Here is the 11th chapter in the Rykrof Enloe photonovel series ...this chapter follows some established EU events with fan fiction mixed in. It was a fun chapter for me to work on.
Following a recent battle on Ohma-D'un, Jedi Master Obi Wan Kenobi, and his apprentice, Anakin Skywalker survey the aftermath of a chemical weapon used to kill a Gungan colony.
"How could the Separatists do this?" Anakin asks. "These Gungans were peaceful. They had nothing to do with the war."
"This is the new face of war, my young Padawan - realize that this moon was just a staging area to launch an attack on Naboo," Obi Wan replies. "The important thing is they've been stopped."
"I still think we should visit Naboo to ensure all is well there," Anakin states, mostly to himself.
"No, Naboo will be fine. What we must do is contact Coruscant immediately," the elder Jedi says. "Master Windu is awaiting our report."
Far across the galaxy, Coruscant continues to dominate the political landscape of the Republic. Now a Republic at war, its citizens are unaware of a far more sinister force than the Separatists. A force that continues to remain hidden, patiently awaiting the opportunity to gain control of the galaxy.
Anxiously awaiting Obi Wan Kenobi's report from Ohma-D'un, Commander Rykrof Enloe meets with several Jedi Masters and Governor Tarkin to receive the transmission.
"The transmission is cleared," Master Windu says calmly. "General Kenobi, what is your status?"
"Anakin and I discovered what has become of the Gungan colony here," Obi Wan reports. "But both Separatist Commanders Asajj Ventress and Durge escaped."
"Every single Gungan here has died of a chemical weapon. We were infected by the poison, but its effects take longer to work on other beings," he says.
"We've been able to successfully reverse the effects on ourselves."
Masters Quinlan Vos and Aayla Secura listen carefully to the report.
"However the Gungans stood no chance against this biological weapon. Fortunately Anakin was able to destroy the capsules of the gas that were being loaded onto ships destined for Naboo," Obi Wan says.
"So Naboo is safe?" Master Windu inquires.
"Yes, but we did uncover plans for an assault on Rhen Var," Obi Wan reports.
"We do not know the time parameter of this attack but believe it will be carried out soon. I ran an analysis of our garrison on the planet and request we deploy two legions of clone troopers with several assault walkers to bolster the defenses there," Obi Wan says as the group studies an image of the Rhen Var terrain.
"Unfortunately we do not have the resources to spare at this time," Governor Tarkin retorts. "However we can send Commander Enloe immediately to transport additional supplies. While he is there he can further assess the system's defenses."
Although he had been scheduled for a leave of absence to be with his wife and newborn son on Naboo, Rykrof's sense of duty to the Republic keeps him from arguing the point with his superiors.
"Very well," Obi Wan says at the end of the transmission. "I will inform Master Mundi to prepare for Commander Enloe's arrival. But if the Separatists attack the planet, the current force will stand little chance against a well supplied droid army."
Days later, Rykrof and Ralbarr arrive at their destination.
Through history lessons, Rykrof has learned the remains of an ancient civilization and old Jedi artifacts can be found beneath the ice on the planet, remnants of a former population. But for unknown reasons, the Jedi Order has insisted for hundreds of years that the planet be kept under protective quarantine.
But for now, Rykrof's interest is to inspect the system's defenses and coordinate a defense in the event of a Separatist attack.
A cold, bitter environment; the Republic clone troopers maintaining outposts on the surface are forced into cumbersome blizzard protection gear.
After clearing security checks, Rykrof and Ralbarr are informed that Jedi Master Ki Adi Mundi has been expecting them.
The guests are then greeted by Jedi Master Ki Adi Mundi and Commander Bacara, who have recently assumed command of the remote outpost.
"You are a welcome sight Commander Enloe," the Jedi Master says warmly. "I understand you are here to inspect our defenses?"
"I'm here to offer assistance," Rykrof says. "And after I assess the situation I will request additional troops. I'm not sure why the Jedi insist on holding this planet, but I do have every intention of preventing the Confederacy of gaining a foothold here."
"What few supplies we were able to gather are already being sorted by your worker droids and assigned to secure storage," Rykrof informs him.
"Supplies are welcome, but I will make no false pretenses; this outpost is poorly defended. We should begin your inspection immediately," Ki Adi Mundi says.
Meanwhile, on Tibrin, thousands of Ishi Tib rally in support of the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
After taking over the local government, Count Dooku addresses the euphoric crowd.
"My friends, the oppression of the Republic will never again reach the good people of Tibrin! Together we shall crush the Jedi Order and form a society built on peace, justice, security, and freedom!" he exclaims.
The crowd roars its approval of their new leader, chanting his name and praising him for liberating them from the lies of their previous government, of the corruption of the Senate, and his leaving the Jedi Order.
"They had already joined us; I just needed to open their eyes," Dooku says to his colleagues, who are amazed by his appeal to the masses.
"Now we proceed with Rhen Var," Viceroy Nute Gunray says. "General Grievous claims he is ready for the assault."
"The general is needed elsewhere," Dooku replies. "Rhen Var is relatively unprotected. Inform Commander Durge that the command of this mission has been granted to him."
The following morning, a large Separatist fleet approaches the Rhen Var system.
Jedi Master Ki Adi Mundi then receives a holo message from his front line troops.
"Sir, they're here. An entire task force has jumped out of hyperspace and drop ships have been sighted," the soldier reports.
"With the high winds the Seps won't risk Vulture Droids. And according to intelligence they don't want to risk damaging the infrastructure below us. So a bombardment is out of the question," Rykrof says.
"Agreed," the Jedi says.
"We haven't much time," Rykrof urges. "Inform your men to prepare for a heavy ground assault."
The Separatist forces waste no time in opening fire once within range of the Republic outpost.
With very little heavy weaponry, the garrison's lone AT-TE walker attempts to fend off the attackers.
But the Republic troops quickly come under heavy blaster fire...
...as dozens of droids break through the outer perimeter.
Safe behind the fortress walls, clone gunners attempt to repel the advancing force.
Vastly outnumbered, other troopers outside the walls fight bravely against the menacing droids...
...but with the odds in the favor or the Separatists, more clone troopers continue to fall in battle.
Soon the northern command post is overrun...
...and scores of clones are slaughtered in a hail of blaster fire.
In the fight of their lives, the Rhen Var garrison desperately attempts to repel the attack...
...only to fall in battle.
Back at the central command post, the surviving members prepare for a final stand.
"The Force will be with us," Ki Adi Mundi insists. "Feel; don't think when the droids strike. Together we will live to fight another day."
Meanwhile, Separatist Commander Durge enters the battlefield, eager to slaughter any survivors and present any Jedi bodies to Count Dooku as trophies.
Rykrof then dons his helmet as the central command post falls under attack.
Igniting his lightsaber in preparation of the imminent fight, Master Ki Adi Mundi knows this battle could be his last.
The Jedi gracefully hacks through an advancing droid.
The Jedi then easily avoids a laser blast, his Force senses enabling him to sense the direction of the laser blasts even before they are fired.
As he prepares to join the side of his Jedi friend, Commander Bacara turns just in time to see a large warrior approaching.
Before he can get off a shot, Bacara receives a brutal melee blow to the side of his helmet.
Commander Durge then moves in for his Jedi kill.
Startled, the Jedi Master spins just in time to see Ralbarr tear into the warrior. The force of the blow smashes Durge against a duracrete wall; rendering him unconscious.
Ki Adi Mundi then recovers just in time to disable an advancing droid before it is able to blast the mighty Wookiee.
"We can't hold out here!" Ki Adi Mundi exclaims.
"Commander Bacara needs immediate medical attention, and we have no time for prisoners!" he shouts above the blaster fire.
"We're evacuating then," Rykrof says as he leads the way out of the overrun command post.
The few remaining clone troopers provide cover fire for the escape, sacrificing themselves in the name of the Republic.
Within minutes the group arrives at a lone remaining shuttle.
"We have orders from the Supreme Chancellor to fight until the last man," the pilot says.
"This battle is already lost," Ki Adi Mundi says. "You will take us to Coruscant so we can brief military intelligence on this disaster."
"I will take you to Coruscant so you can brief military intelligence on this disaster," the pilot slowly replies.
"Alright, get us out of here before the droids find us," Rykrof says.
As quickly as it began, the battle is over.
"Search every corner of this outpost," Commander Durge orders. "Kill any survivors."
As their shuttle escapes the catastrophe on Rhen Var, Ralbarr and Rykrof collapse in the cargo hold of the ship.
"I don't see any end to this war," Rykrof says to his friend. "I don't know if we'll see our homes ever again... Naboo or Kashyyyk... just new worlds we've never been to while we risk our necks in a damn war that we'll probably get killed in."
"And the war's spreading... everywhere. All over systems I'd never even heard of. We've lost everything we should stand for by creating clones to fight in this war..."
"...and we're still losing."
"Battles across the furthest reaches of space..."
"...Jedi fighting across the galaxy in the name of a Republic that many of them don't even believe in anymore."
"Families have been torn apart... just like mine..."
"...and who knows where the Badoo Corba's at and what they're planning."
"I'm not sure if we really know what we're fighting for... or who."
TO BE CONTINUED...