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THE SHROUD OF DARKNESSEpisode 3SHADOWS OF THE PAST






    











Kohlma, one of the countless moons which grimly orbits the backwater world of Bogden.





Commonly referred to as The Moon of the Dead by the few settlers of the Bogden system…





Kohlma serves as a cold and monumental reminder of the system’s dark past.





As fate would have it, the violence of the Clone War now consumes the moon…





Adding the conflict’s own dead to the moon’s grim legacy.





“There’s too many of them!”, Clone Commander Cody yells as Confederate battle droids begin to overrun the Republic’s left flank.





“Easy mission! No credible intelligence to suggest a droid presence!”, Clone Trooper Boil spits.





“Republic Security Bureau intelligence is about as useful as a kriffing moisture farm on Hoth!”, agrees Boil’s comrade and friend Waxer.





“Hold the line!”, orders General Obi-Wan Kenobi as he surges forward, desperate to stall the droid’s advance.





“We can’t hold out any longer sir!”, Commander Cody grimly observes, “We need reinforcements!”.





“Look!”, Clone Trooper Crys exclaims…





As a flotilla of Republic Gunships emerge on the horizon!





The Gunships unleash their deadly payload, which tears through the advancing columns of droids!





The Gunship’s settle besides Kenobi’s entrenched forces…





Allowing Anakin Skywalker and the newly christened 501st Legion to charge onto the battlefront!





“By the force!”, Obi-Wan gasps, shocked by the sudden appearance of his padawan.





In one combine the veteran troopers of the 212th and the elite soldiers of the 501st Legion surge forward!





Overwhelming the Separatist forces…





Which quickly flee before the Republic’s new found might!





“Keep up the assault!”, Anakin demands, drunk on the adrenaline of battle.





“Hold your position!”, Obi-Wan countermands, knowing his beleaguered troops are in no position to pursue the droids.





“I have them on the run!”, Anakin challenges his Master.





“There will be other opportunities to defeat our enemy. For now, we need the time to regroup as much as they do.”, Kenobi replies, ending debate on the matter.





Breaking the tension between Master and apprentice Commander Cody reports, “I have just received word from someone claiming to possess knowledge of interest to your mission.”.





Relieved by the sudden change in fortune Kenobi answers, “Good, go on!”.





“He requests that you meet him at the cantina, after nightfall.”, Cody continues.





“Very well.”, Obi-Wan reluctantly agrees.





“What are you doing here?”, Anakin questions, suddenly suspicious of his Master’s mission.





“I might ask the same of you . As I recall, I ordered you to remain on Coruscant.”, Obi-Wan admonishes.

“The Chancellor-”, Anakin briskly starts.






“Is not your Master!”, Obi-Wan chastises, perturbed by his padawan’s disobedience, “You continue to disregard both my and the Council’s orders, yet still you wonder why you are not a Jedi Knight. Perhaps you should become the Chancellor’s apprentice!”.





Seeing the pain in his padawan’s eyes Obi-Wan immediately regrets his hurtful words.





“Round up some men, it seems we’re going to the cantina.”, Obi-Wan sighs, letting the moment pass.





“Useless droids!”, thunders the angered Gran, “I, Doden Makker, High Priest and exalted leader of the glorious Bando Gora deserve better! Because of those droids the Jedi and their pathetic clones soil my world with their foul stench!”.





Eerie laughter floats from the shadows, still as unnerving to Makker as the first time he heard it.





“If you would have shown the slightest interest in strengthening the glorious Bando Gora, instead of gorging yourself on power and privilege, you wouldn’t have to depend on Dooku’s minions.”, the monstrous creature shrieks as he emerges from the shadows!





Enraged Doden Makker squeals, “How dare you-!,”.





“HOW DARE I!?!”, the creature snarls, pinning Makker to the wall. “How dare I!?! How dare you betray the legacy of the Bando Gora! How dare enter alliances with Dooku and sell our allegiance as if it some cheap trinket up for auction!”, the monster continues.





“You seem to have forgotten the nature of our relationship Eng Vreacker. It was I who rebuilt your rotting carcass when you were left for dead!”, spits back Makker.





Eng Vreacker drops Makker to floor and takes several unbalanced steps muttering, “Did I not command that you were to never speak of that time?”.





“Do you remember the burning!?!”, Makker viciously continues…





Prompting Vreacker to remember the seething pain of so many years ago…





When even a monster dared to love and to dream…





“Do you remember her?”, Makker’s cruel voice questions…





Shattering Vreacker’s remembrance of that other time and returning him to his dark present.





“You are not to attack the Jedi or their clones, they are mine!”, Vreacker commands as he stalks away.





Punjab,the dank city plays host Kolhma’s only spaceport.





Therefore, despite it’s dingy appearance Punjab’s single cantina, The Fire’s Breath, serves as a popular meeting place for locals and outlanders alike.





Precisely the reason two Jedi and a clone contingent now find themselves at the cantina as night casts its dark shadows over the city.





“Wait outside.”, Obi-Wan commands his padawan and clone companions as he dismounts his speeder and strides towards the cantina’s entrance without another word.





“How uncivilized.”, Obi-Wan remarks as he enters the cantina…





passing the violence…





and degrading entertainment that is synonymous with dive cantina’s from Coruscant to Tatooine.





Taking a seat accross from a hooded figure Obi-Wan utters the agreed upon code words and receives the appropriate response.





Downing the remainder of his drink in one gulp the man bitterly chuckles, “Never thought my life would come to getting wasted in dive cantinas with Jedi. I used to be something… somebody! I was a member of the Bando Gora when it meant something.”.





“You were part of the Bando Gora?”, Obi-Wan questions, shocked by the man’s revelation.





Flashing Obi-Wan a wicked grin the man asks, “Hard to believe isn’t it?”.





Remembering his once meaningful life the man continues, “I remember when we once challenged your mighty order!”.





“We embraced the truth you were too blind to see, one only knows oneself if they know the darkness within.”.





“But then it all came crumbling down.”





“Because of him. Because of Jango Fett.”.





“So its true…”, Obi-Wan gasps.





“The man your precious Republic models its Grand Army from tracked down our High Priestess, Komari Vosa, and murdered her like the common thug Fett was!”, the informant spits.





“But she had it easy, at least she stayed dead… its him…”, the informant trails off.





“Who?”, Kenobi questions, enthralled by the man’s story.





“My brother, Eng Vreacker.”, the man replies, with a haunted look.





“We came to the Bando Gora together in our youth…”





“A broken soul like his can harness the true power of the darkside.”





“He became the Bando Gora’s greatest warrior.”





“Naturally he attracted the notice of Komari Vosa.”





“They became lovers, it was the only slice of happiness my brother ever knew.”





“When she died…”





The man stops, suddenly catching a glimpse of a figure he had not seen for nearly a decade.





The man rises, running in sheer terror!





“Where are you going!”, shouts Obi-Wan, rising.





“I’ve… I’ve said too much!”, the man cries rushing from the cantina…





To his waiting speeder bike and speeds into the streets of Punjab!





Obi-Wan bursts from the cantina and desperately orders Anakin and the clones, “Follow him, quickly!”.





Quickly reacting to Obi-Wan’s orders the group mounts their own speeder bikes and speeds after the informant!





The bustling streets of Punjab prove difficult to navigate at the break neck speeds of the BARC speeders…





Allowing the informant, with his familiarity of the streets of Punjab, to pull ahead of the BARCs!





Suddenly, well armed and armored figures burst onto the streets, between the Republic speeders and the informant!





The ferocious attack catches several troopers off guard, who pay for their carelessness with their lives!





Meanwhile, the informant speeds down a back alley…





Until suddenly a crackling electrowhip yanks him from his speeder!





Staring down at the trembling man before him Eng Vreacker snears, “Hello… brother.”.





Unwilling to give up the chase Anakin and the surviving clones regroup and counterattack…





Driving their enemies back!





Having completed their mission the assassins withdraw as swiftly as they arrived!





Obi-Wan finally catches up with the team. Quickly taking stock of the situation Obi-Wan fears, “Oh no.. Find the informant! Quickly!”.





Searching for any sign of the informant the group quickly disperses.





They soon locate the informant, brutally mauled in a back alley.





“Jedi..”, the man gasps, “Come… closer..”.





Obi-Wan kneels next to the man and tenderly prompts, “I’m sorry… But I must know. You are the only one who can tell me.”.





The man slowly nods and wheezes, “After Fett murdered Vosa, my brother tracked him down. They fought… My brother wasn’t strong enough…Fett mauled him and left him for dead.”.

“But he didn’t die, did he?”, Obi-Wan questions.






“No… The Gran, Doden Makker, nursed him back to health to use as an enforcer. But my brother… never forgot Fett. You’re presence has awakened that lust for revenge…”, the informant breathes.





Unable to hold onto life any longer the man succumbs to his injuries and becomes one with the force. Leaving Obi-Wan to solemnly absorb the man’s last confession and its impact upon his mission.





“You can’t hide the truth from me any longer. You must tell me Obi-Wan, for all our sakes?”, Anakin demands.





“Very well.”, Obi-Wan heavily yields, “The Council wanted answers to the clone army’s origins… Answers the Kaminoans don’t know. Answers that may have died with Fett. His past, who hired him, how this army came to be.”.





“Why the Bogden system?”, Anakin questions.

“It was one of the few clues Fett provided when I meet with him on Kamino.”, Obi-Wan shares.






Kenobi continues, “It has become clear the past still casts long shadows on Kohlma. I’m coming to believe that the dead may still wonder this moon of the dead.”.





The Bando Gora Temple, rarely used since Doden Makker overtook the once proud cult’s leadership and began shaping the cult into little more than a common crime syndicate.





For the past decade the temple has served as Eng Vreacker’s retreat…





And as a monument of his undying love.

“Komari…”, Vreacker heavily sighs running his hand over the final resting place of his lover.






“I’ve done everything for you… only for you.”, he continues, before breaking down in uncontrollable sobs as he remembers those many years ago.





“NO!”, Vreacker screams, cradling the lifeless body of his only love.





That dark day he vowed he would have his revenge.





He confronted the thug who stole his love from him.





The warrior was well trained…





But so was Vreacker!





Their battle was fierce…





But in the end…





He failed his love.





Fett left him for dead…





But fate had other plans.





By the time he had recovered from his grievous injuries Fett had disappeared into the unknown regions of the galaxy without a trace.





When Fett finally returned to the galaxy the Jedi robbed Vreacker of the revenge he so desperately longed for.





Despite Fett’s death his face lives on throughout the galaxy, taunting Vreacker’s failure.





“They… they will pay.”, Vreacker snarls, his cybernetic eye glinting as red as the blood of the Fett spawn he would soon spill.



THE SHROUD OF DARKNESS
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