Chronicles of Talon Chapter 25 Patrolling
379 days after the battle of Geonosis
Vor system, Venator Star Destroyer Defiance
When the Star Destroyer of the 20th Shock Corps-recently renamed the 20th Shock Regiment-returned to normal space over the planet of Vorrina Commander Jal’Kaalar was in the armory. He was putting on the new armor that they were changing to from the galactic marine one. This new armor had a dark green and white color scheme. The officers wore macro binoculars, shoulder armor-also it green-and a blaster proof skirt. Jal’Kaalar had an antennae on the right side of his helmet.
The stubborn clone walked down to the Venator cruisers hangar to join his men. Both Battalions men was preparing for the drop. Captain’s Gearhead and Bullseye was waiting for him when he arrived. They both wore the same armor design he did and their brothers marched around in white and dark green armor. A line of pilots in white and phase II helmets walked into the hangar with their helmets under arm.
“Commander, the Regiment is on schedule!” Bullseye told him.
“Keep it that way,” Jal’Kaalar ordered harshly. “I want to get to the general on time.”
Once they landed they would meet their new jedi general for the first time. General Zataji was already down there fighting. This campaign was the perfect opportunity to show her how skilled the 20th was. As much as they wanted her to prove she was better than General Thedim he felt that they needed to prove themselves too.
“Al’verde,” Bullseye said. It was the Mandalorian word for Commander. Bullseye-like Jal’Kaalar-had embraced their Mandalorian heritage. It was something most clones didn’t know much or anything about. They had been lucky enough to train under a Mandalorian bounty hunter that taught them the ins and outs of Mandalorian society. At least what he felt was important. The warrior culture. He didn’t care for the new peaceful Mandalore. Jal’Kaalar missed him a bit. His name was Atin Blood. Atin meant stubborn or tenacious. He called himself Blood because of his extremely high body count, or so he claimed himself.
“Five minutes from departure,” Bullseye informed him.
Jal’Kaalar had originally 577 brothers he had to get planetside to meet up with the general. The original number of clones was 958 but a lot died under Thedim’s short command. Needless to say General Thedim had left a bad taste in their mouths but thankfully he and his brothers knew from reports and chitchat with brothers from other units that the absolute majority of jedi was fighters and military leaders. After all, they led the war effort for a reason. Bad luck that they ended up with a bad fruit of the bunch.
Jal’Kaalar made his way to a LAAT and Bullseye and Gearhead did the same, spreading out in different gunships. Their target for touchdown was the HQ of General T’racen’s 81st Legion. There was one major HQ and a secondary one planetside. The other was the 7th Sky Corps under General Kenobi’s command. It wasn’t the entire Corps though, half was on another front with General Skywalker. He liked the new armor for a number of reasons, but number one was definitely the change in command. The Galactic Marine armor was something he and his brothers paired with General-or former now-Thedim. This new armor was a new start and a new general they hopefully could respect, and respected them back. That’s what Jal’Kaalar desired the most. A general that respected his men’s lives. But General Zataji’s file certainly spoke volumes about her experience and he was eager to meet her in person and see her skills and tactical knowledge he didn’t see in Thedim.
Time felt it slowed to a bloody crawl on the journey to the HQ. But finally, after twenty minutes the pilot told him they approached the LZ. It sure felt like longer than twenty minutes to him. When they sat down in the LZ Jal’Kaalar ordered Bullseye and Gearhead to organize the Battalions and prepare to march. He himself, headed for the Command center established to meet their new general.
Meanwhile Zataji hadn’t return from a patrol with a Platoon of men and two jedi friends, good old Sabre and her new friend Evelyn, Master Kenobi’s newest padawan. They had been delayed due to taking out a Platoon of droids, without casualties by the way. Obi-wan had agreed to let Evelyn temporarily follow an experienced jedi closer to her own age then he was while he harder and more dangerous work.
“I’m sure Kenobi’s a great master,” Zataji tried coaxing Evelyn into a conversation.
“H-he is,” she answered.
Ok, Zataji thought. Let’s try that again.
“I heard Kenobi thinks you’re talented.”
“H-he di-did? He d-did?!”
“I’m sure he wouldn’t take you on if he didn’t believe in you. Can I ask, how skilled are you with a lightsaber?” She arched an eyebrow.
Evelyn looked at the lightsaber handle attached to her waist and fiddled with her fingers anxiously.
“I-I guess I’m decent. Master says I’m pretty good b-but I think he’s exaggerating.”
Zataji smirked. “Master Kenobi? Exaggerate? Nah.” She waved it off as ridiculous. If he says you’re good, you’re good.”
“Y-you think…” she caught herself. “T-thank you master.”
Zataji was caught off guard when she called her master.
“I….” she had never had anyone call her that before. Well, Master T’racen did but it didn’t count since she was smirking through the whole thing. “…no problem.”
She looked back at Sabre. The Twi’lek girl was chatting with the violet striped troopers. For a moment she thought about her new military commission. It would be her first real command by herself. She had commanded up to one Battalion of clones occasionally when Master Zinbali had put her in command. She really wanted to meet the 20th Shock Regiment troopers. All she knew was that her second in command was Commander Jal’Kaalar.
“D-don’t you think th-this place is creepy?” Evelyn asked.
Zataji looked at the foggy dark environment and the black trees around them on the path.
“Definitely,” she admitted whole-heartedly. “But don’t let it get too you. Keep your mind open.” That last part sounded like something a Jedi knight might tell a padawan. Maybe she’d make a good master one day. She shook her head at the poor padawan that would get assigned to her in say, a few years maybe.
The next five seconds happened incredibly fast. Zataji acted on pure reaction and didn’t think. She activated her yellow lightsaber instinctively and swatted two bolts away. Six Vorrish warriors charged at them with melee weapons at the ready. They didn’t scream until they were already visible. Behind them red striped battle droids she recognized as Orion Task Force marked jogged out of the thick and dark vegetation.
“Ambush!” Zataji shouted.
Three clones joined fire in blasting down a charging warrior. He toppled over with smoking holes through his chest.
Sabre and Evelyn drew their green lightsabers and Sabre charged at the enemy while Evelyn held position and kept a defensive stance. She blocked bolts and saw a warrior coming right at her. Sabre focused on the force to guide her lightsaber through the air and managed to cut the warrior in half. It then returned to its master’s hand. Evelyn blinked when the warrior fell to the dirt path she stood on.
“Defensive formation!” The Platoon Sergeant shouted. He got his men into positions and forming a circle so they could fire at the droids advancing from all sides.
Zataji brought her lightsaber down at a warriors axe and cutting it apart. It allowed her a change to jab the saber into her enemy’s guts. With a swift cut, the female warrior collapsed with a groan of agonizing pain. The Knight turned and leaped at the closest Vorrish and killed him with one quick blow. Swiftly letting her eyes searching the area she found that Sabre killed the remaining Vorrish with Evelyn protecting her back from blaster fire. She noted that two clones were down and four injured but still fighting to the best of their abilities.
“Behind you Zataji!” Sabre alerted her.
It was enough to get Zataji to turn and block a red lightsaber. It, and the user was far too familiar to Sabre. Seyani. Dooku’s puppy assassin Sith lady. Both oldest jedi knew who she was instantly, but Evelyn had no idea. She was scared to see a Sith looking woman attacking them. Panic was quickly rising in her mind.
“Lost are you?” Seyani mocked the Arkanian Knight.
“Oh, I’m so glad you found us,” Zataji replied sarcastically. “Let me show my gratitude with my lightsaber!”
Seyani pushed her lightsaber away and delivered a strong kick to stagger her for a mere second. Enough to block Sabre’s green saber. She leaped through the air with a battle cry. In a blitz maneuver she thrusted and slashed five times in quick succession, but Seyani blocked them all.
She was surprised at the girls speed. The little padawan was strong in the force, clearly.
“This is for my master!” Sabre yelled.
Zataji was back on the offensive and Seyani was forced to fight them both off. Then it was her turn to play offense.
She force pushed the Twi’lek into a tree to temporarily and attacked the Arkanian with all her strength. She cut down a trooper that got to close by pulling him to her and jabbed her saber through him. Zataji was forced backwards as she continued pushing forward. She couldn’t get a single attack in. the Zabrak was too skilled when she finally got the advantage.
Then, Zataji was kicked in the head and when tried to sidestep an attack she was cut in the side. She cried out in pain. Ceasing the advantage, Seyani force pushed her backwards and she hit the ground hard. It was time to turn her attention to the Twi’lek.
Sabre was getting back up on her feet and tried to twist the force into an energy ball, but Seyani easily blocked it using her force powers.
“Your master took my hand,” she growled. Sabre remembered. It was back on Kamino, just before this coward ran like a kriffin’ wimp. “So now I’m taking her second apprentice from her.”
“Just try it worm!” Sabre snapped challengingly.
“Oh, I’ll do more than try.”
She rushed her and swung her lightsaber swiftly. Sabre tried her best but she was too fast and she found herself stumbling over a tree root when forced backwards. She saw the red lightsaber racing down towards her, staring at it in horror for a fraction of a second.
“NO!” Evelyn cried out and gave the Sith everything she got.
She force pushed Seyani off her feet and she flew twenty meters down the dirt path only to land hard. Evelyn then ran to Sabre and kneeled beside her.
“A-are you okay?”
Sabre responded by hugging her tightly for two seconds.
“Okay? You saved my life!” She exclaimed. “I could kiss you!”
Evelyn blushed madly.
“Oh-oh…Ah…” she mustered.
Zataji was back on her feet, clutching her wound with a pained expression.
“We need to get out of here,” she told a clone offering to help her.
“Calling it now,” the Sergeant complied. They had just cleaned out the last droids.
Sabre ignited her lightsaber again and stared with narrowed eyes on Seyani. She was getting back up. But together, she and Evelyn send her flying with a strong push. Evelyn was remarkably strong in the force. Sabre was both stunned and awed by it.
With the Sith back on her butt Sabre told their troopers, pointing with her green sabre, “Fire!”
They opened a barrage of blue laser. Seyani barely managed to get up in time to swat them away. Swatting it back at them she killed two men. Evelyn and Sabre swatted away incoming bolts after the first was swatted back at them.
Zataji was trying to figure out what they should do. It wouldn’t take more than a few minutes for a gunship to get here, probably. But the Sith could easily kill them all in that time if she got the chance. If they were lucky they could hold her with the barrage until help arrived. With luck a gunship was already in the area, but they could not assume that.
“Keep at it!” She shouted. “Don’t give the hag a break.”
What worried her was that she was too injured to put up a good fight right now and she was a much better duelist than Sabre and Evelyn. Evelyn lacked confidence and Sabre had too much of it. She wished her master was here. Or maybe her best friends. Zee Zana and Sakiko. They could surely kick this bitch’s ass. Zee was considered one of the best skilled lightsaber wielders in the Order. Counting that there was about 10,000 jedi in the galaxy and she probably counted among the top fifteen that was impressive. Damn impressive actually. She was only seventeen years old too.
Seyani leaped into the air with the force and down into the midst of troopers. She slashed violently around her, cutting down ten men in two seconds flat.
Sabre ran in and caught her attention. A kick in the chest caused her to fall to the ground and Seyani continued gutting the clones left of the ones Platoon strong force. She force pushed Zataji away when she tried to attack. When Evelyn tried to grab her with the force she scurried out of the way and ran towards her, cutting down two troopers on the way. She dodged the padawan’s force push and landed her lightsaber on hers. Evelyn was terrified, standing face to face with the dark force user. Seyani felt her fear and gave a wicked grin, scaring her even more. After two attacks Evelyn had her lightsaber fly from her grip and land in the muck at their feet. The fog was concentrated on the ground, making it impossible to even see ones feet. Before landing the finishing blow she jumped away. For the fraction of a second she was confused, but then a blast hit the ground, shattering it and throwing earth around.
Evelyn looked up to see a gunship hovering. The gunner in the pod sitting in front of the receding door had fired its Composite beam. The clone gunner inside repositioned the pod and fired at Seyani again. She leaped away. A second gunship appeared in the foggy air and hovered a meter from the ground. The doors receded and 212th troopers jumped out.
The first was Commander Cody. He gestured for a trooper with a chaingun.
“Don’t let her even catch her breath!”
The clone joined the first gunships barrage with his own. Spraying out bolts in Seyani’s direction. He missed but she couldn’t stop to do anything. Not even think. Six other orange stripes clones joined his barrage. Other clones helped their wounded 81st brothers inside the LAAT. They had a medical droid waiting to treat them inside.
“Cody!” Evelyn cried out in desperation.
He jogged towards her. He was surprised when she sprinted his way and wrapped her arms around his waist. Halting he wasn’t sure what do to at first. Carefully, he remembered that she was a jedi-but still a twelve year old girl. He patted her awkwardly on the back.
“It’s…alright Commander,” he tried comforting her. “Are you hurt?”
“We need to get you out of here. Come on.”
He guided her back to the LAAT that had no landed completely. Evelyn saw two clones help Zataji into the gunship. Sabre looked a little groggy but she didn’t need any help. She helped the Sergeant, now wounded, into the gunship. Evelyn for a moment, thought it was over now, but than three clones flew into her and Cody. Including the gunner.
Seyani attacked again. She slashed through four clones and went for Sabre. After two blows she had to divert her attention to batting away blue bolts from the clones. She glanced up when a third gunship appeared.
“Seriously?” She asked.
To her dismay it halted thirty meters up and opened the doors. Talon leaped out and landed gracefully on the ground, lightsaber ignited and ready. Seyani got a look around. She had a Jedi Master, two padawan’s, a Knight and say… forty battle ready clones-not counting the injured. She realized she didn’t stand a chance.
She retreated into the forest with Talon chasing after her. After a moment she returned. Cody had just helped Evelyn to her feet.
“She bolted like the coward she is,” Talon declared. “Let’s get the wounded back to base Commander.”
“Yes general,” Cody confirmed the order.