After months of endless fighting, several Republic Assault Cruisers encircle the war torn planet, Kobridon.
With numbers on their side, the droid armies of the Separatists continue to repel the attacks of the Republic.
As the casualties mount, the clone soldiers have begun to take defensive positions in the ongoing battle.
Under the leadership of Commander Rykrof Enloe, the Republic has held ground on a number of occasions when defeat seemed inevitable.
Although the battle against the droid army has taken precedence, Rykrof is all too aware that throughout the battle zone dozens of Badoo Corba snipers patiently wait to eliminate open targets.
After a long night of repelling aerial bombardments, Ralbarr, Freelo and Kala Mly Shundi eagerly wait for a scheduled meeting with Rykrof as they discuss the grave situation they have found themselves in.
“Here he comes!” Freelo exclaims with joy.
“Where did you find that armor Freelo? You look like a Corellian tortoise,” Rykrof laughs.
As Ralbarr laughs at Rykrof’s friendly joke, Freelo mumbles under his breath his disappointment in sitting back at the command center while his friends fight on the front line.
“There will come a time Freelo,” Rykrof says. “But this isn’t the place for it. I just spoke with General Ti,” he says as he beckons to Master Shundi. “We’re making our move at 0900 hours.”
“But I want to go with you,” Freelo says.
“You and Ralbarr are staying here. Besides, we need someone to watch over the base in case the droids counterstrike,” Rykrof counters.
“A good plan. The Wookiee is a formidable opponent. He should stay here with Freelo,” Master Shundi agrees.
Rykrof then meets with Jedi Master Shaak Ti prior to the scheduled assault.
“With the main force striking the heart of the droid army, it should distract our enemies for you to locate and arrest the Quarren traitor,” the Jedi says. “If our information is correct, the Yam’rii scavenger in the eastern square may reveal the location to you that we need.”
Soon, the Republic encampment begins to deploy its troops…
And the order is given to attack.
The droid army is well prepared for an attack however as they unleash a barrage of blaster fire.
To Shaak Ti’s surprise, the droid army charges forward to meet the assault.
Meanwhile, back at the command center, Freelo expresses his discouragement to Ralbarr.
“We should be on the front line,” Freelo says. “What good are we doing sitting back here while Rykrof is never here with us?”
Suddenly a sniper blast strikes Freelo squarely in the chest…
In a flash, Ralbarr fires a shot in the direction of the blast…
With lightning precision, the mighty Wookiee eliminates the Badoo Corba assassin.
Ralbarr then scans the area for additional attackers before checking on Freelo.
The Mon Calamari then springs up from the ground.
“I’m alive! We’ll have to tell Rykrof about this! Next time he’ll think twice before being critical of me!”
Meanwhile, Rykrof and Kala Mly Shundi lead a small group of clone troopers to the rubble of the eastern square.
As most mornings, the Yam’rii scavenger is found rummaging through the debris, looking for salvageable parts for resale.
Just as Master Ti foresaw, the insectoid alien is receptive to helping the cause of the Republic.
“A Quarren you seek? Search the abandoned warehouse that is located south of the pumping station,” she says in a chirpy voice. “It is the one with the wooden door. I have seen... a Quarren, a Twi’lek, a young human female, and... and many others entering that location just last evening. But be careful. Terrorists occupy that area in far greater numbers than you have in your gathering.”
“You have our gratitude,” Kala Mly Shundi says. “Finding this traitor will help the Republic liberate this planet from both the droid army and the insurgency. No longer will he sell information to the Badoo Corba.”
Less than one hour later, Rykrof’s group locates the abandoned warehouse.
Once inside, the group cautiously explores a large cell.
And see the back of what appears to be their target.
“Something’s wrong,” Rykrof says.
The group slowly moves closer to the Quarren.
Suddenly a cold sweat breaks out throughout Rykrof’s body as one of his troops walks to the side of the seated alien.
“This wound is recent,” Kala Mly Shundi observes. “An hour ago, the traitor was alive. His usefulness to the Badoo Corba must have run out.”
Suddenly the data monitor on the workstation chimes to life and reveals the image of a young woman lying in an alleyway.
“Sir, this looks like it's intended for us,” one of the clones says.
As he views the screen, a sickness comes over Rykrof unlike any he has ever felt. More powerful than the culmination of every fear he has previously experienced in his life.
On the screen he sees the body of his dear wife, Alyssa. Unconscious? Dead? Either way, Rykrof knows she has somehow been abducted from their home on Naboo and is now in mortal danger.
“I present a welcoming gift to you for visiting Kobridor!” an evil, familiar face laughs. “In exchange for her life, the Badoo Corba offers to take her husband into custody. When my men arrive to pick him up at your present location, he will be alone and unarmed.”
As Rykrof listens carefully to every word, he can barely believe what he is hearing.
“She is a several minute sprint east of this location,” the cruel voice says. “In exactly 12 minutes my snipers will implode her beautiful skull. You have until that time to find and rescue her. The Jedi must accompany your clone troopers but I suggest you leave now. Any attempts at trickery and she will be promptly terminated.”
“Rykrof, I will stay here with you,” Kala Mly Shundi says solemnly.
“No, we have no time to discuss this. We do exactly as they say,” Rykrof replies calmly. “Find my wife. Get her out of here. And promise me you’ll protect her and if my son is alive, that you will see to it that he is secure.”
Torn apart by emotion, Kala Mly Shundi and the clone troopers take one last look at Rykrof; knowing this may be the final time they see the brave commander.
“Just go,” he whispers. “Please go.”
Minutes later, Master Shundi’s clones locate Alyssa with under a minute to spare before the designated time limit.
The young woman begins to gain her bearings thanks to a Jedi alertness technique employed by Master Shundi.
“They have her. We must leave immediately.”
“Yes,” Troffar replies to the Aqualish watchman. “Inform Master Fuuda our objective is complete.”
Back at the warehouse, Rykrof meets a new, yet familiar face.
“You fool!” Mubaas Fuuda hisses. “My brother may have underestimated you, but I have captured you effortlessly!”
“Soon the Republic will meet our demands to leave the Outer Rim, or I will teach you the true meaning of pain and suffering!”
“Nothing you do to me will help you,” Rykrof says. “You are as big of a fool as Trigg. Your message of hate will never inspire people to follow your cause.”
“Take him away!” Muubas yells.
Minutes later, Freelo and Ralbarr observe several terrorist ships blast their way off the planet.
“They escaped!” Freelo says. “I’m sure Rykrof will not be happy.”
Meanwhile, General Shaak Ti continues the main battle against the droid army.
And finally defeats the remnants of the mindless killing machines.
Feeling pain throughout her exhausted body, the Jedi observes the aftermath of the battle.
“Heavy losses,” she laments while favoring a blaster wound. “But a much needed victory. I hope the others were successful in their part.”
Soon after, the citizens begin to emerge from their shelters and grasp the task at hand in rebuilding their planet.
Few surviving clones remain to celebrate their narrow victory, but not all survivors feel victory was attained at all.
Still in shock, Alyssa Enloe explains how the Badoo Corba secretly kidnapped her. Though she grieves for her husband, her primary concern is for her son on Naboo.
“I have to get back to Caldin,” she cries.
“Your little tubby will be ok,” Freelo says in a vain attempt to comfort her. “I find myself focusing on what horrible things they are going to do to your husband.”
Master Shaak Ti then approaches a disheartened Jedi Master.
“I failed the commander... I went back immediately, but they had taken him,” Kala Mly Shundi cries.
“I sense fear and anger in you, Kala. You must cleanse your soul of these dark feelings. Regardless of what you think, you did the right thing my friend,” she softly says. “But his destiny is out of our control. It always has been. His life is in the hands of the Force.”
TO BE CONTINUED IN CHAPTER 19 - REDEMPTION
I hope you guys all like this chapter, it was a fun one to work on but took longer than I thought it would to make. Using more "real sets" again has been a lot of fun. And thanks to Spectre for the image of the Badoo Corba ship he let me use.