I don't own Star Wars; it remains property of LucasFilms.


Fives and Echo were hunkered down in a dark corner amongst the grease and dust bunnies. All preparations were done, the scene was set, and now they were just waiting nervously for the operation to kick-start.

Echo broke the silence first. "You don't reckon we'll get court martialled, right Fives?"

"Nah" Fives flapped a casual hand in denial. "After all, it's not like it counts as proper damage."

There was a brief silence.

"We'll get all the blame though, you know that."

Fives shifted so that his armour wasn't digging into his shebs. "Sure, but we'll get the best seat in the house for when the poodoo hits the fans"

"Good point. It'll be totally worth it".

And with that last remark, Echo went back to keeping an eye on their staging area.

-o0o-

Captain Rex was miffed. No, scratch that, he was more than miffed. He was seriously peeved. He walked through the Resolute's corridors dressed only in his black body suit and his sense of outrage.

He rounded a corner and started down a main hallway. Two clone techs were crouched down by an open conduit panel, quietly conferred about this or that as they poked through a spaghetti tangle of coloured wires. One of them looked at the sound of Rex's footfalls and nudged his companion with his elbow. Both gaped at him obviously astounded to see the CO of the 501st roaming around in his underthings. Rex shot them a glare that could've dropped mynocks mid-air. Both techs blanched and scrambled to attention. Rex stalked grimly past them, acknowledging the salute only with a grunt.

Nothing had gone right so far this morning. Rex has woken up in his private room (rank has its privileges) to find his armour was missing. It was his custom every night to inspect each piece for damage before neatly stacking it in his foot locker.

When he had found it missing, he assumed that maybe he hadn't stowed it as usual. After all, he was feeling unusually groggy after last night's evening meal. But after searching every corner of the cramped room, he still hadn't found so much as a poelyn.

Rex wasn't sure what rattled him the most: being without his armour; or that someone or something had come into his room, stolen his armour, and left - all without waking him.

He felt exposed and naked without his armour, missed the constant spooling of information from his bucket's HUD. Not too long ago he had turned down repeated requests to exchange his Phase I armour for the newer Phase II gear. Rex had seen the new Phase II armour and was not impressed. Sure there might be improved resistance to blaster fire but the shape of the bucket... He grimaced involuntarily.

No, he preferred his bucket. They'd been through a lot together and he had quietly upgraded it over the past few months with the help of one of the 501st tech boys. In his opinion, moving to a Phase II bucket would be a step backwards.

And when I find the shabla di'kut who took it, there's gonna be hell to pay!

==o0o==

Rex had debated reporting the theft to the General but had decided against it. Not a good look for the CO of the Republic's elite to have been robbed in the night.

Lady Luck seemed to be on his side today, so far he hadn't run into any of his boys from the 501st. At this time of morning most of them should still be in their PT session with his XO. In fact...

Rex slowed his pace then came to stop in the hallway. It was actually a bit suspicious that he had yet to spot a clone in blue. Normally he ran into a handful of his men by this time. Without his noticing it, a dark look came over him as his suspicions crystallised. Something didn't feel right about this.

As Captain Rex stood in thought, the sound of a heated conversation wafted towards him.

"Really Anakin! There is no excuse for behaving as you did towards Master Windu."

"Obi-Wan, I apologise but Master Windu's plan was a bad one. All I did was tell him so to his face."

As the voices grew louder, Rex took stock of his appearance and the situation at hand. The hallway was large, deserted except for him, with nothing to duck behind. He really didn't feel like explaining his appearance to the Generals.

As footsteps started to round the corner, he dove for the door handle of a nearby storage cupboard, wrenched it open, and threw himself in.


You know the drill – please read and review! Let me know what you liked/didn't like. I don't know what to improve on unless you tell me :)

Ed: It's been pointed out that I've been including military jargon without defining it, sorry about that! PT - physical training, and XO - Executive Officer, or the second in command.