Above the highly populated city planet Coruscant, a lone Republic Assault Cruiser returns home from a desperate mission.
As Rykrof Enloe looks upon the heart of the Republic, he knows all too well that his recent decision may have cost him not only his career, but a friendship he has known all his life.
Prior to arriving on Dathomir, spending a much needed day with his family was all he wanted; one more day with his loving wife; another chance to see his newborn son. He then finds himself reflecting on the recent events that nearly cost him his life.
Arriving a day late on Dathomir was all the time the Badoo Corba terrorist organization needed to escape the planet before Rykrof's squad arrived...
...and before a surprise attack by a large Separatist force left Rykrof and his surviving troops stranded on the planet.
Even for a fully trained warrior, facing the dangers of the hostile planet proved to be deadly.
By a stroke of luck, Rykrof stumbled upon the abandoned Badoo Corba base and was able to download invaluable information before leaving the complex...
...and befriended others stranded on the planet.
But avoiding the relentless droids of the Confederacy searching for them and the terrible rancors seemed to be the least of their worries...
...as Count Dooku sent the evil Asajj Ventress to hunt down any Republic survivors.
To Rykrof's horror, a hideous being even more terrible than Ventress haunted the planet.
Even Ventress barely survived the rage of the hideous creature.
Only an undercover rescue attempt by an old Jedi friend had given him hope.
And their desperate struggle finally came to an end.
Regrettably, some did not survive the terrible experience.
Suddenly a deck officer approaches Rykrof.
"Sir, your shuttle is ready," he says. "Admiral Gere is awaiting your arrival."
Rykrof then takes one more look at the planet, and wonders what type of reception will be awaiting him.
Soon his shuttle arrives on the surface.
After landing, Rykrof and his group exit the docking bay...
...and are met by a small gathering of military personnel, including Rykrof's old friend, Tylin Gere.
"Commander Enloe," Tylin says, "We've been expecting you. Many of us were beginning to wonder if you would ever return."
Mystified by the cold greeting, Rykrof hesitates before speaking. "Yeah, I've returned from the pits of hell, Tylin. Been gone too long."
"The Republic is grateful to have you back," Tylin replies. "But when an officer is given orders, they are to be followed without tardiness or delay."
With a nod, Admiral Gere then orders his troops to take Rykrof into custody.
As a trooper reaches for Rykrof, Ralbarr unleashes a thundering roar and begins to lunge for clone.
"Ralbarr, no!" Rykrof warns. "This won't help me. I can straighten this myself."
"It saddens me to do this, but personal matters can be discussed at a later time Rykrof," Tylin says as he turns his attention towards Jedi Master Kala Mly Shundi. "And your friend is very fortunate that the Jedi Council has already spoken to the chancellor on his behalf."
"Just stay put everyone. I'll get this mess straightened out," Rykrof says. "Nothing to worry about. Once they decipher the data cylinders everything will be fine!"
Rykrof is then escorted away.
Traedon Cusiro then turns to Kala Mly Shundi.
"So this is what he was so desperate to get back to? A government that's turned against him?" he asks.
"The Republic has not turned on Commander Enloe, but he is guilty of delaying his mission which resulted in the terrorists' escape. I am afraid the military may wish to make an example of him," Master Shundi laments. "Our only hope is that the data cylinders he and Freelo downloaded will outweigh the charge he faces. Now, let's take you and your friends to get registered for your stay here on Coruscant."
That evening, with the data provided by Rykrof, news breaks over the galactic holonet that two Republic Senators have been arrested on grounds of treason. Senators Jyyde and Relin are revealed to be financial supporters of the Badoo Corba, and denounced as enemies of the Republic.
The following morning, however, a powerful blast rocks the Senatorial District...
...and hundreds are killed.
That evening Rykrof is brought before Chancellor Palpatine and informed of his disappointment in Rykrof's decision to put personal matters before his mission, but apologizes for his arrest.
"The information you brought back is vital," he says. "It not only solidifies our knowledge of the locations of terror cells throughout the Outer Rim, but you have exposed traitors to the Republic. With this morning's terrorist attack, it only proves that the Badoo Corba are still a serious threat. Intelligence indicates that I was their intended target."
"Thank you Chancellor, and I am grateful that you were not injured in the bombing," Rykrof firmly replies. "But I hope you do understand my priorities in this war."
"Your intentions are always honorable Commander," Palpatine says. "Admiral Gere understandably has his concerns, but there is no need for an explanation to me. However your work on your latest mission is incomplete."
"I'm not sure I understand," Rykrof says. "I've been informed of the Separatist takeover on Telos and on Nikdor..."
"Yes, we have had our setbacks against the Confederacy," Palpatine replies. "But I am referring to the Badoo Corba. With the information you gathered on Dathomir, I have recommended to Governor Tarkin that you lead a team to Kobridor."
"The planet has been a battleground between our clone army and the Separatists since the war broke out. But thanks to your information we now know there is a primary contact of the Badoo Corba on that planet. Find the Quarren, Tessor, and arrest him. He, along with Senators Jyyde and Relin are traitors to the Republic. Successfully complete this mission and as a measure of my gratitude, you willl receive a 30 day absence from the military to be with your family on Naboo."
"Thank you Chancellor," Rykrof says as he observes the holo image of the Quarren traitor.
Later, Rykrof meets with his comrades and some old political friends in a dark corridor to discuss this latest turn of events.
"I don't know what the hell's happening to the Republic," Rykrof says. "For over 10 years I've done everything I can. And really, the only reason I'm not in prison right now is because of those damn data cylinders. Even Tylin has turned against me. Who's next, my wife?"
"I've told you what's happening Rykrof," Finis Valorum says. "Palpatine is doing what he can to stay in power beyond his term and gain more control ...he is manipulating everyone ...even you. It would be best to take your family and go into hiding until this war is over. Regardless of the outcome, the Republic will lose."
As Valorum and Noop Tonbeeto leave, Senator Tame Heem adds onto Valorum's strong words. "Finis is a wise man, Rykrof. He is one of the few without a twisted allegiance. Unlike the current chancellor, he has no ulterior motives. You are in no position to challenge anyone on a political level now though. It may be in your best interest to take his advice."
Rykrof stands stupidly as the allied politicians exit the corridor.
"Did that conversation not go as you had planned?" Freelo asks.
"Of course it didn't," Traedon says to the Mon Calamari. "But what do you expect from political freaks? Rykrof, you know I want to help you on this mission. But I have to return to Correlia. Good luck and be safe."
"Same to you,"Rykrof replies. "I'll contact you after the mission when we get to Naboo."
"Well," Rykrof says, "I guess we better get moving. We sure as hell wouldn't want to arrive on Kobridor a day late."
As the group begins to exit the corridor, Kala Mly Shundi enters the hallway.
"Rykrof, the Council has granted me permission to accompany you on your mission," the Jedi says.
Soon the group departs the Republic capitol and makes way towards their new destination: the battle ravaged planet Kobridor.
Meanwhile, Count Dooku meets with a nervous Viceroy Nute Gunray on Caito Neimoidia.
"I am uncomfortable with the direction the war is taking," Gunray says. "We wasted time and resources on Dathomir hunting this Rykrof Enloe. And why have we not advanced on Coruscant? Our droid armies outnumber the Republic's genetic clones ten to one! We can end this war with one strike!"
"Patience Viceroy, patience," Dooku replies. "Dathomir was merely a lesson for Commander Ventress.... such a move on Coruscant at this time would be foolish. We have the Republic right where we want them."
"Despite some losses, the war goes well. It would be unwise to strike at the center of Republic until we are ready."
"With our current strategy, countless Jedi are dying with every passing month."
"And as you pointed out, we have a numeric advantage over our enemy..."
"...and with the Republic once again becoming distracted by the Badoo Corba, their forces will be spread thin...
"...and we may continue our excavation of Rhen Var without interference."