The fleet arrived over the Planet of Ryloth, concealing itself in the asteroid belt above it. Jokoren, Amadus, Fletch, and Caedar looked out of the bridge window with R2-C5 standing at Jokoren's feet.
"So that's the planet?" Caedar asked unimpressed. The entire planet was surrounded by a ring of ten Sep banking clan frigates. However that was just a watch force Jokoren figured. There must be some sort of reinforcement fleet outside of the system waiting on call.
"So how are we going to sneak down there?" Salori asked. Jokoren turned to one of the clone troopers monitoring communications.
"What is the clearance code?" Jokoren asked them.
"It's a simple twelve digit code sir. Same for every Sep craft requesting landing in the city." The clone replied in his gruff mandalorian voice. Jokoren nodded.
"Copy it down on a recorder. We'll need it. Fletch, prepare a boarding team. We're going to hijack a Droid Landing ship." Jokoren replied looking down and back up out of one of the trapezoidal bridge windows. Fletch sighed.
"How did I know you were going to say something absurd." Fletch murmured grinning.
"Sometimes you're more of a commando than a Jedi."Caedar said raising an eyebrow. Jokoren smiled mildly.
"I believe Salori would have agreed with you on that at one point." Jokoren noted wryly and Salori rolled her eyes turning to walk away.
"Salori. Remain here." Jokoren ordered calmly but she walked out of the door waving her hand."I believe she might still agree with you on that point."
"Well at least she got her attitude back." Amadus commented. Jokoren shook his head.
"Some things don't last long." Caedar put in turning to one of the officers who needed to talk to him.
"At least some things never change." Jokoren replied and turned to head out.
The eight LAATs rose out of the hangar through the opening roof and flew off into the asteroid field. Jokoren held the ceiling mounted hand tether alongside the clone troopers, robes on and hood up. Fletch stood next to him, his emotions masked by his helmet. The brand new turquoise war markings on his armor were scarred and scratched from previous engagements. Jokoren had to admit, to the isolated systems under republic care, clones were rather scary. Terrifying even. but battle droids were about just as bad. There were so many of them that a person couldn't help feeling overwhelmed by their numbers.
"Something wrong sir?"Fletch asked. Jokoren shook his head realizing he had been starring at him and smiled.
"I just can't tell what you're thinking under there. It is rather strange." Jokoren replied. He could almost see Fletch grin under the white plastoid helmet.
"I'd never really thought much about that. It would seem odd wouldn't it? I've been so used to looking at my soldiers and seeing calm helmets to realize they might be scared or nervous or what have you underneath their visors." Fletch shrugged thoughtfully.
"How do you feel then Fletch?" Jokoren asked smirking. Fletch looked to him.
"Well since you asked, I feel like I'm ready to crush some clankers." Fletch replied with a thumb up."How about yourself sir?"
"Scared I guess." Jokoren shrugged and Fletch took a step back.
"Scared? How are you scared? I can see your face and there isn't a flicker of fear on it." Fletch replied taken aback.
"Well, quite easily. I fear for the integrity of republic, I fear for the preservation of the council, I fear how many clones we may lose... As much as the council doesn't know it, I fear a lot actually. However I take action in a more constructive than destructive way. I guess you're right. I'm not scared. Just overly cautious. And reckless at the same time if that makes any sense." Jokoren admitted.
"Hey, at least you don't freeze up and panic. You push through. I've seen you on the front line. While others like Salori or the other Jedi are holding back, you charge ligthsabre spinning everywhere. If anything, you aren't scared. I've seen scared. When we moved in on Taris, as we were escorting refugees I saw the faces of fear. Of terror. Those people were scared. You're never scared." Fletch pointed out.
"Master Amidale, clanker landing craft dead ahead." The LAAT pilot anounced and Jokoren came over to the monitor. Sure enough, a lone droid drop ship was inching it's way through the asteroid feild. Jokoren checked the sensors. The asteroids were wreaking havoc with their long range communication sensors. Which meant if they were in the dark, so were the droids.
"Pilot, take us in." Jokoren ordered and turned to the clones."Alright, activate your suit pressurizers. We'll be landing on top of this thing so all cutter units need to get to work and slice your way in. Fletch, once the engineers have cut us in, lead your team to the bridge and lock it down. Avoid head shots. I'll need a droid head to fool the traffic control. Do you understand where I'm going with this?" Jokoren asked. Fletch nodded.
"Oh yeah. I know." He said chuckling.
"Once we're inside, all engineers will need to find a way to neutralize all droids. They're self automated so you'll need to release an EMP in the unloading chamber."Jokoren finished and the clones nodded. Jokoren nodded in turn.
"Master, we're over the ship, prepare for side doors to open." The pilot anounced. Jokoren nodded putting on the space helmet and adjusting his survival space gear. The side door opened and they all floated out before propelling down at the droid landing ship. They landed on the top in the center of the four wings and immediately went to work cutting into the armor with ectro-slicers. Jokoren drew his light saber and stabbed it into the armor between his feet and began cutting a circle. The turrets mounted on the wings of the ship tried to shoot at the fleeing LAATs as they headed back to the Vennetor class destroyer but the engineers quickly cut through the armor around the turrets and dismantled the turrets ability to fire.
Jokoren cut through into the bridge and jumped in. The droids were unprepared as Jokoren and Fletch with his clone squad moved in, sweeping through the bridge and knocking out droids left and right. Fletch ran over to the communication droid and quickly shot it once in the chest so Jokoren could use it later. The droids on the bridge were basically unarmed. one tried to call in for super battle droid reinforcements but one of the clones ended that plan quickly with a series of shots in it's back. They finished off the last droid and immediately went to their tasks, the clone troopers taking positions at the door while the engineers began hot wiring the whole vessel. Fletch handed Jokoren the commander droid's head and Jokoren hurried over to the communication desk and attempeted to make contact with the Separatist base down on the planet.
They had just exited the asteroid field and were proceeding towards the planet of Ryloth. The clone commandos were busy gearing up in the large foot of the craft that served as the unloading bay. The engineers went to work hot wiring the AAT tanks loaded in the wings. Fletch reloaded his laser rifle as Jokoren set up the bluff. He held up the droid head in front of the monitor. The traffic control droid came on the screen.
"Landing ship HA-223, relay clearance code."The droid asked. Jokoren played the recording into the receiver. The droid on the other end reviewed the code and finally acknowledged.
"Alright, HA-223, begin approach, planetary shields offline."
On the surface in the control tower, the droid shook it's metal head.
"These bd-12 versions are getting better and better."
"What's wrong corporal?" The tactical droid asked.
"I saw the bridge but only one droid piloting it! They must be getting better at setting up controls for those things."
The tactical droid paused for a moment confused. Then it computed only one outcome. The new bd-12 droids coming in must have been better than their current detachment of bd-6s they had to deal with down here. The new droids would make an excellent addition to the garrison.
Little did he know however, that there wouldn't be any bd-12 droids coming to the help them. Unless they needed help with scrapping themselves, courtesy of Fletch's commando squads.