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The peaceful citizens of Braatos VII have found their planet abruptly pulled into the reality of the galactic turmoil as a legion of Republic clone troopers have arrived on their planet.

Weary of the overwhelming military presence, the local security on the small planet keeps a close eye on the invasion force occupying their home world.

On an independent mission of their own, Jedi Masters Bassius and Redwind have found their plan to locate Kala Mly Shundi jeopardized by the arrival of the clones.

“Greetings,” Master Bassius says to the armored troops.

“What brings you to Braatos VII?”

“Master Jedi, we have orders to search the city for insurgents,” the lead officer reports.

“Intelligence revealed an underground movement preparing a strike against the Republic.”

“If there was such a movement here, we would have sensed it,” Redwind quickly points out in disagreement.

“Who is your commanding officer?”

“With all due respect, Sir,” the trooper responds promptly, “We are under the authority of the Supreme Chancellor.”

“I see. We will of course aid you in your efforts,” Bassius tells him.

The two Jedi then wait until they are a safe distance away from the troops before discussing the matter further.

“Their presence has already compromised our mission,” Redwind grumbles under his breath.

“If Kala is here, he’s surely aware that an entire garrison of troops has landed. He’ll have gone into hiding or may already be looking for a way off planet.”

“We must act quickly,” Bassius tells the younger Jedi.

“The Chancellor must have learned of our mission to find Kala; there is no other explanation.”

“Kala has to be the insurgent they’re referring to… he will kill the clones if we fail to find him first,” he continues.

“We’ll have to split up so we can cover more ground. It’s the only way we’ll get to him in time,” Redwind concedes.

“Be careful,” Bassius cautions.

“Kala has already killed several Jedi. Do not engage him on your own. And… I sense that he is not alone.”

“You be careful too,” Redwind says to the elder Jedi.

“Something feels terribly wrong in all of this.”

“May the Force be with you.”

Meanwhile the droid army has gained the upper hand in the Battle of Tanis.

The Republic forces find themselves badly outnumbered…

Moving in for the kill, the Separatists continue to push forward!

As the droids close in on the Republic line, Rykrof Enloe finds himself in a struggle for his very survival.

Damnit!” Rykrof yells as enemy troops advance on his position.

“They’re everywhere!”

“We’re caught in a crossfire!”

Rykrof then sees a Quarren soldier charging right at him!

Without hesitation he opens fire at the fierce warrior…

…killing the deadly Separatist with a single shot!

“Sir, we should reinforce the left flank with Master Teltuu,” trooper Dolin insists.

“Our men are getting torn to…”

Rykrof instinctively falls to the ground as a laser blast sizzles over the ground he had just stood!

As he looks up through the pouring rain, a Super Battle Droid stands over him!

The droid then takes aim at Rykrof’s chest!

Suddenly the droid disintegrates under the heat of a skilled lightsaber attack!

“Thanks, that was too close,” Rykrof says to the Duros Jedi.

“You are still alive,” Teltuu Stabo replies.

“Which is more than I can say for most of the battalion!”

“I know!” Rykrof yells over the blaster fire.

“Why aren’t you on the left flank?”

“The tide of the battle is about to change,” the Jedi replies.

Nearly a kilometer to the west, the left flank of the Republic line is being crushed by the superior numbers of the droid army.

Moving in for the kill, the Separatists converge on the faltering Republic line.

Within moments the line is broken!

As clone troopers are slaughtered by the relentless attack, more droids move in!

The clones however know that holding the line for this moment is the key for a Republic victory…

In a blinding flash, a terrible explosion engulfs both the Republic and Separatist forces!

Countless droids advancing on the position are ripped to shreds from the blast!

“What the hell did you do?” Rykrof demands upon hearing the thundering explosion in the distance.

“The men knew what they were doing,” Teltuu explains.

“They set timed detonators in place… it was a small sacrifice compared to the losses the droids have now taken!”

“That wasn’t their decision to make,” Rykrof insists.

“Or yours!” Rykrof growls in the frustration of losing more of his men.

“There will be plenty of time to discuss this later,” the Jedi insists as the droids continue to press the attack.

“But now we’ve got a battle to win!”

Back on Braatos VII, Republic clone troopers continue to search the city for Kala Mly Shundi.

Meanwhile, the Jedi quietly conduct their own investigation to find their troubled friend.

“Tell me when you saw him last,” Redwind says to a friendly Nikto merchant.

“Not him,” the alien insists. “Her.”

“Just yesterday afternoon, as a matter of fact. But I only caught a glimpse of her.”

“As soon as that Republic cruiser appeared in the sky, she was on the move,” he says.

“Headed south, I believe.”

“Can you tell me why the Republic has sent so many clone troopers to our planet?” the Nikto then asks Redwind.

“Just for security,” Redwind tells the citizen in a persuasive manner.

“There is no reason to be alarmed.”

“Thank you for your assistance, good citizen,” Redwind then says to the peaceful being as he walks away from the merchant’s stand.

Once alone, Redwind contacts Master Bassius.

“Master Bassius, are you there?” Redwind calls into his commink.

“I’m here,” the Jedi responds.

“Have you found anything?”

“Just as we feared,” the young Jedi warns.

“Kala is not alone. I believe the other Jedi is in your vicinity.”

“Yes… I can sense her,” Bassius says.

“She’s closing in on my position.”

After the Republic’s victory on Tanis, Rykrof has made contact with Supreme Chancellor Palpatine via holo transmission.

“I have to admit, I’m surprised by this request,” Palpatine says to the battle hardened officer.

“Especially given the reports of the Separatists striking at core worlds recently.”

“Intelligence suggests the Badoo Corba are on Dantooine. They had a deal with the Separatists to assassinate Senator Amidala, if you’ll remember what happened on Naboo before I was recalled to duty,” Rykrof says.

“The payment, whatever it was, would have potentially crippled the Republic had the Badoo Corba succeeded in their plot to kill Amidala,” he explains.

“Ah, I see that Senator Tame Heem has reached you with the information he learned from the Badoo Corba prisoner,” Palpatine points out.

“Traedon Cusiro may be a traitor, but in this case I believe him,” Rykrof says.

“Everything makes sense now. The Separatists are still working with them.”

“You have more experience dealing with the Badoo Corba than anyone,” the Chancellor says after carefully thinking about what Rykrof has told him.

“Then you will grant me permission to assemble a team,” Rykrof replies.

“On one condition,” the Chancellor says thoughtfully.

“In exchange for this request, I ask for your loyalty Rykrof.”

“With all due respect, I’ve always been loyal to the Republic,” Rykrof tells him.

“Yes, I know you have. But things are… changing,” Palpatine says.

“Once the war is over, the Republic will need stability more than ever.”

“If there is a vacuum in leadership, then we will face civil unrest… or worse. There would be a breeding ground for an even larger conflict than what we face today,” he says sadly.

“Chancellor, you have my unconditional allegiance,” Rykrof says proudly.

“Good. You will have your strike team, Commander Enloe. But let me make one thing clear,” he boldly says.

“I expect that this will be the last we hear of the Badoo Corba. They have been a threat to the Republic since long before the war began. There is no longer any place in the galaxy for their kind of terror. They must be eliminated …for good.”

“I won’t let you down, Chancellor,” Rykrof says.

“If you do, the price will be more than you can imagine,” Palpatine says to himself once the transmission ends.

The Supreme Chancellor of the Republic then stands alone in his office, anticipating the coming events he has set in motion that will soon bring an abrupt end to the war.

For little do the Jedi know that everything that has transpired has done so according to his design.

And so it begins…

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