Sunday, December 11, 2005

A Change

I suppose I should have started this some time back, but it seems like so much of what we’ve encountered isn’t worth remembering, it would be too painful, but it should be remembered, if only a reminder of what’s shaped us. I’ve finally found my light, my goal, and that has made it much easier to recall and record the events of the recent past.

I am known to my shipmates as Indira Choteau, but when I landed on the Redemption, I was Cpt. Jardena R. Oneida, combat computer operative, Republic Naval Forces. I graduated in the top 5 of my Academy class, and I had my choice of assignments when I began. Of course, when I began, the Republic wasn’t at war. When I landed on the Redemption, I wasn’t alone. I was with a Jedi, a fugitive, a small serious young lannik, whom I’m quite sure padded our landing on to the ship enough that I’m still here to write about it. He and I were, to the best of my knowledge, the only survivors of a mission on a mostly barren rocky planet. I can’t recall its name, and don’t really care to.

Our initial journey to the surface of the planet was a mission to recover a batch of non-programmed clone primes that had been en-route to the Republic when the ship carrying them was attacked and downed on the planet surface. I still don’t feel comfortable discuss sensitive Republic information, even though the Republic no longer exists. I will say that we were successful in recovering most of the primes. We lost some due to programming problems; others were trying to apply their own applications to the primes. The conflict of the two programs caused some of the men to go insane, we had to kill them, there was no other way to help them. I can’t count how many times my life has been saved by a clone solider, and how many have died to protect me. It has always, and most likely always will, tugged hard at my conscious that they were considered a disposable item of war, the latest and greatest toy of the current conflict. That you can program a living creature with a computer seems almost perverse.

Upon returning to our transport, we were notified that our Padawan friend’s Master had been lost somewhere on the surface while covering our entry onto the planet. Should this journal be found, I will simply refer to him as I know him now, Tassik. We changed course and returned to the planet to see if we could locate and recover his Master. We went with our contingent of clone soldiers to aid us. Ours was an ordered mission of the Republic Naval Forces.
We encountered a Sith on the planet while trying to navigate a cave system where we believed Tassik’s Master was located. We killed her, but not before she managed to injure several and killed one clone solider. We did eventually locate Tassik Master, but she was badly injured. Then there was the issue of a persistent green algae-like life form that had become aggressive since the crash (and radiation leak) from the ship transporting the clones. Tassik could feel it strongly in the force. Apparently it had a deep hunger, and of course it fancied biological matter. And there was the separatist force still present on the planet that we had to contend with. They came in all sizes, simple battle droids, super battle droids and a two footed walker that had an impressive set of laser blasters. We did achieve the upper hand in the battle, for awhile, even using the walker and some of the droids to our advantage.

As we were trying to find our way back to where we’d left Tassik’s Master, a transmission started coming through, but sue to our location deep underground, it wasn’t reaching all of the clones, so being the dutiful republic officer, I relayed the message onto the closest clone to me, W1L. Order 66 meant nothing to me, except that I’d never heard a numerical order with no elaboration. I will never be able to adequately express the grief, rage, anger and bitterness that I harbor towards myself for repeating something as a command that I did not understand, for simply parroting that command. I don’t know for certain, but I fear that solider spread the order to the rest of the soldiers, who, up until that very moment, were our allies, our trusted compatriots, and at times, our friends. And then in an instant, they were none of that.

I had to run after W1L, I didn’t understand what was happening, the clones had all begun to attack the Padawan. I thought they were all going insane, perhaps there was some flaw in them that manifested in this particular environment. I had just help kill 7 who had gone insane, it seemed like a distinct possibility to me. The Jedi were my commanding officers in this war. So, without a moment’s hesitation, I programmed the walker to attack and kill a solider who had personally saved my life that very same day.

The battle nearly killed Tassik. Sadly, it did claim his Master’s life when a clone transport blew up the ship we had placed her in to shield her from harm. Already damaged, the ship stood no chance against the other ship’s guns. I didn’t know she had died until after the battle. We didn’t find out until much later that very few Jedi had survived Order 66.

We had to find a way out of the caves. We had no support, no vehicles, and a huge hungry mass of green algae looking for more tasty things to consume, and me without my bleach. I always forget to bring something. We went in search of a working ship, and decided to find the ship the Sith came in on, she had to have had some type of transport onto the planet. And amazingly, we found it. It was parked on a ledge, obscured by a screen, preventing casual observance. It had some type of force field around it, and even when we managed to get around that, there was a floating ball of mercury-like liquid guarding the ship. I wasn’t good enough to disable the security, and only made it out alive because Tassik pulled me out. The ship exploded, as did the ball of goo, splattering my droid. It was all a bit discouraging. We returned to the original ship, a damaged transport, which worked in its own fashion, for awhile. We were still avoiding clones, and what was now a tidal wave of algae, which Tassik told me had fear. I assured him it couldn’t compare to my fear of death by green algae. As I piloted the ship down the corridors of the cave, the algae was eating away at the ship, making flying hard. We almost made it all of the way, but crashed 300 m away from the tunnel opening. We ran, and when Tassik told me to jump, I followed him with all the faith I had at the time out into the nothingness beyond the cave mouth.

We landed on the most unexpected thing, a large gray space ship, quite solid, quite real, most certainly not the ground, I checked, that was still a ways off. Apparently Tassik’s seemingly blissful jump into nothingness was aided by force knowledge that a ship would be there, not 100’s of meters of falling. I found out later that the ship meant to be there for the express purpose of being our landing spot. How very nice and considerate. As we were being pulled inside, I was pretty sure that it was an Alderanian transport ship; I’d seen its kind before. We were pulled in and the effort to leave the planet began. Fighters quickly located the ship and followed our attempt to leave. I don’t really know about the details, Tassik and I had been taken to the sickbay. His injuries obviously extended well beyond the physical, though let there be no question, his physical injuries were profound. The teenage lannik looked like a farm hardened old man. I didn’t think there was much to done for that on this ship. That turned out to only be partially correct.


Blogger A Army Of (Cl)One said...

*in this timeline*

No...Lt.Cmdr?... you cannot have gone over to them. The Jedi betrayed the republic...It can't be true...You are an officer....

2:25 PM  

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