by Famira Damaris
Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars or any of the Republic Commando characters.
Author's Note: Wrote this for an RPG application writing sample, it kind of blew up to be bigger than expected, ah ha.
Summary: (Republic Commando, post Hard Contact) The clone commandos contemplates the simple things as Omega Squad prepares for their next mission.
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(RC-8015 "Fi" )
Fi liked things simple. Unfortunately, things had a habit of refusing to come nice and quiet and simple, and that was where it got messy. Messy got clone commando units sent in, and today it was Omega Squad's turn for the fireworks, less than a week after their first mission together; Fi knew for a fact that it would be anything but simple. It never was.
Simple was slotting the bad guys when they stood in nice, neat rows, just sitting there and not shooting back. One, two, three and down. Simple was having reliable intel and being able to get the job done without any hitches, or what their trainer sometimes called "field improv", a fancy, dreaded word for winging it; simple was also something that was completely alien to Omega Squad. Fi sighed to himself. Sometimes he wished he was a normal clone, nice and docile and probably not programmed to be allowed this amount of free thought. At least he wouldn't be thinking this much, to the point where even he wanted himself to shut up.
It was always like this before an engagement. Behind all the quips and wisecracks, he felt sick, nervous and upset in the stomach, and he knew for certain it wasn't the ration cubes doing the upsetting.
He was scared.
They all were, behind the soft blue glow of their helmets' T-slits, and that was only slightly comforting. Niner, echoing their trainer Kal Skirata, would probably just remind him that fear was a powerful tool...so long as he didn't let it control him.
A good point, but sitting here on the bench with his brothers – his fellow Omega commandos, with identical faces behind each helmet – Fi was glad that for once Niner wasn't trying his best to project Skirata right now. He was silent, like the others, and for that Fi was thankful. For now he needed what little time he could manage to gather himself and get ready – today he might die or his brothers might die, and clone or not, the idea of dying still scared Fi. He was human enough to be scared of death, perhaps not so much as a non-clone, but the fear was still there.
It was worse to die crippled and uselessly old, Darman said once, but Fi thought that getting gutted or maimed on the battlefield didn't seem to be that much more appealing. Especially since he was supposed to be the team medic, and he'd be a pretty poor one if he was dead, seeing as being dead made it hard for him to do his job, which was essentially to ensure the rest of Omega Squad didn't end up dead as well.
Besides, Fi didn't really relish the idea of gasping away his life on some mud-ball of a planet crawling with droids. It just didn't seem very glorious to him.
But thinking about it, he couldn't come up with any alternatives. To be brutally honest – and he never kidded himself on his own odds of survival – his chances were slim. Slim to nil; slim being on the generous side. Clones were bred for warfare and that ultimately meant they were expendable, even the ARCS and Null-ARCS. One of the cold, hard facts of life drilled into him from as long as he could remember, yet it only scared him at times like these, in the few minutes in a mission where he had altogether too much time to himself to think.
Across from him, Niner was keeping an eye on the chrono display on his helmet's HUD. It wasn't really necessary, but it was something to do and Niner was real big on promptness and being busy – even if being busy simply meant looking busy.
"Go time in five," Niner said.
Atin adjusted the Deece strapped across his chest. "Can't hardly wait."
Fi could. But he had his new squad-brothers to look out for; perhaps he hadn't grown in the same batch as them, but as far as he was concerned, they were his family in the decidedly small world he inhabited. That thought made him straighten his seat, feeling a little better.
"Go time in five," Fi repeated. "Let's crash this little Sep picnic; breaks my heart how they forgot to invite us."
None of them quite knew what a picnic was – aside from the briefest of mentions in a flash-instruction session – but they laughed anyway. The chuckles were forced, but it was something, and better than silence. Besides, they expected it of him.
It was the least he could do.