As I look up and see aging faces, all of them look just like mine, we are all children of the bounty hunter Jango Fett, we were born on the planet Kamino, we fought for the Galactic Republic, and saw the rise of the Empire. I am a number, not a name, I am a clone. I place my blaster into it's holster, remembering my brother and friend, his last words, “Jep, you can't let this happen, Don't you see what you are doing?”, I killed him, the Emperor's orders override all others, that is how we were taught, that is how we must fight, for the Empire, we are Storm Commandos.
“IC-20-1412!!” Shouted Commander, Blinder. I stand up. “Sir!?!” I reply with total obedience, he outranks me, we may be brothers, but he is superior to me. “20-1412, go get Alan, Pave, Juke, and Seer, from the mess hall, I'm putting you in charge of a squad of troopers, your mission is to find the rebel base on Brook.” he said with authority. Brook... that name brings back painful memories. doesn't he know that is where I almost died, I was so different then, so childish, I don't understand myself, but I've changed, all that matters is the mission, I know that now, there is no life or death, only honor, or dishonor.
I walk into the mess hall I am greeted by the smiling face of Juke. “Hey bro!” I give him a cold stare. He nods. Pave stands up, then walks over and greets me; “20.” “Pave.” I nod. Seer looks at me. I walk over to him. “It is time” I say. He stares at me blankly, and stands up without breaking eye contact. Alan keeps staring at his food mumbling. I walk over to him and place me hand on his shoulder. Without looking at me he stands up, then he quickly turns around and gives me a wild look. “Alan, Blinder has sent us to Brook.” He looks at me, spits in my face, then sits back down, and stares at his food with a strange look in his eye. I see a tear roll down his cheek. I walk over to Pave. “You've known him longest, you talk to him.” “I can try, no promises, he has changed so much.” “We all have.” I reply. I see him talk to Alan, I can't hear what they are saying, but see Alan gets up, and walk over to me. He sticks his finger in my face. “Tenko, I will come with you, but not for the Empire I will come to kill them!” he says “Jep Do Tenko is gone, I am IC-20-1412, remember that.” He looks at me, “Whatever” he says before walking in the direction of the DX-9 stormtrooper transport with Pave, Juke, and Seer. Seer looks back at me. “You coming?” “Yes” I reply, “For the Empire.” While we sit in the DX-9 stormtrooper transport, I try to keep my mind focused on the mission, maybe that will get his voice out of my head, I still can't get him out of my head... Suddenly I feel a hand touch my shoulder. “20?” says Pave “Are you ok?” I give him a blank stare. “Worry about the mission, not me.” I reply. He sighs and walks away. I look at Alan, he has a crazed look in his eye as he applies grease paint. He won't wear a helmet, and I'm sure not going to try to make him wear one, I have more important things to worry about, like these voices, why won't they go away, I am supposed to be numb to emotions now, or at least that is what I was told, so why do I still feel pain? I feel a jolt, we have landed.
We all stand up. The doors open, Seer leans out of the door, “It's clear.” he says. We all walk out, I remember the battle like it was yesterday, I can still hear the screams, I can still hear him, why can't I just forget him, I am the perfect clone, designed to be the ultimate example for future troopers, I was trained to kill Driods, now I almost am one, sometimes I hate my life. Suddenly there was an explosion next to us, I looked, a mine detonated, I see a helmet land beside Pave, I look around, I don't see Juke, he was casualty number one, it doesn't matter though, he was cloned to die. “Come on men, and next time be more careful, or we will all end up like Juke.” I say. I look back and see Pave, he looks concerned, so I go near him. “What's the matter Corporal?” I ask, He looks at me “You are acting like you don't care Juke was just blown up by those Rebel scum!” he says. I look at him coldly “There were 5 troopers in this squad, now there are 4, and I don't want it to be 3, so you worry about yourself, not about Juke, he is dead, that's it, it's over.” I walk back to the front of the squad and continue to lead, we need to go at least 20 miles before dark.
I wake up and look around. It is still dark, so I get up for a walk. I look at at the sky, I see the First moon clearly. I can remember him all to well, I was told by a cadet that he admired my loyalty, and couldn't believe that I could have killed my friend for being a traitor, I can't believe I had a traitor as a friend. He is gone now, dead, that was so long ago, I need to get these voices out of my head. I feel a hand touch my shoulder, I draw my blaster and see Pave, I put it back in it's holster. “Pave? What are you doing here?” I ask. He looks at me and says “20, you are thinking about him aren't you?”. I sigh; “Yes.” “Listen, we all have things we may regret-” “I don't regret killing a traitor!” I interrupt. “Now go back to bed soldier.”
I wake up, I am lying on my back, it is morning now. Time to get up. I get up, and walk over to Seer and nudge him, he wakes up. “Go wake up the others.” “Yes sir” I think about last night, maybe I should apologize to Pave, no, I was right, he was wrong, the Empire cannot be incorrect, that is what I believe, and have always believe, that is what I was taught.
As we walk through the forests of Brook, I here a blaster bolt cut across the sky. “TAKE COVER!” I scream. We all duck for cover as blaster bolt fly all around us. I look at Pave, he nods. His cybernetic arm begins to move, a chain gun style blaster comes out of his wrist. He looks at me “You do know this baby is still a prototype right?” “What are the worst possible odds?” I ask. “We all get blown to next week.” We both suddenly hear a crazed voice, “jurkadir!!” shouts Alan, as we see him running into the blaster fire, we see him get his cybernetic arm shot off, as he screams in pain, but continues charging, blaster fire is all around him, as he jumps at one rebel, grabs him, and holds the soldier in front of himself, as a shield. The rebel screams as he is shot to pieces by his own comrade. I look at Pave, he is just staring, so I punch him in the arm. “WAKE UP! You need to cover Alan!”, “Oh, uh, yes sir.” A huge bolt of plasma flies from one of the 6 barrels on his arm, the blasts come out of the next, and continues going around quickly, rebels are falling left and right, and Alan runs around, with no helmet , and no blaster, killing rebels with his bare hands, I see him grab a rebel by the head bash him against his knee, then throw the stunned rebel into another group of attacking soldiers, knocking a few off their feet, he picks up one of their blasters, shoots three that are lying on the ground, before he is shot in the side of the face. Blood flies out of his head, as he screams in pain, Seer jumps the log he is using for cover, and runs to Alan's side, he picks him up and caries him to cover. Ok, that's it, I don't see how any of us are still alive, and I don't think we will stay that way much longer if we stay here, we are supposed to find and destroy the base, not kill a platoon of rebels before dying. “Retreat!”. We slowly walk backwards into the woods, covered by Pave's fire, we make it safely in a small hole, where the rebel scum won't be able to find us.
I slap Seer on the side of the face, “You fool!” I scream. “What did I do, sir? I was just trying to save Alan.” “Next time leave Alan, you could have gotten yourself killed, Juke is dead, Alan is almost dead, do you really think I need you dead to?!” “No sir, I'm sorry.” “You're SORRY? HA! Sorry won't kill the rebels!” Pave put his hand on my shoulder, and said “Teroch.” It means pitiless in Mando'a, a language spoken on Mandolore, and by some Commandos, I learned it so I could understand some of my officers which spoke it often. I look at Pave. “What?” I ask. “Your old name didn't suit you, at least not anymore, now calm down.” I try to focus. I look back at Seer “Next time be more careful.” I say calmly. “Yes sir.” he reply, as he helps Alan to his feet. “Ok” I say “The rebels were just east of here, they were coming from the north, we need to go about 100 yards east, then keep going north, if we get lucky we will find the base, now move out.”
“K'uur!” I say. “Elek.” replies Seer. “Why are we all speaking Mando'a all of a sudden?” asks Alan, with a bandaged face. “Because, the rebels can all speak basic, but very few can understand Mando'a.” says Pave to Alan. “If they can hear us they will shoot us, I would.” he sneers. “Rebels, all of 'em ganar mir'osik.” (meaning: have dung for brains) I say. “Now keep your voices down, I think I see the base in the distance,” We all start to move north again, I look around and see Pave, his dark visor hiding his eyes, it makes him look emotionless, as he helps Alan over a fallen log, Seer grunts as he almost trips over a rock, he was one of the deciding factors in the Battle of Independence, but it seems like he was almost forgotten, no one thinks of him as a hero, just as another trooper. Alan, he used to be terrified in battle due to a cloning flaw, giving him a mental illness, now he goes crazy, during battle, and won't follow orders, he seems to age the slowest of us all, still pretty young and agile. Thanks to the rapid aging used by the Kaminoans, we were sent to battle at 10 years old, and won't live into our 50's. I wounder what it would be like if Sharkbait was still alive, but no, I must be strong, the Emperor ordered us to kill the Jedi, Sharkbait got in the way, he always was to rebellious. Right now I need to worry about the mission.
We can see the rebel base now. “I see the base.” said Seer. “As do I.” I said. “I wanna kill the rebels, let me blow it up!” screamed Alan. “Alan, you are far to injured to execute the detonation and you know it.” replied Pave. Alan just grunted. We began to move towards the base very quietly, Alan stayed at the back, sulking. “Ramikadyc!” Seer said with a grin. Ramikadyc is a state of mind, that you can do anything you need to to accomplish your objective. We all smiled, this is the first time I have grinned in a long time, it is the first time that I have felt human in a long time, I like it. We see a few rebels guarding the base, I have Seer remove a sniper rifle from his backpack, and order him to shoot the guards quickly and quietly, smallest mess possible. Seer grins, and aims carefully, Pave watches them with binoculars, and shows Seer where to aim to get the perfect and cleanest kill, Seer hits one where the neck meets the head, he falls over dead, no mess, no noise, but the rebels are still able to hear the quiet groan and thump when his body hits the ground. They run around like they are crazy, Seer picks them off one by one, before they can finish calling for help. More will still be out soon, so we start to move along the line of bushes around the clearing, it hides our silhouette. Pave and Alan both wear Standard storm trooper armor, but it is painted a metallic gray, which makes them harder to see in the shadows, so I send Pave out with the explosives, while we lay low.
Pave sneaks around behind the base to the back entrance, aiming his blaster and gracefully shooting the security monitors with ease, he places a small sonic explosive on the lock, it should admit a small but powerful sonic burst, to high pitched for a human to hear, but so dense that it knocks the lock loose, it works, as he swiftly but cautiously opens the door, he sees some rebel troops, they haven’t noticed him yet, he could easily kill them, but then he would be discovered, he slowly creeps behind some boxes and watches the rebels, until the time is right, he sneaks around the outer edge of the large open room, staying behind boxes when possible, and in the shadows when not, it is almost break time, he carefully sets a small charge on the staircase leading to the mess hall, and sets it to detonate at the flip of a switch on his armor, he waits for about 15 minutes, before a bell rings, and the rebels are about to change shifts, he waits until as many as possible are on the stair case, and detonates it, chaos ensues. About 20 dead rebels lie on the ground, and about a platoon are upstairs, unable to get down, he throws a thermal detonator upstairs, which destroyers the only angle of fire the rebels had in the direction of the power supply, he grabs a piece of metal anyway, just in case, and heads over to the power source, and places detonators at strategic points on the cold gray metal, he knows if he doesn't hurry, more troops will be down here soon. He is finished, time to get out of here, it will blow in 5 minutes, he set it so that the explosion won't be to large, but it will cause the building to first loose power, then collapse in on itself, as long as he isn't in it, he won't be hurt, but he needs to get out of here as fast as possible.
As he runs toward the door, he is shot in the back by a rebel, he quickly throws back a thermal detonator, killing the small squad of rebels that just entered the room, he limps out the door, and gives a thumbs up, Seer sees it and signals us, we move out in his direction, and Seer helps him back to the hiding place, we here a boom, then an electrical surge, the lights go out in the rebel base and the alarms turn off, after about 30 seconds, it slowly starts to collapse in on itself, Seer and Alan give Pave a grin, “Good work brother.” they both say. He thanks them and looks at me, “You accomplished your mission, that is what you needed to do, while you were in there I have called to be picked up, Commander Blinder and Captain IC-1701 should be landing in a small clearing 10 miles dead south.
As we walk along, I wonder what happened back there, I felt a surge of emotion, that will not, and can not happen again, I am the model soldier, I was the one chosen by the Emperor to become the ultimate trooper, none can or will surpass me, my days of being Jep Do Tenko are gone, they died along with most of my flesh, I can't worry about that now, I need to worry about finishing the mission. Suddenly I hear a noise coming from a bush to my left, I pull out my blaster aim it at the bush, the others do the same, two robotic hands raise from the bush, a droid's voice calls out, “I mean you no harm!” it steps out, a highly primitive looking thing, rusty, wires hanging out, “At ease men” I say, I look him into his sensors, “What are you doing out here droid?” a male robotic voice answers; “I was in the rebel base, with the troops, however it seems to have been destroyed, do you good sirs by any chance know what happened? I presumed it was a power fail, however when it began to collapse the soldiers began to evacuate, I was most likely the only survivor, you see, my torso contains a gyroscopic function, and my legs contain shock absorbers- so I was able to jump out of-” Alan grabbed the droid's head, and slammed it on the ground. “You talk to much.” he said with anger.” I place my hand on his shoulder. “Alan, this droid most likely contains useful information, don't break it!” he grunts and gets up, the droid looks at Alan, it looks like it is scanning something, he stands up “OH MY! You good sirs are imperial clones aren't you?” we all step back a little shocked. “during the clone wars I saw many of you! I even made connections with some, I am programed to act like a sentient being, however obviously I am 100% machine!” I look at it with annoyance. “Then you were built by the Galactic Republic?” “Oh yes sir!” it said “you see I am not quiet sure how I ended up in the hands of the rebels, however I assume it had something to do with a change in ownership, but unfortunately that part of my memory was deleted.” It is odd that the droid has had such a small section of it's memory deleted, however I doubt it is programmed to lie to us, it seems to be a servant droid, very humanoid form, not exactly a protocol droid though, I think it may prove useful. “Your master is most likely dead, you serve us now.” I say, “Oh yes sir! My pleasure!” it says. “Alan looks annoyed, but as the other seem like they could care less, we might as well take it to Blinder to have it's files scanned. “Come on droid, also what is your serial number? We can't call you “droid” forever.” asks Seer. “I am SB-1717 sir!” “Ok, Ess-Bee now come along with us.” says Pave “Yes sir!” replies the droid enthusiastically, I think I'm going to get sick of this droids personality programming before we get back.