"Obi-Wan! I see something over here." A huge cascade of orange flames covers a cave entrance; most of the plant life around it is completely charred from the flames. Obi-Wan and I hop silently through the remaining trees, observing the squadron of clones below us guarding the cave.
I take a pair of binoculars from my backpack, gazing through into the cave. Everything I see is covered in a golden haze. Clones, all of them in either yellow or blue armour, look hopeless and distressed. Anakin is slumped against a cave wall, wearing a couple of bruises across his chin.
Obi-Wan rushes onto my branch and takes the binoculars from my hands. "Yeah, I see them too. But I don't think we're going to get in there without a little fight."
We hop down behind the tree trunk, the droids still silently stalking the entrance. Without the fire giving off light, the area would be impossible to see in the harsh darkness.
"Okay, I'll flank left, you right. Quickly as possible, we don't want any more attention." I nod, before sprinting over and stabbing the nearest droid in the chest. I fling the limp metal over to another droid with the force, pushing both of them into the wall of fire. One of the droids notices and pulls out a large blaster, to point directly at me.
I jump backward into the trees, dodging the first two bullets. Good aim for a droid. I slide out from the foliage and slice the droid in half from underneath. The noise stops and Obi-Wan stomps on one last droid with a thick heel.
Anakin slumps to the front of the cave, glaring at the scrap metal surrounding me. "Not bad, Snips."
I smirk. "Something you would have done right? Completely clearing out a droid squad with minimal application?" Anakin laughs, which I take as a yes.
"Ahsoka, help me clear this." Obi-Wan motions to the fire wall, which still spits out sparks stronger than ever. Anakin steps back from the wall with a cautious glare. I raise both my hands into the air, twirling the fire into a neat sphere. As the fire clears from the cave entrance, Obi-Wan and I compress the ball of flames into a cloud of smoke which quickly rises to oblivion.
"What are the damages Anakin?" Obi-Wan asks as we both step into the cave.
"Severe, the worst is him." Anakin points to a clone, sitting somewhat slouched in the depth of the cave. Part of his face is hidden among the shadows, the rest seems to be burnt right from his head. The burns are a dark maroon, making him seem like a foreign alien rather than a clone. "It's third degree so the pain isn't excruciating, but we currently have no medical supplies to help the cells, besides some cheap leaves."
"I have some in my bag, just a sec." I sling off the backpack and rummage through until I find a small tube of cream.
"Hey, um, mind if I help?" I crouch down beside the man. He solemnly looks up to me, tears filling his eyes. He erects his back, lifting his chin high.
"It would be my honour, Commander." I take off my glove, smearing the cream across some of my fingers. I softly caress his cheek with my numbing cream. He winces quickly: I don't think he wanted me to notice.
The silence is getting overrated. "So, what's your name?"
"CT-8932" he says with a certain dullness in his voice. "But some people call me Polish."
"Well Polish, I think that you are one of the bravest clones I know. You're going to make an excellent Captain one day, I'm sure of it." I say, smiling widely as I finish spreading the cream.
"That means a lot coming from you, Commander." He returns the smile.
"Please, call me Ahsoka." I join back over with Obi-Wan and Anakin, who look suddenly surprised and startled.
"Oh, yes Master, that's definetly their plan. I'm sure of it. And as long as we're on this planet, we're useless." Anakin finishes. "Snips?! How long have you been standing there?"
"Not very long, why? And what plan?" I ask with a puzzled look across my face. Anakin twitches at my question.
"You might want to sit down."
I take a seat on the cold cave floor, Obi-Wan and Anakin coming to sit around me. I sense something in the force, something bad.
"The droid occupation here was just a ruse, a mere distraction from Dooku's real plan." Obi-Wan explains.
"From what plan though, I'm not following?" Anakin and Obi-Wan exchange a look. My stomach sinks like a bottomless pit.
Obi-Wan gulps. "He doesn't want to wage this war at the moment, he wants Shmi… dead."
My lip trembles in fear and worry. Each attack had been sanctioned, each apart from another: Grievous' attack on Nilban. He was looking for Shmi. The ambush on Mandalore. This prevented the supplies being delivered to the temple for the surgery. Then, Grievous returned on Kamur, looking for Shmi in the group of initiates. One failed plan after another. Only this time, his plan may be a little more thought out.
"If he drew away the ones closest to Shmi, you, Anakin and I, she would be left more vulnerable. I'm afraid coming here has been a vital mistake. And for now, we're practically stranded on this planet until a search party comes. The droids have no doubt discovered our ships and are on their way here." Obi-Wan continues grimly.
"Can we not contact the council? Or the temple? Anyone?" I yell. Several clones shudder at the echoes.
Anakin comfortingly takes my hand. "The nearest signal is from the ships, Ahsoka. Unless we can get there unnoticed-"
"Then that is what we are going to have to do then. It will have to work, for now." I prevent a stream of tears from exiting my eyelids with an eager finger.
"W-what?" Both of them stutter.
"She said we're going to get out of here, whether it's complicated or not." To my surprise, Master Dell appears from amidst the shadows. "So I suggest you get your squad together, Skywalker. If you ask me, I've had just about enough of this planet anyways. Not a lot of nature really." Dell kicks a charred tree branch across the cave.
Most of the clones take their helmets from their hips, placing them confidently on the heads. Rex hands out large machine guns to his squad, Flint giving several of his clones jetpacks. I give Polish a courageous look, before he too put on his helmet, gripping a bulky blaster at his side. As all of the clones ready themselves, the lot of us march confidently out of the mouth of the cave.
We get to the clearing of the forest, where a scrappy base yard sits. The droids take immediate notice of us, ordering all of their squads on us.
"Jetpacks troops watch the skies! Heavy artillery clones stomp the forest lines for those clankers!" Dell yells, brandishing his emerald blade from his belt. Anakin sprints forward into battle, Obi-Wan taking a slower attack on a droideka.
I take one last look at the clones behind me, feeling reassured now at our odds. For every battle droid there is five clones. The odds are there, it's now up to me to use them, not just acknowledge the fact. I ignite both of my sabers, flipping off of Dell shoulders and landing atop a droid with nimbleness.
One down, the rest of the odds to go.