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SHROUD OF DARKNESS: THE CLONE WARSEpisode 1.1HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT






    



A Republic supply convoy roars through the tranquil shores of Bestine.





Astride his BARC speeder bike Clone Sergeant Denal reports, “We are approaching the outskirts of the village, sir. Still, no sign of any droid forces.”.





As she pilots her own speeder Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano snidely remarks, “So much for the droid siege. We haven’t seen a single clanker!”.





Standing atop a republic swamp speeder Anakin begins, “That’s what worries me…”





“…All units, take evasive action!” Anakin snaps sensing danger.





Just then a Separatist assault group appears behind the convoy.





As the enemy tanks open fire on the convoy Skywalker orders, “Do not engage the enemy! Make for the village!”.





Unable to evade the pursuing droids, a trooper is brutally shot from behind.





As the droids continue to gain on the convoy, Clone Trooper Fives frantically reports, “They’re gaining on us!”.





Anakin cracks a knowing smirk and replies, “Not for long!”.





The Republic convoy speeds over the Pulstar bridge to the Republic encampment with the droid assault team in hot pursuit!





Picking up the incoming droids on their sensors, the cannons surrounding the city thunder to life…





… obliterating the droids!





Coming to a stop inside the Republic encampment Anakin disembarks from the swamp speeder and greets Jedi Master Luminara Unduli and her padawan Barriss Offee, “Master Unduli, my thanks for the assistance.”





Luminara tersely answers, “Quite all right Skywalker. Your arrival was most… impressive. Your style posses a showmanship unbefitting of a Jedi.”.





Anakin smugly answers, “Perhaps, but it works.”





Luminara scolds, “Do not be so quick to discard our order’s wisdom, it shall lead you down a dangerous path.”.





Realizing there is no use in continuing the conversation any further Luminara turns to leave, prompted by Skywalker’s glare.





Coming alongside her Master Ahsoka burst, “Skyguy! How did you know the droids would attack?”.





Anakin answers, “You noticed it too, Snips.”.





Ahsoka puzzles, “I did?”.





Anakin laughs, “Yup. You noted the droids had not attacked, despite having forces in the area.”.





Ahsoka shares, “I still don’t see how you predicted an attack.”.





Anakin gloats, “That’s why I’m a Jedi Knight. Remember Ahsoka, sometimes trying to hard to hide something draws attention to it. The best traps are laid in plain sight.”.





Anakin walks off, leaving Ahsoka to contemplate her lesson.





Anakin and Ahsoka enter the Republic command center as Master Plo Koon briefs, “The Separatist forces are massing outside the village. We believe they mean to attack us within the rotation.”





Gesturing to a tactical screen Plo continues, “We will make our stand here, at the beachhead surrounding the Pulstar bridge, the only way in or out of the village.”.





Kenobi adds, “Thus far we have been unable to determine the strength of the Separatist force. Therefore, we must dispatch a reconnaissance team to gather intelligence on the enemy force in order to prepare an effective defense of the village. ”.





Anakin volunteers, “I’ll take a squad and report on the Separatist forces.”.





Luminara warns, “It’s not that simple Skywalker. We will need all available Generals to oversee the defense of the village. We cannot risk loosing you.”.





Anakin challenges, “Then who will lead the recon team?”.





Plo gravely answers, “You and Master Unduli’s padawans.”.





“The padawans!?! But they’re just children!”, Anakin protectively exclaims.





Ahsoka hotly replies, “I am not a child! I can do it Master!”.





Luminara stoically cautions, “Do not let your attachment blind you Skywalker. Our padawans are ready for this assignment.”.





Anakin menacingly replies, “Is that what you really believe or is it what you want to believe?”.





Obi-Wan places a hand on Anakin’s shoulder and consoles, “Anakin, we would not ask this of Ahsoka if we felt she wasn’t ready. She is. You’ve trained her well.”





Anakin bows his head and concedes, “Then I will yield to your wisdom, Master.”.





Plo and Obi-Wan watch as Anakin gives Ahsoka guidance while the 501st loads into the gunship. Plo states, “Skywalker must learn to let go of his attachments if he is ever to fulfill his destiny as the chosen one.”.





Obi-Wan replies, “He is learning. Working with Ahsoka has taught him as much as it has her.”.





Plo agrees, “Indeed, but learning and practicing a skill are two very different things. We can only hope that Skywalker will practice detachment. If not, his future is shrouded in darkness.”.





Anakin warns Ahsoka, “You are only to report on the enemy’s strength. Under no circumstances are you to engage them. Stay hidden and report back once your mission is complete.”.





Ahsoka impatiently replies, “I can handle myself, Master. I do know what I’m doing.”.





Anakin states, “We’ll see, Snips.”.





Barriss and Luminara approach. Luminara advises, “You know your mission, padawan. I am expecting you to complete it to the letter. Should the operation be compromised contact myself or the Council for guidance.”.





Barriss respectfully bows and answers, “Yes Master.”.





Rex joins the Jedi and reports, “We are ready to get underway, General.”.





Anakin replies, “Alright Rex, I’m trusting you to return the padawans in one piece.”. Rex, sensing the difficulty of his General’s decision to part with his padawan, responds, “Copy that sir”.





The group marches toward the awaiting gunship, each lost in their own thoughts.





As the gunship’s engine roars to life Anakin grasps for words capable of describing the pride and fear he feels for his padawan. In the end he quietly wishes, “May the force be with you.”.





The gunship rises from the makeshift landing zone and speeds away, taking with it any reply from Ahsoka.





Attempting to calm Anakin’s mind, Luminara suggests, “Trust in the force, Skywalker. It will see them to safety.”.





Unconvinced Anakin snaps, “And if not?”.





Luminara calmly recites, “There is no death, there is only the force.”.





Outside the village at the nearby Separatist forward command center the CIS Commander, Assajj Ventress, reports her progress to her Master, Count Dooku, “My troops have pushed the Jedi back to the Favell village, my Lord. We will soon drive the Republic filth from this planet.”





Dooku congratulates, “Good! Leave nothing to chance, the time has come to exterminate the Jedi and their clone pets.”





“It shall be done.”, Ventress answers, her voice filled with loathing.





Droid Commander ES-B5 approaches Ventress from behind as Dooku’s hologram fades away.





Ventress rises and demands, “Report, commander!”.





ES-B5 cowers before the Dark Acolyte and reports, “We are tracking a Republic Gunship in sector four, Mistress.”





Ventress orders, “Destroy it and mobilize our forces, we will wipe the Jedi and their vat grown soldiers from Bestine once and for all.”.





At the Republic encampment the Jedi and a group of clones listen to Commander Cody’s briefing, “General Kenobi and I will lead Ghost Company in a defense of the east beachhead. ”,





“Generals Skywalker and Unduli will work with Commander Gree’s Green Company to hold the Pulstar bridge.”





“While General Plo and Wolffe Pack will hold the west shore.”, Cody concludes.





Boost pumps his fist and rallies, “Bring those clankers on! We can handle them!”.





Prompting Sinker to snicker, “Yeah and maybe you’ll manage to finally hit something, Boost!”.





Plo starts, “Be mindful of-”,





but is cut off by Commander Gree, who urgently reports, “We’re receiving an emergency communication from the scout team.”.





Fearing the worst Anakin orders, “Patch it through.”.





Rex’s voice burst over the comm, “We’ve been ambushed by vulture droids!”.





A massive explosion sounds over the communication and Rex frantically continues, “We’re going down! Location 577 -zzzt-!”. Anakin shouts, “Rex! Come in, Rex.”





Gree gravely reports, “We’ve lost the transmission.”.





Anakin slams his robotic hand onto the the table and burst, “This is why they should have never been sent! Cody, ready a shuttle for departure and round up some men, I’m going to extract them!”.





Luminara counters, “We need you and those men here, to defend the village! You must have faith in your padawan.”.





Anakin challenges, “I will not just leave them to die!”.





Obi-Wan sighs and calmly replies, “You aren’t. Anakin, you must learn to trust in your padawan as I did mine.”.





Anakin hangs his head in thought and rises it a moment later agreeing, “Yes, Master.”.





Some distance away the Recon squad regroups following their crash.





Rex attempts to recontact the forward command center, “Bestine Command, this is Captain Rex. Our gunship has been downed behind enemy lines, please advise.”.





The group exchanges a worried look as static burst through the comm channel.





Rex retries, “Repeat, this is Captain Rex our gunship has been downed behind enemy lines.”.





The severity of their situation becomes clear as static once again bursts through the comm.





Rex reports, “It’s no use, the droids are jamming our communications.”.





“What now?”, Echo asks on behalf of the entire team.





Fives proudly answers, “We complete the mission.”.





Barriss laments, “But how… Master Unduli did not prepare me for this situation, without her guidance how can I complete the mission?”.





Denal thrust his hand at Barriss and challenges, “With all due respect, Commander Offee, Captain Rex should lead us. He has twice the experience and training of you.”.





Aghast Rex sharply reprimands, “Denal! Commanders Tano and Offee are in command here. You best show them respect!”.





Seeing the truth in Denal’s words Ahsoka interjects, “It’s okay, Rex. Denal is right, you do have more experience than Barris or I. What are our options?”.





Echo observes, “The Sepies will send a detachment to inspect the crash site for survivors. We have to move out before they arrive.”.





Ahsoka cautions, “If the droids find no corpses at the crash site they’ll realize we survived and hunt us down.”.





Denal counters, “Our only other option is to fight the recon squad and ensure they don’t relay a signal.”.





Fives warns, “That’s a suicide mission! There will be at least two squads, probably packing armor too!”.





Ahsoka explains, “There are alternatives to fighting. Master Skywalker has shown me the best traps are laid in plain sight. Barriss and I could lower your vital signs so that it would appear to the droids you had died in the crash. Once they moved on we would be free to follow them back to the CIS staging area and ambush the Separatist from behind.”.





Echo worries, “This plan goes against every military strategy and guideline, I’m not sure it will work.”.





Rex points out, “You have to throw out the reg. manual and embrace new tactics if you’re to become a great solider. Ahsoka’s right, now let’s move out!”.





Standing on the Pulstar bridge Anakin attempts to control the swirling torrent of guilt and rage he feels for allowing Ahsoka to lead the missing recon team.





Sensing Skywalker’s inner conflict Luminara advises Anakin, “Keep your mind in the here and now. You must not worry about your padawan, trust in the force to see her to safety.”.





“You misjudge me Master Unduli. I trust in the force to see Ahsoka to safety, by my power.”, Anakin curtly answers.





Cutting the discussion short Commander Gree reports, “The Separatist are nearing our position, Generals.”.





Luminara orders, “Ready your men for battle, Commander.”.





“Here they come, get ready for ‘em!”, Gree shouts,





as the droids march onto the bridge.





The Jedi ignite their lightsabers, weapons which have come to symbolize the honor and skill of their order, preparing for the coming battle.





As the battle for Bestine rages, a detachment of Separatist droid forces arrives at the wreckage of the recon team’s gunship.





Commander ES-B5 orders, “Fan out and search for survivors.”.





“Roger, roger.”, intones the battle droid lieutenant.





The droids spread out amongst the scattered clones scanning for vital signs.





A moment later the lieutenant returns and reports, “The clones’ vital signs are negative, sir. They are all dead.”.





ES-B5 replies, “Very well commander. We must return to the main assault group, Mistress Ventress has engaged the Republic.”.





The droids march from wreckage, their programming satisfied the clones are dead.





Several moments later the padawans burst from a storage compartment of the gunship.





The padawans raise their arms as they release their hold on the clones.





Barriss and Ahsoka fall to ground, the weight of the trance lifted from them.





Barriss excitedly pants, “It worked!”.





“Only the first phase. We still have to ambush the Separatist staging area.”, Ahsoka cautions.





Barriss worries, “It will be difficult to ambush the Separatist if Ventress is leading them. She’ll sense us coming through the force.”.





Ahsoka answers, “I’ve thought of that and may have a solution. If we mask our own presences in the force Ventress won’t be able to sense us coming.”.





Aghast Barriss points out, “If we cloud our force presences our Masters will be unable to sense us either! Ahsoka, they’ll think we’ve been killed!”.





Ahsoka gravely replies, “I know, but it’s our only hope of ambushing Ventress.”.





Barriss laments, “Then I suppose we have no other choice.”.





Green Company heroically holds out against the vastly superior numbers of droids…





… but not without their own losses.





However, with the aid of the Jedi, it seems the tide of the battle may be turning to the Republic.





“Keep up the assault!”, Anakin rallies.





Anakin looks up, feeling a grave disturbance in the force.





“Ahsoka!”, he shouts falling to his knees as Ahsoka’s presence in the force disappears.





Luminara stands over Skywalker and shares, “I sense it too… they’re gone…”.





“Incoming!”, Gree warns the Jedi…





…as Ventress rushes towards the Jedi, downing a pair of clones.





Ventress stands before the two Jedi and sneers, “Jedi, I was afraid you had been killed along with your padawans and clones. I have just received word they are all dead. Don’t despair, I will reunite you all in the force soon enough.”.





Luminara coolly replies, “We both know that you do not possess the skills necessary to defeat a Jedi Master, now surrender.”.





Ventress shrieks, “Never!”.





Anakin growls, “I was hoping you’d say that.”, and raises his clenched fist in a force choke.





Horrified, Luminara warns, “Skywalker stop! What you feel is of the darkside, you must not give into it!”.





Anakin continues choking Ventress and yells, “I will avenge Ahsoka! I will make this Sith spawn suffer and die!”. Luminara questions “Is that what Ahsoka would have wanted?”.





Anakin drops his arm, releasing his choke hold on Ventress, leaving her gasping for air.





Luminara grasps Skywalker’s arm and encourages, “Well done.”.





Together the Jedi then level their lightsabers at Ventress and demand, “Surrender.”.





Ventress cackles, “Fools! You will die!”.





Summoned by the Dark Acolyte a pair of droidekas roll onto the Pulstar bridge and open fire on the Jedi.





Arriving on shore Ventress orders a battle droid commander, “Activate the reserve forces.”.





Meanwhile, Jedi Master Plo Koon leads the Clone Troopers of Wolfee Pack into battle against the advancing droid forces.





“Cover me!”, orders Commander Wolffe as he rushes past Clone Troopers Sinker and Boost.





Wolfee dives beneath an advancing crab droid and attaches a thermal detonator to its vulnerable underside.





Wolfee detonates the explosive, destroying the crab droid, and rises beside his General reporting, “Sectors 3 and 7 are secure, General. We have them on the run.”





General Koon takes a moment to survey the carnage around him and replies, “We must push them back to the shoreline, Commander. ”…





…“Charge!”.





Emboldened by their General, Wolfee Pack Troopers surge towards the shoreline…





…decimating the Separatist forces!





The group’s assault is cut short as a corporate alliance tank droid bursts from the ocean flanked by two dwarf spider droids.





With no heavy artillery of their own Wolfee Pack is outgunned by the droid reinforcements.





Seeing his brothers cut down before him Sinker warns, “There’s to many of them!”.





Realizing there is no other option Plo orders, “Fall back!”.





Monitoring the Separatist advance from the CIS forward command center a battle droid commander reports, “Our reserve forces have overwhelmed the Republic forces, Mistress Ventress.”





Ventress callously answers, “Good, order the unit commanders to show no mercy. I have no use for prisoners.”.





Pulling alongside Ventress ES-B5 reports, “Mistress, all Republic units aboard the gunship perished upon impact.”.





Ahsoka lands atop the AAT and gloats, “Surprise!”.





ES-B5 throws up his hands in terror and starts, “Does not compu-!”, but is cut short as Ahsoka impales him.





Ventress calmly greets, “How fortunate you survived the crash, now I will have the pleasure of killing you myself.”.





“Not likely, bogwitch!”, Ahsoka answers.





Just then the droids next to Ventress explode…





…the first victims of the 501st Legion’s surprise attack!





Shocked, Ventress turns to see Barriss appear behind her and state, “You will find we are not so easily defeated.”.





Regaining her composure Ventress snarls, “That remains to be seen.”.





Ventress brutally attacks the padawans, prompting them to drop the illusion clouding their force presences.





Meanwhile, on the Pulstar bridge the Republic seeks to hold back the surging Separatist reinforcements.





Sensing his padawan in the force Anakin tentatively questions, “Ahsoka…?”.





Luminara continues to deflect fire from the oncoming droids and agrees, “I sense them as well, Skywalker, but we must keep our minds in the here and now. We cannot afford to worry for the padaw-!”.





“They’re in danger!”, Anakin burst. Luminara yells, “Skywalker wait!”





Overwhelmed by relief and fear Anakin rushes forward…





…cutting a deadly swath through the droid lines.





Coming to the shoreline Anakin’s savage advance is halted by a lumbering retail droid.





Anakin raises his hand in a powerful force push, which overwhelms the massive droid.





“All to easy.”, Anakin menacingly chuckles.





Rex and the Clones of Torrent Company continue to battle with the droids surrounding the Separatist forward command center.





“Rollers inbound!”, shouts Denal.





A trio of deadly destroyer droids deploy surrounding the clones…





… mowing down several troopers!





“I have a plan, cover me!”, Echo shouts.





Fives groans, “This had better be good.”.





Together Echo and Fives rush the Separatist lines…





…letting nothing stand in their way.





Having reached his intended target Echo scrambles aboard the AAT.





Overwhelmed by the droidekas Rex shouts, “Hold the line!”.





Unaware of Echo and Five’s heroics, Rex panics, “Brace yourselves!”, as the AAT lumbers forward.





Amazed, Rex and the surviving troopers watch as the remaining droids are destroyed in a mighty blast from the AAT.





Echo pops out of the gunner’s platform and reports, “CT-21-0408 reporting for duty, Captain.”.





Seeing an opportunity to turn the tide of the battle Rex orders, “Well done kid. Now scrap the clankers onshore!”.





“Copy that, sir!”, Echo replies.





Plo and Wolffe Pack take cover behind a fallen AT-AP…





… as the droid tanks continue advance.





“We won’t last long against that tank!”, Sinker laments.





Wolffe barks, “Keep fighting!”.





Plo warns, “Sinker is right, Commander, we cannot defeat the tank alone.”.





The group takes cover as a massive explosion sounds!





Shocked, Boost cries, “What was that!?!”.





“General, the tank has been destroyed!”, Sinker points out.





Stunned, Boost questions, “But… how?”.





After scanning the battlefield with a pair of electrobinoculars Wolfee steps forward and reports, “An enemy AAT has begun to open fire on Separatist targets.”.





Plo raises his head, opening himself to the force, and whispers “Ahsoka…”.





Ventress and the padawans continue to exchange savage blows.





Ventress sneers, “You children are no match for the power of the darkside.”, as the padawans struggle to defend themselves against the Dark Acolyte’s assault.





Ventress surges forward, catching Barriss with a brutal blow across her abdomen.





Barriss flies backward, the victim of Ventress’ powerful force push…





…crashing into debris from the battle.





Ahsoka stands alone, lightsaber at the ready, as Ventress laughs manically and attacks.





Without the aid of Barriss, Ahsoka is no match for Ventress and is quickly felled by the power of Ventress’ assault.





Ventress stands over Ahsoka’s crumpled body and gloats, “Your Master can’t save you now.”.





“Don’t be so sure.”, Anakin calls out from behind Ventress.





Ventress turns and loathes, “Skywalker!”.





Ventress attacks Skywalker…





… unleashing the full power of her hate and anger.





However, Skywalker fights with a single minded determination to protect Ahsoka…





… which proves to be too much for even the Dark Acolyte.





Skywalker advances on the dazed assassin and demands, “Surrender or die.”.





Ventress shrieks, “Never!”…





… summoned by Ventress, a pair of assassin droids appear, firing on Anakin.





“Master, she’s escaping!”, Ahsoka cries…





… as Ventress speeds away aboard a separatist speeder.





Enraged by his enemy’s escape, Skywalker redoubles his attack on the droids, sheering one in half…





… and then force pushing it into the second droid.





Both assassin droids fall to the ground in a smoking heap.





Anakin thrusts his lightsaber through the pair, ending the brief engagement.





Anakin drops his lightsaber and rushes to Ahsoka’s side.





Kneeling beside Ahsoka, Anakin props her up as she burst, “Skyguy! Did we win?”.





Amused, Anakin begins, “Yes Ahsoka, we won, in no small part due to your bravery. ”





“More importantly I learned that I should have never doubted you. You saved countless lives today, including mine, with your quick thinking and I am honored to learn with you.”, Anakin concludes with a meaningful look at his padawan.





Following the battle Obi-Wan and Plo walk along the bridge, surveying the carnage.





“Your padawan has become a fine Jedi, Qui-Gon would be proud.”, Plo states.





Obi-Wan sadly muses, “I often wonder if Qui-Gon might have served him better. Anakin is still reckless and clings to his attachments, could Qui-Gon have trained him to control his impulses?”.





Plo slowly answers, “Perhaps, but if young Skywalker is the chosen one you are no less chosen. The force has a way of guiding us to the individuals which will help us to achieve our destiny. You, Qui-Gon and Ahsoka, were all chosen to direct Skywalker down his path, light or dark.”





“Which path is Anakin destined to take?”, Obi-Wan questions.





Plo gravely replies, “These are turbulent times, soon we will all be forced to take a side, only then will we discover Skywalker’s true destiny”.



SHROUD OF DARKNESS: THE CLONE WARS
  Episode 1.1Episode 2.1
FORCEFUL BEINGS
 
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