Fasten Twice, Live Once Some said that any landing you could walk away from was a good landing. It hadn’t been a good landing for CT-417, not when one leg was bent at an unnatural angle and the other ended in a bloody stump, severed below the knee. Clone Trooper armor could endure a lot, but it wasn’t designed to withstand the impact of a thousand-meter freefall. His dropship had come under heavy ground-based artillery fire as soon as it had entered Geonosis’ atmosphere. The pilot had done well to evade the first few volleys, but it was like trying to run through a rainstorm without getting wet. 417 had gone EV after the first hit. He tried to sit up, but could only get so far. All he could hear through his helmet’s optical sensors was static and he couldn’t see anything through his visor, which had spider-webbed on impact. With a painful grunt he managed to unpin his arms and removed his helmet. In frustration he chucked it as far as he could. He realized, too late, it had been a mistake. War was loud, much louder than he imagined. The simulators had taught him tactics, but had not prepared him for reality. War was loud, a symphony of death. The bass of the artillery rumbled through the canyon and brought fresh waves of pain to 417 each time they vibrated through his chest plate. Overtop the artillery he could hear the staccato of blaster rifles. He could tell that the battle was getting farther away; increasingly he could hear the moans of the dying. He tried to turn his head to locate their source, but couldn’t see anything past the outcrops of sharp stone he was tangled in. A searing pain stabbed him. Suddenly he was sweating and felt very cold; he realized he was shaking. What remained of his leg was covered in blood and clay and was still wedged in stone. He was finding it harder to breathe; dark circles formed at the edge of his vision. Closing his eyes he thought back. He was sure he’d secured his restraints hadn’t he? Maybe they’d snapped due to shoddy craftsmanship or been cut by shrapnel. What was it the instructor on Kamino had said? Fasten twice, live once.