"He was a good man," Bree said to the entire 301st legion from where she stood next to metal casket containing the fallen trooper. The faces of the audience she spoke to were exactly the same as the man in the casket, and it was of Bree's opinion that because her legion was the legion to have very few casualties in the republic, the clones should have a chance to say good bye to their fallen brother. From the corner of her eye, she could see Admiral Tarkin standing in the shadows to the side wall of the hanger the legion was adjourned in. Cutting the ceremony short, Bree ended by patting the coffin lightly and said "He will be deeply missed."
And with that, the service was over.
As clones filed out of the hanger, Bree walked away from the sealed metal casket by the hanger bay windows to where she saw Tarkin waiting for her off to the side.
Walking towards him, she nodded her head once curtly in "respect".
"Admiral Tarkin," she said coolly in greeting, gagging mentally at the man's name.
Admiral Tarkin returned her greeting in a similar manner. "General Amidala," he nodded as well.
The two stood face to face staring at each other with hidden dislike for a moment before Tarkin finally spoke; getting to the point of his visit. "That was quite a service." He said, a mysterious glint in his eye Bree was unable to fathom.
"It was something simple," Bree responded, resisting the urge to shrug, her attitude still somber. "We lost a good solider out there. He was a good man…"
"Clones die out in the field every day," Tarkin pressed, the coldness seeping into his voice; causing Bree trying her best not to let her eyes narrow in annoyance.
"Then all the more reason to-" she tried to cut him off, but Tarkin continued on as if Bree had never spoken.
"We cannot stop every time a clone falls from a cause he was bred for." Tarkin said, walking away a few steps away from the young Jedi general, his back turned to her.
Knowing he could not see her expression now that his back was turned to her, Bree allowed her brown eyes to narrow to slits in a manner very similar to her foster brother/father, Anakin. "I am well aware of the men's purpose." She said, "They are as well."
Clones that were still in the hanger bay paying respect to their fallen brother could hear their superiors talking, and like their General, were trying very hard not to react negatively and appear as if they were not listening. Bree knew though, unlike Tarkin, her men were listening. She had trained them personally after all to be observant of their surroundings.
"You lead the most capable legion of the Grand Republic Army, General Amidala. You lose fewer men than other legions in the army every battle; there is no time of use to pay respects during a time of war." Tarkin reminded Bree.
His words were half true; Bree was in command of the 301st legion, a legion that was capable of almost anything thanks to personal training by Bree herself at the very beginning of the war after she had been promoted from padawan and was assigned a legion. It was also true that Bree rarely lost men in battles; only losing one or two men once in a blue moon, and again it was all thanks to the personal training she had done. Because of what she had done, and the results because of them, the legion was one of the most successful in the Republic, which earned her the respect of her men and everyone they helped.
By this point, Tarkin had turned around and was unsurprised to find General Amidala glaring at him. Personally, he found the girl too young to lead the best army in the republic, as well as too emotional. Least to say was, he did not like her at all; and he was all too aware of the venomous hatred the girl harbored for him.
"But everyone deserves to be remembered, no matter if one falls, ten, a hundred, or even a thousand men fall. Everyone deserves to be remembered.
"They all fought for what they believed in, and the least they deserve is our respect even after death. The men also deserve a chance to say goodbye to a brother." Bree said, her voice full of feeling. By this point, many of the remaining men in the room of the 301st were now looking their pair, watching their General with pride, glad to be under the command of a compassionate and caring General. The two were aware of the soldiers watching their argument, Tarkin appraising the watching men reproachfully.
"They are clones, nothing more." He said. Bree stared at the man before her in anger.
"Admiral, do you have a family?" She asked.
"Yes," was the reply she received.
"Then wouldn't you make sure you would do anything to say goodbye and make sure they were remembered?"
"These men are brothers, they're family." She turned to look at her men. "They're my family." Bree said softly, looking to her men; spoken softly yet loud enough for everyone in the room to hear. She smiled at her comrades fondly, who all returned the smiles to her. "They deserve to be treated as such, in my opinion."
Tarkin drew himself to his full height, having had enough of this nonsense. "Nonetheless, if we stop to pay respects to each fallen clone, we risk losing this war." he warned, staring Bree down with cold, gray eyes. Bree returned the stare, her brown eyes going dark with hate.
"Oh don't worry," Bree laughed sarcastically, "you'll win this war admiral." She let the darkness and truth seep deep into her words, those words stained with heavy truth as though it were ink.
Amidala and Tarkin stood there for another full minute staring at each other with hatred before the connection was broken.
"Regardless," Tarkin said. "You have been warned." with that, he turned to leave. And as he walked away to the doors, he called back "apologies on your loss."
Bree stared at Tarkins' back in a mix of fury and shock, at a loss of words.