TCW - Safety above all

TCW - Safety above all

Preface

Be safe out there, Y'all hear now!

The battle won, but at what cost?

Preface

Clone Haven's Ship-of-the-month weekly prompt "safety" Bacara/Neyo. Set somewhere in the space time continuum of the Clone Wars. Being reckless rushing in head on, was a part of the design of the template of the clones. Or at least, that was what most people thought, those not knowing any better.

For the two Commanders, safety, was something to be revered above all else.

Part of the Bacara/Neyo series

Be safe out there, Y'all hear now!

'Being the one in charge, the leader, can be trying at times, the security and safety of others resting on the bony shoulders, sometimes simply too heavy to carry around.'

It was the eve of battle. The soldiers all ready and willing, prepped to go. But, somehow, still all of them rather restless. None of them really knowing what to except once out there, in the real heat of the battle despite all the cunning planning of their leaders.

Still, nothing like some pre-battle chitters, right!

And being new out there, on the field? Really fighting the war with real weapons and ammo? Well, not all the training simulations in the galaxy could have really prepared any of them to the reality of it all.

So, guess it was the lack of experience and the needed assurance combined to the eagerness of the troopers which had led them to seek out their Commander for a rather unique, request.

"Commander! Can I disturb you for a moment?"

One of the troopers greeted Neyo. One of the Sergeants to be exact. The one for the group of new soldiers.

"Yes, Trooper, what can I do for you?"

Neyo looked up from his datapad.

"Well, me and the boys, in our squad that is." The man was slightly nervous, being new and all and the hero-worship of their leader still present. "Well, we were thinking, that is, the lads and me were wondering if it was alright if we bunked on the ship tonight. Just to, you know, get the feel of it and all?"

The Sergeant finally looked up and at their Commander having fidgeted there for a moment, looking anywhere else but. The newness of the trooper reeking through.

Neyo was surprised of this request. Then again, the Sergeant of this squad was new after all as Neyo knew him to be. And most of his team was comprised of new, first time troopers. Shinies as they were called. Hell, the whole squadron of soldiers were new! Something which had been unavoidable but bound to happen due to the need of new resources in the field.

"Anxious to get on the way eh?"

Neyo smirked a little, having been reminded of his own first time out there just then.

"Yes, you can say that, Sir!"

Neyo simply nodded, and without even considering much further to the matter, agreed to the soldiers request.

"Permission granted!"

"Thank you, Sir!"

The Sergeant saluted the Commander and then as quickly as they had emerged to the office, he was gone. Leaving Neyo to his datapad and whatever work he had been doing before the interruption.

But suddenly Neyo could not concentrate on the work in front of him. As this new trooper, his new Sergeant, had taken Neyo back in his thoughts, to his own past. And now, they did not seem to let go no matter how hard he tried to be in the present.

Back to those times when Neyo himself had been out from the fast paced and rigorous training and sent to the field with all new faces around. Well, same but different, naturally. But he had hardly known most of them. And so many of them had never come back from that first mission.

Thinking also, of how different everything was back then. How simple and easy things had seemed and how single minded he himself had been. Before all this, becoming the man, the leader, the Commander of his own men.

Closing his eyes for a moment, Neyo yielded to the moment letting the memories wash over him.

"Take cover!

Having jumped into a ditch of sorts, Neyo and his fellow troopers were pinned down, the enemy closing in. Fast

"Sir, we need to send a distress call!"

Neyo had urged his commanding officer, as clearly, they had been ambushed. The intel having been inaccurate and the planning having failed due to it. The safety of the soldiers now hanging on the balance because of that simple mistake. Trusting the intel to be safe.

"The enemy is jamming all our channels."

The comms officer shouted out over distant blaster fire and the blowing winds of the planet, gusting harshly over the huddled troopers, with their shelter poor at best.

They each exchanged glances with the nearest troopers, their chances of survival slim at best.

"What are your orders, Sir?"

Neyo asked his Commander, the silence of him palpable for them all, telling more than any words ever could.

Neyo was roused from his reminiscence by a chime at the door to his office.

"Come!"

As the doors slid open, Neyo could see his partner, Bacara standing there. Looking back at the man in his life, a small smile emerging onto his face. Seeing the somewhat sulking expression on Bacara's face, knowing he was to blame for it.

"You were late."

Bacara told Neyo as much. The tone far from accusatory though. But clearly, him having to seek out Neyo, to find out what the hold up was had not amused the other man.

Neyo glanced at the time on the console. He had slipped so totally deep in thought, forgetting they were supposed to have been having dinner together. As this was their final night together for a while at least. And spending some alone time for just the two of them was their tradition.

"I know, and I am really sorry, darling."

Neyo got up and walked the short distance to the door where Bacara stood in waiting still.

Leaning in for a kiss, he then whispered into Bacara's ear.

"I will make it up to you later, I promise."

"You'd better."

Bacara softly replied to his partner.

But sensing the same off feeling from Neyo he himself had been experiencing most of the day.

It was like that for them both, just on the eve of battle. Always had been, as the two of them were so similar in many ways. The sadness sinking in, before it was time to put all feelings aside and concentrate on the work at hand.

The battle won, but at what cost?

'The price, usually hight to pay for any and all victories. Then again, for loss it would have been even higher.'

The battle had been bloody, to say the least.

The losses of men mounting into too many. Then again, even a few lives lost was never desirable. But, this was war after all, and loosing people was part of reality. No matter how sad it was.

Still, it never failed to affect neither Neyo nor Bacara, even if they would never let it show. Not on their faces, not in their words. But they shared the sense of loss, in private. Together. Just the two of them whispering their real thoughts to each other in the silence of the night.

The horrors, the complaints, the senseless of it all. The war.

The only thing these two Commanders could do though, was to follow their superiors orders, within reason of course. And do their damnedest to keep their troopers as safe as they possibly could. Train them to follow the rules and regulations to avoid unnecessary mishaps.

And not matter what then happened in the war fields out there in the wide of the galaxy, knowing they had done their best. With neither of them taking the blame for those times, when soldiers died in the many battles.

Well, mostly never.

Because without sounding too callous, they did care, about the men serving under them.

And being human meant, to most likely blame oneself at some point for the losses. When things failed to go as planned. Still, compartmentalising was a kind of a must for the clone commanders. Learning to do just that, even if it might not have been hardcoded into one's DNA, but it was necessary as the war stretched on. Otherwise, for sure, madness would follow.

"Whatcha thinking?"

Bacara and Neyo were cuddling in their bunk on the ship on their way back to base. With their mission completed for now and ahead laying a week of time off to recuperate and recharge.

"Just about you know… what's the point of this all. The usual stuff."

Neyo sounded somewhat resigned, even if he had been present during their love making. Slow and gentle this time around, both of them too tired for much more. Simply the need to feel something… anything to wash away the horrors of war for a moment.

Bacara felt the pain too. His own as much that of his lovers. After all, how many times had they talked about this, the same thing, just the two of them?

"I know. But if is not for us to decide, is it."

It wasn't a question. As other than becoming deserters from the army, there was nothing the clones could do. Except to, well, follow orders. Be the soldiers they were bred the be. Right?

"No, it is not."

Neyo sighed heavily.

"But at least, most of us are safe for the moment, most of the shinies in that, one eager squad came back. Shaken, but, in one piece more or less."

Bacara reminded Neyo of the positives then. Because he really needed that right now. Neyo having shared the story of this one new team of shinies and their Sergeant having been eager enough to sleep on board the vessel before even taking off on the mission… well, at least they were back, the lot of them.

"Yeah, I know hon."

Neyo turned and cuddled into Bacara, fully merging into his lover's body for comfort.

"Sweetheart, remember what we talked about. That this war will end, some day. And if we are lucky enough, we will be free to live the rest of our lives, in peace."

Bacara had yet another reminder of what the future might just hold for them both. Even if it was such on elusive thought all together. But they had to believe in something more than what they had right now, even if they had each other. More than the war and being a soldier.

And having belief in that, that things would all one day change for all of them. For those who would survive the war. And as long as they stayed safe, Bacara and Neyo, would survive the war. It was the pact the two of them had made long time ago. And they kept on reminding each other of that very pact each and every day. Only hoping they would be able to keep the promise of it alive long enough.