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After they had been called back to Coruscant, Tarisian and Raymus returned to their military duties and had travelled to the Separatist-controlled planet Sriran in secret with a small number of soldiers and thousands of reinforcements to come when the battle began.


Scouting the Separatist base, a clone scout watched it carefully with macrobinoculars…

The trooper later returned the hidden Republic base.

“I estimated eleven thousand CIS droids, possibly more.”

“Eleven thousand?!” Kyle Krenis exclaimed.

“The source of worry is small, Commander,” Clone Commander Tornac said calmly. “We have three Commanders, three Jedi, a squad of ARC troops… …a full army. They simply have machines.”

“Still, they do not have a small number of soldiers,” said Tarisian.

“I think it’s time the rest of our forces came, Commanders,” Anakin Skywalker said. “We’ve been here for two days.”

“I agree,” Krenis responded.

“Do you think that that tactic is wise, or is it only because of impatience?” Jedi Master Idnum-Ki asked, raising an eyebrow.

Anakin and Kyle didn’t seem to be able to answer the question.

A few hours later, Tarisian discussed various plans with Kyle.

“You look like you’ve had five pints of juma juice, Tarisian,” Kyle said to him.

“At least I don’t feel quite that bad,” Tarisian laughed. “When is Tornac planning the attack?”

“In two hours. If we wait any longer we’ll be discovered!”

“But - we should be waiting for at least two more days-,” Tarisian said in surprise.

“The plans have been finalized enough.”

“Have the Jedi given approval?”

“Skywalker has.”

Tarisian smiled. “And Idnum-Ki and Dular?”

“Idnum, of course, disagreed. Dular, I think, agreed but Idnum wouldn’t let him announce that.”

“I actually haven’t talked to Idnum since Getato.”

“You shouldn’t. He’s becoming a manipulate Jedi Master.”

Meanwhile, Raymus Drewton pondered the recent years.

Many things felt like either a century of a month to Raymus; he couldn’t decide which.

He’d been a castaway on Dantooine for months…

…when he’d finally come back to his homeplanet, Naboo, it had suffered a huge battle…

…but luckily, a few years later it had once again become peaceful…

…though Raymus’s life had not remained peaceful for long, starting at the time when Bodotor Thuvat, the leader of the Nockudumey had threatened to assassinate the Chancellor.

In the present, after hours of preparing, he was inside a Gunship, with orders to attack the Separatist base of Delta Station.

Squads of gunships zoomed over the base, casting shadows on the sandy ground.

“Republic Gunship detected,” a skinny battle droid said mechanically.

With a sniper rifle, the Separatist droid aimed at one of the gunships.

“Fire at will,” it said to itself, and it did.

An explosion of light burst from the gunship of the unfortunate clone pilot.

Turrets instantly began to fire.

Hearing the firing and explosions, Clone Troopers poured out of the base, shooting bolts of plasma at the Droid Army.

The rest of the Republic reinforcements arrived in a few minutes.

Fighting his way through Delta Station, Dular showed tremendous ability with the Force, along with Anakin.

As they fought deeper into the base, the number of oponents grew, but it was becoming easier for the two Jedi. They were growing stronger in the Force with each kill, parry, and flurry.

An armored Neimoidian appeared with a blaster in his hand.

Anakin Skywalker Force-pushed a battle droid into the Duros-like alien…

…and the Neimoidian, expecting something simple, ducked.

But the intent was not to push the droid into the Neimoidian, but to activate the droid’s blaster with the Force, shooting him in the arm.

Another Neimoidian appeared in a few seconds, firing a sniper rifle.

But the alien’s abilities were even less than that of a mere soldier’s, and he was too easily slain by the Jedi.

After finding Idnum-Ki in the station, he and the other two Jedi decided to split up, with Anakin going alone and Dular with Idnum.

Later, at the main core of Delta Station, the Jedi duo encountered someone entirely unexpected…

It was Count Dooku, leader of the Separatists.

He turned to face them, not speaking for at least one minute, simply seeing how they reacted to what he did. Finally, he said: “Is there anything you need?”

“Your head, perhaps,” Dular said angrily.

Idnum-Ki smiled, and for the first time, Dular noticed that his lightsaber was not ignited.

“Perhaps not. You wouldn’t give us the location of your Sith Master, would you?”

Dooku smiled back - Master Ki was a much more calm Jedi than Dular, and especially calmer than Skywalker.

“I would, but unfortunately, that would finish the war a lot sooner.”

“And I was just getting used to it,” Dular muttered silently.

“Yes, it would,” Idnum continued. “And, well, I am sorry to be so cliche, but ‘surrender’.”

“I must unfortunately refuse the invitation to prison, Master Jedi.”

Dular finally couldn’t help it.

“Then you have chosen death!” he yelled, raising his lightsaber.

Lightning emited from Dooku’s fingers, electrocuting Dular.

Suddenly interrupting the battle, Force Lightning seemed to come from Idnum-Ki’s fingers, and this time attacking Count Dooku.

Dooku looked shocked. “How did you do that?”

“Do not think that a Jedi Master has no knowledge of how to use the Dark Side of the Force, Dooku. You used it, even ten years ago.”

“I assume I am your prisoner then.”

“No, you are not. I know your Sith name, Count. Darth Tyranus. I agree with you on how corrupt the Republic is, but war is not the answer. Your spirit, as diseased as it is, refuses to allow you to give up, no matter what threats you face… and whatever wreckage you leave behind you. Direct action is not always the best way. It is a far greater victory to make another see through your eyes than to close theirs forever.”

Meanwhile, in the Republic base…

Lieutenant Tarisian Drewton gazed at the battle outside. “This isn’t going well,” he said.

“We’ve lost contact with the Jedi,” said Krenis, “and so far, Delta Station hasn’t been blasted into oblivion.”

“Is it time for an evacuation?” Tarisian asked.

“Not yet,” Commander Tornac answered in the voice of Jango Fett. “Our troops are still living, and we might be leaving the Jedi behind if we evacuate now.”

Tarisian again gazed at the battle, and he saw at least fifteen clones all die at a time, killed by a grenade. He felt like he needed to be there, not simply watching with the Commanders. Sriran felt like Geonosis.

Suddenly a blue ghost of Dular appeared.

“Commander Dular!” Tornac greated the holographic image.

Oddly, Dular seemed out of breath. “Dooku was here - in Delta Station. Master Ki says he dueled him and Dooku escaped, but I didn’t see anything after Dooku used a Dark Side Force power on me.”

“That’s unfortunate that he escaped, but at least you didn’t get RIPped - I mean that you didn’t get killed.”

“You’re not unable to destroy the station, are you?” Kyle Krenis asked, a bit angry.

“I think that we still can. But you should bring a gunship to the top spire, as an escape route for Master Ki and I… …it’s a bit hard not to be blowned up when everything around you is.”

“We’ll send one, Commander. Tornac out.”

Raymus Drewton’s Gunship arrived in a few minutes, and Dular, Idnum-Ki, and Anakin Skywalker boarded it after escaping the base through a small lightsaber-made hole in a wall.

Within a few moments, there was a defeaning noise as explosions burst from Delta Station. Soon it was only rubble and debris.

It was the Republic’s victory. Acclamator class assault ships, carrying the clone troops which were previously fighting on Sriran, jumped to hyperspace.

<<  Chapter 14
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