Ah, yes. A new fanfiction.net account brings a fresh start. So, I am posting beta chapters of my new story, named Hope Squad. A RC story.
I will update each chapter with improvments you suggest. Once I feel happy to go, I'll post the full story here:PoetForLibertas
If no one replies, I'll just use this as a staging area for my chapters. To see them out of LibreOffice Writer, basically. So, I hope you enjoy Hope Squad!Prologue: The Dark Times
(Note: Version 2.3)God's promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shineCIS Operating Base Alpha-Delta, Zero Hour, Clone Wars, Geonosis
Republic Commandos were born to fight and bred to die for the Republic. They were cold-hearted, nothing more than killing machines. Stone-cold
. That was what most people who knew commandos thought they were. They were wrong.
"I have a bad feeling about this...”
Ky'ram – a name that was Mandalorian for Death – otherwise known as RC-7340, looked through the door he had just blown open. He was the squads Demo expert. What he saw through the smoke, ash, and rubble was not good; Super Battle Droids. And lots
His squad engaged the SBDs, almost immediately, but more came quickly to reinforce the already strong front line. All of the squad were concentrating fire where the squad leader had designated. It was in the middle of the droids, where most of them were positioned. One knelt down to fire at Ky'ram, and he darted for cover beside his squad mate.
“Ky'ram! Cover me, I'm going to call for support!” shouted the squads leader, RC-2573 – Triple, as he was known to his squad because of his last number – as he changed comm frequency. “Libertas
, this is Hope Squad. Requesting immediate support on these co-ordinates. Enemy strength estimated at... three hundred. Low on everything.”
Triple kept repeating the message, but no response came. This was the squads first mission, but that was same for the entire Grand Army of the Republic. Geonosis was just red sand with bugs flying around to Ky'ram. Even Datto, or RC-1092, wasn't happy on the planet. And he wasn't afraid of anything, being the sniper. Then you had the last squad member; Shebs. He got his name for being a pain in the backside with his slicing skills. Given the nickname by his training sergeant, he didn't understand at the time. When he finally did... he didn't care anyway.
Hope Squads mission was to capture an enemy outpost, in the hope of strengthening the main assault from a fortified base. And even for four elite commandos it was not an easy task. It would take at least three squads, and even more regular troopers.
The battle continued, and Ky'ram knew the entire squad would have to perform as good as the training sergeants favourite squad; Theta. And that wouldn't be easy. They passed the Killing House almost as well as Delta.
Datto and Shebs split up from Ky'ram and Triple, getting up close and personal
. Datto liked that more than anyone.
“Sir, man down!” screamed Datto, shocking Ky'ram. Ky'ram looked towards him, but couldn't see anything, “get off me you bug-freak. Take that... and that – ahhh!”
Both links went dead. Ky'ram turned to see Triple, and knew what had happened; Shebs and Datto were probably dead. Triple just shook his head. Ky'ram didn't even have time to get angry, as smoke filled the room just as a response came from Libertas
. “Hope Squad, this is Libertas
. LAAT/i gunship inbound. ETA ten. Delay due to resistance in sector, how copy?”
“We need them now, sir!” Ky'ram said, as he suddenly became angry and unfocused. They had just lost there brothers – men who he could never become closer to – and now they had to hold out in smoke, dirt and rubble with low enemy and millions of enemies for 10 minutes. “Sir! We only have two left. Me and Triple! We cannot hold out much longer!”
“Hang in there, Hope, we are coming!” replied the officer frantically and sadly, “Hang in there!”
But Ky'ram had been over ran by the word “hope”, which was ironic. His last thought was on Triple, and all he saw of him was an SBD firing a rocket at him. It hit, Triple fell. An impact of something hard hit Ky'ram and he fell into what he thought was death.
He awoke unsteadily. Eyes unfocused, hurting him as he tried to keep them open. He pushed a rock out of the way, knowing he was alive or in some twisted afterlife. More rubble was atop of him, so light he hadn't noticed, and he pushed it aside, piece by piece. It was still bright outside; light seeped through the hole Ky'ram had blasted, but it was dim. As he rose, he saw a bright white light hit his eyes, making them burn. He put his hand out to shield them, before he heard someone shout, “We've got a live one!”
He was the last member of Hope Squad.
That realisation hit him like a punch to the gut, and a knife had just been plunged into him and twisted. He couldn't live without his brothers. They were his first memory, his family, his team. As he was taken on the Gunship, Ky'ram didn't take in his surroundings. He was detached from the situation, knowing he couldn't redo the mission. Knowing he could have fought harder. His training sergeant – a man named Kal Skirata, a Mando Merc – would have understood, though. He wondered where he was, what he was dong with all the credits he earned from the clone program.
That'd have to wait. The future was now fragile for him. What is a clone without his brothers?
Ky'ram thought, What do I do? That was what I fought this battle for. To make sure they lived. Well, no matter what the result for the Republic was, I lost/
He knew what was next. The Kaminoans had told him what happened to any Commando whose squad had been mostly killed. He'd be assigned a new set of Commandos, who lost there squad too. And there had to be someone who had lost there brothers.
Ky'ram promised himself and his dead brothers he'd keep the name as Hope Squad, to keep there memory alive. And to have hope
. Pain was a funny thing. It wasn't always physical, and sometimes it would never heal. Ky'ram suspected that if his pain did, it'd take a long time. And he now understood what war felt like. It wasn't what he was trained to believe.
The light was a searchlight attached to a troopers DC-15, or at least that's what Ky'ram could make out as his vison was still blured. The welder switched it off as another trooper kept his weight as Ky'ram couldn't support himself fully yet. It was sunset; the battle had ended, and it looked like Republic victory. More gunships flew past with the high-pitched noise. Troopers stood guard of landing zones and an AT-TE was visible in the distance. Waves of heat lifted from the ground, making Ky'ram feel ill. He was half dragged, half carried to the gunship, which was waiting a few metres away from what looked like armour. Ky'ram didn't want to check.
Feeling lost in the dark was something Ky'ram had never experienced, but as he lifted off in the LAAT/i, he knew what it felt like to be alone.
Then his comlink activated with a click
, “Anyone there?” said a voice, “This is Triple. Hello?!”
Stunned, Ky'ram staggered backward, hitting another trooper. Was Triple still alive? “Triple? Can you hear me?”
“Anyone there? C'mon, reply!” Triple was becoming frightened. Ky'ram now knew Triple couldn't hear him.
Having relief of some kind flood him, he quickly moved towards the open cockpit. It was easier than he thought; the gunship was practically deserted, save for a few clone troopers and one other commando.
“Pilot,” said Ky'ram, “Can we turn back?” he knew that was a pathetic way to convince the pilot, “One of my squad mates is alive. I have him on the comm!”
“Can't turn back now, kid,” said the pilot without remorse. He was a mongrel,
“Last lift off.”
“Turn back. Now! Or I'll show you a nice trick with a vibroblade!”
The pilot laughed, “Good luck, Shiny Boy.”
Ky'ram knew he was going to need it. Not to kill the hut'uun, but to survive without his brothers. He walked back to where he was sitting in silence, keeping his rage down. He felt the ship rock around as it left the atmosphere, just before the other commando tapped him.
“Sole survivor, hey?”
Ky'ram nodded, not looking at him. He didn't want to see a clones face, not yet. “Yeah. Hope Squad.”
The commando seemed to be more sympathetic than the pilot, “So am I. Bomb Squad. And can I point out the irony? It helps to realise these things when overcoming loss.”
Ky'ram finally looked at him. He looked exhausted and sad, just like Ky'ram himself, but Ky'ram was unsure how the commando knew how to overcome loss, “Sure. What's your name?”
“Double T. Don't ask why, 'cause I didn't.” the commando almost chuckled, “How 'bout you?”
“Oh. Again, can I point it out?”
“Sure. How do you think we'll get reassigned? By skills or just randomly?”
“Dunno. Probably randomly, 'cause the Jetti don't 'ave a clue,” the commando looked down, “Stupid di'kuts deployed us in the middle of nowhere. We 'adn't any air support. Got us killed, that did.”
The LAAT docked, and Ky'ram waited a moment before getting out. It was
the Jedi. They deployed Hope Squad without any support, too. “You're right,” he said, “They don't.”Update 2.0: More detail and fixes.
Update 2.1: More detail and typo fixes.
Update 2.2: Name fixes, few more details about the characters, chapter renamed Prologue.
Update 2.3 : Minor fixes, exploring emotions more, and a grudge begins to form!