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Saga Orders: The Tale of Captain Rex

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by The Shadow Emperor, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. The Shadow Emperor

    The Shadow Emperor Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 29, 2012
    Author: The Shadow Emperor
    Timeframe: Clone Wars, Revenge of the Sith
    Main characters: Rex, Kix, Jesse, Echo, Darth Vader, Palpatine, various Jedi and clones
    Genre: 1st-person narrative
    Summary: As the Clone Wars wind to a close, Captain Rex is forced to make a difficult choice.

    My name is CC-7567. Commander Rex of the 501st Battalion. I was bred to fight, shoot, and follow orders and ‘til my last breath that’s what I’m going to do.
    There’s no other place for me in the galaxy. Even as a shiny in the conditioning centers of Tipoca City, my purpose was clear to me: I was born to serve the Republic. Anything less would make me a failure. An outcast. A traitor to everything that I held dear.
    And that’s what makes this such a difficult choice. An impossible choice.

    We clones aren’t really what you’d call deep thinkers. There isn’t much to ponder in the field; any soldier worth his armor knows that focusing too much on anything other than the battle at hand will get you killed pretty fast.
    But there’s a part of me, a suppressed gut feeling, that thinks there should be more to it than this fighting. This bloodshed. This unending violence. I saw things quite clearly up until I encountered Cut Lawquane. He muddied the waters, got me to see that maybe there was more to my existence than singlemindedly following orders. I’m a living being, not a mindless Seppie clanker.
    I disobeyed my first order after meeting him. It was drilled into our heads from the beginning: We’re brothers, and we have to stick together through everything the war throws at us. Anyone who deserts the army has willfully abandoned and betrayed their brothers and must be punished accordingly. It took a little while, but Cut made me realize that maybe we clones deserved a say in the matter after all. We technically had the ability to think, true, but in the Grand Army of the Republic, could we really think? I neglected to file a report regarding his dereliction of duty and allowed him to remain on his farm with his wife and children.
    Who was I to tell him his loyalty to his family was worth any less than my loyalty to the Republic? He’d made the choice for himself. And I’d made mine.
    Still, I’d gone against everything they’d taught me. And it wouldn’t be the last time. Far from it.

    I was summoned for an urgent military briefing late in the evening. I reported to the Chancellor’s office to meet with His Excellency himself. His face was scarred and wrinkled, his eyes bright yellow, and he hid underneath a cloak seemingly out of shame. The viewing window of his office had been shattered, and there were bodies strewn about the place. Jedi bodies. I couldn’t believe it. But as before when Commando Tano went rogue, I set those misgivings side. There was work to be done.
    General Skywalker was there as well.
    “You better be ready for this, Rex. There are innocent lives on the line.”
    “Yes, sir.”

    Life is a valuable commodity, especially in wartime. General Krell didn’t understand that. Or rather, he just didn’t give a damn.
    For him, clones were expendable. Just living weapons. This idea wasn’t new to us. We were meant to lay down our lives if getting the job done necessitated such sacrifice. But Krell took this to the extreme, sending whole platoons of men to their deaths in the name of victory. That was secretly his intention—to wear us down and demoralize us so we lost all hope of ever reclaiming Umbara. If it weren’t for the quick thinking and heroic actions of ARC Trooper Fives, my friend, I doubt any of the men under my command would have survived our first few days of the invasion.
    Everything about Krell ran contrary to what the Jedi Order preached. While General Skywalker was humble and mindful of the lives he protected, Krell was authoritative and uncaring. Krell tolerated nothing short of total obedience, even if that meant blindly marching to our doom as part of his “strategies.” Fives, Jesse, and Hardcase were brave enough to stand up to Krell when I couldn’t. With Hardcase’s sacrifice they destroyed an enemy supply ship and Krell rewarded their valor by ordering me to oversee Fives and Jesse’s execution.
    I disobeyed another direct order that day.
    The general then sent us into battle against an enemy squad. I discovered too late that the “enemy” was actually another squad of clone troopers. Krell had done this deliberately. After watching Waxer die before my eyes, I made my decision: the general was a traitor and had to be dealt with as such. We confronted him and relieved him of his command. He took down many more clones in the process.
    I couldn’t execute him, even after everything he had done, after all the men he had murdered and sent to their deaths. Dogma took matters into his own hands when I faltered.
    Many sleepless nights passed as I wondered if I had done the right thing but not putting an end to him. Or if I had turned out to be just as weak as he believed clones were.
    I never imagined I’d be confronted with that question again so soon.

    The Chancellor was brief and to the point. “These Jedi have tried to kill me. Their order has betrayed me; the Senate; every last citizen of the Republic. Do what must be done, my apprentice,” he said to General Skywalker.
    He turned to me. “Commander Rex, the time has come. Execute Order 66.”
    My eyes widened under my visor.
    Order 66.
    The dreaded contingency order I hoped I’d never hear.
    All Jedi were now enemies of the Galactic Republic.
    We had our orders.
    And were left to carry them out.
    Good soldiers follow orders.

    Tup spoke those words during his breakdown above Ringo Vinda.
    He had a breakdown and killed Jedi General Tiplar during a firefight. He was left babbling incoherently, but one thing was clear: he had orders from someone to kill Jedi. None of us had any inkling of what was going on, but Fives was determined to get to the bottom of it.
    He took over the investigation when I had to return to the battlefield. It didn’t go so well. I didn’t hear from him again until he arrived on Coruscant, where he arranged a meeting between me, General Skywalker, and himself. His mental health was poor when we met him, but he was insistent that there was some kind of conspiracy going on.
    A plot against the Jedi.
    He spoke of organic chips placed in the heads of every clone before birth.
    And he was certain that the Chancellor himself orchestrated it.
    His life was cut short before our eyes before he could reveal anything else.
    General Skywalker didn’t believe him, but I wasn’t so sure myself. I had to see if what he said was true. So I asked Kix, our medic, to scan my brain for the chip Fives spoke of.
    Sure enough, there it was. He removed my chip and swore to keep quiet while he studied it.
    Good man, that Kix.
    The existence of the chip proved that Fives had been onto something. Someone had planned for us to kill the Jedi.

    Now we were being told to do that very thing by none other than the Chancellor himself. I couldn’t believe it. He must have intended for this to happen. All of it. He had meant for the Jedi to make a traitorous move against him so he could order their execution.
    My next move was foolhardy, but I had to confirm my suspicions once and for all if the Chancellor was really behind everything. And if I would have to do the unthinkable and go against everything I once stood for to do the right thing.
    “Sir, if I may, we don’t know how widespread the Jedi rebellion is. Wouldn’t we be better served if they were captured and put on trial instead? We don’t know if—”
    Silence! If you won’t do as I say, then you will have to be disposed of,” he interrupted, his voice filled with barely disguised anger. “Lord Vader, get this malfunctioning clone out of my sight.”
    That was all the answer I needed. We clones were nothing more than pawns in his game. Just like with Krell. I remembered what he said to Dogma after his arrest: “I counted on blind loyalty like yours to make my plan succeed.”
    Blind loyalty. The kind that makes you follow even the most heinously wrong orders because you’ve been compelled to obey unconditionally.
    The chips in our skulls were insurance to make sure we clones stayed docile and willing to execute our orders once Palpatine’s plan come to fruition.
    We were all pawns from the beginning.

    Lord Vader dragged me out of the office. He was beyond furious.
    “You’ve performed admirably under me for over three years, Rex. That’s why I put in a request for your promotion. Then you decide to pullthat stunt in the Chancellor’s office? I have half a mind to send you back to the Kaminoans for reconditioning.” I was almost speechless.
    “With...with all due respect, sir, you taught me to question my orders. And I don’t believe the ones we’re being given now are right.”
    I felt something grab the base of my throat, but there was nothing there. Lord Vader hoisted me into the air with the Force and tightened his grip on my windpipe until I couldn’t breathe a word.
    “My master is right. You are defective. It was a mistake to put so much trust in a clone like you, I see that now. So I’m going to rectify that by stripping you of your rank. Commander Appo will take your place and get the job done.”
    He threw me to the ground hard and stood over me as I tried to get air back into my lungs. “Now get out of my sight before I change my mind about letting you live.”
    At that point, I didn’t expect to have much longer to live anyway. But like Fives before me, I knew I had to act. He died trying to expose a vast plot, and now it was up to me to do what I could to stop that plot. Without my chip my path was clear. I had to do something.
    General Skywalker was right when he said that there were innocent lives at stake. Just not the ones he thought.
  2. laloga

    laloga Jedi Knight star 2

    Jul 28, 2011
    Oooh, nice! =D= Great job blending movie canon - especially Appo's rank - with TCW canon. My attention drifted a bit during Rex's episode recaps; I remember them all very well, so I didn't feel the need to have them rehashed. I do understand that other readers may not be as familiar with them, but for me, they were not as interesting as the "present day" stuff, with Rex, Anakin & Palpatine.

    Great job with Rex's characterization, too! [face_love] A couple lines stood out as being just perfectly Rexter:

    Nice work! I'm looking forward to more. :)
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Excellent and I liked the first person POV for Rex. =D= He is definitely the one to break with what is commanded and demanded, for the sake of the greater number and the genuine truth.
  4. The Shadow Emperor

    The Shadow Emperor Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 29, 2012
    Thanks! I agree about the episode recaps, but I wanted to show a bit of reflection on Rex's part on how he came to be the man he is today. In retrospect I suppose they could've been less summary-ish, tho'.

    Thank you! I figured 1st person would be best for a deeply personal story like this. I'm also very familiar with Rex's voice and dialogue in the show, so that definitely helped as well.
    laloga and Nyota's Heart like this.
  5. The Shadow Emperor

    The Shadow Emperor Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 29, 2012
    Part 2!

    I headed back to the 501st’s Venator transport. Since I was no longer leading the invasion, I discarded my commander’s epaulet and joined my men in the ranks. The newly-promoted Commander Appo in the hangar bay, marshalling our forces. “There’s been a Jedi attack on the Chancellor,” he announced to disbelief. “The Chancellor has issued Order 66. All Jedi are now enemies of the Republic. Let’s move.”
    Order 66. Upon hearing those words, all uneasiness in the men evaporated.
    While we set course for the Jedi Temple, I began plotting my own. I barely had time to think about what I was doing. All I knew was that if I didn’t act, I would be letting innocents die. Innocent Republic citizens.
    I rationalized my actions in this way. My loyalty will always remain with the Republic. As much as he’d like for us clones to think so, the Chancellor is not the Republic. The people are.

    As per the official wording of the order, the 501st’s attack (or more accurately, ambush) was to be swift and deadly, leaving no survivors. Not even younglings.
    I decided to start with them.
    But before I could do anything I needed allies.
    Fellow soldiers I could trust.
    Kix was a sure bet. Jesse was integral to our operation on Umbara, so I knew I could rely on him as well. And Echo? Well, I’d never met a more loyal trooper in my life. If it weren’t for him I doubt our unit would’ve ever gotten off Skako Minor.
    I approached Kix in the medical bay, where he was still examining the chip he took from my head. To my relief, I found he had taken the liberty of removing his own chip as well. That would make my job a lot easier.
    Jesse wasn’t too hard to find; he was in the armory picking out a heavy blaster for the occasion. Echo was likewise easy, sitting in his quarters reading up on the latest military protocol. I asked the both of them to report to the medical bay.
    “Men, you wouldn’t be here if I didn’t trust you. And right now I need your help more than ever,” I said.
    “Whatever’s going on, Rex, you can count me in,” said Echo.
    I paused in a moment of doubt. I wondered if I had made the right choice bringing my brothers into this. I realized the burden I would be placing on them. I’d be endangering their lives, and more than likely we’d all end up dead.
    But sometimes being a good soldier means sacrificing yourself for the greater good. Fives and Hardcase demonstrated as much. “What I’m about to propose is unquestionably treasonous. If caught, we will be executed. There’s no ambiguity this time—we either do or die.”
    “Heh, whatever it is, I’m sure we can handle it,” laughed Jesse. “We survived treason before, and we can do it again.”
    “Treason, huh? Normally I’d say ‘no kriffing way’ and file a report to the commander, but since you’re a friend, Rex, I’ll hear you out,” said Echo.
    “Count me in for sure,” said Kix. “Believe me, boys, everything Rex is about to tell you is one hundred percent true.”
    “Thanks, brothers. I’m proud to serve alongside loyal men like you,” I said.

    Kix and I told them what we knew from Fives research―of Palpatine’s plan to turn every last clone against his Jedi General when the time was right and how he had Fives killed to prevent him from exposing the plot. I told them of his reaction when I questioned the Chancellor, and of General Skywalker’s turn for the worse. And of my punishment for trying to speak up.
    “I can’t believe it. The Chancellor couldn’t have planned all of this from the beginning. It makes no bloody sense,” said Echo. He was visibly distraught by the news. “We can’t have been pawns this whole time.”
    “Unfortunately, Echo, it only gets worse.”
    I told them about the chips and how they would need to be removed to ensure our success; otherwise, they’d be forced to shoot any Jedi on sight.
    “But we...we have a mission! We have to kill the Jedi! We have our orders! The mission!” shouted Jesse. He went for his blaster, but I was quicker. I stunned both him and Echo before they both did something they’d regret.
    “Whoa there, Rex,” said Kix. “I thought they were the good guys.”
    “I...I had to do that, Kix! That’s not Jesse talking, it was the chip! You have to remove their chips now!”
    Kix nodded and went to work immediately. I looked away.

    The procedure took all of five minutes, and by that time our transport was landing in the staging area outside of the Jedi Temple.
    Jesse and Echo awoke from the surgery. I started apologizing for what I had to do, but Echo interrupted me.
    “No need, Rex. I understand. Those chips...I can’t even begin to describe it, but they were impossible to resist. Like my own thoughts were being overridden. My brain kept reminding me about a ‘mission’...a mission to kill the Jedi. All of them, with no mercy or hesitation.”
    “Yeah, that’s what Tup said during his breakdown,” recalled Kix. “If there was any shred of doubt before, this definitely clinches it.”
    Before I could say more, we heard a voice behind us. It was Sergeant Fox.
    “What are you sleemos doing here? We’ve got a job to do, now move it! On the double!” We grabbed our blasters and left the medical bay without any further discussion. No need to arouse any suspicion.

    We followed Sergeant Fox on the way to the deployment ramp, where the men were disembarking for “the mission.”
    All the while, I formulated our strategy in my head.
    “This will never work unless we have someone ready to pick us up when we’re ready,” I whispered. “Can one of you get to the hangar bay and grab a ship? Tell them you’ve been assigned to pick off any straggler Jedi escaping from the temple.”
    “I’m on it, sir,” replied Kix.
    While Kix sneaked off, Jesse, Echo and I joined the ranks of our men in the rear.

    In spite of our situation Jesse was all smiles. Perhaps he was just relieved to be free of his chip. “All right boys. No turning back now. The Jedi have saved us plenty of times before, now it’s time to save them.”
    gracesonnet and laloga like this.
  6. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Excellent superb! =D= =D= Rex made good choices in allies and they removed the chips from Jesse and Echo just! in time! [face_relieved] :) Looking forward to the action to come and am glad for any lives that are saved.

  7. laloga

    laloga Jedi Knight star 2

    Jul 28, 2011
    Yay! Love seeing Rex and his men rally together and remove those shabla chips! =D= Looking forward to more!