. They were slowly moving South, after which they would land in a large, flat piece of land, for easy boarding.
The mountains echoed with the searing roars of jets of Republic Gunships, Assault Ships and a dozen ARCs. Never had Soy thought that Order 66 would be so difficult. A gun-toting trooper hurried towards the Commander.
“Sir, radars have spotted an airspeeder. Civilian.”
Things were going as the Commander had expected.
“Can you get contact with it?”
“Yes sir. We tried to identify. It’s Captain W-E5S. He says his squad was wiped out by the Jedi.”
The Commander nodded and walked off to the Comm. tent. The tent was busier than a beehive. The Commander walked briskly to a sergeant attempting to initiate contact with the speeder. The trooper directed him to the sergeant and the he, the Commander took the comlink in his own hands. He motioned the sergeant to initiate contact and waited for the other side to click. It didn’t. The line went off-air. With some hammering from the Commander, the trooper fine-tuned the frequency and tried again. The line got through. On the other side of the line came the sound of muffled engines and a radio-voiced trooper.
The Commander’s tone shifted, to a more threatening and commanding one.
“This is Republic Military Base Headquarter, Crysm. Identify yourselves.”
The person on the other line answered without hesitation.
“Captain W-E5S of White Squad here.”
“Captain, this Commander SOY-34. You were to return to base in a LAAT Gunship.”
“Commander, the plan didn’t go right. The Jedi massacred my squad. I convinced her that I’m an ARC and on her side. She believed me and stuck with me. I killed her in this speeder.”
“You did not establish contact with the base after executing Order 66. And you are not to ally with the enemy, even if it is a lie. You will be tried, Captain.”
“I regret my decision, Commander. But otherwise, the mission would have been a failure. The Jedi…”
“Were you aware that Magenta was at the scene? The snipers would have shot the Jedi even if she killed you!”
“Yes sir, but she used her lightsaber to deflect the sniper…”
“Just get to the base ASAP. I will deal with you later. What about the Jedi?”
“Her body lies with me. She’s in the gunner position of the speeder. Beside me.”
“Good. You will be heard at the Military Court at Coruscant, later. They’ll judge you right.”
“Very well, sir. Captain W-35S Out.”
The Captain hung up and the Commander stood. The Commander turned to face the rest of the tent.
“Captain W-E5S is a traitor. He has allied with the Jedi and supposedly brings the Jedi’s corpse here. Keep an eye on the speeder’s progress. When he arrives keep an eye on his activities, especially around the Hangars and Medical. Be ready to shoot him down, if necessary.”
The tent chorused an affirmative and the Commander walked away, knowing that a critical moment was approaching.
A few minutes later came that moment, which the Commander was anticipating. The airspeeder was in sight, at first as a dot, then growing larger. The Commander stood in the center of the camp, where the speeder was bound to stop. Beside him were five troopers, and a sergeant at their head. The speeder arrived, a two-seater with blasters and an excellent repulsorlift. It set down upon the dusty surface, it’s repulsorlift throwing dust everywhere, colouring the trooper’s armour red-brown. The black canopy opened up and Captain Wefive was seen shutting down the engines and carrying out last-minute shutdown operations.
The troopers rushed to surround the speeder and examined it. It was charred by blaster fire, at more than one location and it’s engines were damaged. The speeder itself was of an unknown built, but was about 5 meters long and slightly resembled a T-47. It was grey in colouring, with occasional black and yellow marks. There were two canopies, for one cockpit, which held two personnel. Captain Wefive hopped out and ordered the sergeant to check the other cockpit and deliver the Jedi “corpse” to the medical facility at the base.
The Commander approved the order and asked the Captain to meet him privately, in another “cave-tent” built in the canyon. It somehow served as an office. With not much of an option, Captain Wefive agreed.
The Commander’s cave led to a deeper bunker, furnished with metal and wires. Troops were at computers, radio chatter filled the background and the bunker was anything but silent. The Commander led Captain Wefive to his personal office, a makeshift one. It was a mere room, with a terminal, some seats and low decoration. The Commander sat in his seat and motioned the Captain to sit in a seat opposite to him.
“So, Captain W-E5S. Let’s hear your story.”
“We infiltrated the caves, as per mission plan. Things went well, but we faced heavy resistance in the central cavern. Magenta helped us though. There was some sort of a jamming device somewhere, cause the comlink stopped functioning.”
“That’s strange, Captain.” Marked the Commander, leaning ahead in his chair, “We were having excellent contact with Magenta.”
“The device may not have been extending as far as Magenta’s position. I received Order 66, however, just barely. My troops got it as well. We fired, but the damned Jedi began to slice us down. I knew that we would have died, so I pretended to be a turncoat. She had reason to believe me, since I was an ARC, after all. She did, and we escaped in the airspeeder. I led her here, and on the way, I shot her in the back and killed her.”
The Commander leaned back again. He switched on the comlink and changed the frequency to the medical labs. Once the line was connected, he began, “Medic, get me the medic on Seliqa Camman.” After an apprehensive ‘yes, sir’, the line fell silent. But soon enough, it came back, with a different medic.
“Medic, this is Commander SOY-34. You’re working on the Jedi’s body?”
“Captain W-E5S here reports that he shot the Jedi in the back. Any marks?”
“No, sir. And we checked the entire body. A few mild burns, but nothing fatal. The droids are in perfect condition, and yet the Jedi is… just dead.”
“Our droids are still analyzing and testing. It might be some time…”
“Alright. That will be all, Medic.”
With that conversation over, the Commander turned to Captain Wefive.
“It is obvious you are lying. Since one of our Assault Ships, the Garendator is about to leave in a few hours, I suppose it is best we put you on it and ship you to Coruscant, or Kamino, yes, that’s closer. We’ll get you to Kamino and you will have to answer before the court. Court Martial, that is.”
Captain Wefive sighed and looked down. The Commander leaned ahead.
“Why, Captain? Why have you betrayed us? No, why are you here? Why were you damned ARCs tasked with mundane jobs like that. Captain FD-342, or JX-073 could have been sent, but it has to be you! Damned coreslime. What the hell, just get your worthless body off that seat and take it to the hangar. I’ll have a squad to escort you to the RAS. Oh, and these aren’t your favourite greenhorns, their tough veterans and pure genes. None of your filthy ARC blood. Now go! You are dismissed.”
The Captain got up and through his featureless helmet, the Commander could see that the former was studying him. After a few seconds, the Captain left the tent. As he walked through the metal maze of a bunker, he could feel several eyes on him.