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THE SHROUD OF DARKNESSEpisode 5THE DAY OF RECKONING






    











Truth, since the dawn of time men have debated what is truth.





The truth is, we make our own truth. When that truth is shattered, so too is our world.





Eng Vreacker now knew what it meant to be living in a broken world.





“I killed Komari Vosa!”, Count Dooku repeats, flashing the stupefied Vreacker a wicked smile.





“No!”, Vreacker howls as if injured by Dooku’s words, “It can’t be true!”.





“But it is!”, Dooku assures, reveling in Vreacker’s agony.





“Komari Vosa was once my apprentice. She was an excellent pupil, if a bit unstable. I thought she might one day prove a valuable ally. Instead, she became a liability. Therefore, I placed the bounty of five million Republic credits upon her, dead or alive. The winner, as you said, would also become the template for and oversee the training of a magnificent army of perfect warriors. A chance at immortality!”.





“Fett did indeed hunt down Komari Vosa and best her in combat..”





“Yet he spared her life, choosing to collect the bounty for her alive.”





“However, I could not allow one trained in the Jedi arts as well as Komari Vosa to survive.”





“And so I killed Komari Vosa, without pity or regret.”.





“She endangered the plans of my Master and suffered the consequences.”, the Count continues.





“Just as you must now suffer the consequences.”, Dooku concludes, igniting his lightsaber.





“You are mistaken Dooku.”, Vreacker challenges, igniting his own electrowhip, “It is you who will face the consequences of his actions!”.





Despite its treacherous nature, men still desperately seek the truth. Obi-Wan Kenobi was one of those men and he could not imagine having the truth of the clone army’s origin within his grasp, only to have it slip through his fingers once more.





Together Obi-Wan and his comrades take stock of the heavy Confederate fortifications outside of the gates leading to the city of Punjab.





“That’s a lot of droids.”, sighs Captain Rex, “I suggest we find another way into the city.”.





“There’s no time!”, Obi-Wan snaps, “We must act now or we risk losing Vreacker forever!”.





With that, Kenobi raises his lightsaber and roars, “Charge!”.





Trained from birth to feel no fear, the clones rush after their Jedi General without hesitation…





Each willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the Republic.





With their courage and competence no number of battle droids is a match for the 501st legion!





That is why the Confederacy does not allow the fate of victory to rest solely upon their mechanized marines…





Instead choosing to put their faith and reliance on tested dark warriors.





Trained by Count Dooku himself these dark acolytes are formidable opponents…





Fueled by their own raging hatred and passions.





“Boxer!”, Rex cries as the dark warrior cuts down his friend.





“You’re gonna pay for that, you piece of bantha fodder!”, Rex snarls.





Turning to face Rex the Dark Jedi is impressed by the Captain’s savagery…





However, with the power of the force at the acolyte’s disposal it is hardly a fair fight.





But Rex wasn’t trained to expect his opponents to fight fairly…





For Rex is no ordinary trooper. He is an ARC Trooper, the super soldiers of the Republic!





Trained by the warrior Jango Fett, it is all to easy for Rex to subdue his enemy.





Bested the dark warrior yields to Rex shouting, “Finish it!”.





However, rather than kill the mercenary, Rex chooses to walk away…





Allowing his men to take the defeated warrior captive.





“Well handled Captain, I am impressed.”, Kenobi remarks.

Rex soberly replies, “Jango Fett taught me that my powers come with responsibility. He trained me to never take a life, unless it was a benefit to the mission.”.






“No matter how much we may want to, Mandalorians do not kill without reason.”, Rex continues, clenching his fist in anger.





Shocked by this remarkably honorable action, Obi-Wan silently wonders if a warrior as honorable as Fett could have truly murdered Komari Vosa in cold blood.





Hate can be a powerful ally…





Fueling aggression…





And providing an all consuming purpose…





“You have spirit!”, Count Dooku snears, “Just like her.”…





“But that spirit blinds you to your enemy’s plan. ”, Dooku gloats, unleashing a mighty force push…





Which hurls Vreacker backward!





“Your arrogance blinds you to mine Dooku.”, Vreacker neatly replies, unleashing a monstrous arsenal and firing a missile directly at Dooku!





Dooku quickly whips about, barely avoiding the missile…





Which blasts directly into the Count’s luxurious shuttle!





Vreacker triumphantly stands over Dooku’s crumpled body, bringing all his weapons to bear on the Count he sneers, “I’m going to enjoy this.”.





“Not as much as I am.”, Dooku threateningly replies…





Unleashing a vicious torrent of Sith Lightning!





Vreacker howls in unbearable pain, stumbling backward.





Neatly severing the cyborg’s heavy cannons Dooku remarks, “I must commend you, those were a nice touch. But it is over Vreacker…”





“Your pathetic excuse for an army has been crushed.”





“And your world lies in ruin.”





“Whatever would Komari say?”, Dooku taunts, relishing Vreacker’s defeat.





“How dare you speak of her!”, Vreacker thunders.“This isn’t over yet, Dooku!”, Vreacker snarls, fleeing towards the only home he ever knew.





The truth often comes from the most unlikely of sources, discounted by those who must later lament its passing.





“You cannot win Jedi.”, warns the Dark Jedi, “I have seen the truth, you cannot escape it.”.





“Perhaps.”, Obi-Wan thoughtfully answers, “But I’m afraid you won’t be escaping either.”.





“There are many paths to escape Jedi.”, the sinister warrior calmly replies…





Just as a vicious salvo of later fire erupts from a Separatist sniper position!





“Get the prisoner to cover!”, Obi-Wan warns…





Too late as the heartless droids mowdown their own ally, less risk his betrayal.





“Frag!”, Kenobi curses, upset with himself for allowing his prisoner to be killed.





“That’s the least of our worries General!”, Rex points out…





As a massive droid starfighter clatters towards them!





Entering the Bando Gora Temple Dooku silently chuckles to himself.





“A fitting to place to end this Vreacker, you have chosen your death well.”, the Count congratulates.





“I can sense you.”, Dooku calls to Vreacker, “Your anger… your fear. You stink of fear!”.





“Did Komari ever tell why she was expelled from the Jedi Order?”, Dooku insidiously questions.





“It wasn’t for her violent nature or disregard of the Council. No, it was because she dared to love, long before knowing you.”., the Count continues.





“She loved me!”, Dooku sneers.





“No!”, Vreacker howls leaping from the shadows.





Vreacker’s clumsy assault is no match for Dooku, who freezes the cyborg mid motion…





Before slamming him into the wall!





Standing over Vreacker’s crumpled body Dooku shares, “When the council and I discovered her infatuation with me, we expelled her. She felt abandoned by the Jedi order… by me, she was driven mad with resentment. That was the wretched creature you loved so dearly.”





“Now join her in death!”, Dooku fumes, unleashing a massive torrent of Sith lightning.





Broken both physically and emotionally Vreacker cannot fight any longer.





Dooku laughs as he unleashes another outburst of Sith Lightning, savoring every moment of Vreacker’s pain as if it was a fine Alderaanian wine.





“Komari…”, Vreacker gasps…





As he finally surcumbs to the darkness of death’s embrace.





“Medic! We need a medic!”, Cody desperately shouts, propping up his wounded brother on his shoulder.





Suddenly the wounded trooper is shot from behind…





As Separatist forces overrun the Republic trench!





“Kriffing clankers!”, Cody curses, “Suck laser!”.





While valiant, the Commander’s struggle is futile due to the sheer number of advancing droids.





However, just as it seems the Separatist’s victory is at hand…





The droids pull back.





Together the troopers of the 221th attack battalion erupt in a collective cheer!





“It doesn’t make any sense, they had us on the rails. Why fall back?”, Cody questions as he joins Anakin’s side.





“I don’t know but I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”, Anakin replies concerned.





Withdrawing his comlink Anakin contact his Master. “Master, the droids are pulling back.”, Anakin cautiously reports.





Watching in shock as the droids around him withdraw Obi-Wan begins, “But that makes no sense unless…”





“Oh no! Anakin, get to the citadel!”, Obi-Wan bursts, filled with foreboding.





Together the Jedi storm into the citadel…





Only to find Vreacker’s smoking corpse.





“We’re too late.”, Obi-Wan gasps in despair, staring at the lifeless body of the man who was the key to unlocking the mystery of the clone army.





The Jedi Temple, a beacon of truth, today the Temple’s Masters wrangle with the troubling news from Kholma…





“I fear that the secret of the clone army was lost with Vreacker.”, Obi-Wan worries, after finishing recounting the dark tale of Eng Vreacker.





“Shrouded in darkness is the creation of this clone army.”, Yoda fears.





“I don’t think we can trust the Kaminoans’ motives…”, Windu opinions,





“Or the clones.”, he concludes.





“The clones are honorable warriors.”, Obi-Wan counters, “Just as Fett was. Of that I am even more certain after this mission.”.





Sighing deeply Yoda concludes, “Trust in the force and each other we must, or as twisted as Vreacker are we certain to become. A powerful weapon is fear, but allow our enemy to rule us with it we must not.”





“For in the rays of the future, a new hope there is for the galaxy.”



THE SHROUD OF DARKNESS
<<  Episode 4
THE DEAD MAN'S TALE
 
Episode 5  
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