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DARK ILLUSIONSChapter 35



Jedi Master Mace Windu & Kit Fisto are the first to arrive on Oner. Accompanied by Commander Gree and the Elite Corps, they prepare for the upcoming battle and the rescue of Saesee Tiin.


    



Commander Oddball: We are approaching the landing point, General..


    



Mace Windu: Continue to scan the area for any large creatures.

Commander Gree: Commander Oddball, set the ship down near that flattened area.






Commander Oddball: Yes, sir. Our scanners indicate nothing in the area.





Commander Gree: General, do you see how the vegetation in that area is flattened? It’s a clear indication that a rancor has been here recently.

Mace Windu: When we land, verify the tracks. We don’t want any unexpected visitors.






Sgt. Trooper Psi: What a desolate place this is.

Kit Fisto: Don’t let your eyes deceive you, trooper. Even in the ugliest places, beauty can be found.






Commander Gree: Stay with ship, General. My men and I will take a look around first.

Mace Windu: Be sure to stay in contact. I will contact my informant and have him meet us as soon as possible.






Commander Gree: Sergeant Psi . take Trooper Chi with you and check the hillside. Phi and I will cover the lower areas.

Trooper Phi: It will be dark soon. We better get moving.






A few hours later……

Trooper Phi: No signs of any life anywhere, sir. Including droids……

Mace Windu: That’s not entirely accurate. You’re just not looking in the right places, trooper.






Commander Gree: I was right. A rancor has been through here. See the broken branches? These tracks are fresh, perhaps no more than a couple of hours. Difficult to tell if this was caused by more than one rancor, though.

Trooper Phi: I don’t understand how something that big can hide so easily.






Commander Gree: The rancor has adapted to this environment. Its hunting skills have been sharpened. We must be cautious——

Sgt. Trooper Psi over comlink: Commander! We found something! You better take a look at this. I’m sending you our coordinates!






Commander Gree: We’re on our way! Whatever it is, do not engage the target until I arrive!

Sgt. Trooper Psi: No need to worry about that, Commander.






Sgt. Trooper Psi: We’re already outnumbered.

Trooper Chi: I count a total of 8 droids.






Commander Gree: Have they spotted us?

Sgt. Trooper Psi: No, sir. Looks like they are still setting up their defenses.






Commander Gree: We’ve arrived sooner than they expected. Those turrets will keep our gunships grounded……for now.





Commander Gree: And there are some droidekas patrolling the outer perimeter.





Sgt. Trooper Psi: Shall we take them down, sir?

Commander Gree: No, Cody and his men have that responsibility. We’re here to scout the enemy’s location and rescue Saesee Tiin.






Commander Gree: I don’t see any……wait a minute……is that?………OOM-12 is down there. The Separatist ARE serious about holding this planet.

Sgt. Trooper Psi: Who or what is an OOM-12, sir?






Commander Gree: OOM-12 is the Droid Commander down there. He was programmed specifically for open-field warfare. Reports are that he has never lost a battle. This operation just got more difficult. Come on……let’s get back to camp.

Sgt. Trooper Psi: Yes, sir.






Some time later, aboard the gunship KIMCHARISE……

Commander Gree: With OOM-12 directing the droid army, I suggest a new strategy. We should concentrate our attack on the barracks first. Once their defenses are weakened, we shouldn’t have a problem entering their base.

Mace Windu: And hopefully find Saesee inside. Good work, Commander. We’ll go with your new plan.






Shade: …and walk right into their trap.





Commander Gree: Halt! Identify yourself!!

Mace Windu: You can relax, Commander. This is my informant, Special Ops Trooper Shade.






Shade: Took your time getting here, didn’t you, Jedi?





Mace Windu: We came as soon as we could, Shade.

Commander Gree: It takes time to research and assemble the right strike team. We will not fail in our mission.






Shade: And while you play “Commander”, I have to keep tabs on what the Droid Army is doing to prepare for your arrival. Remind me not to get captured if it means waiting for you guys to rescue me.





Mace Windu: That’s enough. We’re wasting time arguing. What is their attack plan, Shade?





Shade: The Separatist knew you were coming with an assault team. Therefore, they have spread out their army. They’ve relocated Master Saesee Tiin to an abandoned village on the far side of the ridge. He is being held in one of the huts there, for “safe-keeping”.





Mace Windu: Commander, begin reconnaissance on the village.

Commander Gree: Yes, sir, right away.






Mace Windu: What else have you discovered?

Shade: I have been monitoring all transmissions sent from their base.






Shade: Most of the transmissions were sent to Trade Federation starships, ordering them to land their droid armies. But I intercepted one transmission unlike all the others.

Mace Windu: Why? What was different about it?






Shade: It was sent to a private transmitter on Coruscant. I’ve just recently pinpointed the exact location of the receiver……in The Works area.

Mace Windu: The old manufacturing section of Coruscant? That is where you encountered the two Royal Guards before.






Mace Windu: This may the clue we need to unravel the mystery of the Sith Lord.

Commander Gree: But I checked that place from top to bottom. There was no one there.






Mace Windu: Go back and check it again. The Sith Lord will show up again. And when he does, I want you there to identify him.





Shade: And then what?

Mace Windu: Contact Master Yoda immediately. He will handle it from there. DO NOT attempt to apprehend the Sith Lord by yourself. Wait for help, Shade.






Shade: As you wish……Jedi.



DARK ILLUSIONS
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