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Sep 30, 11 at 11:39pm ^Third Platoon: Revolution
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Third Platoon: Clone War
Third Platoon: Reunion
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Sep 30, 11 at 11:55pm ^re: Third Platoon: Revolution
It had been eleven years since the end of the war, and already a new one had taken its place; a war that was well on its way to being just as bloody as the one it had replaced. On one side was the Empire, driven by its servitude to its power-hungry ruler. A man who was governed by one thing: his desire to conquer the galaxy, along with all those who inhabited it. Though few knew it, this man was responsible for the conflict which had engulfed the galaxy for three years. He posed as a fair and honest man, serving as the chancellor for the Republic. But only a select few knew who this man really was. He orchestrated the entire war in his bid for power. And when the time was right, he struck. This man's name was Palpatine.
On the other side of this new war was the Alliance, a group which began as nothing more than disgruntled politicians who were able to see through Palpatine's deception. Before they knew it, however, they received some muscle in the form of two former Republic special forces operatives. A pair of clone commandos named Stryke and Leet, two clones who had known one another since birth. Though Stryke and Leet would not be the last clones to abandon the Empire.
When the Clone War ended, many clones chose to leave and forge their own path. Some would join the Alliance, some would go to work for mercenary armies, some would settle down and try to spend the rest of their unnaturally short lives in peace. One clone, a former commando and close friend of Stryke and Leet attached to Third Platoon, Nova Company, stood back and watched the destruction that this new war was causing. He had friends on both sides fighting against each other, but he noticed no one was watching over the civilians being caught in the crossfire. So he found his new purpose in life. But his goals gradually evolved, and soon he found himself fighting a war of his own, a war against the largest organized crime group in the galaxy: the Black Sun. This clone's name was Nade, though he had abandoned that name, hoping it would die with the Republic, and chose to go by the name Doyle in the hopes that it would help him forget his past.
Through contacts, Doyle found out about vigos, Black Sun lieutenants who watched over their own sections of the galaxy. He began to hunt them down. His mission led him to the planet Taris, where soon he and his teenaged partner and pseudo-adoptive brother Connor, were swept up in a gang war that had been fought for thousands of years. It was through this war that several members of Third Platoon were reunited, including a clone who went by the name Boom.
Many years prior, during the war for which the clones were created, Boom killed Third Platoon's leader, lieutenant Ray, seeing him an unfit commander who would only get many of his comrades killed. His intentions were arguably just. It was his method of carrying them out that caused Nade and their company commander, Stryke, to turn him in for his crime. But Boom escaped, and after years of staying off of his friends' radars, he became the leader of a notorious pirate clan. Years after the war ended, Leet and Stryke crossed paths with Boom again, and Boom was able to take his revenge by killing Stryke.
Leet was among the former Third Platoon soldiers to be drawn to Taris. In the war, Leet was the perfect soldier. He was strong, confident, and a good leader who cared for those under his command. But when the war ended, Leet was one of the clones who chose to flee the Empire. It was during his time fighting for the Alliance that his life took a drastic turn. His best friend Stryke was killed, and soon he found himself falling in love with a female soldier under his command, Jada. And using his heart to make decisions cost Leet nearly an entire platoon to save Jada. But one man survived, and he took his revenge by slitting Leet's throat. Leet survived his attack, though he was left with a horrible scar across his neck to ensure he would never forget the incident. And when Jada revealed she was pregnant with Leet's son, she was forced to flee. Leet's secrets were soon revealed, and the Alliance demoted him. Leet turned to drugs soon after, and it was only through Nade's assistance that he was able to stop.
Boom was soon exposed as the Black Sun vigo, which gave both Nade and Leet a common goal. But things were made even more complicated with the sudden arrival of two more Third Platoon veterans: Slicer and Pyn. Slicer had stayed loyal to the Empire after the war, and was rewarded with a commission. His mission for three years prior to coming to Taris: to hunt down and eliminate Leet. But when the final battle was fought, he was pitted against Nade instead. After a fierce battle atop an old Republic aircraft, Nade bested Slicer and threw his body into the ocean below.
Pyn had left the Republic, not after, but during the war. Although, through fate, he continued to run into his old unit from time to time. After the war, his status as a clone commando elevated him to become the commanding general of a mercenary army. Up until Boom's final moments, Pyn had him convinced that his army was working for him. But he shocked everyone when he betrayed Boom, revealing that someone else had hired him to kill the Black Sun vigo, though he refused to reveal his employer.
But Pyn was killed, along with his second-in-command, Lara, by Boom. But not before Lara and Nade had fallen in love amid the conflict on Taris. Nade tried to save her, but her wounds were too severe. Leet was the one to kill Boom and bring his Black Sun vigo ring to Nade. With that, three more Third Platoon clones were dead. Leet left the Alliance to seek out Jada and their son Max, to live the rest of his life in peace with his family. But for Nade, the fight was not over. Before Pyn died, he begged Nade to take his name and become the new leader of his mercenary army, a request that Nade accepted.
When their work on Taris was done, Nade gave Connor all of his money and left him on Coruscant, not wanting to expose his adopted little brother to danger any longer.
For three years, Nade has been going by the name Pyn, with none of the mercenaries under his command aware that their true leader has been dead the whole time.
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Oct 14, 11 at 12:43am ^re: Third Platoon: Revolution
The air was hot and dry, usual for Tattooine. The city was bustling, at least as much as this particular city could. The twin suns were shining harshly down onto the planet below, and even with shoes on, the sand was hot enough to sting at the bottom of your feet. Two men were moving through the city, moving with a purpose. They were both carrying rifles slung behind their backs, and one had a pair of pistols, one holstered on each leg. He ran his hand through his jet-black hair, combing it back using the sweat from his forehead. The other was a Jango Fett clone, and he was clearly the man in charge.
"I'm sorry, Pyn," the man with the black hair said with a sad glance to his leader, using the same tone one might use to comfort a person who had just lost a loved one.
"It's alright," Pyn sighed. It clearly was not. "We knew it was a longshot to begin with."
"So, what's next on the list?"
Pyn stepped up onto a rickity wooden deck outside of a shack that posed as a weapons dealer. There was a table that sat in the shade to the side of the front door, along with four wobbly chairs. Pyn pulled one out and sat at the table, soon the black-haired man did the same. Pyn unslung his rifle and laid it on top of the table, reached into his pocket and pulled out a piece of paper.
"Trevilyek," Pyn said with his eyes examining the paper.
"Never even heard of it," the black haired man said.
"It's on the edge of known space. Sparsely populated. I don't even know why it should be on the list." Pyn slipped the paper back into his pocket.
At that moment, he looked every bit the old man that he was. It wasn't the grey in his hair or the faint wrinkles in his forehead. It was his eyes. All twenty-three years of their lives they had known nothing but violence and tears, and a short time ago they made no more effort to hide their weariness.
Pyn sighed, "You should head inside and get some sleep, Elias. Tomorrow you and I are heading out."
By then Elias was halfway through a cigarette. He took in a deep drag, then said while exhaling, "Should we bring anyone else along?"
"We'll take a full team this time," Pyn said. "Evy, Naliha, and Ian. I'll tell them to suit up."
"And if he's there," Elias began cautiously, "and we kill him, what then? I mean, it's been three years since you killed one, and did it really make that big a difference?"
Pyn shifted uncomfortably in his seat, not liking what he was hearing.
"And people are starting to get impatient here," Elias continued. "They're confused about why we're trying to fight the Black Sun instead of trying to pick up contracts."
"Am I the one in charge here?" Pyn asked with a stern voice.
"What? Of course."
"Well, getting rid of the Black Sun is our new mission. If there's a vigo on Trevilyek, we're gonna go there and kill him."
"I'm just saying, you have my loyalty, but there's been a lot of talk recently. And not everyone is gonna keep going on these wild goose chases."
Pyn stood up from his seat and began to make his way to the door. Elias flicked his cigarette into the sand and followed. The two of them walked through the doorway and felt a rush of cool air greet them. Inside was a man standing behind a counter with dozens of assorted rifles and pistols on the wall behind him.
"Any luck, sir?" the man behind the counter asked upon seeing the two of them.
"Afraid not," Pyn answered.
"Well, maybe next time," the man said with a reassuring smile. "Here to stay or just for a resupply?"
"Open the door," Pyn sighed. "We'll be staying for a minute."
The man reached under the counter and, with the flick of a switch, several tiles on the floor jolted and then slid apart, revealing a stairway. Pyn and Elias descended down the stairs until they came to a narrow hallway. On the other end of the hall was a door that led to the heart of their complex.
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Nov 7, 11 at 12:01am ^re: Third Platoon: Revolution
The base wasn't massive, but it was large enough to house Pyn's hundred-or-so soldiers comfortably. The walls and ceiling were crudely made of rusty metal which, combined with its underground setting, caused the place to always be pretty cool. Nade had his own room. Nothing special, just a desk in one corner with a weapons rack next to it and a bed in the opposite corner. He had already informed the others that they were leaving the next day. All that was left to do was cross another planet off of his list and hope that perhaps Trevilyek would be the one he had been searching for for quite some time now.
He placed his weapon on the rack to join the others. It was the signature weapon of the now long-gone Republic Commandos, the interchangeable rifle, but modified to add a stun setting, a feature that had cost him quite a pretty penny to add. It joined its brothers on the rack: an old assault rifle that had once belonged to a rogue ARC Trooper, given to Pyn after working together on a contract a few years prior. With it was an antique machine pistol, a piece of history that was once the sidearm of a Mandalorian warlord roughly two thousand years before it found its way into Pyn's arsenal. The rest were a random assortment, nothing too special. Pyn ran his hands over his prized weapons and let out a heavy sigh. The last couple years had been especially hard on him, and he was beginning to feel every bit the age he looked. He had emerged from his test tube twenty-four years ago. Biologically he was closing in on the big five-oh.
He didn't even bother changing his clothes before falling onto his bed. He was asleep within seconds.
The mercenary army had a few ships in their small spaceport. Among them was a Republic LAAT. Naliha hated it, but all of the others were only fit to fly two people at the most. Pyn, Elias, Naliha, Evy, and Ian piled in and set their weapons in the back. It was going to be a long flight, so they figured they may as well get as comfortable as possible.
"Just can't seem to get away from these," Evy looked at Nade with a smirk. "Can you?"
"Guess not," Pyn managed a half-hearted smile.
Evy was a Mandalorian, white but tanned, with black, curly hair that hung to her shoulders and dark green eyes. She pulled her hair back and tied it into a ball as she always did when there was a possibility of a fight. Long hair could serve as a distraction in a fight, but she hated the idea of cutting it short. She wore very little, if any makeup. She was a fighter, she wasn't trying to win any beauty contests, but she was not ugly by any means either. She had a wide chin with a strong jaw and a little bit of fluff in her cheeks. She was tall, standing just barely shorter than Nade, and visibly strong. Nade didn't know how old she was exactly, but if he were to guess, he would have said she was in her mid-twenties.
Naliha climbed up into the pilot seat, Nade rode shotgun. Naliha was a Zeltron, which meant that she was essentially human barring a few important traits inherent to her species: her bright, coral red skin, her empathetic sensitivity which made her essentially able to feel out other peoples emotions, and her ability to seduce nearly anyone by secreting pheromones at will. She was gorgeous. She knew it, and she did not ever hesitate to use it to her advantage. She could have had anybody she wanted, but she had her sights set on someone already.
"You sitting up here for the view or are you gonna finally ask me out, Pyn?" Naliha asked with a smile.
Nade laughed, thinking it a joke. "Let's see if we survive the next couple days before we make any dinner arrangements," he said, playing along. He had no idea she would have said yes in a heartbeat. But it didn't matter. Three years had passed, yet he refused to move on since Lara's death.
Elias and Evy sat in the back, playing with a deck of cards. The two had known each other since they were both thirteen years old, and since then had been best friends. Elias was a clean-cut young man who had joined Pyn's army shortly after Pyn's return from Taris. He had a square jaw and strongly defined cheekbones. His hair was almost always kept combed back and he made sure to shave his face every morning. He was strong, not big, but toned. And he idolized Pyn, his mentor. He never questioned an order that came from his leader, and would follow him into any hell that Pyn would walk into. Elias joined the Empire when he was eighteen, and served with distinction for three years before realizing he had joined the wrong team. So he left. He understood the Empire were the bad guys, and he and Nade found some common ground in this knowledge.
Ian stood in the doorway until Naliha had to close them, then he took a seat. He was a tall man, standing at about six feet, four inches. He had shaggy, light brown hair that fell over his ears and a face that was skinny enough that every feature was well defined.
"What exactly are you hoping to find here, Pyn?" Ian asked.
"A vigo, Ian. You know that," Pyn said.
Ian rolled his eyes. He was one of the many in Nade's army who were beginning to lose patience with their leader. All the others in the ship were Pyn's favorites due to their loyalty. They were jokingly referred to as "Pyn's Punishers" by nearly everyone else. Outside of this select group, however, the attitude was vastly different. They would not stand for Nade's war on the Black Sun much longer.
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Jan 1, 12 at 5:19am ^re: Third Platoon: Revolution
Oddly enough, Trevilyek was not on the list of known planets in the ship's databank. It wasn't until Naliha manually entered the coordinates that they were able to make the jump to lightspeed. Once they did, the trip took about three hours.
Naliha turned in her seat to look at her leader and asked, "Where'd you hear about this planet, Pyn?"
"A contact," Pyn grunted from his seat beside her. His arms were crossed and his eyelids were getting heavy.
"A contact," she echoed his words. "Very informative."
"If you needed to know I would tell you," Pyn said. This time his tone was noticeably more firm. "Leave it at that."
Naliha frowned and turned back to her original position. She rarely caught glimpses of Pyn's more stern side, and she did not much care for it. There was something which had struck her as odd about Pyn for the last few years. Her ability to feel out a person's emotions had been lost on him. While she could easily feel Ian's nervousness and Evy's excitement, she felt nothing but coldness from Pyn just less than two feet away. She sat in her seat puzzling over it while Pyn slept soundly next to her, oblivious to the fact that he was a walking black hole as far as Naliha could tell. Naliha was snapped out of her thoughts by the ship beeping angrily at her.
"Coming out of lightspeed," Naliha warned. She turned to Pyn. "Brace yourself. We had to put in the coordinates manually, there's likely a reason this planet isn't in the databanks. Who knows what could be on the other side."
The swirling vortex of white and blue in the window quickly vanished, giving way to the familiar sight of black space dotted with thousands of white stars. But soon the ship began to shake violently. Nade put on his seatbelt and pulled it tight.
"What's going on?" Ian asked as he stumbled to the nearest seat.
"To put it simply, we came out of lightspeed inside a pocket of rough space," Naliha said. "This planet has a hard atmosphere to land in."
"And?" Pyn asked.
"This is gonna be a rough landing," said Naliha. "Hold onto something."
The closer the ship drew to the large, orangish-tan orb, the heavier the ship began to rock. When flames began to whip past the cockpit window, the ship's systems went completely dead. Naliha began frantically trying to revive them, fiddling with the controls to no avail. Pyn, frustrated at having been torn from a good dream, began to slam his fist down on the controls in front of him. The flames died down enough for the group to see the clouds racing past them, and soon they too faded away. All they could see now was the ground, and it was coming fast.
Exhausting all of her other ideas, Naliha resorted to punching the machinery around her as well. They flickered to life just long enough for Naliha to even the ship out, then died again. The ship continued to descend, but now it was at least gliding through the air.
"Everybody hold on!" Naliha yelled as the ground came closer.
The ship glided for almost fifteen seconds, but it could not come back to life. The only thing its passengers could do now was brace themselves. The ship finally hit the ground, bouncing back up for a second, then touching down again. The second time it hit the ground, it slid for a moment, but one of the ship's wings hit the ground, causing the whole thing to tumble. The rapid spinning of the ship ripped Ian from his seat and threw him against the wall, with the centrifugal force keeping him in place. The ship landed upside down and continued to slide for several hundred feet before finally coming to a stop.
Pyn was the only one still conscious, though he was severely dazed. He looked out of the cockpit window to see a group of men quickly approaching the ship with rifles. Nade unbuckled his seatbelt and fell out of his seat onto the ceiling. He stumbled through the ship, placing his hand on the wall just to stay on his feet, and grabbed his rifle. Everything was a blur to him. He couldn't even think clearly, he was acting on instinct alone. And when the door flew open, he tried to lift his rifle and fire, but he was unable to focus his eyes.
He felt the rifle get ripped out of his hands, and all it took was a single punch to the face before he was unconscious. A great welcome to Trevilyek.
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Feb 10, 12 at 10:57pm ^re: Third Platoon: Revolution
The sun was setting behind the ocean, throwing down a beautiful glare onto the water and creating an infinite pool of blinding sparkles. In the distance, Nade could see a Republic LAAT speeding further away, with two human-shaped silhouettes standing atop the roof. But in front of him, not even five feet away, was Lara. She stood in place, her beautiful brown eyes fixated on Nade, gleaming beneath the orange sky. Her hairband was gone, allowing her dark brown hair to hang down to her shoulder blades, and the wind racing past them was not affecting it at all.
Nade stepped up to her, their faces mere inches away from each other, and placed his hand on her cheek.
"This isn't real," Nade said as realization washed over him. "You died."
"Well, if it is just a dream," Lara said, "we better enjoy it while it lasts." The edges of her mouth curled slightly in an attempt to smile, but her eyes told the sad truth.
Nade closed his eyes and leaned forward, but there was nothing there for him. He leaned in too far and had to stop himself from falling forward. When he opened his eyes Lara was gone. He turned around just in time to see a fist coming toward his face.
It was Slicer. Not the Slicer that had embedded himself in Nade's mind however. Whenever thoughts of Slicer had run through his mind in the years since their final meeting on Taris, Slicer was always in his Imperial armor, as he had been when he was fed to the oceans of the planet. But this was a different Slicer.
This was the Slicer of fifteen years ago. Sixteen years old, just a kid whose whole life revolved around war despite the fact that he had yet to step onto a battlefield. Just a young man, not even able to grow a beard yet.
Nade stumbled back and started teetering on the edge of the ship, but Slicer continued his attack with one more punch that sent him over the edge and down to the water below. The ocean grew larger as it came closer. And as he came closer, he saw a shadow just beneath the water's surface. Further and further he fell, that sinking feeling in his stomach growing more intense. The shadow beneath the water formed the shape of a human. The wind was whipping and tearing at his face and his stomach felt as though it were at his ankles. Finally he was close enough to see the figure beneath the waves. Lara. She reached out her arms to welcome Nade into her watery grave. But as soon as he hit the water, Nade awoke to Elias pouring water over his face.
"Wake up, bossman," Elias said.
Nade quickly sprang to his feet. His heart was still pounding as his grasp on reality returned.
"Where are we?" Nade asked warily.
"Trevilyek," Ian answered from behind Nade.
Nade turned around and instantly was clobbered by a hard fist to the bridge of his nose, courtesy of Ian. Still dazed from the crash, the punch was enough to send Nade flying back into the bars that formed their wall. It was then that Nade realized they were in a rectangular cage. Elias was quick to come to his defense, grabbing Ian's arm and pushing him back. Nade slunk down onto the ground, his back still pressed against the wall. Naliha hurried over to him while Evy simply stood to the side of the commotion, looking out of their cell.
"How can you stick up for him?" Ian asked Elias. "If it wasn't for his little vendetta against the Black Sun we wouldn't be here!"
"I'm sorry," Nade muttered. He grabbed the bars over his head and pulled himself up with Naliha's assistance.
"Say again?" said Ian.
"You're right," Nade said. "It's my fault we're in here right now. I'm sorry."
"Well, a lot of good that does us!"
The sky above them was orange and cloudless. And when the wind blew it would kick up dust off of the rocky ground. About a hundred feet to the side of the cage was an old building, covered in brown, dying plants and vines. But that was it. In every other direction there was only a wall of rock.
The door to the old building swung open, and two men emerged from inside. They were human, and the first thing the group noticed about them was their grey Imperial uniforms. Elias quickly turned away and moved to the far corner, trying to hide his face from them. Evy understood his intent and stepped in front of him.
One of the Imperials drew his pistol and held it on Nade while the other unlocked the cage door.
"You sure he's a runaway?" the man with the pistol asked.
The other responded, "Doubt it. Why would he have come back? But the boss wants to see him anyway."
Nade had his arms in the air and a puzzled look on his face as the two Imperial men entered the cage.
"You gonna come peacefully, clone?" one asked. "Or do we have to take you by force?"
Nade sighed. Sadly, this situation was all too common to him. "I'll come quietly."
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Apr 4, 12 at 5:20pm ^re: Third Platoon: Revolution
Nade was blindfolded for his trip, and his hands were bound behind his back. He hated the feeling of complete and total helplessness. At any moment a bullet could be put in the back of his head and he was powerless to stop it, or even see it coming. Twenty-two years of life snuffed out and erased in one single pull of a trigger. Everything he had done, all the people he had known, no longer would matter. A short life spent trying to do the right thing, fighting in the war, bringing about a new one to the Black Sun. He had lived an honorable life, but he could not stand the idea of being executed like a dog being his exclamation point.
His blindfold was not removed until he and his two armed escorts had climbed what felt like at least a mile's worth of creaking wooden stairs. He examined the area, but there was really nothing to look at. They had emerged into a narrow corridor, the walls may have been a dark cream color at one point, but they were predominantly grey now. At the other end of the hall was a single door. It was old-looking, thick and metal. Behind them was the stairs they had just climbed. They descended so far it was impossible to see the bottom. It almost appeared as if they led you into Hell itself. Nade was shoved forward to the door by one guard while the other moved forward and opened it. It moaned loud and long as it turned to reveal what stood behind it. On the other side of the door was a small, circular room. The entire wall was made of clear glass, but all Nade could see through them from his position was the fiery orange and yellow sky.
But in front of the window was a man, facing outside and looking down. The man turned to reveal himself. He had the same face as Nade, the face of a Fett clone.
"Here he is, sir," one of Nade's Imperial escorts said. "The runaway."
The other clone, apparently their leader, took a step toward Nade. He had a sly smile on his face, his eyes were squinted and quizzical. He looked at Nade from head to toe several times quickly. He appeared disappointed when he completed his evaluation. He cocked an eyebrow and turned away.
"This man is not a runaway," the clone said in a disinterested voice, his back to Nade and the guards and his eyes gazing through the glass of the wall.
Nade stood in place while one of the Imperials cut the rope that was bounding his hands. Nade brought his hands forward and gingerly rubbed his wrists.
"You guys really keep up with the times around here," Nade said. "Rope handcuffs, wooden stairs..."
"We're supplied with only what's absolutely necessary," the clone said with a half-smile.
"Necessary for what?" Nade asked.
The clone approached Nade with his hand outstretched. Nade considered rejecting it but, realizing it would serve no purpose, he accepted it and shook the clone's hand. "Sorry about the mix-up. You and your friends just stumbled into a no-fly zone. What's your name?"
Nade hesitated, his first instinct was still to introduce himself as Nade. Then he caught himself about to say that his name was Doyle. He still had yet to adjust to using the name of his old friend, even after three years.
"My name is Pyn," he said.
"And mine is Cannon," the other clone said. "Welcome to Trevilyek. Be grateful you didn't come here in the same manner as some of the other clones."
That caught Nade's attention.
"What do you mean?"
Cannon motioned with his hand for Nade to come forward. "Come here and look out the window. I'm afraid this is something I can't simply explain."
Nade took a hesitant step forward. Cannon waved him forward again. Nade stepped up beside Cannon and looked out through the glass wall, and soon, without him even realizing it, his jaw dropped and his eyes were as wide as silver dollars.
Unable to think, he could only mutter a few words, "Oh my God..."
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Apr 30, 12 at 2:03pm ^re: Third Platoon: Revolution
The two clones stared through the window in silence. They were certainly at the top of the tower, Nade figured, roughly a thousand feet tall by his estimate. Beneath the unsettling orange sky, there were hundreds, maybe thousands of Fett clones on the ground. Though he was much too far away to get a good look at them, there were certain features about them one could notice quite easily. Each and every one of them looked to be little more than skin and bone. Their plain tan shirts--riddled with holes, dirt and sweat stains--hung off of them and flapped around in the breeze.
Some were lifting rocks and carrying them across the grey, rocky field where there were others smashing them to pieces with pickaxes. The strain of carrying these rocks was unbearable to the malnourished clones, but they continued on at the behest of their stone-faced guards' electric whips. Nade watched on with his best attempt at aloofness. He turned his gaze and noticed a group of clones being marched into one of the buildings in the corner of this caged-in facility.
"What's in there?" he asked and pointed at the building.
"They're creating weapons in there," Cannon explained. He pointed to the other clones carrying and breaking rocks and continued, "They're preparing the materials to build a hangar. And they," he turned his finger toward a group of clones carrying large scraps of metal. "are building our ships."
"What's all this for?" Nade asked.
"They're generously providing the Empire a base of operations for expansion," Cannon said with a sly smile.
"Into the Unknown Regions," Cannon said.
"Why are all of these clones doing this?" Nade asked. "This isn't clone trooper work."
"I couldn't agree more," said Cannon. "But these men aren't clone troopers. Cold as it may seem, they're just clones. Every single man that you see down there was deemed unfit for combat. As I'm sure you know, in the early years of the development of the clone army, defective clones were known to disappear mysteriously in the night. I'm sure you can remember a few old friends of yours who were there one day and gone the next?"
Nade nodded, thinking back to his childhood. He certainly could recall a few of his friends disappearing after failing to grasp their instructors' teachings.
"Well, in the clone army's early years, these clones were simply kidnapped and killed," Cannon explained. "It wasn't until a few years ago that the Empire decided these clones could still serve a purpose. And that purpose, to put it simply, is this." Cannon threw open his arms at the clones below them.
"Slaves," Nade said beneath his breath.
"Sad but true," Cannon nodded in agreement. "So tell me, Pyn, why did a former Republic commando and four heavily armed mercenaries come to this planet?"
Nade turned his head. "What makes you think I'm a commando?"
"You're one of the most wanted clone deserters on the list," Cannon said with a slight laugh.
"Me? For what?"
"You're the leader of a mercenary army. The Empire sees you as a potential threat. In fact, I can only think of one clone the Empire wants more than you."
"Funny you should ask, cause he was actually in the same unit as you. I think his name is Boom. He killed his platoon leader during the war then went AWOL. Last we heard he was the leader of one of the worst pirate clans in the galaxy, but we lost all trace of him a while back."
"That's cause he's dead," Nade sighed. "I killed him."
"What was it, a gang war or something?" Cannon asked.
"Well, I'll take your word for it and make sure to pass this information up to the powers that be."
Nade and Cannon took in a moment of silence and watched the clones below them again. Horrible a sight as it was though, Nade's thoughts wandered away from him turned to reflection. It had been three years since the events on Taris. Since Lara. Since Nade fought to the death with a man he once called a brother. Since Nade and Leet decided their own survival was worth more than that of Kailis. Every once in a while, if Nade spent long periods in the dark, he could even hear the growling of the rakghoul. His nostrils would fill with the horrid scent of Leet's burning skin while Kailis cauterized the wound in his arm.
Three years since Connor first felt the complicated feeling of ending another person's life. Nade came to the realization he had to distance himself from his adopted little brother, possibly the only reason for Nade retaining his sanity, or watch him potentially follow down the same path Nade had. How he missed Connor. But he knew that leaving him on Coruscant was the right choice. He knew because it was the hard choice.
Nade regained control of his wandering mind and began to wonder about his host, this Cannon.
"They wouldn't give information about clone runaways to a standard-issue clone trooper, and certainly not a position such as yours."
"You got that right," Cannon said with a proud smile. "I'm an ARC Trooper."
Great, Nade thought.
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Aug 1, 12 at 8:35pm ^re: Third Platoon: Revolution
Nade was disgusted by what he was seeing. When one of the clones collapsed while lugging around a bundle of rocks that may have weighed half as much as him, a guard was quickly to his side, but only to kick him to check if the clone was still alive. The boot hit the clone's ribs with tremendous force, but there was no reaction. To the guard it felt similar to kicking a canvas sack filled with sand. The clone was surely dead, or very close to it, but the guard continued on, leaving the clone motionless on the ground. From his overwatch at the top of Cannon's tower Nade had a hard time controlling his urge to storm out onto the field, to help the clone, or to put the guard in his place. But Nade was old, and he had gotten old exactly because he knew when to fight and when not to. So he would have to grit his teeth and play nice with Cannon while the cards remained stacked against him.
"So, what kinds of flaws get these men sent here?" Nade asked.
"Mostly minor imperfections, really," said Cannon. "Being five pounds over or underweight, sub-par eyesight, things like that. The Kaminoans were all about uniformity, and any little flaw they could find that made them even a tad-bit less efficient than the norm got them a ticket here."
"What about aesthetic defects?" Nade asked.
"As long as they were efficient soldiers," Cannon said. "Why do you ask?"
"There were two guys in my old platoon. One had blond hair, the other had blue eyes. Just wondering."
"You were in Nova Company, if I recall."
"Tough group," Cannon said with appreciation. "The ARC's generally respected the commandos, but NoCo was something else. I believe one of your guys even received a pair of Jaig eyes."
Nade couldn't help himself when his frown turned into a proud smirk, but he was quick to hide it. "Yeah," he said. "Guy's name was Nade. Tough son of a bitch."
"It's a shame what happened to the fabled Nova Company. Your CO kills the battalion commander and then goes AWOL, even after that one platoon got annihilated."
Nade had heard stories of that night from Leet. But Nade considered himself lucky to have no first hand knowledge of what transpired, having been in a hospital at the time for a wound he had received a few weeks prior. Leet had spared no details when relaying the story. Lucky, with his one eye hanging from its socket while he fired blindly in the direction of the Zabrak swarm. Clones being cut in half by the heavy lasers of the Confederate spider-droids. Bolt making his last stand against dozens of Zabraks until a cluster of grenades landed in his foxhole.
"At least you made it to Order Sixty-Six," Cannon said. "Better them than you, right?"
"Who, the Jedi?"
"Of course. You think we did the wrong thing, exterminating them?"
"It's not my business to question those things," Nade waved it off.
"Exactly! It's not our place at all. We follow the orders we're given, or the Republic we serve is dead. That's what we're made for. Any clone with delusions of life doing anything but following orders is in for a rude awakening. All those clones who felt guilty over it and abandoned the Republic, simply because of that, disgust me."
"I know what you mean," Nade could not pass up this easy opportunity to win favor with his abductor. "Maybe they should've been sent here. For me personally, leaving the Republic was one of the hardest choices I ever made. And I still wonder a lot of the time if I was right to do so. But the way I see it, the Empire is doing fine without me. If there's anyone that needs my help, it's Mandalore."
Cannon shot Nade a surprised smile. "You're proud of your Mandalorian heritage, huh? I'm exactly the same way."
Nade, who had been holding his breath, let out a small sigh of relief. It was risky to play the Mandalorian card. Many clones did not care at all about the Mandalorian way of life. But some did, and those few were nearly fanatical.
Cannon just nodded. "Well, Pyn, what do you think I should do with you? You've stumbled into a very secret operation here. How do I know you won't go telling all your friends about this?"
"I'd have to have friends to do that."
"What about the others you travelled here with?"
"Them?" Nade put on his offended mask and chuckled. "They're just my lackeys."
It was Cannon's turn to chuckle. "Fair enough," he said. "But the point still stands."
"How do I stand to profit from exposing this?"
Cannon glanced over at Nade, examining his face to check for sincerity. Luckily, Nade was a good liar. It was how he had gotten away with pretending to be someone else for three years.
Cannon sighed with a half-smile and said, "I like you, Pyn. I've always had a great deal of respect for the commandos, especially your particular unit. We've already fixed your ship. How about we just pretend the last twenty-four hours never happened?"
Cannon extended his hand, and Nade took it in his own. "Sounds good to me," he said.
The two guards who had brought Nade up the stairs approached him. One of them pulled the blindfold out from his back pocket.
"They'll take you to your ship," Cannon said. "Your friends will be there waiting for you. Sorry, but you'll have to be blindfolded again."
"Understandable," Nade said as the cloth was being tied around his head.
"Good luck, Pyn," Cannon said. "Hopefully we never have to see each other again."
Oh we'll see each other again soon, Nade thought.
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Jan 14, 13 at 11:48am ^re: Third Platoon: Revolution
Naliha was already getting the ship ready to take off by the time Nade was marched into the hangar. Ian was in the co-pilot seat while Evy was gently applying bacta to a cut on the back of Elias' neck in the rear of the ship. Ian leaned over closer to Naliha.
"What do you think the story is with those two?" he asked. "Just friends, or do you think there's something more?"
Naliha had already used the empathetic abilities inherent to her race on the two of them many times in the past. "Just friends," she answered. "But there is a very strong bond between them."
"Think I have a shot with her?" Ian asked.
"Dunno." Not a chance, she thought.
"How 'bout with you then?" Ian said with his best attempt at a charming smile, which turned out as more of a sinister grin.
Naliha looked at him with one eyebrow slightly cocked and one side of her mouth curved in an "as if" expression. Ian was not an attractive man by any stretch of the imagination, inside or out. Over the years he had gained a reputation. He was strong, an excellent fighter, but he had no morals. He would kill hundreds of innocents to complete his mission without bothering to look for an alternative solution. Luckily Pyn kept him on a short leash, and if he wasn't such a skilled fighter, Pyn would have given him the boot a long time ago.
Ian sighed, "You got a thing for the boss, don't you?"
Naliha didn't answer, not because she was trying to hide it. She just tried to keep conversations with Ian to a minimum. She didn't care who knew about her feelings for Pyn. What drew her to him was exactly what made her detest Ian: his morals. She, along with Elias and Evy, followed their leader without hesitation because they believed there was a better reason to fight and die than money. Pyn gave them a sense of purpose, and the three of them were much deadlier exactly because they were fighting for something, and someone, they believed in.
Nade hopped onto the ship and gave a nod toward Elias and Evy in the back, then moved up beside Naliha. "Back to Tattooine," he whispered. "We've got a lot to talk about."
When the group arrived back at the base, Ian was quick to peel off, but Nade called the other three into his room.
"I always knew you'd bring me back to your room some day," Naliha said with a smile. "Wasn't expecting Elias and Evy, but if that's what does it for you, I can live with it."
Nade was not in the mood to play along with her this time. It was always fun for him, the playing, but that was all he saw it as. He didn't much fancy the idea of two people of different species having sex, and his memories of Lara still kept his most basic desires at bay. Naliha was attractive, there was no denying it. Every man in that base, and perhaps even a few of the women, would have jumped at the chance to spend a night with her and her hypnotic blue eyes and long, soft black hair. But she had her crosshairs locked onto Pyn. Every now and then she would catch Elias' eyes wander down to her chest and then dart off in the hopes of not being caught, and she would smile and, for his sake, pretend he had gotten away with it. But occasionally she would not play. Elias' eyes would drift, and when they returned, Naliha's eyes were already there to meet his, and a smirk would be on her face. Elias' cheeks would turn red and he knew he was caught, but would pretend he had gotten away with it. She found it to be rather cute, but confusing. Elias wasn't the best-looking man in the world, but enough so that she wondered why he had no confidence in it.
Nade led the group into his room, placing his weapon atop his desk and slipping his black vest of armor over his head before tossing it onto his bed. After spending all those years wearing full body-suits of armor, Nade now preferred smaller, simple vests that just covered his abdomen. It was so much cooler and light, allowing him to move quicker and maintain his stamina while still protecting his vital organs. And he felt more human wearing one as well. Of course, a stray bolt hitting his arm was actually a cause for concern now, but the good outweighed the bad as far as Nade was concerned.
With his vest now off, Nade unclipped the two pieces of black armor that were on the front of his thighs and threw them on top of his vest. Naliha watched him intently, taking the opportunity to enjoy the sight of him in his skin-tight undershirt, with the sleeves that were stretched from the size of his biceps and the outline of his abs showing through. He ran his hand through his hair, leaving it a greying, curly mess.
"Your hair's gettin' pretty long again," Evy said before taking a seat on top of a filing cabinet that was short enough for her feet to still barely touch the ground. "Stop by my room later and I'll give it a trim."
"Will do," Pyn said.
Elias leaned up against the wall with a cigarette in his mouth and he lit the tip. He took in a long drag, exhaled the smoke toward the ceiling, and said, "So what's up, Bossman? Why'd you call us in here?"
Nade took a seat at the foot of his bed and sighed. "Stop calling me that," he said. He then took a moment to think, and proceeded to reveal the entire story to the others.
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Jan 14, 13 at 12:03pm ^re: Third Platoon: Revolution
Nade took in a deep breath and waited for a response from one of the others, studying their faces to get some understanding of what was running through their heads. The others sat in silence. Elias' eyes were focused on the ground, his eyebrows locked sloping inward. Evy was slightly pale, her lips bunched together and her eyes moving from side to side in deep thought. On the other side of the door they could hear the humming of the generators and the chatter of the others, but there were no sounds from inside the room.
Nade sighed and finally said, "If you don't want to help me, I under-"
"Where to first?" Elias interrupted and quickly rose to his feet.
"And how soon can we leave?" Naliha added.
Nade smiled and felt the heat behind his eyelids that would likely lead to tears were he unable to keep them in check. He had had a feeling he would be able to count on the three of them. They were unlike many of the others under his command. They cared little for money. If they were going to die, they wanted to die for a good cause. He often wondered how that led them into joining a mercenary army.
"First I think we should go to Kamino," Pyn said. Just saying the name of the planet was enough to evoke vivid memories of the first ten years of his life. Rain. So much rain falling into an infinite ocean. For a while after he left, Nade had no wish to ever see an ocean again. But that faded eventually, and soon enough he found the sight to be somewhat comforting. At least, until he was falling to certain death toward one on Taris.
"Why Kamino?" Evy asked.
"Cannon said clones were sent straight from Kamino to Trevilyek as children," Pyn said. "I wanna find out who it was that sent them there."
"And make 'em regret it," Elias added.
"Count on it," Nade said with a reassuring smile. "We'll head out for Kamino tomorrow afternoon. Make sure to bring extra ammo and some armor. If we find whoever it is that ordered the clones to be sent to Trevilyek, things could get messy. Clean your weapons and get some sleep."
By then everybody was on their feet. Elias and Evy left the room, but Naliha unholstered a pair of pistol-sized submachine guns on her thighs and placed them on the table next to Nade's rifle. Walking elegantly--more like gliding--across the room, she tucked her hair behind her ear and turned to look at Nade, who was as still as a statue and watching her suspiciously.
"So tomorrow could get pretty messy, huh?" she asked.
"It could," Nade said, one eyebrow still raised slightly in confusion. "We'll try to limit it though."
"So I guess this could be our last night alive then?" she said with a sarcastic smile, exposing two rows of perfectly white teeth.
"Naliha, look I'm not really in the m-"
"Whatever shall we do to enjoy our last hours?"
"Not now, Naliha," Nade sighed and moved to the desk to grab the two SMG's. When he turned back around Naliha was laying on his bed with her elbows propping her up, one leg bent with the knee in the air.
"What're you doing?" Nade's eyebrows lowered as he asked.
"Our little back-and-forth game was amusing at first, Pyn, but I'm sick of playing around," Naliha said.
"Go get some sleep, Naliha," Nade said coldly.
"Alright." Naliha smiled and sat up. She placed her hands at the bottom of her shirt and quickly pulled it up over her head and off, tossing it to the floor beside the bed. She lay back down, leaving the white sheets just low enough to keep her exposed and began to signal with her index finger in a "come here" motion and said, "Sure, I'll get some sleep. Why don't you join me? I guarantee it'll be the best sleep of your life."
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Jan 14, 13 at 12:19pm ^re: Third Platoon: Revolution
About an hour later, Evy entered into the main room of the base to place her newly cleaned rifle in the rack. At one of the tables, she saw Naliha sitting alone with a glass, half-empty. The bottle was at her feet, likely to keep it out of plain sight, which would only be asking for many of the others to stop what they were doing and come take a break. Naliha's subtle insistence on being left alone did not deter Evy, however, and soon Evy was pulling up a seat and reaching her hand under the table, grasping blindly at air until she felt her hand wrap around the neck of the bottle. With no other glasses around, Evy drank straight from the bottle, which caused Naliha to slightly cringe.
Letting the scotch slide down her throat, Evy exhaled a long, raspy breath and grimaced, then shook it off and allowed the warm feeling in her stomach to embrace her.
"I finally did it," Naliha broke the silence, her sad eyes locked on the table below.
Evy smiled. "How was it?" she asked.
"He kicked me out of his room," Naliha said. "Barely gave me enough time to put my shirt back on."
"Wait," Evy put up a hand. Her tone was one of disgust and shock. "You had sex and then he kicked you out?"
"No," Naliha was quick to correct Evy's misunderstanding. "I threw myself at him, and he wasn't interested in the least. He...he actually got angry. He gave me this great big speech about how if I was going to cause problems he would leave me behind."
Finally, Naliha's eyes raised to meet Evy's for the first time since Evy had sat down. Naliha's eyes, broken and embarrassed, had a hard time staying put on Evy's confused yet unwavering green eyes, but somehow Naliha managed not to flinch.
"I thought for sure..." Evy sighed and couldn't think of the words to finish her sentence.
"He does," Naliha said. "I can feel it in him. I just don't know why he won't act on it."
"Well, Pyn's not like other guys," Evy said genuinely, and after a moment the two of them realized the hilarity of the statement. "Well, maybe he just doesn't like to rush into that sort of thing."
"Yeah," Naliha sighed and took another drink out of her glass. "He'll come around eventually. I'll just have to work a little harder with him than I've had to with others."
Evy raised the bottle, and Naliha clanged her glass against it. Before the ringing was finished the two of them had already taken another drink, Evy from the bottle and Naliha from her glass.
When the burning in the back of her throat passed, Naliha carried on the conversation. "So have you and Elias ever-"
"No," Evy was quick to answer.
"How long have you known each other?"
"We were both thirteen when we met, living on Coruscant. I was walking home from school. It was the first time my mother had let me walk home. I got turned around, lost, ended up in a bad part of the city. Two guys, just a few years older than me, snuck up on me and started to pull me into an alley. I don't know what exactly they wanted with me. Luckily, I didn't have to find out. As soon as one of them pushed me against the wall, I guess Elias heard me scream."
Evy took another drink. A smile was slowly forming on her face as her eyes drifted off to someplace far away. Naliha was giving her full attention.
"I don't know how many people walked past the alley, had to have been at least four," Evy said. "But soon enough, Elias comes running up, all piss & vinegar. I've never seen somebody fight so hard. He managed to run them off, but he got his ass kicked pretty bad too." Evy chuckled a little as the memory of skinny little thirteen-year old Elias coming to her rescue played through her mind. "He couldn't even stand when it was over, he had a huge cut on his forehead, both of his eyes were already swelling, he was missing a tooth..."
Naliha's cringe was much different than Evy's reflective smile.
Evy continued, her smile grew even larger, "And do you know what the first thing he said was?" Naliha raised her eyebrows and shook her head side to side. Evy answered, "'He asked me, 'Are you alright?''"
Then Naliha's cringe faded, making way for a smile similar to Evy's.
"After that, my dad started teaching me how to defend myself," Evy said. "It was only then that I found out I was Mandalorian. My dad taught me how to fight, how to shoot, taught me to be proud of my heritage and to defend it to the death. But he didn't stick around long."
"Why? What happened?" Naliha asked.
"One night, he came into my room while I was sleeping. He told me he had to go somewhere, but he couldn't say why, or for how long. He gave me a little speech about how he was sacrificing his life with his family for the sake of the Mandalorian race, and how every Mandalorian should be willing to do the same. He said he loved me, apologized, and left. I haven't seen him since. My mother didn't want anything to do with trying to console me. All she would say was to toughen up and quit crying over something I couldn't change. Elias was the only person I had. It tore me up when he left to join the army, but I used that time to start training again."
"I wish I had what you and Elias have," Naliha said. "I've never had a relationship with a man that didn't involve sex in some way."
"Well, maybe you have a chance at that with Pyn," Evy suggested.
Naliha took a moment to think. Anybody but Pyn, and it would have been a possibility in her mind. But not with him. She knew what she wanted from him, and she was determined to get it.
"Nah," Naliha said with a shrug of the shoulders. "I'll get 'im next time."
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