View Full Version : A Journal Of Belonging

Jax Nova
12 February 2007, 07:31 AM
Well, it's been a while since I have been here, no one probably knows who I am but all the same I figured I would post this and see what you all think.

A Journal Of Belonging:

Entry 1: JAX-599

The cold night air filtered through my open window as I woke that night. Once again a wrestles night kept me awake. “What is it about me that makes it so no one can relate? Why can’t I ever belong?” I thought wishfully. I got out of my bed and walked slowly over to the window, planning on closing it. But something caught my eye, something outside the window. There just outside of my dark clean room, out the smudged window I saw a forest. “That’s impossible!” I knew it was, the house was located in a large open yard!

Hurriedly I opened the window further, expecting the “elusion” to disappear at any moment. But to my utter astonishment it did not disappear as I reached out and grabbed a leaf from a near by tree. I looked back at the rest of my room, the look of shock pasted on my face as I looked over my bed, white sheets and a blue pillow. My wood desk setting on the hard wood floor and my dresser with it’s usual items laying on top of it. Everything was normal… except the forest outside my bedroom window. It was amazing!

I ran across the cool floor and rummaged through my dresser drawer until I cam up with a pair of jeans, a T-shirt, and my jacket. I grabbed my pocket knife, a package of nuts that set on the top of my dresser, a bottle of water, and then headed back to the window. Taking one last look back into my room I climbed out the window. I lowered myself to the ground, crunching leaves and twigs under my feet. The forest stretched for as far as the eye could see. The thinly spaced trees grew wide and tall, groundcover filling in the many gaps between the trees.

I didn’t know where to go… What to do. The orphanage that I left behind certainly didn’t appeal any more than this however. My mind raced with amazement as I viewed the astounding sights that filled the dimly lit view that my eyes absorbed. The wind dropped it’s tear drops from the sky as it cried through the trees with a strong momentum, it’s effects, however were undetected by my skin as the trees sheltered me down below from the winds harsh drive.

I had walked for a minute… or two. Maybe ten or more, I couldn’t really say. When I looked back it was apparent, however, that I had walked far enough that my room was no longer in sight. The solitary window that hung there in mid air had vanished or escaped deep into the woods. Either way, whether I had walked far enough to engulf it in this forest, or whether it had vanished as mysteriously as it had appeared, it was no where to be seen.

I seemed to walk for miles, passing the tall and enormous trees, vastly diverse undercover, and a few open spaces. A face of light brown hair, deep brown eyes, and slightly tanned skin stared back at me as I looked aimlessly into a small pond, it’s surface shining with the light of the new arrival of the moon to the night sky. A smile graced the face as I stepped closer to the edge. My full form of five foot and eight inches seemed a bit taller in the reflection.

It was as if I had been set free from the troubles of life, gifted a place of solitude where, for once in my life, I could escape my troubles. Now all I needed to worry about was finding food. I had the bag of nuts, but that would last a total of three days if rationed properly. Fortunately I had always been fascinated with nature and recognized many of the plants, several of which were eatable. Many of them, nevertheless, were utterly repulsive in taste. It would do. “It will have to.” I knew, if I was to survive.

The night’s cool air rolled in as the waters reflections remained strong in the moonlight. The fresh night air smelled pleasing and clean with a hint of rain. “I might as well get some sleep.” Who knew what creatures would be lurking around in these woods. I decided against sleeping on the ground and climbed a tree instead. This particular tree, it’s long and dangling branches were accompanied by a strong vine. The two worked excellently for weaving myself a little bed in the branches.

“I should…” I thought but I lost my line. There was something else… “What was it?” I couldn’t even be sure I was thinking about… What was I thinking about?! The confusion faded away with my consciousness. The next thing I knew I was waking that morning in my bed that I had made, hanging high in the trees. “I must have fallen asleep before I finished.” I thought as I looked at the large whole near my feet. I didn’t remember. No matter, though, it did fine for the night.

Climbing down the tree I looked around diligently to see if I could see anything new in the welcomed light that the morning sun brought as it bled through the trees. The cool air filtered through my lungs as I jumped the last three feet to the ground. “I wonder if the water is clean enough to drink?” There was only one way to find out. I needed a drink! My throat was as dry as sand paper. Skin clung to skin down the tube of my throat. The small twenty two once bottle of water did little to quench my thirst.

At the far end of the small pond was a stream running out. The pool must have been fed by an underground spring. The two foot wide creek that ran out of it appeared clean. I knew that this would be the cleanest water I would find without boiling it somehow. So, for now, this pond would have to do.

I drank my fill of the cool running water. Once gain I could swallow without feeling as though parts of my skin was being pealed from my throat. I filled my bottle with water, as full as it could go. Then once more I drank from the stream, as much as I could possibly hold. Not only would it keep me from feeling as hungry as I already did, but I had no way of knowing when the next time I would find water would be.

“I wonder if there is any intelligent life in this world?” I thought to myself as I walked along for yet another long day. I was alone, hungry, and getting thirsty again. But these were not new to me. The feeling of emptiness that rings in your core when you haven’t heard a kind word, or perhaps no word at all from another living soul for days. The tightening not in my stomach that grew and growled with sharpening strikes of pain as I walked onwards. The distinct dry feeling that I continually tried to erase from the back of my throat by swallowing my spit. None of this was new, not for me.

Finally, my second day in this strange world, I got a break in the harsh reality of surviving in the wild. A fruit tree! They looked, to me, like mangoes. They tasted like mangoes. I decided to eat some, as well as dry as much as I could over the fire that night to take with me. I assumed, since I woke up that morning, that the fruit was not harmful.

A third day passed by, my water was nearly gone now and my throat was still dry. Half my nuts were gone and a couple pieces of dried fruit. Fortunately another break, berries. The food and the juice were welcomed greatly by my hungry and thirsty body! None the less, I was enjoying my exploration. I had decided on my long walk that given the chance again I would still exit through my window, perhaps with some extra provisions however.

The fourth day brought me thankfully to another stream. The clear cool water was a welcomed sight as it refilled my water bottle and my dry flesh. But then I noticed something in the stream, something shiny. The elongated object moved around curiously, shining and shimmering under the water’s surface. Suddenly I noticed, it was a fish! The strange little fish had a back that lit up as bright as a star in the night sky.

I camped by the river that night and decided against catching the fish with the wooden spear I had carved with my pocket knife. I had no way of knowing whether it was poisonous or not. But the morning light that woke up with the sunrise in the east provided a new form of food. A rabbit bent down by the water to drink. I saw half of it sticking out from behind a large rock. I grabbed my spear slowly and walked silently towards the rabbit. I threw, hard and fast, but accurate. The spear struck the back half of the rabbit and pinned him momentarily to the ground. But in his frantic attempt to flee he broke free, drug my spear with him for a few feet, then took off on his own.

I grabbed the spear on the run, chasing after my prey with eagerness. It would be good if I could have something to eat besides dried fruit or left over berries. Following the drops of blood I stumbled over the dead body just behind a bush. With a smile I grabbed the animal and brought him back to my camp site. Impatiently I skinned and gutted the thing. It took little effort to restart the coals that once formed the flames of my camp fire. Then I set one of the legs, skewered on the end of my stick to roast over the fire.

As the smell of cooking meat tormented me I broke open the skull of the creature. Digging the brains out I applied them to the hide and stretched it out on the trunk of a tree, using the tendons from the rabbit to hold it tight. This process would tan the hide and make it soft and flexible, as opposed to it’s hardened and stiff state it would dry in otherwise.

“I wonder what I can make out of it.” my mind worked as the rabbit leg cooked and I created a rack to place above the fire and dry what meat from the rabbit I could. My few pockets were starting to get filled between the berries, dried fruit, and my water bottle. Perhaps I could make a small pouch out of the skin. A sling would certainly do me no good, no better than the wood spear I already had.

A small pouch, I decided would be what the rabbit hide would provide, as I ate the leg meat with satisfaction. “It’s not to bad out here.” I said softly to myself with a smile on my face. “I just hope winter is a long ways off…” the thought crossing my mind made me think of the shelter I would probably need. If I was fortunate the winters would be mild. But there was no way for me to tell until they came. I would need to be prepared as soon as possible.

The meat was almost done drying when I heard a rustling in the brush. A flash of gray disappeared behind on of the shrubs. “Wolf!” was the first thing that bounced into my mind. No doubt something would have smelled the meat drying over the fire. I grasped my spear handle and waited. It was known that wolves didn’t like fire… But was it a wolf?

The night came, and the sounds lessoned. To my dreadful horror I found myself waking up from falling asleep as something dashed in towards the camp! I jumped to my feet just in time to see the wolf coming in. It was a wolf! I threw my spear at it, hitting it in the left shoulder hard enough to knock it down. The canine predator yelped in pain and raced off to the east up the river. Apparently the pack was inclined to follow as I heard a great number of creatures leaving with him.

That next morning I forced open my eyes and once again made myself feel bloated by drinking all the water I could eat. The last of the meat was dry and the second leg was cooked. I could now start traveling. I packed on my things, found another stick suitable for a spear and began carving the end to a point as I walked up stream to the east.

To my shock I was startled by a growling sound and a snapping wolf lunging at me out of a nearby brush. Thanks to my reflexes the wolf bit the stick that I held in my hand instead of my leg. The blood on it’s shoulder divulged the reasons why it was here, alone. And why it was attacking me. It was wounded, by my spear. It probably recognized my smell and singled me out as a threat. I simply got to close.

A thrust of my stick sent the wolf into the stream and my stick out of his mouth. But he was not ready to give up, he lunged at me again. Backing up I devised a strategy to fight this vicious predator. I let it bite the end of my stick, the pointed end, and thrust, with all my mind, the spear down it’s throat. The wounded wolf soon lay dead, motionless, and cold. After I got over the initial panic of being attacked I skinned it and preformed the same procedure on his hide as I had the rabbit’s.

While I waited for the wolf hide to be finished I commenced making my pouch out of the rabbit skin. I sewed it together with the rabbit’s numerous tendons and put a loop that one of the wolf’s teeth would go through to fasten the lid shut on the small leather container. By that time the fire that I started gleamed in what little moonlight shone through the thick trees above.

I had no idea what I was going to make out of the wolf hide. I figured I could at least keep it for a small blanket if it were to get cold soon. It would, after all, be better than nothing! But that would not be necessary, I hopped. My thoughts on the subject once again faded away as sleep won yet another battle over my body and mind.

That morning I woke, half mad at myself for falling asleep on the ground. I didn’t feel comfortable anymore with sleeping in such a vulnerable spot, not after the wolf attack. But there was nothing to do now but hurry on my way and remember not to do so again.

It was nice traveling along the shallow river. It’s calm waters provided a drink whenever I desired and I had no worries about the next time I would find water. Also, I assumed, that if there were any humans on this world they would settle near the river. Perhaps, by following the river, I might find a settlement or city of sorts.

The days faded quickly after the first week of traveling. The animal attacks revisited my campsite once or twice and my bed in the trees became less painful to sleep in. The river still flowed as calmly as ever and the trees thinned. My dried fruit and meat was replaced by more dried rabbit meat and the few bird eggs I found along the way. Since I couldn’t cook the eggs I ate them raw. It took some getting used to but it wasn’t that bad.

Three, maybe four… or five, six months. I couldn’t be sure. Time passed so suddenly. Where it had all gone, I couldn’t say. How much of it had gone, I could not say either. But finally, for the first time in ages, I saw intelligent life again. But not normal intelligent life. These tall, slender white and gray creatures wore strange garb and had faces much like those of the reported aliens seen by humans on earth. “I’m not on earth anymore.” I reminded myself. So now the question… Where was I?

The question of “What are they” referring to these strange creatures was no longer an issue. In fact, it never had been. Kaminoans, without a doubt. The only problem with this? Kaminoans didn’t exist, not in reality. Which would seem to indicate I was no longer in reality. But if these creatures were real then the rest of the creatures known commonly as “Star Wars” creatures must also be real. A simple idea that intoxicated me with fascination.

“Excuse me.” I called out to the large white Kaminoan closest to me. “Would you happen to be able to help me? I am stranded here.” The Kaminoan’s head perked up. “Hello.” his strangely hollow voice rang softly with a sideways head cock to accompany it. “How long have you been here?” he inquired of me. “Several months… I think. It’s been so long, I really can’t say.” I admitted. “Please come with me.” he offered with a smile touch his odd mouth.

I followed him back to there ship. It seemed they were gathering animal DNA for there genetic experiment research. They would allow me to come back with them but I would have to place myself in the care of one of there clone groups that they were starting on. It seemed a reasonable request since they would feed, cloth, shelter, and train me. What else was I to do?

But that… That was a long time ago. Since that time the clone training has been… intense, all consuming. I have no family, no friends, no life. Now I am only a warrior. I am, in every sense of the word, a clone. Just like all the rest of the helmeted faces that surround me during the training. There is no difference between me and the man sitting next to me, not in their eyes. And any more, not in my eyes either. They are my family, my friends, my life.

A ring sounded from the door as JAX-599 set down his data pad and filled away what he had been writing in his journal. “It’s open.” his strong voice called out, now sounding much like the voice of a clone… or the voice of the bounty hunter Jango Fet.

It had been nearly ten years since JAX had been adopted by the Kaminoans and placed with the clones. Although he didn’t look like them, he was one of them in all senses of the word. And although he was twenty six years old he looked no more than twenty. Presumably, because of the Kaminoan growth reducer he would look, feel, and function as a twenty year old for another ten years. That was the ratio. In ten years he would feel and function like a twenty one year old. In another ten years a twenty two year old, ten more and twenty three year old.

“The orders in, were moving out in ten minutes.” a clone troopers voice called from the outside of the door. “Be there in five.” JAX replied. JAX put on his armor, a plain white suite, strapped a pistol to each hip, slid a vibroblade in it’s sheath on his back, grabbed his utility belt, and his blaster rifle. He took one last look at his room that he would never see again. Although the first time he left his room, crawling through his window into this fascinating world was only a blur after ten years he could remember that hesitating feeling. But like last time he knew he had to go on, on to bigger and better things.

Sitting in the transport he grabbed back on to his data pad while he waited for the ships to take off and there orders to be given. A Jedi Master, Master Yoda had picked them up on urgent necessity of there services. JAX waited for the rest of his team, the five O first, 501.

Entry 2: JAX-599
It has been ten long years of training since I came to Kamino, and now it’s over. I am off to fight for the Jedi in there war. It will be the first time me, or any of the clones for that matter, have been off this planet.

I walked over to the seats to sit down as the engines on the transport chimed in to the multiple sounds that filled my ears. The 501 filed the transport sitting next to me on both sides. I was a member of the team known as Virus. “Still logging in that data pad 599?” TMI-103 asked with a laugh. “Always.” I replied with a smile beneath my helmet.

“Alright men! This is it. Master Yoda has given us orders. There simple blast the droids and keep the Jedi and each other alive. It’s our first mission, lets show e’m what we’ve got!” LMT-291, our group leader, spoke up. “Yeah!” the cries of agreement came from the others, only to be drown out by the rushing of the hundreds of ships that took off from Kamino, on there way to Geonosias to aid the Jedi in the battle.

The droid army was enormous, but the clone army was even more vast than there own numbers. Not to mention the fact that the average estimation among the clone ranks was one clone for every five druids. After all they wanted to stay on the safe side with there estimates.

“Prepare for deployment!” the cry rang over the radio in JAX’s helmet. Quickly, sliding his data pad inside his armor he grabbed his things and took a place by the door. The ship descended on the arena that settled itself comfortably in the midst of the large droid army that sat waiting. Inside the arena the Jedi were surrounded by droids, fighting for there lives. Now was the time for the clones to act, the first chance to prove themselves in battle. The time to shine.
JAX and the men of the five O first pressed gently on the triggers of there blaster rifles, sending streams of deadly, blue energy rocketing from the ship that was meters above the ground. The steady stream lasers on the gunnery stations and the wing turrets cleared lines from the droid army as the Republic Gunship landed softly on the hot sand.

Entry 3: JAX-599

None of us had been in battle before. Despite the training… years of training, nothing could fully prepare us for that first time. The first kill, the first fight, first rush of adrenalin as you risk your life in the line of duty, the first thoughts of “what if…” None of us were ready for what we were about to enter as we jumped out of that gunship. But none of us let it show. We weren’t just simple soldiers, soldiers got scared. We were warriors.

I stayed in the ship, it’s compartments providing adequate cover from the barrage of oncoming shots. The perimeter created around the Jedi with the gunships also provided us with a slight sense of safety in the chaos of war. But this security blanket was torn in pieces and burned as XTO-556 fell to the ground dead, the first clone casualty. At that time we realized this was it, this was the real thing. And we realized, some of us weren’t walking away from this fight today.

ZX-504, who was affectionately called ZeX by the members of the 501, moved in beside me to tend to XTO-556. ZeX’s extensive training as a combat medic made his battle skills weaker than the rest of us, but he played an irreplaceable roll on the team. But this time training didn’t help. The three shots barreled through a single spot on 556’s eye shield. The head shot took only moments to drain the life from the unfortunate man.

ZeX shook his head as I glanced over to him to inquire about 556. “He’s dead…” ZeX said with sorrow in his voice. The first man from team Virus had died. With a glance towards the droids ZeX grabbed 556’s utility belt, armed all four grenades and tossed them into the group of droids. “Take that you meddle scum!” ZeX yelled out with emotion as he shouldered his gun and began blasting away once more.

The emotion seemed to seep across the few feet between me and ZeX as it grew inside of me. But it seemed to help. Shot after shot hit, head shots half the time. The droids were weekly armored, a single head shot sent them falling to the ground. My four grenades were quickly depleted as I latched them onto the body of random droids in the large group.

The Jedi were loaded in the ships, and now the ships took off. They were there to save the JedI, we were there to fight the droids. I raced to the fallen pillars as the ships began to leave. There were several droids behind the pillars, they had taken cover behind them.

I don’t remember much about that moment. I remember shots, blazing red lights flashing by me, a couple missiles. I dove, rolled and came up by the side of the pillar. In moments a grenade flew out of my hand, up and over the edge I leaned into. Where I had got the grenade I couldn’t recall. It’s effects… Three droids, in pieces, flying through the air.

Sticking my gun around the corner I blasted randomly without looking, knowing there were still several droids behind the pillar. The sound of my shots hitting mettle rang for the first few moments, then stopped as a droid fell to the ground in my sight. That pillar was clean I found out by quickly peaking around the corner.

The next pillar, also toppled over, held the last few droids behind it’s barricades. Slipping my blaster rifle in it’s holder on my back I grabbed my vibroblade and lurked along the ground to the side of the next pillar. The droids were to busy shooting to even notice me. In a single movement I rolled out around the edge and sliced the first droid at the hips.

The relative silence of a blade gave me the advantage against the remaining seven droids. They didn’t realize what was going on until I severed the heads of two others in a spinning motion that brought me within feet of the next walking piece of scrap mettle.
The droid stood up just in time to see me run him through with my blade. The droids behind him stood up to shoot. I thrust my blade through the droid and into the next one, impaling two supper battle droids on my sword. By this time the remaining three had smoking blaster wholes in them, lots of blaster wholes.

The Geonosian had retreated back into the arena walls and confines. Now we would move in and take over the intertwining buildings that they hid inside, taking pot shots at the clones that were mocked as the men stepped out of the way. But none the less they were dangerous.

Our teams moved into position, the five O first splitting into several sub teams. The Geonosians knew we were there, the element or surprise was lost. It was time for brute force and a raged battle storm of their fortress. Something we could do. We knew it, the Geonosians, if intelligent, would have suspected it, so we couldn’t do it.

We didn’t charge them in full force, guns blazing, rockets flaring. But then again… we did. Or at least they thought we did. And they would be right in the sense that we took that action. But did we take that battle action? No. It would only appear so to them, but we knew better.

Members of the 501st formed teams to infiltrate the Geonosian facilities. Me, ZeX, and a couple others 700 and 392 teamed up to make our way up the wall and secure an infiltration point where other teams would enter the large arena walls. There were to be five of these teams. Our team got the easy job really. We headed straight for the holding pen where the Reek had been held. From there it would be easy to scale the wall without being detected. The large door would give us that much of a head start by climbing on top and from there it was a short throw near the top.

I climbed on top of the half foot ledge that stuck out and grabbed the grappling hook. Under cover of the large fire fight I could have probably shot it from my gun, but I didn’t risk it. Instead I threw it, confident I could stab it into the side far enough for the arms to secure themselves fast in the wall. Fortunately for me I was right. My throw was good and in seconds I was ascending to the top of the wall.

I jumped up and over blasting as soon as the sight of rough, brown, Geonosian flesh registered in my optical nerves, or perhaps even before then. Two, three, four dropped to the ground before I did. My jump launched me far. I went into a roll and came up behind the cover of a small protrusion. By the time I dropped two of the remaining five Geonosians I was ducking for cover from their sonic blaster.

Another man jumped over the ledge, who it was I couldn’t say. The flash of clone trooper armor, the swirls of sonic waves, the face of the remaining Geonosians, they all faded together as flashes of blue raced into the scene to cut down another two. Landing behind me the clone ducked behind a similar protrusion.

A small ball was chucked over the side as I hollered the coordinates through my com-link to the remaining clones below. The throw couldn’t have been better. The grenade stuck to the Geonosian’s thigh. Within seconds I ducked to avoid the flying body parts that splattered over the brown dirt like structure. It wasn’t a pretty sight, but it was a pleasing sight.

I didn’t look back as the rest of the clones climbed over one by one. My eyes were gazing intently, scanning the innumerable openings that Geonosian warriors might fly out any moment. Fortunately there were none more to deal with until the team was up and heading through the corridor towards the door controls.

Three Geonosians flew around the corner blasting simultaneously, widening fields of sonic waves permeated the hallway. The four of us ducked and rolled, throwing grenades in a pattern to match the circular room at the end of the hall. This was where our training really shone bright as the grenades landed in a circle around the circular room, one in the center of the circle. Two seconds after landing they blew, near perfect positioning and timing. It couldn’t have got much better than that.

The grenade blast cleared the room of any threat, it didn’t leave any safe place in the room. The Geonosian parts were flung over the room, but there was much discernable material left. A single hand claw laid in the walkway as we scurried in to take control of the control room. From here we could open the doors to let the rest of the troops to come in. Then we could stop the large Sonic cannons that were mounted on the top from firing on our men below.

Rather than mounting our own small war on top of the structure we could cut the power from the inside an choose our own battle field. And that was just what we planned to do. Thanks to our precision we didn’t damage the computers beyond slicing and gaining access. It would just be a matter of time now.

What also would be a matter of time? The return of the enemy. They knew that they were vulnerable after loosing this room. The large control room had four separate walkways into it. We were deep inside the structure now and they could come from any or all directions now. With only three of us to guard it was difficult to clear four hallways at once. But fortunately for us TRS-392 specialized in slicing. His technician skills were extraordinary.

Within seconds 392 was into their database and had the doors open, letting our men flood the structure like a deadly sea of white body armor. The comical saying among the 501st was that our armor was white because we didn’t need to hide. That way even the sight of white would strike fear into the enemy and drive them mad. Comical yes… But did anyone believe it? I didn’t think so.

Before long ZeX called out for aid as a detachment of Geonosians rushed down his hallway. I rolled over to the opposite side of the doorway as ZeX. The grenades he threw gave me the cover I needed to get there and throw my own round of grenades. It blew the walls so full of Geonosian parts it looked like there were chunks of it falling from the ceiling… or maybe there really were. I can’t remember exactly.

Undercover of my own grenades BAM-700 raced down the hallways one by one setting explosives as ZeX and I held off the Geonosian scum. ZeX and I took turns showering the hallway with blue energy. The light show competition between the two of us almost took my mind of the eminent threat of death. I could just imagine the smile on ZeX’s face as we went back and forth, trying to outdo each other.

By the time it ended I counted fifteen for me. “Twelve!” ZeX thought he had won. “Fifteen.” I replied calmly. ZeX’s helmet turned quickly back to the debris covered battle field to count my kills. Without another word he went back to guarding, mumbling something softly.

It wasn’t long before we had more Geonosians breathing down our necks. Only what they didn’t know is we were about to blow enough hot air on them to melt there sonic charged heads. The explosives 700 had placed went off with a sweet sound. The first tunnel held up. More than I can say for any of the Geonosians. The second tunnel collapsed on top of any Geonosians that might have survived… However unlikely that was.

At least now we had three men and three tunnels. After the slight disturbance 392 went back to shutting off the power to the sonic cannons mounted on top of the arena walls. And that was easy enough. It didn’t take him long. It was all working just as well as we could hope.

We could stay here and guard it to be sure the Geonosians couldn’t restore power to the guns… Or we could simply overload the computers and move out. We decided on the latter. Since we were low on explosives 392 simply ran the circuits all into the same power conduit. Before long the main power source would overwhelm the small conduit and it’s explosion would fry the circuits.

We moved out through the hallway that would lead us to the edge of the arena. Once we were at the outer edge we could eliminate the threat of enemy attacks from that side. Four directions and four men was good. But three directions and four men was better.

“599, take those weapons to the ships for study.” LMT-291 called out. “Yes sir.” JAX replied looking up from his data pad.

Apparently they were ready to leave this barren planet soon. To make a long story shorter me and the team took out a grand total of 521 Geonosians that day. More than any of the other teams totals by one hundred. Me myself I got one hundred and fifty three. 700 was next because of his explosives in the passage ways which gave him a total of one hundred and forty. ZeX took out one hundred and twenty eight, and 392 came in at 100 even.

After securing the arena, which happened fairly quickly, most of us took up sniper positions from the arena rooftop and aided our brothers in battle below. That’s where half of my kills came in. I was a good sniper. Perhaps one of the best of the clones with aiming. I always figured that was what got me in the five O first.

JAX-599 gathered the Geonosian weaponry in the large hover container and pushed it up the loading ramp of the landed Republic Cruiser. It wasn’t a lot of weapons but all the Geonosian weaponry operated on the same basic principle. This much was known to the clones and the Republic. Still, a better understanding of their weapons would better equip the clones for the inevitable future fights they would wage against the Geonosians. After JAX was finished loading the weapons and categorizing them he began inspecting them.

Entry 4: JAX 599
The Geonosian sonic blaster, a sophisticated weapon developed by geonosian engineers as a extension of the sonic hammer. The large side warms are used predominately by the warrior class. The sonic wave is generated by a series of high-energy oscillators located near the rear of the blaster. A reduction chamber collects and collapses the waves into a powerful “sonic ball” which serves as the weapons ammunition. When the trigger is pulled a small plasma charge is inserted into the sonic ball to stabilize it until it impacts a target, exploding violently. A direct hit from a sonic blaster, as we discovered first hand today, can cause instant death as the internal organs rupture under the concussive sound waves.

Every weapon has a week spot though. A shatter point. A critical hit area. The Sonic blaster has the basics that would be on most guns. A grip, an aiming vane, an emitter cowl, oscillation chamber, reduction chamber, Plasma containment charge chamber, and of course the trigger. It was an unusual weapon, but it was a weapon none the less. As I knew it would it had a plasma containment chamber right on the side. A single armor piercing bullet to that area would release the plasma and create an explosion more violent than any of the grenades, detpacks, or thermal detonators that we carried into battle.

This was the week spot we were looking for. This was the critical hit area we would aim for. This would be the downfall of the geonosians. A powerful warrior is only as good as his weapon. The best fighter who has a weapon with a week spot has a week spot in himself as well. A soldier and his gun are like a Jedi and his light saber. You wont see a real soldier without his weapons. And if their weapon an be destroyed… Then they can be destroyed.

After transferring the information he had gathered about the sonic blasters that the geonosians carried JAX-599 went back to the battle field. ZeX and the other medics had their hands full. Bodies lay sprawled over the ground. The five O first was the only team that didn’t loose at least one member. But none the less, everyone lost a friend.

JAX headed out to aid in what ways he could with the wounded that needed simple attention that he could give. The hard work was done. Now they just needed to load things up and get ready to leave this wretched planet. An idea that appealed to every clone on and off the field. We might have been born for battle but that didn’t make us like it any more than the next guy.

Long into the night the loading continued. The thousands of clones poured into the republic cruisers as the Jedi loaded the prisoners. The wounded were taken on board first, then the prisoners. After the prisoners the Jedi boarded and were closely followed by the tiered clone troopers that survived the horrific battle.

Entry 5: JAX-599
The trip to the central planet of the republic, coruscant, was a surprisingly short one compared to the trip from Kamino to Geonosis. Me and the men were ready to go home though. But we all knew, we never would go back home. Now there was no home. The galaxy was our home now. The chances of staying in one place for very long were slim to none regardless of what figuring you used. We were in the middle of a war… And we were soldiers.

Fortunately however we received suitable accommodations upon our arrival at Coruscant. The chambers were small and packed, not quite as good as our rooms on Kamino, but they were comfortable. The food wasn’t bad either, better than the Kaminoan’s health food that they crammed down our throats to improve our physical conditions.

We also got to meat the Chancellor. The 501st was personally invited and congratulated for our excellent service on Geonosis. The Chancellor seemed impressed with our performance and wished to speak with us and our leaders in person. To be honest… I don’t trust the man. The unwavering devotion from the other clones disturbed me some how. There was something about this man. Something elusive, something dark.

That, however, is one reason no one will ever read his journal. The automatic self destruct is set if the password is entered incorrectly. Once it’s activated ten seconds are given to reenter the password correctly. If the other clones knew of my suspicions… I fear what they might do.

But too soon I wouldn’t have that concern anymore. It would be taken over by the much greater and more immediate concern of fighting for my life. After only five days back from Geonosis we were sent back out into battle the droids on the planet of Ammuud. But, despite the eminent threat of death the chancellor never completely left my mind… after all how could he when we were on a secret mission for him?

“You’re the best legion in the clone army. I need your personal help on a secret assignment. Not even the Jedi must know of this endeavor on Ammuud. To them it’s a simple reconnaissance mission.” The chancellor introduced us to the cover story. “Bring me back that Sith Chalice unharmed.”

The planet of Ammuud was located in the Kumasi System. The mountainous planet was populated predominately by humans and was a habitually independent planet until the CSA forced them to sign an authority subcontract. The somewhat barbaric ways of the seven tribes that had grown on the planet were left intact by CSA, thus making it easier to infiltrate the planet.

The planet of Ammuud was near the outer parts of the galaxy, a good ride. But the clones weren’t going to complain about the ride. They would rather being riding that fighting. Most of them at least. There were a few who relished the battle field, and others who simply just didn’t care what they were doing. We were clones, that’s true. But everyone of us had our own personality.

I walked slowly onto the transport ship as the Chancellor saw us off personally. LMT-291 talked to the Chancellor at a distance. I couldn’t tell what he was saying. I always felt like I needed to keep my distance from the Chancellor. LMT finished and walked in behind the rest of the clones. I secretly watched from a sea of white armor and helmeted faces. As the door closed in front of the Chancellor, blocking him out, I felt a relief fall over me on the inside. I didn’t know what to make of it.

I got my answer… LMT-291 spoke up after we had made it into space. “This ship is now free of any Jedi men we can talk freely. Frankly the Chancellor doesn’t trust them. He has uncovered plots that show they are planning to overthrow the republic and seize control of the universe.”

The engines hummed like the sound of a underwater carborator as the clones slept silently in their small bunks. JAX didn’t sleep all that well though. To much had been running through his mind. He felt like writing it down but then he began to fear that the clone commanders might somehow happen across it. If the chancellor knew that he questioned… If he knew that JAX was not really a clone trooper… That would be the end for JAX-599.

The light of the sun was void as the morning hours broke into the packed republic cruiser. Footsteps sounded on the floor. First there were just a few, then more, then many more. But with all the commotion JAX slept soundly. “Hey, JAX wake up.” a grinning face looked back at JAX. “We’ll be to Ammuud in less than thirty minutes.”

JAX sat up to see ZEX putting his helmet on. “Right.” JAX replied softly. JAX jumped out of bed and got his things together, ready for action. When the time came to move out that was all that they would have time for. They would have to hit quick and hard to penetrate the outer defenses surrounding the forest clad cave.

No Jedi had accompanied the clones on this trip. It was an army of one mind, one leader, and one goal… Or so it seemed. But despite the cohesiveness of the clone troopers the fight would be harder than they expected.

The ships hovered above the surface as clones jumped out, temporary jet packs firing up and setting them firmly on the ground. JAX landed with his group on the far west side of the cave. There job was to keep the droid army busy while the specialized team of infiltrators infected the cave. As soon as they had the Sith Chalice they were to eliminate every last droid that could ever give testimony to it’s presence there.

The group set up in battle array, slowly they crept through the forest. It seemed that the cave had more lax defenses than they had supposed. It was quiet, calm, and seemingly safe. But then there was a sound, small and faint. LMT-291 rose his hand, giving the signal to stop. A stationary target. Silent and undetectable missiles came streaking in and penetrated the ground. Dirt flew through the air, mingled with fire, shrapnel, and deadly gasses. In a moment everything went black.

Entry 6: JAX-599
I didn’t know what had happened. The sound told me a bomb, or missile. The dirt, the shrapnel, smoke, and gasses that flooded the air told me that most of our men were probably dead. I looked over, around the tree that had saved my life and sheltered me from the explosion. There was 392 and the two new replacements 557 and 764 laying dead.

I moved as ZEX, injured but alive, emerged from the undergrowth. “Let’s get them out of here!” ZEX yelled. I followed him to where TIM and BAM were laying on the ground. “Forget him he’s dead!” ZEX told me as I went for TMI-103. ZEX had BAM-700 and I moved to help LMT-291.

“Where did it come from?” I asked once we got safely behind a large group of trees. “Up top that ridge.” ZEX pointed as he started tending to the wounds of 700. “JAX, wait for backup.” LMT ordered. “What if we don’t get any? On more of those things could kill us all.” I reminded him… As if I needed to. But it seemed to work as he nodded in agreement and gave me the go ahead.

“JAX!” ZEX called after me. “Take these.” he said tossing me his thermal detonators and grenade pouch. “Thanks.” I replied, turning around and heading off into the forest. Stopping at the site where the first explosion had happened I quickly salvaged any of the explosives from the now dead members of our team.

It looked like there was a back passage up to the top of the ridge. But I had no way of knowing how they were tracking me. I needed to get behind the cliff’s edge quickly! Fortunately I made it seemingly without being noticed.

There it was… The entrance. There was a back door. But it was heavily guarded. Fortunately for me it was guarded by droids, perhaps the stupidest sentient beings in the universe. I knew an grappling hook thrown over the edge would bring them to it. They would attempt to fire on me from over the edge before I could get up. So if that hook were to explode… No more droids.

It took me a whole five seconds to strap and set the explosives on to the grappling hook. I took aim and threw, the got back to prevent being shot at or hit by falling debris.

The explosion shook the ground, sending pieces of rock and droids flying everywhere. A second grappling hook flew up and latched on to the edge and I now climbed up safely with no droids to worry about. But I knew that very quickly more droids would be coming.

I took the grappling hook and threw it up to the next level of the mountain ridge. Quickly I climbed up and hid on the surface just as a horde of droids came rushing down the machine made pathway. It looked like I was safe… For now. But soon they would either discover where I had gone or run across me. I needed to move quickly! I could see the missile launcher from here that seemed to be shooting the missiles. A any rate it was shooting some kind of missile.

Quickly I scrambled up the side of the steep cliff, avoiding loose rocks that might fall and give away my position. Stopping momentarily in a clump of bushes I waited for a patrol of droids to hurry by, probably making their way to the front lines. Now that they were gone I had a clear run to the missile launcher. I ran, jumped, and rolled. I came up under the launcher, it’s pilot non the wiser. With a quick swing up to the pilot’s chair and a simple flick of the wrist the druid’s head was laying in it’s lap. Quite frankly I thought that’s the way droids were supposed to look.

I shoved the thing out of the seat and swiveled the gun around. There were several other spots on the high ridge farther down where similar guns were located. There extremely good cover from the front made them very hard to hit. But from the side, that was different story.

I took aim at the nearest one. One pull of the trigger and I moved on to the next. I pulled the trigger again, then a third time, then a fourth. But then the trail of smoke that darted my way was a warning to abandon my post. Unlike a droid I knew when I had worn out my welcome. I jumped with all my worth, flying off the side and sliding down the steep slope. A mass of falling rubble was not far behind me. I tried to veer off to the side, but it didn’t seem to be doing much good.

Down below I could see droids investigating the site where my grappling hook had exploded. I was stuck between boulders and droids. There was only one way I could see out of this… I pulled out my gun and quickly attached the suction end. Coming to the end of the drop off I jumped, launching myself out over the droids who looked up in incomprehension first at me and then at the falling rocks that came on top of them.

Now I was about to fall on top of them, but there were still rocks to deal with. I shot my gun quickly to a nearby peak of the mountain’s ridge and pulled myself away from the rock slide as I fell out of the air and back down to the ground. As the last boulder fell over the edge I was glad to be alive, fortunately I had released myself far enough into the air to pull myself to a safe distance before landing.

You might think that was the end of my heroic efforts to win a Sith Chalice for the Chancellor… But no. I made my way back up to the top of the ridge and scaled the heights of the mountain meeting up with another detachment of clones that had made their way in from behind. They had missile launchers and were prepared to fire on the large army of droids that sat directly below them safe in the crater that had settled on the side of the mountain.

But I had other ideas that suited their leader well. Set the charges and create an avalanche of rocks and dirt to land on top of them. And with the excessive amount of explosives I had brought with me we could easily do that. And within a minute it was done.

The droids never knew what hit them. They heard the explosions and turned… Next thing they knew they were face to face with their doom. This left us on top to easily repel down and take over the crater area that was easily defensible with the sixteen men that we had.

After that it was simple fighting. I sat above picking of droids like a sniper. Before we were…

“599 your wanted at the cave entrance.” a clone commander barked out. JAX got up and made his way to the entrance. “Yes sir what is it?” he inquired. “LMT-291 tells me your good with riddles?” the man asked. “I have played around with them in the past.” JAX admitted. “See what you can do with this one.” the clone stepped aside to reveal a heavily armored door with a riddle on it. It’s words seemed to hint to a way to get through the door. By the explosion marks all around the entrance and the explosions that had been going off lately after cleaning up the battle field JAX assumed that they had been unsuccessful in blowing the door open.

The stone Entrance shall be guarded by Stralyn, lord of the sith. Enter now at your own risk.

This door is locked by the force, none shall enter save the one with the numbers.
Each key will be given to the one who knows the numbers.

No one seemed to be able to make much sense of these words on the door that was decorated with a grid of some sort. “Obviously it has something to do with numbers.” JAX said mostly to himself as he wiped away the blast smoke that was pasted on the door. “Did it have anything else on it?” he asked. “Two symbols. At the front of the words an ancient addition sign and then after it a division sign.

JAX took out his data pad and began searching for similar codes or symbols in the database. There were several. After nearly thirty minutes of figuring he came to a conclusion.

“It’s a code of words and numbers. There are several of the words that normally wouldn’t have to be there. But for the code to work they do. There are eighteen words here and if we add up all the letters there are seventy-three. If we then divide seventy-three by eighteen we come up with 4.0555555555555555555555555555556” JAX began explaining finally. “Now we find that location past the fourth square and there should be button there or something…” JAX said unsure about the whole thing.

After calculating with their data pads the clones finally discovered the button that opened the door. But as said on the door a Sith lay inside waiting… Or rather his ghost. The men all took aim blasting and throwing grenades and thermal detonators in the cave at once. Fortunately they were able to kill the Sith after only twenty of the clones were killed by a powerful blast of lightning that proceeded from the cave.

Entry 7: JAX-599
I didn’t know what had happened at first. We saw the Sith Lord… or whatever he was. Before I knew it we were all shooting, all throwing grenades, and all staring into the electrical arms that jolted from the palms of his hands.

Moments later as the smoke and fire cleared and smell of charred flesh began to fill the air all fell silent. The clones stood there motionless for a second or two. The Sith was gone. The cave was empty save the tomb that lay opened. No one knew what exactly had happened. Had we killed it? Did it just leave? Or was it even real in the first place?

I quickly flipped the filter on in my mask to cut out the stench of burning bodies as me and the remaining clones left at the entrance sight made our way into the cave. Cautiously we crept in, not know what to expect. Was the image of the long dead Sith Lord going to reappear? After all how could you kill something that was already dead? Fortunately for us that was the last we saw of the thing.

LMT-291 grabbed the Sith Chalice and the men hurried out. No one wanted to spend any more time in there than necessary and understandably so. We had got what we came for. We were all eager to get off this planet and maybe get a moth of rest before being sent back into battle.

TX-03 made his way to the small number of remaining men that gathered on the surface of Ammuud. TX or TEX as most of the men called him was, as his number designated from the third batch of clones ever produced. He was one of the oldest of us all still living. He was also the General of the whole 501st (five o first) division. The Chancellor had ordered him to oversee the mission himself.

“You have the Chalice?” he asked as he approached the small group of fifty or so clone troopers, their armor battered and beaten like a ship in caught between victory hungry opponents. “Yes sir.” LMT stood up, still holding the artifact. “Excellent work! Gather the bodies and lets get off this rock.” TEX commented dryly. “Yes sir!” came the eager reply from many of the soldiers.

As we gathered the bodies I found myself not wanting to go back. Manny times after a battle I was ready to quit my life in the military altogether. But this time I would rather have stayed. I assumed why was because I just enjoyed watching those worthless druids be blown to bits for all the harm and pain they had caused this universe but deep down inside I knew it was because I feared the Chancellor. But why I feared him I could not say.

But despite that I’m not the ship and were heading back to Coruscant. I better get some sleep though, we will have a long day of unloading supplies and equipment followed up by a filing of our reports from the mission. Manny times the reports seem to drain my energy faster than battle situations.

As the ship landed and the clone troopers began unloading supplies and equipment and the maintenance crew did a routine inspection LMT-291 TX-03 and JAX-599 were all summoned to a personal meeting with the Chancellor. It seemed he was interested in the performance of the three clones.

JAX followed along behind the others as they made their way down the red carpeted hallways of the large senate building. He forced away the tint of fear and all emotions. He knew well that emotion was weakness around those one did not trust. But he learned this not from his clone training but from his previously life. Emotions were the portal to ones mind, they showed up on the outside even through armor as unrevealing as the clone troopers wore. Body language could show fear, excitement, trust, distrust. But not for JAX… Not anymore.

“It seems once again you have proven yourself to me TX” The Chancellor spoke almost seductively. “And you LMT and JAX it seems your performance has been vital as well. Especially yours 599.” the Chancellor turned to face him straight on. Not only did you break the code on the cave door but from the reports your battle skills were well shown.” “I serve the republic sir, only the best can be expected.” JAX replied in a stout voice. “Yes, of course. But perhaps a promotion is in order soldier, or should I say Captain.” a vile smile wrapped across the face of the Chancellor.

“Now as for you and your team LMT you have an outstanding record. In fact your record proceeds that of any other clone team. Even TX-03’s team. TX has the best record of any of the clone troopers on the field. Since he has lost four of the five men out of his team I suggest that we combine your two teams. I am sure that you will perform with excellence.” The Chancellor continued to give orders. “Yes, Chancellor.” TX replied with a submissive nod. Naturally none of the clone troopers would disagree, they couldn’t.

The Chancellor walked back over to his chair and sat down behind his desk. “Thank you for your time men. Now you may leave and catch up on some much deserved rest.” his tainted smile crept back. The clone troopers walked out of the room and JAX felt a sigh of relief flow over him.

Back at the boarding establishment LMT and the others walked through the door where ZEX was tending to the wounds of BAM-700. “At attention men!” LMT called out. ZEX and BAM snapped to attention. “This is TX-03 and PLO-59 they will be joining our team TX is now the ranking officer and will be in charge.” The men stood to greet the two new comers but everyone already knew who TX was. We all did. None the less they greeted him as a new member should be greeted.

The next week was comfortably relaxing for the members of team Virus in the 501st. We had daily practice and work out schedules and then the rest was free time. The men had not even had any free time since the war started. Some of them barely knew what to do with themselves. JAX and ZEX spent most of their time practicing and competing against one another as they usually did. The others bounced back and forth between rest and various activities.

But the rest was short lived and gave way once more to the call of duty. The Chancellors prize team was given another mission. At least this time it seemed legitimate. It was a simple mission but a difficult one. This time to Sarapin.

Sarapin was a volcanic planet where most of the Republic’s core planets received their energy. Besides the indigenes Vaapads the planet was inhospitable to most life forms. This time Jedi Jor Drakis was to accompany the clone troopers. A Separatist leader named Sev’Rance Tann had lead a small group of droids and successfully penetrated the defenses of the world. The Republic could not loose this vital world and so the Chancellor gathered his best teams to form an attachment to protect the world that provided 80% of the Republics power.

Entry 8: JAX-599
The trip to Sarapin would have been short enough… But it always seems to take an eternity when you know your heading into battle. It’s the waiting that gets to most of us, we cant stand it sometimes. But then, before you know it and all too soon, you find yourself staring down on the planet that very well might be the last planet you ever see. Despite the genetic alterations no Kaminoan could ever take away all the fears that battle brings to an individual… if you can call a clone an individual.

And just like that I woke up from a… “dream” about war and there I found myself staring at the next surface that our battles would be fought. The volcanic planet looked anything but welcoming. It’s lava flows and volcanoes spewing forth molten lava, it’s steam blowing off the surface. It almost seemed ridiculous to fight over such a planet, but here we were.

The clones set out in two detachments. The main group with Jedi Jor Drakis would attack the enemy head on. The second group, which team Virus was a member of, would flank the enemy from a far back side position. TEX was in charge of the secondary operations. We were to hit hard and quick once the fighting had started. Hopefully we would confuse the enemy enough to get them out in the open, influence them to make bad decisions, and give them a reason for it too.

Our detachment had specially designed suits that would blend in with the natural surroundings. This would enable us to sneak up on the enemy while the were otherwise occupied with fighting the main group. But it was up to us to get close enough in time so that we would be ready when the fighting started or shortly after.

Slowly we made our way around the mountains and through the valleys. We were on time… or early. By the time we could see the enemy they didn’t seem to be showing any signs of worry. As ordered we waited in position. We had fanned out to lay down fire from all directions possible.

I was on the far end of the line that wrapped around to the rear of the enemy. It seemed that things were going just as planned. But if there was one thing I know it’s never underestimate a Sith. But for then all I could do was sit.

Then, finally they moved as the main group came into position. The battle lines formed and lights started flashing across the expanse that separated the two armies. Jedi Jor Drakis and Sev’Rance Tann both stood stationary. Right then the battle was just between the guns.

The order hummed almost silently over my intercom to commence attack. I could have aimed right at the neck of Sev’Rance Tann, but I knew that would most likely be a futile attempt to end her life. Instead I aimed at the droid closest to me that had seemed to be hitting the most accurate.

The crosshairs settled in on the droids head, my finger gripped the trigger lightly, and in concert with all the other clones we laid down a blanket of energy bolts over the back of the enemy. Droids fell like flies in an arctic confinement chamber. Sev’Rance whipped out her yellow blade and began slapping away shots from behind. It seemed we had caught her off guard.

Soon, however, I found out just why Sev’Rance Tann had seemed so confident. She had the same idea we did. Droids covered in from both sides of the main group. They had been hidden in the landscape waiting in ambush. It seemed that we were in for more of a fight than it seemed.

Ten, twenty, twenty three droids dropped out of my sight with the pull of the trigger of my sniper rifle. But now it would do me little good with the time it took to power up and without external sights. The enemies had closed in on my position and were storming the edges of the flanking units. I dropped my sniper rifle and swung from my back my blaster rifle.

In a swinging motion I cut down three of the droids that advanced on my position. Then in desperation I dived down a steep incline to avoid an incoming wrist rocket from on of the supper battle droids. As I slid down the incline I grabbed my pistol with it’s suction end and attached it to on of the stable rocks on the top of the ridge. Using my momentum and the angle of my location I swung across the face of the cliff’s edge and ran up back to the top far away from the droids.

I ran back towards the droids now. They would be expecting me to be far from them not close. Anything that they expected I wanted to do the opposite. When I heard the droids coming hurriedly I rushed on top of a small rock formation that protruded just five feet above the surface of the planet. The droids rushed unsuspectingly past me. That was the last mistake those three metal slime balls ever made! Several well placed blaster shots left them face down and smoking.

I rushed back to the battle, looking for my sniper rifle. Finding it I picked it up and began picking off what droids left themselves open on the ridges to the sides of the main group who was now pinned down in the valley. One by one I picked them off, but one by one they got the idea and took cover, compensating for my position.

Through my scope I saw Jor Drakis and Sev’Rance Tann fighting, their elegant movements and flashing blades hardly looked dangerous but enticing. But as we all know… Looks can be deceiving, very deceiving. The energy from the crystal was focused through the emitter to extend a blade of pure energy that could cut through nearly any material save another light saber blade and a few special alloys such as cortosis.

I shook the view and thoughts out of my head, this was no time to think. Before I knew it three droids were making their way towards me. I rolled to the side, up and over a small rock as energy shots splattered on the ground around me, one catching me on the leg. My body armor was a high tech suit developed by the Kaminoan engineers with the help of the bounty hunter Jango Fet.

The suit was amazing. The first layer of armor was a thin black layer of cloth that protected the wearer from acrid vapors and extreme temperatures. Twenty form fitting plates were attached to the body glove with magnetic grip panels which encases the trooper in a vacuum sealed suit. Each plate was manufactured using a light weight plastoid alloy composite that can withstand explosions, small fire arm blasts, and even blaster bolts. The molecular makeup of the armor allows the troopers to pass through hazardous energy fields, including deflector shields.

I ducked back from behind the rock, pointed my DC-15 blaster rifle and sprinkled the mettle scum with energy bolts. It wasn’t long before the three of them were laying on the hot ground with smoking wholes in them.

I flipped my DC-15 back around on my back and grabbed my sniper rifle again. Setting up I once again terrorized the valley’s high walls where the droids took refuge. One by one they dropped. It looked hopeful, it looked like we would win. But with every win came losses.

The last of the droids soon were sent into a full retreat, running in mechanized fear from the blue streaks of death that shot after them. Their leader, Sev’Rance Tann retreated with them as half the men began shooting at her.

I didn’t pay any attention to much else at that point, just shooting retreating droids. But once they were out of sight my eye pulled away from the barrel of my sniper rifle. Making my way down the slope I wandered where Jedi Master Jor Drakis had got to. “Perhaps he gave chase to the droids…” I thought to myself.

“599, the Jedi has been killed, you and LMT take his body back to the ship.”
TX-03’s voice rang out as he approached me. “Yes sir.” I said casually as I held back the shock that ran through my mind. That was the first time I had heard of a Jedi falling in battle. Somehow it proved just what the enemy could do.

It wasn’t a pleasant task, taking care of the body. I knew what to do and had done it with countless clones. But I had never liked the job, none of us did. But as they say, someone has to do the dirty work.

The ride home was quiet. We had lost many men. Many more than we thought we would. Fortunately for me none of the men I knew well had been killed. BAM ZEX and LMT had all come through fine. As did our team members TX-03 and PLO-59.

Upon our arrival back on Coruscant we were given a casual greeting by the people and a cheering applaud by the other clones who knew just what we had been through. Thankfully TX and LMT briefed the Chancellor and I had no dealings with him.

It’s been one week since then and I still dream about the sight of the Jedi laying there dead. I never did understand just what bothered me so much about his death. Why did it bother me so much more than the death of one of my fellow clones? I couldn’t explain it but it, just like my feelings about the Chancellor.

A ring filled the dark air and broke into the fillm that separated JAX-599 from the real world. Slowly he woke from his deep sleep to answer the call. “599, go ahead.” “Your wanted at the Jedi temple Captain, as soon as you can make it.” LMT’s voice buzzed over the intercom. “Right away sir.” JAX replied as he out of bed and grabbed his armor.

JAX looked at his armor, it’s yellow stripes on the arms and helmet. It was the first time for him to wear his captains armor, and although clones cared little about their rank, just their performance, he couldn’t help feeling a sense of accomplishment as he put on the armor.

“Good, hear we all are.” the distinct sound of Jedi Master Yoda’s voice rang as JAX walked in the Jedi council room. “Chosen you have been because of your skills in infiltration. A task we have for you.” Yoda began. Mace Windu broke in the technicals.

“One of our bases on the planet of Eredenn has been under siege for the last week. Our intentions are not to take out the army surrounding it but to infiltrate the building and secure it, holding off the enemy. The reason for this is these forces have been sent from a nearby enemy base on Eredenn. Before destroying these armies we will first strike and destroy their base which they have left with a skeleton crew.”

“Infiltrate and aid Jedi Luminara Unduli and apprentice Barriss Offee. Believe you can hold the fortress we do, although few clones with them they do have.” Yoda commented. The small green JedI shifted his weight. “A dangerous task this will be. But vital it is if to win this planet we are.”

“You will move out in two hours get your things and get to the ship. You’ll jump from the ship and each be given a jet pack to help you get to the fortress there. But be warned, as soon as you drop the droids will detect you, you will have to make good time so they don’t overtake you, which shouldn’t be to much of a problem with the jet packs.”

“I don’t know why they tell us all this stuff… We know what to do we could have had our things ready and been nearly ready to move out if they had just told us we need you to go support the armies so we can destroy their base.” JAX stopped himself, there was no need for that line of thinking, even if it was true. And it was, the clones knew the battle field better than any soldier out there.

Entry 9: JAX-599
The infiltration was a breeze. The men all knew what they were doing. It was no more than a simple drop maneuver, flying below trajectory of most of the droid weapons and make it safely to the fortress.

Me and the men never did understand why the Jedi thought it posed such a great threat. Maybe we were just to good to realize that the JedI were right… Maybe it really did pose a great threat. At any rate we made it with no problems.

After I arrived I found ZEX sitting off and sketching views of the elaborate crystal fortress where Luminara Unduli and Barriss Offee did their training. “Hey! You look pretty salient in that new armor of yours, not a scratch on it yet.” ZEX said looking up from his data pad where he hid away his sketches.

ZEX and I were the only two from team Virus that had been chosen to go on the mission, we were the only two who had exceeded in the infiltration skills. But it was good to have him there he was the one I had always been the closest to since arriving on Kamino.

The days passed by and mostly all we did was sit and take sniper shots of the top of the building during our watch time. A couple of us hit a few droids now and then but not much. The bombarding rocket the fortress but didn’t seem to do much damage to it’s hard crystal walls.

I have hit five droids, the maximum of any of the clones. They have an unofficial contest that who ever shot the most droids gets to debrief the Jedi… Some prize.
TLB-09, a sniper I know from my training days back on Kamino was in second place with four droids. I almost wonder if he lets me stay ahead so he doesn’t have to do the debriefing.

JAX put down his data pad and walked over to the hallway that lead to the back of the door. He felt edgy for some reason but he didn’t know why. 599 stopped, almost nervous as he realized that Jedi Apprentice Barriss Offee stood at the back entrance.

Barriss nodded. “Ma’am.” JAX nodded back as he walked to the entrance. “I was just checking the back.” “It looks fine.” Barriss said with a hint of concern in her voice. “Looks can be deceiving, and deceptions can be deadly.” JAX said halfway forgetting he was talking to a JedI. “Very true Captain.” Barriss Offee replied.

“JedI feel things. Tell me, what do you feel when you look out there?” JAX asked as he stepped up beside the JedI. “What do you feel?” Barriss questioned and avoiding answering. “Something’s not right out there. Those droids are planning something.” JAX answered. “I would say your feelings are in very good alignment with the force. Perhaps this is why the clone troopers perform so well, or do your other clones not feel this?” Barriss asked. “Not in the same way, it doesn’t seem like.” JAX answered.

“You feel it too.” a voice came from behind JAX and Barriss. “There is something out there. I have ordered the men to be watchful.” Luminara Unduli came into view. “Yes Master.” Barriss bowed slightly in respect. “I’ll take a position on the top, I won’t be able to sleep anyway.” JAX commented as he took his leave.

JAX made his way to the top of the fortress and dialed his sniper scope up to full power. There was something out there! He could feel it, the JedI could feel it, but no one could see it. JAX recalled all military strategies that he could summon to mind, anything that might give him a glimpse into the next moves of the enemy.

“Aren’t you off duty?” ZEX’s voice came from behind JAX. “Yes.” JAX replied without moving from his position. “Another one of those feelings of yours?” ZEX asked. “Yeah.” JAX replied. “What do we need?” ZEX asked him. JAX turned around at that with an almost questioning stair. “I’ve learned to trust that feeling of yours, it’s saved my life a few times.” ZEX gave an explanation.

“Grenade launchers and rocket launchers lining the top walls.” JAX announced. “I’ll talk to the Jedi.” ZEX promised. JAX nodded and went back to work as ZEX walked off down the steep stairs to the bottom of the fortress.

Before to long the rocket launchers and grenade launchers started being hauled up on the top walls as JAX had requested, it seemed the JedI agreed with his idea. But it did little to comfort the feeling that lingered in his core.

“Apprentice Offee tells me you feel the danger.” JedI Master Luminara Unduli’s voice range from behind JAX. 599 turned around, “Yes General. I have.” he replied. “This is unusual for a clone.” she pointed out. “Yes General.” JAX nodded. “Your not a clone are you? I can feel your core, your connection with the force, it’s strong. You have a feeling, though conformed to that of the other clones, quite different.”

“I was taken in by the Kaminoans when I was young. They didn’t know what else to do with me so they put me in with the clones. For all intensive purposes… I am a clone now.” JAX explained the situation. “Your record is exemplary and you have served the Republic well. I believe that your heart is with us.” Luminara turned and disappeared as silently as she had approached.

JAX didn’t know what to think of their short conversation. Was it a good thing or a bad thing. No one else knew he wasn’t really a clone. The other clones knew he had different DNA… But to them he was a clone just as much as they were.

To be continued...

Yan Kai
12 February 2007, 11:41 AM
Good to hear from you again Jax!

Wow, I love the epic tone of the story. It is extremely well written with fantastic word choices.

Your best work by far.

The way you did the story through journal entries is especially interesting. As was the beginning.

The action is hard-hitting and intense.

You care for the Clones and don't want to see them die

Just overall an extremely well-written story. I can't wait for more!!!:)

Jax Nova
14 February 2007, 08:23 AM
Thanks for the comments and compliment Yan Kai! :)
Here is the rest of what I have got written so far.

“Prepare for battle!” Apprentice Barriss Offee’s voice screamed from below. JAX looked down to the ground, seeing droids emerging from the snow. They had painstakingly tunneled under the snow right near the fortress! JAX-599 grabbed his gun and began blasting. “they tunneled under.” he thought to himself. “We need to collapse the tunnels! Shoot the ground with the missiles and grenades!” JAX yelled out to the clones on top of the roof.

The clones began spraying the ground with explosives of all sorts. Not only did it alarm the droids but the tunnels, as they had hopped, began caving in. The ground imploded, leaving oblong craters in the ground, snow sliding down and smothering the droids in the tunnel as well as a few that were caught in the wake of the explosions and cave-ins. The ground around the fortress seemed as though it was a mote, large deep craters protruding from it’s sides.

JAX brought his sniper rifle to his shoulder as he abandon the explosives, satisfied that all the tunnels were collapsed. One by one JAX took aim, slowly he gripped the trigger, sending numerous droids to their death… If you could call it death.

The enemy forces diminished as the moments flew by faster than a blaster bolt. It all happened so fast and before anyone knew exactly what had happened it was over with. The ground around the fortress was littered with over thirty droids and the inside had several wounded clones and three dead.

Entry 10: JAX-599
When I finally took my eye away from my rifle I was almost afraid to look around. But fortunately there were very few wounded and only three dead. You would have thought after all the fighting that I would get used to it… But how could you?

I dropped my rifle and rushed over to help an injured clone who laid on the floor, armor charred from the explosion that had occurred when the portable missile launcher he was holding was struck by an enemy blaster bolt. Fortunately for him the missile had cleared the tube far enough that it left him alive.

I looked down the immense network of stairs that lead to the bottom. It would take nearly a minute to reach the bottom and this man didn’t have that long to live if he didn’t get a bacta injection. I fumbled around in my belt but I couldn’t fine any. Franticly I grabbed my repelling rope and attached the end to the top, grabbing the other clone and jumped off the edge ad cruised down to the bottom.

“I need some bacta over here!” I yelled as I approached the bottom. ZEX rushed over. “I’ll take him.” I knew that if anyone could save him ZEX was the man. He was the best doctor I had ever seen and of all the clones I knew.

I rushed back up, my rope pulling me electronically back to the top to search for any other survivors. It seemed once I had got there that most of the men had been taken care of. I looked around and noticed TLB-09, the sniper I had trained with previously, slumped up against the wall. “Come on let’s get you down to the med lab.” I said as I approached him.

“I’m alright, just caught a few pieces of shrapnel from an explosion. Help the others first.” 09 insisted. “Everyone else has been taken care of.” I told him as I helped him up. Putting his arm around me I walked him slowly over to the stairs, but suddenly that feeling of danger came back.

I turned just as I heard yelling and some more gun shots, just in time to see a missile heading straight for 09 and I. “This is it then… This is how I die.” I though internally. I curled around 09 to protect him from the blast as I dropped to the ground. Everything else… just went black.

When I woke up to the stabbing pain in my side I found myself staring up at ZEX. “What happened?” I couldn’t remember for sure. “You were lucky, the missile missed you by a few feet but you caught a lot of shrapnel in your right side. I’ve taken it out but it will take time to heal.” “What about TLB?” I asked as I grimaced at a surge of pain that rushed through my body. “You saved him, he’s doing alright.” ZEX answered before he had to leave and tend to other injured clones.

We had three clone doctors and Apprentice Offee who was very skilled in the art of healing, not only with the force but as a medical doctor as well. Conveniently we had enough doctors to tend to the patients.

Near the days end, after a long and physically as well as mentally painful nap I woke to find my head splitting with pain. “I was hit in the side! Why is my head feeling like it’s what caught a half pound of shrapnel?” I thought with sarcastic words.

“How are you feeling?” a voice broke through the pain as Barriss Offee approached. “Like I have wholes in my side and my head is pressurized.” I answered honestly. A short lived smile came to the Jedi’s face as she looked at me with curiosity. Suddenly I realized I wasn’t wearing my helmet. My square face stood out in the room with slightly longer hair and a slightly lighter complexion than the rest of the “clones”.

“How many died?” I asked, breaking the awkward silence. “Three.” she answered. I closed my eyes in sadness at their death but at the same time happiness that the number was such a small one. “How are the wounded doing?” I asked, trying to fight back another flood of pain that swept through my veins. “Your doing the worst now. The others have been properly tended to but were running low on bacta. I…” “That’s fine.” interrupted. “It will heal in time.” “If you allow me I can heal you now.” Barriss offered.

My mind flashed back to stories I had read of the Jedi and their healing powers. It marveled me to hear of the powers the force provided… But now, a chance to see it done, on me none the less. I nodded slowly as I glanced around at the other clones in the room, wondering if maybe it should be one of them instead. But before I could change my mind I felt the startling sensation of cold hands being placed on my side. My muscles flinched as pain and cold skin entered my nerves.

Slowly the pain started to fade as a faint glowing light began to loosely swirl around the Jedi’s hands. A smile curved up on my face as I watched the process. I watched it, I felt it, and somehow subconsciously I tried to connect to it. I could almost feel it’s power flowing through my whole body.

With a deep breath Barriss pulled back. “That’s good. You should be up and about in a day.” she told me. “Thank you.” I smiled before she turned to walk away. “Um… Do you think I could download any materials you have about the force onto my data pad? I would be interested in learning more about it.” I forced the words out even though they seemed to lodge in my throat.

Barriss seemed surprised for a moment then replied. “Of course.” She took out her own data pad and transferred all the data, at least all the data she was willing to let me have. “Thanks again.” I expressed my gratitude. Barriss nodded in response before leaving the icy cold room.

I spent the next day pouring over the Jedi materials and memorizing all I could. One thing caught my eye particularly, something they called the JedI Code. It summed up the JedI life in a few simple lines.

There is no emotion;
There is only peace.
There is no ignorance;
There is knowledge.
There is no passion;
There is serenity.
There is no death;
There is the force.

This sounds so much like the life of a clone in many ways. Emotion, in our line of work is virtually void in many cases. To let ones emotions take their course would many times result in the death of yourself or others. Therefore emotions must not overtake you.

Ignorance, another deadly word for a clone. If you don’t know your training like the day you were fresh in the field, if you have not learned what you were meant to learn then you won’t be around very long. Knowledge is essential to the life of a clone trooper.

Passion, a feeling that clones do not have. This emotion was taken out by the Kaminoans to prevent it from interfering with our work. And although I am not a clone I have suppressed this emotion with what I had considered to be success. There are some clones who are more independent, who have more of an individual personality but none I have seen expressed any emotions such as passion.

These last lines, “There is no death; There is the force.” Seemed to provide the most comfort to me that I had felt in a long time. The hope that there was more beyond death, the hope that all these clones that I had seen shot, burnt, and scattered on the ground on top of red blood soaked dirt had not died in vain and had a chance for something better. It seemed the Jedi could hardly be the villains that the Chancellor had made them out to be.

We have been here for nearly a month now and I have watched these Jedi. They seem honorable and trustworthy. I know it’s against our programming but I would sooner trust them than the Chancellor. But there was little I could do. And as to whether I should tell the JedI about this I am unsure.

JAX-599 flipped his data pad off as ZEX came up to him. “I never did get why you log everything in that pad of yours.” ZEX smiled as he checked the wounds on 599’s side. “The same reason you sketch in your data pad.” JAX replied with a grin. “I suppose your right.” ZEX said with a chuckle. After checking over all the wounds ZEX gave 599 permission to return to duty. “Looks like that Jedi did a fine job, your good to go.”

JAX maneuvered off his bed and grabbed his armor. “What about the others?” he asked as he re-suited. “Everyone is going to be fine.” ZEX assured him. “Need me to help with anything?” JAX offered. “Right now it’s just monitoring them and letting the bacta injections do their job. We have enough men you can take some rest.” ZEX answered. “Alright.” JAX replied.

JAX wasn’t planning on taking a rest though. He had been laying in that bed for two days now and it was driving him crazy to sit and do nothing. If it weren’t for logging in his data pad he might have lost it!

JAX started up to the top of the fortress to look out over the planet surface and see what the battle field looked like. “Hey, JAX.” TLB called out as JAX walked out of the med lab. “Thanks for saving me the other day.” “No problem.” JAX replied. “Looks like your going to have to debrief the JedI, with this wound it’s going to impair my aiming.” he smiled. “Right, I’m sure it will.” JAX agreed teasingly as he shook his head in amusement.

“Captain, General Unduli would like a word with you.” a clone trooper announced as he approached JAX. JAX followed the trooper to the room where Luminara Unduli and her apprentice were. “Because of your efforts and aid in the previous battle I am going to recommend that you be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. I will also, because of your obvious connection to force suggest that you be tested to see how strong your force abilities are and how often you use them. Even though you are too old to undergo Jedi training you can learn to use the force to aid you in battle.” Luminara Unduli didn’t beat around the bush. JAX was sure she had given that full statement in a single breath. Or maybe it was just his imagination.

“I would like that.” JAX finally thought of something to say. “Barriss tells me that you requested her materials dealing with the force.” Luminara mentioned. “Yes.” JAX confirmed. “Study those and that will get you well on your way. We have received word from the Republic and they will be attacking the Confederacy base in a matter of days. We shouldn’t be here much longer but it should give you enough time to finish all the materials she gave you.” Master Unduli continued.

“If you have any questions please feel free to ask and I will do what I can to answer them.” Barriss spoke up. “Thank you ma’am.” JAX replied graciously. “You better go back and get some rest now.” Luminara Unduli said as she turned away and left the room, closely followed by her apprentice.

JAX really didn’t know what to think about this whole thing but he was sure it was a good thing. Right now he just wanted to finish his reading through all the files that Apprentice Offee had given him. Sitting down in the room he began going over the last part of the files until night when he finished and went to sleep.

The next few days JAX reoccupied his responsibilities and took up watch for his portion of the night. During this time he went over the Jedi materials, and most of his free time as well. He seemed obsessed with it but inside he only wanted to do his best and improve himself in any way possible. Mostly he dreamed of one day learning to heal others like Apprentice Offee was able to.

Jax Nova
20 February 2007, 07:18 AM
Five days more into the already long wait in the fortress the clones were informed by Jedi Master Luminara Unduli that the enemy base had been destroyed and that the outside army would move in on the blockade around the fortress in the morning. Cheer filled the air and bounced off the walls of the fortress. Finally they would be going back to Coruscant.

Entry 11: JAX-599
That night all the clones were sure to get a good nights rest. I myself forced the thoughts and excitement about potential Jedi training out of my mind, forcing myself into a deep relaxing sleep.

The next morning started early. We were to be ready before the sun rose above the horizon, before the night vision settings on our helmets could even locate the enemy. The attack would be just as the sun broke the horizon. Our men would come from the east with the sun at their back. Giving the fact the droids didn’t have eyes like living beings did it wouldn’t give much of an advantage. But the droids optical centers would be ill effected by the bright glare to a small extent. We were hopeful that this could be resolved without any further casualties.

I rushed to the roofs surface and took an empty space as I rested my sniper rifle on the top wall. “May the best sniper win.” I heard TLB’s voice from my right. I could just imagine the grin that spread across his face. “I’m hoping he does, so I don’t have to give that debriefing.” I replied teasingly. “Don’t fool yourself JAX, I haven’t been holding back. I knew if anyone was going to surpass me it would be you. But this time I won’t mind.” TLB answered back with a chuckle at the end.

ZEX walked up from behind. “I’ll be on the far side, if anyone happens to get injured give me a holler.” ZEX said as he put a hand on my shoulder. “Will do sir.” I replied patting him on the shin as I kneeled beside him. “Watch yourself.” ZEX said as he walked off. “Right. You too.” I put my eye back up to the scope.

The night air lingered, and steadily grew colder. It was always coldest just as the sun broke the horizon. Judging by the time the sun should have been up in a matter of ten or fifteen minutes. Those minutes seemed to linger much longer than the cold however. Inside the mildly heated suit I could forget about the cold, but the time before a battle always seemed to slow considerably lasting a life time.

Finally the first ray broke the horizon as the clones scanned the planet surface for enemies. It was unlikely that many of us would have much to do in this battle but we were hopeful that we could lend a hand… or fun in this case.

Soon, as the sun shone bright in the morning sky, we got the word that the army had moved in and was about to make first contact with the droid armies. Moments later we observed flashes of light, barely visible against the white cascading snow ridges. Explosions and gun fire filled the air, sounding dead from a distance but echoing through the crisp air.

I scanned the planet like a vulture, taking in anything and everything, which at this point wasn’t much. I slid my rifle across the surface, it’s scope penetrating the miles that separated us and the droids. Suddenly I came to an abrupt halt. There was something metallic, the sun caught it’s surface, refracting like a death signal. Another advantage the sun would give us.

I aimed, slowly and steadily pulled the trigger, and watched to see the fire works. But as I pulled the trigger I heard a second shot to my right. “Nice shot.” TLB said. “I’m sure mine hit first.” I teased him. “Let’s just call a neutral kill.” he suggested. “Right.” I agreed with a smile under my white mask.

Another gleam filled my view before to long. Wasting no time I aimed and fired. The druid’s visible parts flew in all directions as three other droids scattered like bugs away from the casualty site. I took aim at the last running droid and fired, dropping his cold steal body in the snow where it belonged. Before I could do anything else TLB’s excellently placed shot ruptured the central power line of the lead droid and a sniper three rows down took out the last enemy droid.

The battle already seemed to be subsiding as we sat motionless and feeling somewhat useless. But I was glad to be assured of my safety in this battle… or at least I thought I was. But the enemy had snipers of their own. And the dull covering of their snipers didn’t leave much chance for reflecting the sun.

A sniper shot, well aimed but fortunately inches of target, hit a sniper several rows down from me. “ZEX you better get over here we’ve got a sniper hit!” I yelled over my com-link. He had been hit on the side of the head, he would more than likely pull through. Had the shot been a little more dead center he would have fell dead in that spot. The power of a sniper rifle was nothing to be underestimated.

I heard another shot as we sat, and then another one from TLB. I still held the lead though with seven droids, TLB trailing by one. Fortunately… or unfortunately for me no one got another shot off the rest of the battle. The war had already been won by our comrades on the filed.

“Looks like you beat me.” TLB said with a wide grin over his face, holding his helmet in one hand his rifle in the other. “Always a pleasure.” I teased as I rose from my position. The two of us laughed as we headed back down the stairs, recalling a few training scenarios we had been through together that closely resembled our recently past situation. The Kaminoans seemed to have thought of everything in their training simulations.

“ZEX, how is GM doing?” I inquired about the injured clone from the roof as I entered the med lab. “He should recover in a couple of days. If he keeps on the bacta and doesn’t do anything stupid.” ZEX joked. “He’s awful lucky that blasted droid missed his center mark.” “Droid snipers…” I shook my head. “Flimsy chunks of mettle can’t shoot as straight as a DC-15. Fortunately for us.” I recalled my many encounters through battle and simulation.

I walked back out as ZEX finished checking and packing the last of the medical equipment that would be taken back aboard the ship. I had all my things ready and headed for the group that would be embarking on our ship. But to my surprise I was not to go with them.

“Captain, you will be coming with us on our ship. You will be taken back to Coruscant and your promotion ceremonies will take place. Shortly after you will begin the training and tests that will determine whether or not you will be given any Jedi training.” Luminara Unduli informed me. “Where are the rest of them going? Aren’t they going to Coruscant as well?” I asked with a furrowed brow. “No, they have been called to Hapes to aid the troops stationed there.” the Jedi answered. “But, these are my men I should go.” I objected. “I’m not giving you an order captain. But if you wish to have this training you must come with us.” Master Unduli assured me.

Regrettably I made the decision to go back to Coruscant. I spent the next month worrying about my team until I heard back. Thankfully no one had been killed but ZEX had been seriously injured as well as our newest member PLO-59. This did little to set my mind at ease knowing that the battle there was still raging.

But my tests had been positive, they would give me some brief Jedi training. Because of my age they said I was to old to go through the JedI training and that they would teach me the basics of force use and application and then send me with all the information on the force that they had in my data pad for me to study. “If study this you will, learn much you can.” Master Yoda assured me.

My training was intense… very intense. More than anything I had seen as a clone. I was to d as much as possible before going back to the battle field with my troops. And before I knew it that time had come again. I was anxious to be back with my friends but saddened that my time of training was over. Also I dreaded seeing battle again, but that was my life and there was no running away from it.

After running through the placement tests one more time I was sent back out to the battle field with two new weapons and the rank of Lieutenant. My weapons, the force and two vibroblades, reinforced with cortosis and several other special alloys that would withstand light saber attacks as well as explosions and blaster bolts.

I walked onto the ship with my new armor, green stripes on my arms and helmet, green shoulder pads, and three white circles on each shoulder. I was almost nervous as several of the clones saluted. I felt almost lost, separated. I had been training with the Jedi for only a month or two but everything now seemed so different. I knew none of these clones. I felt isolated.

I still feel that to a small extent, but like all the clones these have a way of making me feel welcome and accepted. I have only been with them for a few days but things have been going well. Our destination is the Cyax system where we will meet back up with my team and several other clones who were moved to Da Soocha 5 immediately after the conflict on Hapes was over with.

I feel anticipation building in seeing my friends again. But I need my rest, in the morning we will be arriving and unloading on the planet surface.

JAX flipped his data pad off after a long entry covering the last few months. Since his Jedi training started he had little time to log down the events. Not only that but the JedI instructed him specifically not to write down anything detailed about his training.

Rolling over JAX closed his eyes and went to sleep. His dreams that night were filled with images of his friends whom he would soon see. Happily they were pleasant images as opposed to images of battle and war or injured troopers.

The next morning broke into those dreams however as the time to wake came seeping into JAX’s mind. His subconscious woke him and he hopped out of bed, grabbed his armor and began the unloading process. The unloading of weapons and supplies too a short amount of time with the help of the one thousand five hundred clones that were dropped off at the planet.

“Well, look at you. 599 a Lieutenant.” a familiar voice came from behind JAX as he watched the last crate being carried out by the hovering droid, directed by a clone trooper. JAX turned around to look at ZEX. Surprisingly he found his friends standing before him with blue stripes on his arms and helmet. “Well, good to see you again, Lieutenant Major.” JAX said in response. “Well, I couldn’t let you catch up to me now could I?” ZEX teased.

“So what did they teach you in the dreary temple of theirs?” ZEX asked as the two walked towards the camp. “Just basic understanding and a few tricks.” JAX answered. “Classified stuff, I know. The all powerful JedI don’t want their secrets getting out.”

The day wore on as the group of clone troopers set up in battle array against the enemy on the rocky world. Da Soocha 5 was a nearly barren world with stone pinnacles covering it’s face. Besides the indigenes Ixiis, flying creatures who nested on the tops of the pinnacles, there were mostly only humans. No one was quite sure why the Confederacy took an interest in the planet but the Chancellor was adamant that, “The deceitful ways of these rebels are not to be underestimated. And we must let no planets fall into their dark grasp!”

In fact, strangely enough, the Jedi had even sent along Apprentice Offee and Master Unduli to assist. The clones were in a deadlock with the droids. A valley stood between them and neither side could move forwards without creating an open target for the enemy. Nether side could go around the valley without a three days journey. The clones had men on the way but they were sure the droids probably had done the same so their venture might go no where.

“Hey boys guess who’s back!” ZEX called out as he approached the others from team Virus. “Lieutenant JAX-599.” “Well, sir, welcome back.” BAM nodded with a welcoming smile. “Congratulations Lieutenant, and welcome back to the team.” LMT patted JAX on the shoulder. “Good to have you back, now I won’t be expected to fill your duty roster.” PLO joked. “Well done Lieutenant.” TEX nodded.

“I heard you and ZEX got injured on Hapes, how are you guys doing?” JAX asked PLO-59. “Ah I’m fine. Just took a couple blaster bolts to my side. Those droid scum snuck up during an explosion. I took out four before help got there to take out the rest.” PLO answered.

“I’m sure you even sketched a picture of your encounter.” JAX said turning to ZEX. ZEX chuckled. “You know me too well JAX.” ZEX handed him the data pad. “Sniper took a pot shot at me, caught me in the stomach. We were almost winning so TX told me to get some medical attention. After making it down away from the battle I unintentionally intercepted a covert group of droids coming in from the rear. Luckily for me I had my shotgun and they were clumped together. I took out all ten in three shots but shouldered my fair share in exchange. Barely made it back to camp before collapsing.”

JAX sat down with the group of clones as they recounted their stories from the battle. “I guess you can’t tell us much of your training.” BAM noted. “No… Jedi stuff.” ZEX chuckled. “But your not a JedI now are you?” PLO asked him. “No, I jus learned some of their techniques to improve my battle skills.” JAX answered. “Learn anything more about that secret plot the Chancellor was talking about?” LMT asked him. JAX hesitated. “No. Nothing out of the ordinary. “Well, you would expect them to be cautious.” BAM reminded.

The battle had slowed, there had been hardly any shooting since JAX had arrived. They thought perhaps because of the threat of ships. The enemy had several ships back in orbit as well but for some reason had been unwilling to engage the local republic ships.

As night closed in and the stories that the clones shared lingered to a humming memory in the minds of all those around JAX rose to go observe the situation. Walking up towards the top of the ridge he found Apprentice Offee standing, looking out over the darkened valley. “Lieutenant.” the JedI acknowledged his presence. JAX nodded. “Everything quite up here?” “Yes… That’s what troubles me.” Barriss told him. “I know.” JAX agreed with a soft thoughtful answer.

“Something else troubles you.” Barriss Offee turned towards JAX. JAX stood motionless and silent, staring into the darkness as the words of the Chancellor range strong in his mind. The JedI… planning to overthrow the republic. Before it troubled him but knowing where his allegiances lied he told himself if it were false it would defuse itself. But now that he had been with the JedI he knew it was false. And now that he had learned, in some small way, to use the force he felt even more weary of the Chancellor.

“JAX.” Barriss addressed him. “I know you well enough from our training together that your troubled. What is it?” she asked him. “The Chancellor.” JAX told her. “He has told the clones that he has uncovered a plot by the JedI to overthrow him and gain control of the Republic. I never have trusted him, but since that first dream I told you about I have felt even worse about him.” “The Sith in your dream… he was the Chancellor?” Barriss asked with shock in her voice. “Yes…” JAX answered hesitantly. “Why didn’t you tell me?” she asked him with an airy and quite voice. “I’m not sure.”

“I can assure you the JedI are planning no such thing, the Chancellor is mistaken.” Barriss told JAX. “I know. But what if he’s intentionally mistaken?” JAX asked, making Barriss’s eyes widen in surprise. “You should bring this before the Council.” Barriss urged him. “As soon as we get back to Coruscant I will.” he assured her.

“What is it?” Barriss asked as JAX put his hand to his ear, listening to a transmission that sent chills through the force so strong even he could feel it. “Something doesn’t feel right. What was that transmission?” “Something called order sixty six. I’ve never heard of it before.” JAX answered with concern. “We need to speak to Master Unduli.” Barriss rose hurriedly.

JAX stepped around the corner behind Barriss Offee just in time for him to see the other clones shoot down Jedi Master Luminara Unduli. Her light saber flashed through the air like an elegant display of fire works in the night sky, blue energy streaking off it in all directions. With a nudge from the force she deflected a grenade thrown her direction but it was all she could do to keep the blaster bolts at bay at the same time. A rocket from the shoulder of TEX caught the ground beside her as she attempted to deflect it as well. The explosion sent her flying just as Barriss and JAX rounded the corner of the large rock.

“No!” Barriss flashed out her blade as she screamed. “There’s the other one! Kill her!” TX-03 yelled. “JAX! Take her down!” LMT’s voice shouted out. JAX was in shock, instinctively he grabbed Barriss around the waist and yanked her behind the rock just as a rocket slammed into the ground, showering the planet with rocks and dust. “We have to get out of here!” JAX yelled. “I can’t leave her!” Barriss objected. “She’s dead!” JAX yelled fiercely as his heart sunk in his chest and a tear swelled in his eye.

Grabbing Barriss Offee by the arm JAX ran towards the valley. With one great jump he launched himself into the valley where the droid armies waited shoot anyone who entered. There was little time for thinking, little time to realize the full impact of what had just happened. Barriss, with her light saber blocked what shots came their way while JAX ran behind her keeping watch from behind.

Entry 12: JAX-599
It was only a matter of time before we were surrounded by druids, trapped in an impossibly hopeless swarm of heartless mettle antagonists. “We surrender!” I lifted my hands and dropped my weapons slowly. Barriss, though less willingly, did the same.

The droids, proud of their latest catch, a Jedi Apprentice and a clone Lieutenant, chattered pleasantly as they escorted us to our prison on board one of their ships. Now we just hopped the clones didn’t blow this ship up if and when it tried to leave the planet.

The incident finally started to soak in as we sat there in prison. The clones… The Chancellor… He had forced them to betray the Jedi, he’s the only one who could have!! I never trusted him! Now my own friends, my comrades, my family… They had become my enemy. In such a short time. How this could happen still devastate my mind. But I was a clone, emotion was not part of my life. Or at least I thought I was a clone… I thought emotion was not part of my life.

Apprentice Offee sat off in the corner fighting back tears, no doubt asking the same question in her mind… “Why?” Slowly she looked up at me. “How… How could they do that?” she stuttered softly. I couldn’t answer, I didn’t know what to say. “I…” Blank silence fell on the room. I could almost hear Barriss’s tear slap the edge of her bed and then crash on the floor.

I’ll never forget the look that was on Barriss Offee’s face that day as we sat in silence. The look that more than likely covered my own features beneath my mask. A look of utter hopelessness. She was lost, confused, scared, and the most painful thing of all… She was utterly alone and helpless.

As night came my sadness began to give way to anger as I ran through the horrifying scene over and over again in my mind. My fists tightened as I wished I could kill every clone on the planet. “What am I thinking?” I asked myself as I remembered ZEX and BAM, LMT, PLO, TEX, TLB, and so many others I had got to know. A solitary tear rolled down the side of my now unmasked face.

I stood from my bed, looking over at Barriss on the opposite side of the room who seemed to be sleeping. My anger, fear, and pain channeled through my body like an electric surge. “There is no emotion; There is peace. There is no emotion; There is peace. There is no emotion; There is peace. There is…” I continued reciting it in my mind, and then out loud before long in a futile attempt to defuse the anger and pain inside of me. “JAX…” Barriss whispered from behind. “There is no emotion.” I said strongly through clinched teeth. “There is peace!” I screamed at the top of my lungs as I pounded my fist against the wall with all my might and slid down to my knees, slumping over to cry.

“JAX.” Barriss attempted to comfort me as she kneeled down beside me and placed her hand on my shoulder. But it did little good. The tears flowed and soon I fell asleep there on the floor with Barriss leaning against her bed.

The next morning we woke as droid footsteps sounded down the hall. I jumped to my feet in a single bound and stood ready. I need to hear that we were going to leave this planet. I needed that, but not in the way they told us. “Count Dooku wishes to meet the two of you. We will be leaving in a matter of minutes. For the duration of the journey you will be placed in force binders.” the droid explained as several of them guarded and prepared for the force field to be taken down.

Quickly I reached inside a secret compartment on my gloves where dirt had been crammed up inside the joint. Grabbing a small clay like explosive that I hid there I placed it on my wrist, flattening it out to blend in on my uniform. The force field dropped and the supper battle droid entered. Roughly two others grabbed me and Barriss as the droid shackled us in energy binders.

The force field flared back up as it’s purple hue once again tainted to droids appearance. “How are we going to get out of this?” Barriss asked after the droids left. “I can get us out of the shackles and maybe the cell but…” I stopped. “We’ll figure out a way.” “And then what? We have no where to go. We must assume that the clones have turned against all the JedI.” Barriss pointed out. I nodded silently and sat down on my bed with a sigh.

Little was spoken after that besides the occasional question or comment that popped into our minds. Mostly though we sat silently contemplating the past, the future, and mostly the present.

Finally the ship slowed and seemed to come into an orbit. JedI Offee was unsure but I knew. I had felt that feeling my whole life, even in the simulations I could tell when the ship was in orbit despite the internal gravity. “It’s time.” I said as I stood up and bashed my shackles against the wall. The force of impact ignited the explosives that I had lined my suit with, the explosion blew off the shackles as well as most of my armor on my hands.

Ignoring the burns on my hands I reached into my neck lining and grabbed my lock picks. Within seconds I had Barriss’s cuffs off. “Stop, let me heal that first.” Barriss grabbed my arm as I went to open the force field. “We don’t have time.” I protested and continued thinking of a way to open the field. “Were most likely going to have to wait for them to come get us anyway.” Barriss told me. With a sigh of recognition in that truth I offered her my hands and once again witnessed the miracle she preformed so regularly.

When the droids came her and I sat with our hands behind our backs as if cuffed still. Five supper battle droids three battle droids and one destroyer with shields up. The force field went down and we walked cooperatively into the midst of the droids.

Now it was time to make out move as a corner came up. Barriss pushed the five droids and pulled one of their guns as she leapt behind the corner just in front of the blasts from the destroyer droid. I leapt backwards into a back flip over the destroyer droid who continued going after Barriss because she was the only one with a weapon.

I knew the energy field surrounding the droid would be a tremendous pain but I had been through pain to much for it to amount to nothing now. I shoved my hand through the shield as quick as I could and grabbed the droids center. I jerked the droid backwards and thrust forwards with my foot as I tried not to scream from the pain. As blaster bolts shot back and forth in front of me I successfully snapped the destroyer droid in two at it’s weakest point and then lay on the floor in agony.

The next thing I knew Barriss was dragging me down the hallways and into a storage compartment. I coughed as my lungs struggled to pull in air. Barriss did what she could but the pain was still ever present. “Are you alright?” she asked as I lay on the floor in front of her. “I’ll be fine.” I said as I forced myself to my feet. “You sure?” she asked again. “Yes.” I assured her.

We made our way out of the storage room and I picked up another gun from one of the downed battle droids before we headed for the escape pods. It was simple enough to make it to the escape pods. After avoiding another group of droids it was only minutes before the siren went off announcing our escape. By the time the droids were swarming the ship we were crammed inside one of the small pods and launched ourselves down to Coruscant.

We landed in the slums, as we intended to. There the local authorities, who no doubt would follow the orders of the Chancellor, could not reach us. We have been down here now for three days, moving each day to further ourselves from the pod’s crash site. The rest has healed my body along with the aid of Barriss Offee. Now we just have to decide what to do next.

JAX shivered as the cool morning air lurked in the lower slums of Coruscant. Opening his eyes he looked over to Barriss Offee who had fallen asleep beside him and leaned huddled in her cloak against the steal wall that stretched high into the sky. “Barriss…” JAX reached over and lightly shook her by the shoulder. “We should be moving on.” JAX spoke again. “Hm?” Barriss looked up through dreary eyes. “We should go.” JAX repeated. Barriss nodded and rose to her feet.

“I never knew it got so cold down here.” she said, blowing warm air into her cupped hands. “The heat rises.” JAX reminded her as he rummaged around in a pile of junk that sat nearby. Grabbing two long mettle rods he tossed one to Barriss, they would have to do for weapons until something better could be acquired.

Barriss looked out over the edge. The two had come to rest on a small ledge in the high slums of Coruscant. The five foot wide path that made it’s way in two directions was blocked on one side by a wall that lead up to the city and on the other side by a straight drop off that went nearly forty feet down. “We should make our way towards the Jedi Temple, just to be sure if there is anything left.” Barriss spoke, her view still transfixed on the lower levels of the slum. “They might expect it.” JAX notified her. “I know… But I need to know for sure.” Barriss said softly.

JAX could understand that. He felt the same thing about the clones, only he already knew what had happened he just wanted to know why. “Alright.” he agreed as he started off in that direction. “If something happens you leave. As long as you escape there will be some one to tell the people what the Chancellor has done. They’re looking for me not you.” Barriss advised him as she jogged up beside him. “In your dreams.” JAX replied in an almost cold heartless tone. “JAX…” Barriss started to object. “I’ve already lost some of my closest friends, the closest thing I had to family!” JAX raised his voice. Then, with a look of utter despair coming over his face he bowed his head. “Don’t ask me to loose the last friend I have left… Please.” he whispered softly.

“I’m sorry JAX.” she apologized as she to hung her head with sadness. JAX had never wrote in his journal entries about the friendship he had cultivated with the Jedi. He had never told the clones from fear that they might think him a traitor. Their friendship had been between them and Master Unduli, a respectable friend to JAX in her own right. But now she was dead too.

Before noon the two had safely made their way to the top of a factory building where they could clearly view the JedI temple. “It’s swarming with clone troopers.” JAX informed her as he zoomed out on the optical enhancements of his helmet. “That means…” Barriss pondered. “They’re all dead or captured.” JAX finished her sentence for her. “If they’re even taking captives.” Barriss added the last words.

“I’m sure there are others who are opposing the Chancellor in secret. We need to find them.” Barriss said, rising from her seat on the roof top’s ledge. “We better get some different outfits.” JAX suggested, looking at his armor. “Yeah.” Barriss agreed, a slight smile touching the side of her lips.

Before long the two had made their way to a local store where Barriss went inside to get them some outfits. They figured a clone trooper would be to obvious. “Here, hope these work for you.” Barriss handed JAX some black pants and shirt with black leather gloves, black leather boots, and a black leather coat that reached just past his knees. “That’s as close to what you described as I could find.” she told him. “Thanks, this is fine.” he assured her.

After changing the two headed towards the home of Senator Padme Amidala. Amidala was a known friend of the JedI and Barriss thought it would be worth the risk to try and contact her to see if any JedI at all had survived.

“It’s empty.” JAX observed as they jumped over the edge. JAX unattached the end of his suction gun and placed it back on his belt while Barriss ventured farther into the large house. “Anything?” JAX asked her. “Nothing.” came the reply. “Maybe they killed her too.” JAX thought to himself. “You don’t think…” Barriss started to say something more as a figure dashed out of the shadows and slung a light saber to her throat. The block that she produced with her make-do staff was of no use as the energy blade severed the end right off.

“Barriss Offee?” Obi-wan Kenobi stood at the other end of the light saber in near shock. “Master Kenobi! We feared all the JedI had been eliminated!” Barriss spoke with joy floating on her words. “Master Yoda and I survived the betrayal, but we are unsure if there are any others.” Obi-wan admitted with sorrow. Then, turning to JAX he asked, “Who is this?” “This is JAX, the clone who we gave JedI training. He helped me escape from the others, and saved my life.” she explained. “He’s on our side?” Obi-wan sounded skeptical. “He’s not a true clone. He…” “Yes I read his file.” Obi-wan interrupted.

“I’m ashamed of what my brothers have done Master JedI… And while I realize they have no choice I do not follow in their footsteps.” JAX spoke up. “Glad to hear that.” Obi-wan grinned. “Now, come. I have come to get a few of Padme’s belongings…” Obi-wan’s enthusiasm trailed off. “I’m afraid that she died giving birth to twins. Anakin was the father. He has also turned to the dark side and I have… dealt with him.” Obi-wan barely managed to give the explanation that the faces of his two companions so obviously asked for. “We must go before the Chancellor and his men find out were here. I have a ship waiting. It will take us to Naboo for the funeral.”

Jax Nova
22 February 2007, 11:17 AM
(if anyone is reading this)

Here is the next part I have typed up.

Barriss and JAX followed Obi-wan out and quickly through the streets of Coruscant. Passing by numerous faces and ducking into a dark ally they finally made it to the dock. The Nabooian ship stood out among the worn down buildings and streets. The bright silver ship opened at Obi-wan’s command and the three passengers walked in.

Entry 13: JAX-599
Obi-wan Kenobi took off as Barriss and I settled in for a nice rest. We had not got much sleep since leaving the droid ship. Strangely enough though, I was so use to sleeping on the ground and other awkward places that I couldn’t even get to sleep on the bed.

Between resting, my exercises, further Jedi training that Barriss and Obiwan offered me at my request, and reading through the JedI materials in my data pad, the trip didn’t seem to take to long. In fact, I barely left my room most of the time.

“Is there anything else I can get you?” a droid called C3-PO asked me. “No. Thanks anyway.” I replied as I sat at the ships table to eat. “He’s not a Confederate droid JAX.” Barriss reminded me, sensing my ill feelings towards the droid. “Sorry.” I smiled slightly. “It’s just kind of hard to see a droid without… shooting at it.” I admitted.

The smaller droid, R2-D2 didn’t seem to bother me as much as C3-PO. I wasn’t sure why. Perhaps it was because he wasn’t humanoid. But either way he didn’t give me a start when I walked around the corner and met him. I can’t count the times I actually reached for my gun.

By the time we got to Naboo however I was beginning to get use to seeing the droid walking around freely without a bullet whole in it’s head. But then again I wouldn’t want to hurt the one humanoid droid I had ever come in contact with that didn’t try and kill me.

As we walked off the ship I was almost disappointed that the trip was over. Barriss and I, having nothing to do in our free time, spent it all talking. I couldn’t say why, but something about just simply talking to her made me happy, made me feel like I belonged… I knew what it was but I didn’t want to admit it. She was a JedI, I was a clone trooper without emotion.

“This is Jedi Apprentice Barriss Offee and Jax.” Obi-wan introduced me to the queen of Naboo not as a clone but as a normal person, a human. Everyone had called me Jax forever, but knowing that he wasn’t think capitol JAX made a difference some how. It made me feel more human.

“Pleased to meet you both I am sure.” the queen smiled with a slight bow that we returned. “Will you be staying or leaving with Master Kenobi?” she asked us with her accented speech. “Uh… I hadn’t really given it much thought.” Barriss confessed. “I’d like to stay… Just for a while.” Jax answered for himself. “If I could count on you staying to help me further my training I would greatly appreciate it.” he said turning to Barriss. “I guess were staying then.” Barriss answered with a smile.

“Damier will show you to your rooms.” The queen motioned to one of her handmaidens. “Thank you.” Jax and Barriss said simultaneously. The queen turned her attention to Obiwan now as Jax and Barriss followed Damier down into a hallway and down it’s long stone floor.

“You may have these two rooms. Do not be afraid to call on me if you need help with anything.” the young woman smiled as she stopped and motioned to doors opposite of each other in the hall. “Thank you.” Barriss smiled and bowed slightly.

Jax walked into his room and looked around. It was mostly empty. The uncarpeted brown stone floor was cool and the small bed looked just as uncomfortable as the one on the ship. Jax turned to the dresser and searched it’s drawers, they were all empty. The small stand by the door had on it a small potted plant and directly to it’s right was a wall computer consol.

As I suspected I didn’t find the bed very comfortable and I slept on the floor last night. Most of the day today I have rested and continued training with Barriss. After getting cleaned up for the first time in months and taking a shower I came back to my room. I’m not sure how long we will stay here or what our futures will hold but Obiwan has talked of leaving while several off the Senators have formed a secret group to oppose the Chancellor in the senate.

Jax heard a loud crash outside and felt through the force a disturbance in Barriss Offee. Setting down his data pad he exited his room and rang on Barriss’s door. “Come in. It’s open.” her voice sounded muffled from inside the room. Jax walked in and saw her sitting out on the ledge of a balcony. Walking towards her Jax noticed a broken vase on the far side of the bed. “What happened?” he asked her. “It was only a dream.” she breathed out airy words. “About?” Jax asked as he took a seat beside her on the balcony ledge and stared over at her. “Death…” she whispered as though she could barely take in a breath. “Who?” Jax continued questioning. “I don’t know.” she said shaking her head and burying her face in her hands.

“Not all dreams have true meaning.” Jax reminded her as he put an arm around her. “I know.” she replied, leaning onto his shoulder. “I just can’t get that feeling out of me. Just like the feeling when I watched Luminara die.” Barriss started to cry slowly. Jax, once again, didn’t really know what to say. “I’m sorry.” was all he could come up with. But the moments of silence that followed seemed to do more to comfort her than any words as he held her tight and gazed up at the brilliant Nabooian night sky.

After an hour of silence Jax realized that Barriss had fallen asleep. Carefully he took her over to the bed, trying not to wake her. Apparently his efforts were futile however. “Thank you.” Barriss said tiredly as he gently laid her down on the bed. “Sure.” Jax smiled as the recent events ran through his mind, and he for the first time realizing just what had taken place.

Didn’t just moments earlier he write in his journal that a relationship would never work out? He was a clone… or was he? More and more lately he had felt a separation taking place, separating him from his clone identity. But even then, Barriss was a Jedi. He knew that down inside but on the surface thought to himself, “The JedI don’t even exist anymore.”

The next morning Jax woke to the sound of Barriss pressing his door bell. “Yeah?” he asked as he opened the door. “I’m sorry. Did I wake you up?” Barriss observed his tiered appearance. “That’s fine. I didn’t get much sleep last night.” he told her. “I’ll be out in a minute.”

After getting ready Jax and Barriss made their way out in the wilderness surrounding the city by the large waterfall. Here is where they had been training. Barriss assured Jax that his improvement was unbelievable but he always worried that he wasn’t doing his best.

“I wouldn’t tell you it if it weren’t true.” Barriss defended herself as the two sat down on a rock, breathing heavily from a resent sparing match. “Sorry.” Jax apologized. “That’s fine. I know you just want to do your best, and that’s good. Just don’t push yourself to hard.” she told him. “Don’t want to improve so much you take the easy way, that path leads to darkness.”

Jax looked out over the rushing water that spilled down the side of the cliff. It was beautiful… He had never realized that before. He had never realized the beauty in anything before actually, he had always been to busy fighting and staring at the repulsive image of droids. But now, with no war to fight in the present and the beauty surrounding him it threatened to put him to sleep.

“You look tiered.” Barriss noted. “Why couldn’t you sleep last night?” “I was… thinking.” he answered, breaking his view of the water fall and settling in on Barriss. “About?” she gave a slight grin with her question. “I…” Jax stopped himself but Barriss could read his feelings well enough to tell what he was thinking about. “Jax… I can’t… I mean we..” Barriss stuttered in surprise at the recognition of what she already knew subconsciously.

A brief moment of silence filled the air as the two thought deeply. Only the roaring of the water sounded. “I’m a Jedi Jax.” Barriss finally spoke. “The JedI are destroyed.” Jax said bluntly. “I’m not. Obi-wan and Master Yoda aren’t. And their might be more.” she reminded him. “You head what Obi-wan said. They’re going into hiding. They’re not even going to start a rebellion or something. The JedI are dead Barriss.” Jax said in an upset tone, more upset by the fact that the JedI weren’t going to fight back than anything.

“Don’t get me wrong Jax, you’re a wonderful person… But I can’t go back on my vows.” Barriss tried to make him understand. “There is no passion; There is only serenity. Isn’t that right?” Jax asked her. “Yes.” she said lamentably. “Serenity. Do you know what it means? Tranquility calmness peacefulness serenity quietude stillness. Where does that say you can’t love?” Jax reasoned. “I… I don’t know. I’m sorry Jax.” Barriss said apologetically as she walked away slowly.

Jax sat back down on the rock with a sigh, wondering if he would ever again find some place where he could truly belong. He had that with the clones… once, before. But now, it had all been taken away from him. And apparently, the one other person with whom he felt a sense of belonging was unwilling to share her life.

That night Barriss came back out to the water fall where Jax still sat staring out into the distance. “Jax… Are you coming in?” Barriss asked him. “It’s beautiful.” Jax said with a resounding respect for the majesty of the view. “Yes… It is.” Barriss agreed as she walked up beside him.

“Jax, it’s not that I don’t love you.” Barriss started to explain. “It’s just I’ve made commitments. If they didn’t exist maybe things could be different.” “I know.” Jax said without looking up at her. “I guess I always did.” “I truly am sorry. I know how hard this has been for you, and the last thing I want is to cause you more pain.” Barriss apologized again.

“Where will you go?” Jax asked her. “Senator Organa and his wife are taking Padme’s young girl. Obi-wan is going to watch over the boy on Tatooine and I will go to watch over the young girl as a servant to the senator’s wife.” she answered. “When are you leaving?” he asked her. “Whenever your done training.” she told him. “Maybe it would be better if you left sooner rather than later.” Jax didn’t want to say those words but he knew he had to. He would only grow closer to Barriss over time.

“That would seem like a wise choice.” Barriss admitted sadly. “I don’t know if I’ll ever see you again Barriss…” “Jax stop.” Barriss interrupted. “Just listen… please. I want you to know, just incase we don’t see each other again, you have been one of the best and the truest friend I have ever had in my life. I just want to say thank you for being there for me.” Jax finished. “You’ve been no less.” Barriss replied as she hugged Jax tightly and kissed him on the cheek. Jax looked at her eyes, filled with pain from all that had happened yet still filled with the same sense of duty that told him his attraction would come to what was now unfolding.

“Where are you going?” Barriss asked him. “Somewhere… Anywhere. I’m going to fight the Chancellor until the day I die. I guess wars all I’m good at. At least this time I can be sure I’m fighting on the right side.” Jax answered. “Your always welcome to stop by Alderaan.” Barriss offered. “Thanks.” Jax smiled and began walking back to the palace.

Entry 14: Jax
Yesterday was senator Padme’s funeral. Barriss and Obi-wan left shortly after it was over. The queen offered to let me stay and give me a place in her army but there is little I can do to fight the Chancellor from there.

After seeing Barriss and Obi-wan off I graciously accepted the small modified fighter that the queen offered to give me. I was also granted 15,000 credits as a reward for my efforts and to aid in my fight against the Chancellor. It’s an amazingly fit little ship. It was just a T shaped hallway leading from the loading ramp straight in to the cockpit. To the right of the right is my room which is nine meters by nine meters wide. The opposite way is the storage room which is the same size. The white interior reminds me some what of Kamino, only it’s more of a cream tinted color.

The cockpit his large with white walls but unlike the rest of the ship has blue floors. It was three passenger’s seats, the pilot’s seat, and a copilot’s seat. Fortunately a copilot is not necessary for proper function as long as you know what your doing. The back of the room is straight across with the rest in a half circle, the walls lined with the necessary control panels and such.

The stingray shaped ship is almost thirty feet wide but only twenty feet from the tip of it’s nose to the loading ramp. It’s smooth surface keeps true to Nabooian design but it’s black color makes it a unique ship that can not be traced back to any maker or mechanic’s style.

The ship had excellent shields, an amazing speed, and fair guns for her size. The anonymous maker of the ship had named it the “The Black Dragon,” the words written in dark brown on both sides and barely visible against the black exterior. Also, unusual for a ship so small, a hyper drive had been installed.

I had set my direction back towards Kamino. Maybe they would be able to help me in some way to fight the Chancellor. I was sure, knowing them as I did, that they would not have approved of his use of the clone armies. I hoped at least.

The trip to Kamino was long. It gave me time to settle in to what I would now call home. In many ways I was glad to call this ship home. It had not been since Kamino that I was able to call any place home, and even then it was with the knowledge that one day we would leave probably never returning.

The trip also gave me plenty of time to plan. But frustratingly there was little of that I could do at the moment. I had next to no resources. But my training kept me busy enough to pass the time.

As I reached Kamino I looked down on the planet with hidden anticipation. I could barely keep myself from being excited about my return, despite the grave circumstances it was under. The large blue ball of water looked comfortingly welcoming in a strange sort of way.

Landing on one of the many platforms that surrounded the structure protruding from the ocean I rushed out through the rain and into the building. “Hello. I am Van Stine. Is there something I can help you with?” a friendly looking clone asked as he approached me. “I’m hear to see Lama Sue. He doesn’t know I’m coming but tell him JAX-599 wishes to speak with him.” I answered.

Without a word the Kaminoan walked away and disappeared. Before long I was surrounded by clone troopers, guns pointing at me. “Sith spit!” I cursed in my mind. The Chancellor must have taken over, I was sure! But they were different, they had light green markings, not like anything I had ever seen before.

“JAX-599.” I heard Lama Sue’s voice. “Why has the Chancellor sent you here?” “What?” I was now fairly confused. “The Chancellor didn’t send me. I no longer follow his lead.” I assured him. “I’m not a real clone remember, I can chose to turn away from him.” “What is it you want then?” he asked me, the clone troopers not backing down. “I’m going to fight against the Chancellor. I was hopping you could help me with some supplies.”

At Lama Sue’s motion the clone troopers retracted their weapons. “Come, we should speak.” Lama Sue lead me to a conference room. Walking down the long white hallways images and memories of my time here flooded my mind. I almost wanted to stay, but I knew I couldn’t.

The chairs came down from the ceiling and the two of us sat down while clones stood guard by the door. “We have withheld the remainder of the clones from the Chancellor because of his actions. They work for us now. Because of this we need them for security purposes or we fear that we might be destroyed. But for a reduced price I am willing to sell you whatever supplies you need.” Lama Sue explained.

“I’m not the best pilot. I could use a copilot for my ship.” Jax said thoughtfully. “How about giving me one clone pilot and some guns. I’ll need two DC-15 blaster rifles, four blaster pistols, two sniper rifle, two vibroblades, two Fusion cutters, and two suits of clone trooper armor for each of us. Can I get this all for fifteen thousand?”

Lama Sue looked hesitant. “This is much for a low price.” he paused. “But, since you are a good friend and you will use them for your cause I will make an exception this once.” he agreed. “Great.” I said with a smile and handed him the credits.

The clone trooper armor we ordered was that of a General with red stripes on the helmet and arms and red shoulder pads with three white dots each. The second suit was dark brown with black stripes on the arms and helmet and had a black dragon on the chest. It only took an hour to acquire and load all the supplies and before I knew it I was ready to leave Kamino once again.

“This is JAD-4470.” Van Stine introduced me to my clone trooper pilot who was already in his dark brown uniform. “Standing by for orders sir.” JAD said with a salute and that familiar accent that graced every clone word that was spoke. “Alright, lets go.” I responded. Then I turned to Lama Sue, “Thanks for helping me out.”

I walked up the loading ramp and into the short hallway. “Take the pilot’s seat, you’ll do a better job than me.” I told JAD. “Yes sir.” he replied promptly and started up the ship. “Where will we be going sir?” he asked. “Set course for Coruscant.” I told him. “Right away sir.”

Once the ship was in the air I cleared up some things with my new friend. “Alright, first of all you don’t need to call me sir, the name is Jax. Second, we need to find a name for you. How does Jaden sound?” “Sounds fine sir… Sorry.” he replied. “Alright, Jaden it is then.”

It’s good to just hear the voice of a clone trooper again, and to know that he isn’t going to turn on me or try to kill me. Hopefully we will be able to do some good against the Chancellor. We are half way to Coruscant now. When we get there Jaden and I will begin a sabotage mission that, if executed successfully, will take out an entire hanger of clone fighters.

Jax Nova
28 February 2007, 06:56 AM
“It’s not much but it will make a statement, and hopefully draw some attention to our cause.” Jax said in reference to the sabotage plan as him and Jaden sat on one of Coruscant’s innumerable docking platforms overlooking the military hanger at a distance.

“Where are we going to enough explosives to blow that thing?” Jaden asked. The two of them standing side by side could hardly be told apart with their new dark brown clone trooper armor on. “I don’t know yet. But we’ll find a way.” Jax said with assurance. “There are plenty of ways to make quick money around Coruscant.”

Walking back inside their ship Jax and Jaden linked up to the local data stream with their universal connector and tapped into opportunities that flooded the screen like the tears of a new born baby. “That’s a lot of options.” Jaden commented as they scrolled through the thousands of results that were made available.

“Stop. What’s this one?” Jax quickly spoke and pointed without anymore information that a tug from the force. Reading it allowed Jaden answered his question. “Come now to the Coruscant Nebula Arena to see the universe’s newest and best breed of fighters. This traditional style is based on the long ago outlawed death matches that sprung up in the afterworlds such as Tarriss. The weapon free battles will be fought in a modulator controlled setting, not allowing any fatal damage to be done. Come now to watch or participate in this amazing new event, revived from nearly ten thousand years in our universe’s rich history. All participants in this sport will be awarded prize money, losers and winners.”

“Sounds like something I could handle.” Jax mused. With his clone training it should be a breeze he was sure. But then again he had learned long ago not to underestimate anyone… or anything. “Here’s the address.” Jaden pointed it out on the screen. “Alright, you stay here and watch over the ship. I’ll be back, hopefully with a scheduled fight.” Jax said as he walked to the back of the ship.

The ship’s loading ramp lowered and Jax walked out into the murky lit atmosphere of Coruscant’s corporate and manufacturing area. The gray gleam of the rising sun shimmered off the buildings as Jax made his way down to the planet’s surface on the taxies that were made available at each docking bay. Jax shook his head in despair as he thought once more about what all had happened and how his entire existence had shifted so drastically in a few short days.

Once JAX-599 fought for the freedom and sovereignty of the Republic… And now he was on his way to raise money for a sabotage mission. “How did things come to this?” he asked himself with a silent sigh. The gloomy appearance of Coruscant seemed only to enhance his depressed mood. Despite the flashing lights, neon signs, plasma flashes and numerous advertisements that lined the streets it seemed dark and gloomy. But Jax knew that he was doing what had to be done.

Entry 15: Jax

I walked into the large round building where the “sport” took place. Entering the door a blast of alcohol, sweat, and food rushed to gag me, even through the filters in my helmet. I wasn’t surprised to find a canteen just inside the door. And I wasn’t surprised to find all manner of distasteful scum inside of it. But I had to admit they seemed to keep the place pretty well managed and keep their customers under control.

“Can I get you something?” a shrill reptilian voice squeaked, breaking my in-depth observations of each individual that passed in front of me. The rodian had his hand gun, but he also showed signs of a small concealed hold out blaster on his right leg and a knife up his sleeve. Concealed weapons were prohibited in this place but it still didn’t surprise me. The Twi’lek who sat at the bar next to me seemed to be in a state of contemplation as she fingered the knife she wore on her side and swished the ail that bobbed the ice up and down with it’s waves.

“No thanks.” I finally turned to the small reptilian creature who tended the bar. “Fights. That way.” the little creature pointed as he spoke another decibel shredding sentence. “Thanks.” I nodded towards him and walked away, catching the glance of the twi’lek at the bar as I disappeared into the selected room.

At the end of long room sat a hut, not a surprising figure to front an operation such as this. The room’s gray walls, lined with video panels invited guests to come watch live fights for just ten credits per fight. “Ah, interested in watching fight. It will be starting in twenty minutes.” the hut seemed to attempt to clap his small hands together that dangled at the end of his small, short arms. “No.” I declined. “Ah!” the hut’s eyes widened as he continued speaking in huttese. “You’re here to fight then.” an almost threatening grin crawled across his face.

“What are the terms of the fighting agreement?” I asked as I stared at the large worm like creature, his greenish yellow skin looking almost cracked around his arm joints, mouth, and eyes. “Only that you fight fairly. Anyone caught cheating will be ejected and fined five thousand credits. Depending on which fighter you choose to fight there will be set rewards for the winner and loser. I have unlocked the third panel for you to view your choices. Once you have selected your opponent you will have access to watch ten hours of fights to study them before fighting.”

I walked over to the wall panel and began searching through the options. There were over three hundred fighters to challenge. I had barely got through the first twenty when a voice came from behind. “You a new fighter?” the twi’leki language was unmistakable. “That’s right.” I answered, turning around to view the female twi’lek who had been seated at the bar when I arrived.

“I’m challenging you then.” she said as she put her light colored lekku (more commonly known as a head tail) behind her shoulders in a taunting manner. I looked her over before replying. Her almost natural colored skin had a white/pink tint to it and her purple markings were placed randomly on her lekkus and face, the only part of her uncovered from the thick dark blue armored suit that covered her. There was no evidence of any hidden weapons and I felt no ill feelings, anger, or alternative motives from her.

“What if I decline?” I asked her with an unemotional tone. “You’d be smart.” she replied with snide smile. “Why so?” I asked her trying not to let my clone trooper accent flow through my speech. “Scroll to the top of the list on that screen and you’ll find out.” she pointed behind me.

I did as she said, and to my partial surprise she was the top fighter. Apparently she was unbeaten out of one hundred and ninety three fights. Chances were, I knew, my military training would give me enough of an edge to beat her, not withstanding my force abilities. But, on the other hand, to be that good she had to be very skillful and perhaps and adequate match or more… It was a gamble if I were to accept, a gamble I didn’t particularly want to take.

There were others I could fight and have much better chances of winning. If I were to loose to her I would only take home five thousand credits. If I were to fight another and win I could bring in as much as fifteen thousand credits. But if I were to beat this twi’lek I would bring home twenty thousand, more than enough to buy the supplies we needed. “I’ll think about it.” I told her. “I’ll be here when you make up your mind.” she told me with a challenging stair.

I focused, taking a seat somewhere in the lower slums. It was almost silent down there. The force seemed to urge me to take the fight but I couldn’t be sure… or maybe I just disagreed. I couldn’t say which it was. But after the nights passage and the next morning’s call to rising the message was clear. I felt this was the right option to take.

I stood to my feet and jumped up the ten foot side that lead up to the upper city. After taking the next stairs and making another five foot jump I walked back to the building under the constant glow of Coruscant’s many lights. Just as she said the twi’lek was still seated there at the bar. “So do you live here or something?” I asked from behind. “Yes. Actually I do. Don’t have the money to get my own place and it’s open here twenty four seven. But if you just came to chat I’m afraid you’ll have to buy me a drink.” she replied in a sincere and almost emotionally charged tone.

“I’ll accept your challenge.” I told her after she turned around to face the bar once more. The twi’lek turned around slowly and looked up at me with an obviously surprised look. “Your joking right?” “Nope.” “Alright. Let’s go talk to Yageb.” she got up and brushed past me. I guessed that Yageb was the hut that ran the operation.

A pleased laugh rang through the room when Ashie Rein, the twi’lek, announced the news. “You accept her challenge?!” he had to clarify. “That’s right.” I agreed. “Good!” he said with another laugh. “When will you fight?” “As soon as I get done studying the videos.” I answered before Ashie could say anything. “Alright then.” she looked over at me with a grin on her face.

Ashie walked off back to the canteen bar and sat down in her chair. “What’s with her?” I asked Yageb, curious about her behavior. “She is to good.” he replied simply. “So good she can barely make a living with the few people that agree to fight her.” he explained. I glanced back at her at the bar. A laugh brought my gaze back to Yageb. “Yes… she is that good. To late to rethink now.”

I have just finished studying the video’s of Ashie. It’s evident why she is the top fighter. Her techniques are excellent, down to the smallest mechanical positioning all the way to her balance, speed, accuracy, and execution. She had an unpredictable style which served her well and she had amazing power for someone of her size. All this backed by a superb defense that had only allowed a total of five hits in any one fight to land cleanly.

I still feel this is the path to take, however I am less certain that I will be able to defeat her in our fight. But I can always fight a second time to acquire the money needed to buy our supplies. Tomorrow morning I will find out just how good she really is… and if I can beat her or not.

Jax put away his data pad and stood up from the table where he had been seated. Walking over to Ashie he asked, “So where do you sleep in this place?” “That’s not the question you need to ask.” she chuckled slightly with the first friendly smile he had seen on her face since meeting her. “How do I sleep is what you need to know.” Jax looked curiously at her, though through his helmet she had no clue as to his facial expressions.

“Here.” she slid her cup across the table as Jax sat down across from her. “Drink the rest, I’ve had all I need.” “What is it?” Jax asked. “A mixture of several beverages, some alcoholic some not. It’s something my grandma taught me before my family was killed, it will put you to sleep in a few minutes.” she explained, already showing signs of drifting off herself. Leaning back in the booth type seating on her side of the table she closed her eyes and soon sat sleeping deeply though not comfortably.

Jax hesitantly took off his helmet, hoping not to many people were looking. The less people who knew what he really looked like the better. Drinking the foul tasting liquid down was more difficult than any grueling training exercise he had ever been through! But at long last he swallowed the last mouthful as his eyes began to close. Grabbing his helmet he put it back on, hopping that when he woke the foul taste in his mouth would be dissipated.

The next morning Jax woke up to a firm shaking. “Hey, wake up.” Ashie smiled as from across the table as her foot, dug into Jax’s ribs shuffled him in his booth seat. “We’ve got a half hour to prepare. Don’t worry about the effects of the drink as soon as you wake up it will energize you.” she got up once she knew that Jax was awake. “Thanks. So when does the taste go away?” Jax asked in disgust. The taste was almost as strong now as when he went to sleep! With a knowing laugh Ashie walked away. “It should be gone in a day or two… If you don’t drink anymore.”

Jax got up and walked into the preparation room. Neither him or Ashie had any preparing to do however. They only sat in the small two meter wide and three meter long waiting room just outside of the large round arena that was surrounded by seats filled with eager fans. It still amazed Jax that as famous and loved as Ashie was by her nearly crazed fans she couldn’t make a living simply because no one was willing to face her.

“Do you always wear that helmet?” Ashie asked as she sat on the wall bench opposite the room as Jax. Jax sat comfortably on the other bench as well. “When I’m around people.” “So I guess I am one of the few people who has seen you drink something huh?” she asked with a smile. “You were awake?” he asked, trying not to show his surprise. “Yup. Your pretty handsome you know, you should try taking off that helmet more often.” her grin curled higher on her right side as she bit the left side of her lip.

“Flatter gets you no where.” Jax shook his head. “That’s why I never do it.” she replied with honesty. “You must be some fighter. Where did you learn?” Ashie changed the subject, seeming a little embarrassed. Jax sat silent for a while contemplating her question as a deep sense of emptiness formed inside him as he thought once more about the clones. “My family…”he stopped. “We all were trained. I learned most of what I know from them.” “Where are they now?” Ashie asked with a soft sympathetic voice, sensing the pain behind his words. Jax looked up in silence again. “Dead… they’re dead.” he answered in all truthfulness. The clone troopers he once knew existed no more.

“I’m sorry.” Ashie hung her head down, looking up at Jax slightly. “If it’s any consolation I know how it feels.” “I’m sorry.” Jax replied, seeming distant now. “Yeah… me too.” Ashie whispered as if talking to herself. The next moments were pleasantly silent as the two waited, both pondering their lives, past and present.

Before they knew it their time to fight had come. The crowds cheered with ecstatic shouts of excitement as the green light above the waiting room door lit up, signaling the fighters and fans that things were about to get started. Ashie stood up and looked over to Jax, “Good luck.” “Thanks. You too.” he replied as he stood to his feet and the two of them walked out into the arena.

Yan Kai
1 March 2007, 06:39 AM
Great writing Jax! Man, you're word choices are excellent and really bring out a lot of good description into the story. Great characters too!

Keep it up!!!

Jax Nova
1 March 2007, 07:31 AM
Hey, thanks for reading and leting me know what you think! :)

And as always any sugestions/corrections you have are very welcomed!!

4 June 2007, 01:21 PM
You may or may nor remember me, but great job anyway :) By and far your best work to date :) Keep up the good work!