Set in Star Wars the Bad Batch universe of things.
Lost to herself, her very family, the reasons behind it all still a tad blurry. A memory of some mission, having gone awry. But whatever happened after that, unclear. Finding herself in a place she had not expected to end up in. The sinking feeling of never getting away. Surrounded by only darkness and the feeling of loss. But then, unexpected allies emerge from the darkness. Only working together, can they beat the impossible odds and perhaps, manage to escape?
A tale of Omega somewhere in the universe of the Bad Batch, making it on her own, with a little help from new found friends.
Alone, cold and abandoned by the whole galaxy
'Being alone is not always a bad thing, as sometimes, especially those hardest of times, can become the greatest teacher of life'
She felt the cold dampness all around her as she slowly started to wake up from the sleep like daze she had been in. At least it had felt like sleeping. Although, she had no recollection of having dreamt of anything.
How she had gotten there, wherever it was she was at right now, was still a mystery.
The events leading to her being there were a blur, the images not clearing up in her brain no matter how hard she tried to focus them.
But, she did feel a grave loss. The loss of her family. And realising that very fact. That none of them were there with her. That ultimately, she was all alone.
As it was, she had no idea of how she had ended up in wherever this was. Trying to look around, but there was only darkness there greeting her all around. Only the damp smell of something filled her nostrils as she took a deep breath.
A sudden flash in her mind and a memory emerged just then. That of having been stunned. With a weapon perhaps? At least that much was for sure. She had not been sleeping but unconscious. The sensations of the nausea and headache reached her senses just then. Trying hard to keep it in, so not to hurl.
A moment passed and then another.
She finally managed to control the bad feelings and aches enough to get up and take a few steps around the immediate area. But there was nothing more there to find. And as she really could not see much, venturing around was not the best choice for her to make.
Sitting back down on what felt like some kind of a wooden box. At least she hoped it was. It was difficult to tell. But trusting her own instinct she remained seated there. All quiet. As she was way too tired and at loss of doing anything else, but to simply sit in the one spot.
One thing was for sure though. There was no one else there where she was. That much she had realised though. It was only her. By herself. Nothing but the darkness her companion at the very moment. She was truly, all alone.
The tears filled her eyes, some of them falling freely. She could not stop them from falling. Not that she even tried to. And then, she was crying, nay, sobbing, loudly. The hopeless tears streaming down her dirty face. She felt abandoned, cold and alone. There was nothing for her to look forward to.
The darkness remained all around and she did not move. Sitting by herself, crying, lost to her family, lost to the world, the whole galaxy even.
What her future would hold for her, was too scary to even think about.
Hope from the darkness comes in many formats
'When all hope seems to be lost - allies, perhaps friends, can be found in the strangest of places'
She had finally fallen asleep.
The ground despite uncomfortable and hard, had made for a makeshift bed for the weary. The jacket folded under her head to get herself more comfortable had caused her to shiver after a while as the warmth from her body was almost gone. But it was either that or getting a neck pain. Sleep might have been bad, even uncomfortable. It was still better than sitting around in the darkness crying. Thankfully, the sleep and engulfed her, at least for a fleeting moment.
Something had startled her awake though. An internal warning of sorts, sensing something moving in the darkness quite close to her.
Soft footfalls shuffling all around.
She was immediately alerted to danger.
Her body tensing up. Preparing for the enemy closing in on her. Sitting up quickly. Trying to figure out which direction the predators were coming from. Eyes darting in the darkness. Her ears honed to any and all sounds around her. She could sense them all in there now. All around here.
This, was not good.
Without a warning, a beam of light was in her eyes. Blinding her temporarily.
"Well, well, well! Looks like the imps left a surprise for us!"
She could see the several sets of eyes glaring back at her when the beam was turned away from her own eyes. The glares, the eyes, all looked somewhat familiar to her. But she could not place them. Not really. Not at the state of shock she was still in.
Nor could she be sure if she wasn't really seeing things either. As it was so surreal to her still, being in this, dark, damp space.
As the others, standing around her, came to full view, she could see them more clearly. Reeling back to the real world from her sleepy haze.
The lot looked like teenagers or something close to that age. But they were all dirty and wearing what reminded her of some kind of working overalls. With hard hats and colourful wests on top of their clothing. A few of them were carrying pickaxes on their person as well.
And it looked like they were either coming from a work shift maybe. Or then, they had picked up the nearest weapons after realising someone else was there and ready to pounce on her at a moments notice.
It wasn't until she heard one of the them speak again, that the familiarity hit closer to home for her.
"Great another mouth to feed! And it's just some dumb little kid!"
"Stow it Shebs!"
She heard the bickering amongst themselves at first. And then, the familiar word hit her memory.
She asked, sensing a slight chuckle somewhere deep within herself. Knowing the word quite well and its meaning too, having been taught the language of the Mando'a by her brothers.
"Yes as in a pain in the… Don't worry Kid, his bark is worse than his bite."
The smily faced teenager told to her then. But still, assessing their find, his eyes darting all over her, just like the others were doing as well, despite the somewhat cavalier demeanour of the talker.
She looked at the boys closest to her for a moment longer before she dared to speak up again.
"Who are you?"
She had an inkling of course. But deciding to take the easy route out. Asking. As she still wasn't buying to her current state nor place for that matter. Only trying to figure out whether this really was a dream or not. Perhaps, she had simply conjured up these, teenagers because she had felt lonely?
"I am Pep and this is Perky. Those two are Gist and Cunning."
The talkative one was pointing at the nearest boys around her.
"Well you get the gist, pun intended."
Pep, the one who had been talking a to her laughed loudly.
"And the sassy one, Shebs you already know."
Pep introduced the few of the boys standing there closest to her. There were more, but guess, introductions for them would have to wait.
Before she could respond, the other boys had stepped closed around hear. And she could immediately see the resemblance in them all. Their faces quite similar to the other. One of them even stepped closer and gave her a really good stare just then.
"Hey! I know you!"
He chimed then gingerly.
"I saw you on Kamino!"
Cunning was the one, who had realised she looked familiar.
"Yeah, you were there! I remember now. Only you were somewhat younger back then."
Cunning then turned to the other boys nodding knowingly after his revelation, even if the others did not seem to recognise her. At all.
Pep glanced at Cunning, not really remembering the girl himself.
"Yeah. I do remember her. From the lab. She was working with Nala Se."
Cunning war trying to clarify what he had meant and to jog the other boys' memories.
And so, all of the teenagers around her turned to glare at her. A few more joining in the gawking group of boys. It felt, awkward. Being gawked upon like that. Still. At least, she was no longer alone and they all seemed to be, somewhat friendly.
So, deciding to be bold herself. Trusting this wasn't a dream or hallucination after all.
"I, am Omega."
She finally managed after keeping her stance, glaring right back at the lot. Feeling the awkwardness still but now also with a hint of hostility coming from some of them.
Pep smiled then. Clearly being the polite one of the group.
"Well, guess I should say, welcome Omega! But this place is not a good place to end up in. And certainly never welcoming."
They all exchanged knowing glances with the others. Followed by several agreeing murmurs from the others. Before turning back to Omega again. Definitely wanting to know more about her.
"What is this place?"
Omega asked sounding worried, with her eyes roaming around the boys and the place now that there was some light in there finally. A few lanterns having been lit since the others arrival.
"It's a mining op. For the imps."
Gist told her as much then.
"A mining op?"
Omega exclaimed, even if she really wasn't that surprised to hear it judging from the outlook of the others.
"You mean you work for the Empire?"
She had to know what these, well, younglings, these boys were really about, despite her familiarity of them. After all, if they were the imps minions, this was not faring well for her at all.
A few of them snorted rather sarcastically.
"More like slaves we are."
One of the boys stated rather flatly.
"But you are all, um, clones."
Omega said out loud what had been on her mind already, with much sorrow in her voice too. The realisation hitting home of what had happened to her kin because of the Empire.
"Yeah, what gave us away?"
Perky snorted as they were just that. Clones.
"I, I know you all. In away. You were cadets on Kamino, when the Empire took over."
Omega told them matter of factly.
"Yeah, with a promise of becoming soldiers. And well, look at us now!"
Gist stated rather snidely.
"Some group of soldiers we are! Fighting with our pickaxes against the all mighty rock!"
Gist got a hardy laugh from the rest of the group with his sarcastic comment though. It seemed that the Empire had not managed to take their spirits away. Not yet anyway.
"It's not right."
Omega's voice was even sadder if possible, despite the laughter of the others still in the air.
Realising quickly then, what really had happened to all the younglings on Kamino after the war had ended. The Empire was using them as slaves, in these harsh conditioned mines no less. It was not a good outcome for any of them. Especially if they were never let out from this place. And from the looks of them and their surroundings, they all lived there too.
"But what are you doing here?"
Pep asked then, looking at Omega curiously. As the girl certainly was out of place in the mines.
"I was on a mission."
Omega was suddenly reminded of what had happened to her, not totally clear on all the details yet. But some of it was coming back to her.
"I was caught."
She tried hard to remember.
"I guess, I got shot before I reached the mission target."
She then said, looking at the others while telling them her own sad story of how she had ended up in this place. But, she was not sure what it meant. Not really, as most of the details seemed still somewhat hazy for whatever reason.
"By the imps?"
Perky asked, he was still quite curious of Omega as were the rest of them.
Omega said in a quiet voice. That much she was sure of at least.
"Why were you running ops, and for whom?"
Cunning then asked sounding all cautious now.
"You are way too young to be any kind of trooper."
Omega glared at him. She knew who she was. A soldier. Despite her young age.
"I am a soldier. Me and my brothers."
Omega sounded feisty enough as she revealed as much.
It was a unified query more than anything coming from the lot of them. Clearly surprised to hear of this, child soldier, running amok out there in the galaxy and then having been caught by the imps.
"Yes. And we don't work for the imps."
Omega told them flat on, knowing what their next question would most likely be. After all, it would have been hers as well.
They all looked at her like they were not believing what they were hearing.
"But why bring you here?"
Pep asked then breaking the silence which had momentarily descended in the place.
"Guess, guess they thought I would be better off with my own kind?"
Omega looked at the boys wide eyed. Before revealing whom she really was to them.
"I am a clone too."
"A clone? Like us? But she is a girl!"
Shebs whined in his usual snarly manner. The clone boy who was very reminiscent of someone else Omega knew well. Crosshair.
"Shebs does make a point."
Pep sounded much more friendly, but he was still cautious towards Omega.
"Well, I am and I was part of a group of enhanced clones."
Omega revealed as much. But she could feel the tension still there. Clearly the boys having doubts about what she was telling them.
"Well I'll be!"
Perky exclaimed while some of them were simply rolling their eyes both in surprise and somewhat in a disbelief too. As this was the first they had heard of a female clone. Let alone an enhanced clone. For sure.
"It is true."
Omega sounded adamant though. Just because these clone younglings did not believe what she was telling did not make it untrue.
"Well, whatever the case is."
Pep was trying to be all polite and gave the others a warning glare.
"You are here with us now."
"Yeah. It's not like we can leave this place. It's a prison but with hard labour."
Curly, one of the other boys said then.
"Do you know where we are?"
Omega suspected they did not however.
Perky told her flat on.
"Somewhere in the Maker's forsaken part of the galaxy would be a good guess as any."
Shebs piped then with his usually snarky tone.
"Well, that really does not matter now. We need to get you settled in."
Pep seemed to be quite protective towards Omega for whatever reason still unclear. Most likely to the both of them.
The again, in Omega's mind Pep was the most level headed of them all, from what she had seen so far. And the others did listen to him too. So, guess Pep was their leader, of sorts.
There were several approving murmurs going around then. Even if most of them remained quite clearly not really wanting someone else around their little nest.
But there was nowhere else for Omega to go. It wasn't like she could just up and leave. The doors were bolted shut after all. The clone boys had told her as much.
As it was Omega was stuck there for the foreseeable future.
Nobody knew where she was. And it would be unlikely her Batch would come looking for her either. They had no idea where she was after all. At least, that was what Omega suspected was t the case.
So, stuck. With a bunch of teenage clones. In an imperial run mining operation.
The working day, is never really done
'The work never ending, for a slave, of the Republic, of the Empire, it does not really matter who is in charge, now does it!' After a somewhat sleepless night, despite the boys trying to make their sleeping arrangements as comfortable as possible for all of them, including Omega, sleep had eluded her. They all had slept in a pile of sorts, drawing heat from the others around them. Guess it was their only option in this cold and damp place and Omega had not been complaining about it either.
But what worried her, was the fact that these boys, her brothers, as it had turned out, because they were all clones, had no sense of doing anything except the work they were doomed to be doing. None of them wanting to flee or anything else for that matter. Not that Omega had suggested much of that either. Not yet anyway.
But, they all seemed somewhat content in where they were, what they were doing, their overall situation. Something of a surprise to Omega, but also a cause of worry.
And so, as morning arrived, even if they could not see it. As there was no indication of the shifts of the day in the dark mines. But, it was time to work again.
And there seemed to be some doubt as to what to do with their most recent addition to their group. After all, the labour was hard and hardly suitable for a young child like Omega clearly was. A girl no less. Much younger than the teenaged boys were.
"Omega should remain here. The mine is no place for her."
Pep voiced his opinion to the others.
"Yeah, it's definitely not a good place for a young girl like her."
Buck agreed with Pep immediately.
"If you don't work, you don't eat. If you can't pull your weight. Then there really is no use for you here!"
Shebs was on her case again.
"I can and I will!"
Omega argued against the others even if she had not liked Shebs' comment, she could pull her own weight for sure!
"She really shouldn't."
Perky was also against letting the girl get down to the dirty and gritty mine.
"What if the imps find out?"
Clumsy asked worried.
"That she is not working?"
He sounded rather fearful, because of Omega perhaps or then themselves.
Pep argued again.
"We will keep tabs on her. And if the guards come around we can always lie. It's not like they care as long as the work gets done."
"Fine, have it your way."
Shebs finally gave up, throwing his arms in the air in a mock surrender. His theatrics really rivalling to those of Crosshair's.
"But it's not my rations which will get shared for her benefit."
Shebs stated flatly before he stomped away.
Pep turned to Omega and gave her an encouraging smile.
"Look, we can discuss this later. Right now, you need to rest. The blaster must have hit you pretty hard and you are still weak. We'll see you when our shift ends."
Pep patted Omega on her shoulder before taking off and leaving her all alone again.
Only this time, she had a blanket, a light and something to eat and drink. She needed to rest that much was sure. Omega was curious though, as to why the blaster shot had made her feel so woozy. It wasn't her first one after all.
But, it did not matter now. When she felt better, she could argue again about working with the boys, her brethren, even if they had not believed her to be able right now. And then, she could try to figure out how to get out of there too. As she was sure, that together, they could escape. Even if the boys did not think so. But she was sure she could change their minds.
"Fine. I will stay."
Omega yielded, earning a soft smile from Pep.
Pep patted her on her back.
"Now, I have left you two blankets and a few ration bars."
Pep told her then. But then warned her as well.
"Try to lay low and inconspicuous as possible, especially of the guards come lurking around. They usually don't, but who knows with the imps what they get into their heads."
"I will. And thanks!"
Pep gave Omega one last smile and then he too, was gone. Leaving Omega alone once again. But as she still felt tired and somewhat off after the supposed stun shot. Only making her wonder why it was so before falling back to sleep.
Hope always remains, no matter how dire the situation just might be
'Trust and faith in ones family is not always misplaced' The clone younglings were back after their shift finding Omega awake.
Having slept some, still feeling a tad sickly, but braving to meet the crowd of adolescent clones just the same. She had had some time to think. And she wanted to share something with the others. Hoping they would listen to what she had to say to them.
As a plan of sorts had formed in Omega's mind.
"Omega! You are up!"
Cunning was the first one in their small area, which the clone younglings called their own place just around the corner of the tunnels leading to the mines.
"Yeah…" Pausing. "I woke up just a while ago. I did not realise how long I was actually sleeping."
Omega was scratching the back of her neck, sounding half apologetic after realising she had been dozing off almost for the durance of the boys shift.
"Hah, don't worry about it! You clearly needed the rest!"
Pep popped up just then and was already checking up with Omega, feeling her forehead as she looked kind of pale and sweaty. His cheerfulness soon turning to worry.
"You have a fever. No wonder you were so drowsy."
"We have something we can give her, in the med kit."
It was Gist who had turned up at Omega's side as well, housing an equally worried look on his face as Pep had.
Just then, Perky had the kit already brought to the two. Clearly the boys being in a somewhat of a tune with each other, just like Omega knew her own batch to be as well.
Pep and Gist were working on her. Giving the hypo with he medicine and doing some overall checks, visual once as they did not have a scanner in the kit.
"You were all from the same batch were you not?"
Omega was curios as there seemed to be some ten of the clone boys in the room currently. But she had seen more of them. Understanding they were taking shifts working in the mines.
"We are, the nine of us here now."
Gist revealed as much. Not that it was a secret. But they did not really talk about it, the way things had been before.
Gist glanced at Pep. The look relying the longing for their past, that much was sure for the ever vigilant Omega, reading people well and all.
"The other group, who are working now, they have twelve. They reside in the next room from us."
Pep continued revealing their story to Omega. Not that there was too much to tell, as pretty much since leaving Kamino, they had ended up in the mines, the two groups together after having first undergone some experimentation by the imps medical personnel. Clearly having been redeemed unfit for anything else except hard labour.
"Are there more of you, us here?"
Omega quickly corrected her mistake as she was one of them, the clones after all.
"No, just the two groups."
Gist sounded sad then. As there had been more of the cadets when they had been taken off Kamino when the Empire had taken over. Where the other groups had ended up in, was a mystery to them as well.
Omega only nodded. But, she had a plan to tell them just the same. Sort of a plan anyway.
"Look, we should try to get out of here."
Omega then stated, while Pep and Cunning were checking her, but getting their attention then.
"There is no leaving this place."
Shebs piled in, having been listening to the conversation as per his usual.
"Yeah, Kid, there is nowhere to go."
Pep told Omega, even if he had always been the most hopeful one of them all.
"Yes, there is." Omega insisted. "We just need a comms device and we can send a message out."
"Look, Kid, there is no way to get past the guards. And finding a comms device just hanging around? Well, not in here!"
Gist shot Omega's dreams down as soon as they had taken flight. Because that had been the basis of the plan. Getting her hands on a communications device to contact her Batch.
Omega was cut off by Cunning just then. Holding her arm gently after having rolled her sleeves up to check her skin for something. Something he had clearly excepted to find there.
"Um, yeah, we can debate about that later."
He then glanced up at Omega from the spot he had been looking at.
"Because I think I found the reason for your fever."
Cunning pointed at the arm and the markings there, there others gathering around Omega to gawk at the very spot.
"Yeah. Those are quite clear and familiar too."
One of the pointed out but Omega was clueless as to what they all meant.
"Kid, you have been experimented on by the imps. And most likely they left a gift behind, which is causing your fever now."
Pep looked at the shocked looking Omega. The revelation of where she had been clearly a surprise to her as well. But the boys seemed to know all about it though.
Experimenting on clones? What a surprise!
'There is always someone out there, taking advantage of others. It is the nature of things.'
"Experimented on? How could that be?"
Omega sounded even more confused of hearing this. She had absolutely no recollection of being held by the imps, nor being experimented on. Only being on their mission and then, waking up here, in the mines.
"Well, Kid, I can't say I have the answer to that question. But we all have at one point been there. Most likely when you were caught and before you were brought here."
Pep pointed out to Omega as rolled his own sleeve higher, showing her the exact same mark. Soon enough, several others of the clone younglings did the same, all of them with almost identical markings on their upper arms as Omega had.
There were tears in Omega's eyes now, the experimentation from her past by the Kaminoans flashing into her mind. Never having wanted to go back to that, ever again. But, it was clear, that she had been caught by the imps and then, having been subjected to experimentation once again.
"Well, there is one thing which comes to mind."
It was Cunning, usually having one theory or another. But mostly, he was not wrong with his theories either.
"There were things the Kaminoans added to our biology, this is a fact."
Cunning glanced around his brethren, who nodded in agreement.
"We saw the data, you know, before we left Kamino."
As to the how, well, Cunning did not explain, rather continued to tell Omega of what he had found out. Something of the clone youngling rather reminiscent of Tech in Omega's mind. With his apt thought process and theories. Having most likely been the one to hack into the Kaminoans database as well.
"All of us here… Well, let's just say that just after the war ended, the Kaminoans wanted the clones to have, um, well, the more. And so, the lot of us ended up back in the labs with the long necks injecting something into us."
Cunning paused for a moment.
It was difficult for him to talk about it all. The shivers still running through his spine of the mere thought of what had happened to them. For all of them. The reminders of the pain and shock for the younglings present in the mines now. Having all been through the same process.
The others gathered around Cunning then, getting the comfort and strength from his batch to continue as they hovered close by him.
"Anyway, let's just say that most of us, have certain, um, abilities, the other clones don't have."
Omega's eyes shot wide then of this very revelation.
"You mean, you were all enhanced?"
Omega was surprised to hear this. All though, hers and her Batch's enhancements had been done wile still in their tubes. But having those things done while conscious and already living? Well, that was unheard of. Even for Omega. It sounded more like torture than anything else.
"Yeah, guess you can say that."
There was a long silence descending upon the small space then. As clearly, this was a touchy subject for them all.
Omega could understand them though. After all, she was literally one of them. The same.
But as to why they had been discarded into these, mines? Well, that was kind of baffling. But then again, Omega could understand the imperials not wanting to keep the clones around, knowing what they were doing even to those serving them.
So, perhaps they only needed their DNA to concoct whatever they wanted to do from that. Anyway, Omega could not think about that at the moment. Other than getting out of the place, with her new brothers being top most priority. Because this was becoming too much for any of them.
Omega was also debating whether to tell these clones, what she herself was too.
After a moment she broke the silence and decided to come clean.
"Look, there is something you need to know… about me."
They all turned to her once again.
Omega revealed the whole story of hers. Herself and her four brothers. Her Batch. Albeit, leaving out the fact, that Crosshair had joined the Empire. After all, she did not want to discourage these boys. Rather she wanted them to know there was hope for them still. Out there. And so, after telling the story of her life, she decided to tell them of her, well, plan of sorts.
They all exclaimed in unison after Omega had finished her tale.
"That is, well, something."
Pep was the one commenting then.
"Yes, well, it's how we came to be. My Batch and me."
Omega assured them all.
"And like I said, there are possibilities for us all still out there."
Omega let her gaze roam the circle of young clones around her before she spoke again.
"We need to leave this place."
There was a hint of confusion in the boys eyes, because it was such an absurd proposals after all. Besides, they had already shot her down earlier.
"How exactly do you think we can do just that? We just told you there is no way out. Nothing to even alert someone of our location."
Shebs, the ever pessimist then asked her snidely. Because it had not really been the option for them so far either. With no means whatsoever at their disposal.
"We need to build a communicator and send out a message."
Omega stated simply, having observed Tech build plenty of things from scratch and knowing she could do it. Well, most likely. With Cunning's help of course.
"You build the what now?"
Gist sounded half unbelieving and half confused.
"A communications device."
Omega repeated herself.
Before the others could interject further, it was Cunning who decided to pipe in.
"It could be possible to build a rudimentary one with the things we have at our disposal and perhaps, get something from the guards as well."
It was left hanging in the air, as clearly, the suggestion was both ludicrous but also hopeful. But yet no decision was made one way or another.
The plan might be a flimsy one at best, but…
'Planning for something so ridiculous? Well, it just might work!'
"They will come for me. For us."
Omega tried for the umpteenth time to convince the others of her plan.
"Look, Omega, nobody knows where we are. We, don't even know where here is!"
Shebs complained in his usual manner, even if the idea of leaving was starting to sound rather good, great even. Even to Shebs.
But having false hope? It wasn't good at all for their morale.
"And who exactly are these magical people you are on about? Thinking that they will rescue us?"
Shebs sounded doubtful still.
"My brothers. Clone Force 99."
Omega was adamant, her voice flat and unconvincing even now. But she was sure if they got the signal out her brothers would be out there listening and then come for them. All of them.
"The ones you told us about?"
"Yes. Those ones."
"I agree with them, Omega. I mean, even if I would totally love to leave this joint, well, the risks are too grave for us."
Pep did not like saying it to her, but it was the truth. And the sooner Omega would realise it, the better. Their initial plan being flimsy at best.
"We should at least try."
Omega was still feverish but she was getting better thanks to the care from the boys.
There was a long moment of silence, the argument having died down. It was Pep again who took the lead on the decision making.
"Well, guess we don't have any other options. That is if we want to get outta here.
Pep glanced around the faces of the other clones, none of them objecting and even if it was a dangerous thing they were planning? Well, how things looked like now, they would all die in the mines anyway.
"But what of the guards?"
Grey, the silver haired of them was still not sold on the whole idea of tricking the guards. As it could have repercussions for them all if they figured out what they were planning to do.
Something which they had talked about already. Omega and Cunning. A piece of to add to their self built communications device. As they had pretty much figured out what they needed to use to build a makeshift comms device for one message.
"We can handle them."
Pep assured him then. Giving one last chance for any other objections. Before asking them again.
"We are in."
Pep glanced at the crowd once again, but nobody resisted the decision. It was as if they had just been waiting for someone to suggest it. No matter the consequences just might be.
"Alright, then how do you suggest we proceed?"
Everyone was looking at Omega now, even if she was clearly the youngest of the lot, at least, physically, they all waited for her to take the lead on this one. After all, she had suggested it and well, she had been on the outside and had the connections.
So, they all waited for Omega to spill the beans…
They had managed to set up the comms device with a few parts some of the boys had managed to steal from one of the guards in addition to the ones they already had. Having obtained it during a ruse set in motion to gain the guards attention. Then one of them grabbing the small needed device while the other guards were breaking up the fight between the clones.
Despite the bruises sustained during the fake fight, the young clones themselves had started, they were all on the up and up of things now. Hopeful of their escape to happen. Finally!
Omega and Cunning had managed to enhance their built device enough to be able to boost the frequency of it. With thanks to Tech's teachings, Omega was pretty apt in several things these days.
Then again, Cunning seemed to be quite the natural too. Omega having observed the very fact during the brief time spent with this group of clones. But she had also noticed they each seem to possess some unique ability.
After sending the message out, there was really no way of knowing if it had even gone through or not. Their makeshift device frying out just a little after the action. But Omega believed it had been sent out there into space, carried away through subspace. Reaching her brothers soon enough.
She had to believe it. Simply had to.
All of us, are going home!
'Being rescued by someone close, who could as easily have been the one self'
"Commander. We are receiving a distress call."
The comms trooper informed.
"A distress call? Where is it coming from?"
The coarse and clipped toned Commander asked of his trooper.
"It's from one of the facilities. A mining operation."
The trooper checked the data on his screen again to be sure.
"What is the message?"
"Well, that is what is odd about it. Just one repeating word. Or rather numbers really."
The trooper at comms glanced at the Commander, not sure what to make of the message.
The Commander had no time for playing clues. He wanted the facts only. And sometimes he wondered why his underlings did not delivered them up front. Too chatty in his mind. As to why he had ever chosen these specific troopers to follow him, was unclear for the Commander. But he had and now, they were working for him.
The comms officer said then, his tone slightly questioning.
The Commander repeated, wondering what the numbers meant and as it sounded more like a joke than anything else. His anger growing because of it as clearly, someone was trying to be funny.
"Yes. But it is coming over the distress channel. The code is legit. Even, if it is, well an old frequency."
The comms officer assured the Commander.
"Fine. Plot a course. We'd better find out what it is all about. And if it is someone playing tricks on us, well, we will simply have to deal with them!"
The comms officer nodded to the navigations officer of the small imperial cruiser relying they coordinate of the distress call.
There was a moment of silence, the Commander contemplating his options. His brows knitted, his face crunched. And then, it hit him like a ton of bricks. The meaning of the numbers!
"They will come for us."
Omega kept assuring her new brothers, all of them huddled together now, after the shifts in the mines had been completed for the cycle.
"We don't even know if they heard the message."
"They will come. I know they will. We never leave our own behind."
Two rotations had passed and there had been no sign of anyone except the guards bringing them their rations. They had all worked in the mines through their shifts. And so, it was time to end another mindless day in the darkness of the mines.
Just as the clones were getting comfortable, bundling up for the night, none of them talking about their pending escape any more. It seemed to them all, at the very moment, that their hope and dream had failed them after all. And so, yielding to their assigned fates once again.
Omega, was even more defeated than the rest of them.
Having held her hopes up to the last moment. But even she had to admit, it seemed that no one was coming to their rescue. So, taking her place in the pile of clones, she tried to sleep. Even if it was elusive most nights, despite the hard labour she too was putting in now.
Just as they were starting to fall into a slumber, they all heard it. The clear sounds of blaster fire and shouting on the outside of their living-space.
"What is it?"
One of them asked rather groggily having been woken up rather rudely.
Omega knew what it was and she was pretty sure she knew why too.
"Yes, they have come for us!"
She was up in a single bounce, heading towards the doors. Placing her ear against to listen what was going on on the outside.
"Are you sure?"
Pep and several others were at her side already.
"I am. The guards are shouting about intruders."
She could hear as much, the smile evident on her face.
The other clones exchanged glances with each other, as more of them were gathering to the door.
"Well, I'll be!"
Pep only stated then, shaking his head in disbelief.
"You came through for us after all!"
He placed a hand on Omega's shoulder, earning a wide grin from the Kid.
Just then, the someone rattled the doors.
Omega releasing they were going to blast the doors from the outside.
They all did and so, it happened. A well, aimed blaster shot at the lock and the doors flew wide open. They could see the light pouring into the darkness. All of them covering their eyes, because it was way too bright having spent months and months in the darkened mines.
Omega tried to peak through her covered eyes. And then, what or rather whom she could see, surprised the kark out of her. Because, it wasn't the one she had really expected to arrive to their rescue. But, she knew who it was, staring right back at her, helmet removed from his head.
Omega blinked once, twice even.
Crosshair's tone was a soft hiss though, without any snarl or malice in it.
Was all Omega managed.
"We received your message."
Was all Crosshair said then, a hint of a smile emerging on his face, something which Omega remembered seeing there a few times before their paths had diverged.
The other clones looked from Omega to Crosshair and back.
"This is one of your batch?"
They asked in disbelief as Crosshair looked nothing like a clone. At all.
"He is." "I am."
The response came in unison from both of them. Even if Omega had not expected Crosshair to be the one to get her message, let alone understand it. Having sent if over an old GAR communications frequency.
But it was Crosshair who had come for her, for them.
"Now, are you going to just gawk there or are you going to come with us?"
Crosshair could see then number of clone younglings standing there, all of them having gathered into the small space now. Some of them still not believing what was happening.
It was a pretty much unified response from the all. Because nobody was going to be left behind. Not this time around.
"How did you know. That is was me sending the message?"
Omega just had to ask.
"0219. Your number. I was reminded of what it was. You know, from when we first met."
Crosshair had and luckily so too, not that it had mattered. Not really as he and his troopers would have gone to check up on the distress call just the same. It was what they did after all.
Omega only nodded. It had been a long shot, but knowing only her batch mates would have known it.
Omega was with Crosshair, seated in the galley of the large size cruiser they were on travelling through hyperspace. Away from the cold mines and their captivity.
As per his usual, Crosshair kept his responses brief.
"And the other clones?"
Omega had noticed quite a few clone troopers there, all of them following Crosshair's orders though. But clearly, they were no longer working for the Empire. Their attitudes, their demeanour even their armour having all changed again. Back to what they had been before, before Order 66.
"They all work for me now. The clones."
It was a simple answer for sure. But at this point, Crosshair wasn't too prepared to fill in all the gaps. Not even for the curious Omega, who had remained up after the rest of her new brethren had retired. Finally getting to sleep in proper beds instead of the makeshift cots they had in the mines.
"So, you go around the galaxy and rescue clones now?"
Omega tried to probe, even if Crosshair wasn't too forthcoming.
"Something like that."
Crosshair could tell the Kid wasn't too satisfied with the sparse intel coming from Crosshair at the moment.
"Look, Kid. I will get you back to them."
Them meaning Clone Force 99 of course.
"And the others?"
Omega had no idea what the deal with Crosshair and his troopers really was, but, she did trust him, just the same. Sensing he was on the level, with everything.
"Well, they can stay with us or go with Rex."
Crosshair revealed as much then.
"You work for Rex?"
This was another surprise for Omega, one of several.
There was a moment of silence between them again.
"What if I want to stay with you too?"
Omega through that one in the air rather lightly then. Even if she wasn't quite sure if she really wanted to. Then again, if Crosshair was working for the good guys now, then perhaps she could be of help as well?
Crosshair's eyes flew wide just then. His eyes on Omega in surprise.
"I thought you wanted to get back to your Batch?"
"Well, I do. But I would like to stay with you too, for a while at least."
Omega knew she did. She knew she could help Crosshair. And the young clones if they were to stay with him and his troopers.
Crosshair was at a loss of words, a surprise for sure. But then deciding something on the spot.
"Look, if you want to stay, you can. But you need to talk with the others and agree with them first, deal?"
Omega liked the sound of that. Finally getting her family back together, in a manner of speaking.
Earning a slight smirk from her older brother, something which warmed the Kid to no end. Because she was free, her Batch with her in some form anyway and there were several rescued clones on their way to their freedom as well. All was well in the galaxy of Omega's once again. At least for a while.