Ask Star Wars TCW: Brothers in Arms

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Episode 1

War to end all wars! The struggle between the Republic and the Separatist Alliance rages on, dragging more systems into the chaos. On Kabal, the desperate conditions of the world results in a Separatist backed revolt that overthrows the government.

In desperation, the exiled Kabalian Leadership pleads with the Republic for support. In response, a large strike force is being assembled to retake Kabal and restore order.


Walking down a ship’s hallway with his helmet held at the hip Commander Shiro passed the left corridor. In his other glove he held a datapad, examining its content. Sighing at what he just read Shiro shook his head. “Typical, just typical.” The clone officer muttered somewhat bitterly.

Sometimes he hated paperwork as much as the Separatists. At least with clankers we can shoot back at. The sarcastic thought brought little comfort. Putting up the datapad in the satchel Shiro scratched the edge of his goatee beard. His battalion had recently finished a mission capturing a CIS frigate mostly intact at Suarbi. But it had been at a bitter cost, losing many of his brothers and their Jedi general Hanzo Zaar.

I had hoped to get the boys some R&R but this new operation came up at short notice. As much as Shiro hated to admit, it couldn’t be helped. The best that can be done is make sure the men are prepared. The blaster door slid open, revealing the busy hanger before him.

The crew, clones and droids alike were hard at work at their stations. Engines whine in the background and Shiro could also hear the intercom broadcast in the latest update. Entering he saw the hanger’s passage bay opened wide, to receive the incoming convoy of transports carrying fresh troops.

Passing by a hoverlift going in the opposite direction Shiro heard a familiar boisterous voice nearby. “C’mon ya slackers get moving to your quarters. Or I’ll have you all polishing R2 units!” The Commander grinned as he glanced up at his second in command Bodan scaring a squad of shinnies fresh off a shuttle. They ran forward away from the fierce veteran wearing a metal patch on his right hand.

“You never get tired of that do you?” Shiro asked with amusement as he stepped closer next to his old comrade. Bodan glanced over and smirked like a predator.

“Just doing my duty Commander. I assume you’re here to be the welcoming committee with the new general coming in.”

Shiro grimaced, still not used to the concept nonetheless he answered. “More or less Bodan.”

The grizzled captain sighed and commented to Shiro.

”To be honest sir I’m not comfortable with knowing little about this Jedi. We certainly don’t need a second Pong Krell.”

The Commander shivered at the thought. Word had spread through the Grand Army about the tragedy that happened to the 501st and the 212th back on Umbara three weeks ago thanks to the traitorous Besalisk. Shiro found himself squeezing his fists before answering.

“We won’t let that happen Bodan, but let’s try to give the general a chance. Beside the Jedi is bringing additional troops for the unit. We’ve need all hands considering where we’re going next.”

Bodan rolled his one good eyes at the last comment. “Indeed, attacking a whole world full of sep lovers. Don’t worry me and the boys got your back.”

Nodding Shiro allowed himself a smile at what his brother said. Subsequently the small party of transports began to descend. “Alright let’s get this over with.”

Saying that Shiro and Bodan stood at attention as the leading transport landed in front with a thud.

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Reyn

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The convoy was likely much smaller than the commander had anticipated, or in this case needed. A total of just three LAAT gunships, modified to operate in the vacuum of space, came to land in the main hangar bay of the Venator cruiser. As their doors opened up their troops, previously of the 108th Clone Battalion, filed out to stand at attention before the two officers. They carried with them a heavy aura of dread, moving silent and machinelike into position. All accounted for, less than ninety men.

The last off the transport was the new general. A short creature, standing only about four and a half feet tall, garbed in the standard brown robes of the Jedi Order with hood concealing their face. It moved slowly and methodically, bare talons clacking on the floor of the hangar as it walked along the line of troopers, inspecting them briefly before crossing over to stand before Shiro and Bodan.

The Jedi raised it's taloned hands to pull back their hood, revealing the face of a young Fosh. "Commander Shiro?" The alien spoke with a refined Coreworld accent, looking up to address the clone commander and trying to draw himself up as tall as he could. "I am General Ryyat." The corners of his beak turned up into an uneasy grin. "I have been told much of your exploits on Umbara. I shall consider it an honor to serve alongside you and the men of the 87th Battalion." He turned and made a sweeping motion with his hand in the direction of the troops he'd brought with him.

"Your reinforcements. Fresh from Taanab, where they displayed supreme bravery and valor against the Separatist forces." He turned back to the two officers, this time addressing Bodan. "Captain, if you would be so kind as to get the men squared away and committed to their new units, I shall discuss our plans with Commander Shiro for the upcoming operation." It was obvious the young Fosh was trying to make a good first impression, putting on a front of confidence he clearly didn't possess. Even now his fingers gave a slight nervous twitch as he looked up at the two officers expectantly.

(OOC Nice intro by the way, fits perfectly.)
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The sight of the former members of 108th gave Shiro pause. He had been informed of what happened on Tanaab but not in great detail. It’s worse than I imagined. They’re nearly lifeless. The Commander concluded but maintained a professional demeanor in front of them.

The last thing these men need is to be pitied like some crippled animals. It would only add to their pain. They were men who needed to be treated as such. Believing so he gave a silent nod of respect to the 108 survivors. Bodan for his part simply examined them with a neutral expression, no doubt equally concerned about these troops but trying not to outwardly show it.

However, Shiro’s shock was made complete when the last gunship revealed a small hooded figure. The latter came forward with evident talons. Moments later the general removed his hood and introduced himself.

He’s shorter than I expected. Then again General Yoda is not exactly a giant either.

Keeping that line of thought private Shiro listened to the rest of Ryyat’s speech concerning the clones at attenuation. Once the Jedi addressed Bodan who had been staring in puzzlement at the small figure, cleared his throat to hide the embarrassment.

“Yes sir.” Bodan then turned to the 108th survivors and in a more polite yet still commanding tone. “Alright boys fall in.” Bodan would then escort the other troopers away from the gunships.

Once the group were out of earshot Shiro glanced back at Ryyat who was doing everything he could to stay calm. The twitch was a dead giveaway although the Commander pretended not to notice. Doesn’t seem to be like Krell but doesn’t have the confidence of a knight either. Suppressing a sigh he saluted the Jedi out of courtesy.

“Thank you General. Captain Bodan will get the men cleared and they will have time to rest and eat you have my word.” Pausing to collect his thoughts Shiro added with a wave of the hand. “If you follow me sir we can discuss the operation while heading to your new quarters.”

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The clones of the 108th maintained formal order as Bodan took command, trying their absolute best to keep up the appearance of the elite fighting force they had been trained to be. Still as they marched along after the captain, they moved with a certain sluggishness that indicated their exhaustion.

As Shiro looked back at him Ryyat could sense the skepticism in the clone commander, causing the Jedi to swallow nervously. Even so, the officer maintained his professionalism, saluting the anxious general before offering to escort him to his new quarters. Ryyat nodded in approval before falling in alongside Shiro, folding his hands neatly behind his back as he walked. As the two of them spoke privately the Fosh's voice became noticeably softer and more halting.

"That's good to hear." He said in regards to his men getting some much needed rest. "The war has not been kind to us... Although... I don't suppose it's been kind to any of us now has it?" He asked, glancing up at Shiro with an understanding expression. He had heard of the 87th, and knew of the losses they had sustained throughout the war. Looking forward again the Jedi became more thoughtful.

"I doubt I need to impress upon you the difficulty of our mission. The Separatists enjoy almost complete support from the Kabalian people. This campaign will not be as straightforward as those we have fought in the past. If we are to be victorious we must win the hearts and minds of the population." He fixed his eyes downward, staring at the floor as he considered how they should proceed. "I admit I have not yet devised a complete strategy for how this may be accomplished, but I feel your shock troopers are best equipped for the task. With their speed and efficiency we can strike at droid forces on the ground while causing minimal collateral damage, and thus show the people that we are not there to do them harm." He looked back up at Shiro, almost as though he was looking for approval. The general seemed to have the demeanor of a subordinate making suggestions rather then a leader asserting his command.

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Ryyat didn’t seem to be a bad soul but the Commander was still not sure of his leadership abilities yet. Walking alongside the Jedi, Shiro with the helmet still at his hip listened to the former said about the war being unkind to all. Understatement of the millennium. He thought bitterLy but kept that sarcasm to himself.

Of course the Jedi did bring up some issues they will need to address concerning the upcoming campaign…The Kabalian people. Shiro stayed silent as they left the hangar and entered the hallway. It was a lot to consider and he couldn’t help but notice the less than commanding tone Ryyat was using now.

The clone didn’t need the force to realize his new commanding officer was not used to this level of authority nor comfortable with it. General Zarr was more of the latter. He did once mention his view about Jedi being peacekeepers not soldiers. Briefly Shiro closed his eyes, missing his old Jedi comrade. Just as quickly the commander opened them again, turning to Ryyat and said.

“We can handle the clankers as you have already stated sir. As for minimizing collateral damage my men will comply with your orders however...” He paused to form the word to say as they turned the next corridor.

“I have a strong suspicion many of the Kabalians won’t just stay around and do nothing as our forces invade the planet. Beside them fighting on the frontlines with the droids there is also the threat of them committing local insurgency against us as well.”

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The feathers on Ryyat's head drooped a bit as Shiro mentioned the likelihood of the Kabalians actively participating in the Separatist resistance. The Jedi had to agree on that account, he just wasn't sure what the solution was. Already he was starting to feel a bit overwhelmed by the mission, he took a deep breath before responding.

"You are correct." He admitted disappointedly. "It will be... very unfortunate. And likely costly. But we must deal with the Kabalians in the most restrained manner possible. We cannot simply slaughter them alongside the droid armies." The implications were very unnerving to the Jedi. He was confident in the ability of their task force to retake the planet from the Separatists with general ease. It was the prospect of an extended occupation that put the fear in him. Patrols would be attacked, barracks bombed. Their forces would be whittled down in a war of attrition until they were forced to withdraw. He thought about it a few more moments before looking back to Shiro.

"I can speak with the exiled government to see if they know of any sympathetic factions on the planet." He started. "Do you think... Perhaps you could gather some of your officers?" He asked rather than ordered. "Only the best at your disposal, individuals that are very resourceful in the field. Perhaps we can send them ahead of us to the planet disguised as regular citizens to foment a counter rebellion?" It was a longshot, and probably better suited to commandos or non-clone agents. But Ryyat had neither at his disposal. They would need to use unconventional warfare to win this battle, so it was best to start thinking outside the box now.

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Passing by two crew members, Shiro considered what the general had in mind. The Jedi was certainly concerned about everyone. But if Shiro was more honest with himself he valued the lives of his own men over others. Especially in comparison to any Speratist on the battlefield.

Still I don’t like the possibility of fighting with children, even if they’re with the Seps.

Walking in brief silence the commander finally remarked. “We can try sir. But please remember General we won’t be able to save everyone unless Kabal miraculously surrenders without a struggle.” He paused before adding. “Can’t spare all my best officers to be honest but there are a few Arc Troopers I know who would be up for the challenge.”

Privately the clone didn’t know if they could actually succeed in staging a counter revolt equal in size. Hopefully such an effort could at least relieve some of the pressure they were certain to face in the coming campaign. Further thoughts on the idea were interrupted once they reached Ryyat’s new quarters.

Pressing one of the controls, the door slide opened, revealing the room. Gesturing toward with his free arm Shiro respectfully said. “Welcome your new quarters General Ryyat. I have a list of volunteers as soon as possible and forward it. I am at your disposal if you require my assistance.”

With a salute Commander Shiro took his leave, allowing the Jedi Knight some privacy and a chance to rest.

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"But please remember General we won’t be able to save everyone" Those words struck a certain cord in the young Jedi Knight. Behind his back his fingers gave another involuntary twitch. The Fosh made a fist so tight the veins on his wrist bulged. Some most unpleasant memories flashed before his vision, but he showed no tell in his facial expression. He waited silently for the clone Commander to finish what he was saying, and to show him his new quarters.

"Thank you Commander." He replied in an even softer voice, this time barely above a whisper. "In addition, I'd like a list of possible landing locations forwarded to my terminal as well. We'll need to choose one for when we begin the ground assault." He didn't bother to return the clone's salute, too lost in his own thoughts as he entered the room and promptly closed the door.

Out of sight, Ryyat released a heavy sigh and ran his shaky fingers through his feathered head. He had just barely managed to keep it together, and that was just a simple conversation. He couldn't help but feel he hadn't inspired much confidence in his new Commander. "Force give me strength..." He murmured uneasily as he made his way over to sit on the end of his bed. His room was very spartan, befitting a member of the Jedi Order. Aside from a few changes of clothes and small keepsakes from his time back in the temple on Coruscant the young Fosh had no possessions to his name.

There was so much to do. He would need to familiarize himself with all of the officers under his new command, organize the plans for the assault, contact the Kabalian government in exile to attempt to coordinate with rebellious elements on the planet. So much. On Taanab, as terrible as it was, things were much simpler. Ryyat thought of his old Master and Commander Snow. He wished dearly he could have them by his side now. But the path of a Jedi Knight was not an easy one to walk, it wasn't meant to be. He had a responsibility to the men under his command. He had to rise to the occasion, or their deaths would be on his head. There would be deaths either way though, and that was something that filled the young Fosh with nothing but dread. Taking a deep breath he pulled his legs up on the bed and closed his eyes, beginning to meditate. So much to be done.

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Meanwhile in one of the barracks…

A young clone with red dyed hair and out armor laid in his bunk. Holding in both hands he held a datapad, watching its content lazily. “Don’t don’t you have something better to do Tai besides watching that crap.” A voice asked close by. Snorting Tai didn’t even bother to look when he replied.

“I already cleaned my blaster several times already. I’m just not a perfectionist like you Cree.”

“Hey it’s part of my job as a sniper. Just trying to keep you alive.”

Pausing at those words Tai finally looked to the opposite side and saw the concerned face of Cree who was cleaning his long rifle. Like the rest of his bethern Cree shared the same face but he wore his hairstyle as high and tight and dyed blond. Tai looked in the other clone’s eyes and nodded in understanding.

”Sorry bro but ya know I love my relaxation when off duty. Keeps me sane like your passion does.”

Cree shrugged his shoulders in an expression that more or less acknowledged Tai’s point.

Then the door slide opened and revealed was the platoon sergeant. Immediately the two troopers got up and stood at attention. “As you were.” Sarge ordered and they relaxed. Subsequently the NCO looked outside. “Alright come in boys there are spare bunks here.”


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On the sergeant's order three clones of the 108th entered the room, each carrying their gear on their backs. As the other two immediately went to find an open spot to stow their things one, a corporal, stood by the entrance and looked at the NCO.

"Thank you sir." He said courteously, and saluted. The officer saluted him back before departing, likely having much to do with all the incoming replacements. The corporal then turned to Tai and Cree and removed his helmet. This clone made no effort to distinguish himself from his brethren. His hair wasn't died, he was clean shaven and had no tattoos. What set him apart was a large scar, likely from a blaster bolt, starting just above the edge of his right eyebrow and dragging across the side of his head to his ear.

"I'm Mickey," He introduced himself, and nodded to each of the other newcomers in turn. "That's Thief and High Roller. I guess we're your new bunk mates." The other two finished putting away their equipment and removed their helmets to meet their new comrades. The one called Thief had a buzzcut and a tattoo around his eyes that formed what looked like a thief's mask. The one called High Roller sported a mohawk dyed orange.

"For as long as that lasts..." Thief muttered as he sat down and started taking off his boots. Mickey scowled at the remark, but High Roller laughed and clapped the sitting clone on the shoulder. "Don't sound too eager brother, you might just get your wish!" He laughed again at his own dark joke. Mickey looked back to the others.

"Sorry about him." He apologized on Thief's behalf. "We've... Had a pretty rough go of it recently. Some are taking it worse than others." He forced a smile. "We're glad to join you brothers." Without their helmets to mask their faces it was quite easy to see the level of exhaustion the clones were experiencing, with dark rings around their eyes and a slightly gaunt malnourished look. Even so, Mickey and High Roller seemed to have more energy than their comrade.

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