"General Kenobi, the clankers have taken down the shield generator." Cody's voice was flat, even more so than it normally was. "Jak's squadron must have been unable to hold them back. We're losing ground fast."

"Do you have an idea of how prepared they were for the attack?" This was unsettling news, indeed. He had brought the platoon to raid one of the minor Separatist bases located on the small planet of Exarius. While neither the base, nor the planet itself, was thought to be particularly significant, they had received intelligence claiming Count Dooku had recently inspected the place, and left behind vital information. Obi-Wan had figured that they could storm the low-security center by surprise, but once they had deployed, the tides had turned against them: Several waves of battle droids had been the ones to ambush him and the troopers.

Commander Cody shook his head. "No word from intel, and the droids don't talk much."

"Of course." He overlooked the battle from his viewpoint; he wasn't fighting yet. Instead he was there to send information to the Clones on the status of the battle, to tell them the inevitable choice: Retreat or engage. "We don't seem to be making much of an impact on their forces."

"The scouts we sent ahead –the ones that reported back to me- said that they've got a lot more of the tinnies ready. Lod estimated that they deployed about a third of the platoon, although that was about half an hour ago. The situation might've changed." He paused. "I haven't heard back from him."

It was that sentence that propelled the Master to his snap decision. "Cody, prep the troops. I'm going to witness this fighting firsthand." He started to crawl out of the small niche from which he'd had a decent view of the fields, but paused; he could sense hesitation radiating off of the clone. "Is something bothering you, Commander?"

"General, the boys will be expecting you to be safe. They'll be worrying if you're out fighting in such a high risk battle. Plus, they'll need briefings on the current status of the droids."

Obi-Wan shook his head; after all these months, couldn't the troopers tell how capable he was of fighting? "You know, I'm very adept at being in the field myself. You don't have to have been trained on Kamino to know how to deal with droids."

"Well, sir, I know that, but the men, well, they worry. Don't want them getting distracted."

Did he have to go through this every time he fought with the troopers? "I appreciate your concern, but nevertheless, I feel as though the presence of a Jedi would be a considerable boon on the field, especially in such a high-stakes battle. I may be your general, and I'm touched at your loyalty, but you are also my men. Your safety lies just as much in my hands, as mine does in yours."

"I appreciate that, commander. Should I join you in the field, or wait to see if the scouts I sent ahead contact me?"

Good question. "Well, Xave is leading the men now, and he's perfectly capable. The chance that the scouts will send another briefing is… slim, but I'd take the risk."

"Yes, General."

At last, considerably later than he would have liked to, Obi-Wan finally stood and ignited his lightsaber. Fighting, while it wasn't enjoyable in the least, even when against droids rather than living creatures, was one thing he could do that made him feel useful while with the Clones. Judging from their dedication, their training had had the same sort of intensity to it. Like him, they could take pain, imprisonment, even loss of their comrades- brothers, really. But the worse punishment was to not be able to do anything, to have to watch impatiently, when you were supposed to be doing some mediocre, irrelevant task.

He ignited his lightsaber. Jedi weren't supposed to feel the sting of impatience, but they were all on edge during the war.

***

Beads of perspiration ran down Obi-Wan's forehead. While the Master's physical condition exceeded that of the typical male Human of his age, after almost an hour on the field, he couldn't think of a single person who [i]wouldn't[/i] be sweating under such circumstances, and that they'd hardly made a dent on the CIS's forces even after –how long had it been since the fighting started? Two, maybe three hours?- wasn't helping him in the least.

He deflected a blaster bolt into one of the countless droids. He was fighting in a different area as most of the clones, and while he couldn't witness firsthand how things were playing out for them, he hoped desperately that they were having more success.

Beside him, Cody fired into the huge platoon. He and a select group of men had joined up with him about a half-hour after he went into the fray. Their objective was to get to the heart of the problem, where the droids were deploying from.

Another bolt flew past him, and another droid was down. Without looking at Cody, Obi-Wan yelled, "We have to keep moving."

"Yes, Commander. Hear that, Kaf, Gage, Als?"

A chorus of, "Yes, sir!" came in response. The group moved quickly, running from behind one of the larger, protective boulders to behind one slightly smaller, but also closer to the droids' rendezvous point.

Suddenly, from seemingly nowhere a blaster bolt flew, striking Obi-Wan on his left side. He had been so focused on the safety of his men that he had neglected to dedicate more than a corner in the back of his mind to his own safety. He stumbled, hearing one of the clones shout; it sounded like Kaf; was he hurt also? The world seemed to swirl, the stormy grey sky suddenly looking bright.

And then, in a location seemingly both far and near he heard a sound, like nothing he had ever come across before: It sounded ancient and yet beyond any sort of technology he knew about, like the wind of a screaming hurricane, and rain pounding against a harsh, sandy desert planet.

As the Jedi Master lost consciousness, the last thing he heard was a door opening and a voice snapping, "What the hell?"