Solstice Knight

Der Richter: The Judge

The ground shook causing Leon to loose his balance and fall to his knee between the rockets, artillery barrages and the massive Goliath war machine moving it was almost impossible for anyone to keep their footing in the battle even the droids were stumbling around. The Goliath was holding its position for now making long range attacks against the Republic base ahead of them causing extensive devastating damage sending the clone forces into a panic as the walls of their so called fortress base fell within seconds allowing the droids to march in. Even with several Jedi present in the battle on three separate sides it seemed impossible to take down such a monster its sheer size alone was terrifying, but once it began displaying its firepower hope wasn't even a thought anymore the only thing that kept the clone troopers fighting was the fact that they were bred to fight and die for the Republic and to the last breath of the last soldier they would continue to do just that regardless of the odds against them and whether they knew it or not that mind set was shared by their Jedi leaders. The Republic fortress was finished there was no chance of saving it from complete destruction, but the Jedi and their clone troopers would be damned if they weren't going to keep fighting until one side was defeated this monster the Separatists sent against them this "Goliath", no matter what the outcome of the battle they were not going to let that thing leave the planet in one piece.

Standing up again Leon raised his lightsaber just in time to deflect a droid's shot back at it. It was hard for him to believe that in just under a year he had seen multiple battles and aside from the battle for Ord Mantell when he fought off both the cyborg general Grievous and the Sith Lord Count Dooku he could not bring himself to make a joke the battle was too large scale and intense for him to dedicate any though to humor this time. Cutting down a super battle droid he looked over his shoulder and waved his arm called for Edge and the rest of Titan squad to follow him, seeing him behave like this Edge and Jedi Master Luminara noted how drastically Leon had changed it was ironic that it took a battle of this scope to turn him into a dedicated fighter leaving nothing to chance. Even though it was against Luminara's orders to him Leon took point in the offensive charging ahead and clearing out many droids leaving his clones to pick up the rest and though he had displayed such ability before Leon continued to impress his clones and former master by seamlessly switching his methods of attack between his two lightsabers and a blaster rifle.

Raising his comlink to his lips Leon cut down another droid before yelling, "Boulder rocket me" and then jumping above the droid battalion in front of him.

Boulder waited for Leon to jump before targeting him with a rocket launcher and firing the missile at him. Using the Force the young Jedi grabbed the rocket and twisted his body around slinging the explosive project toward the ground at the center of the droid formation landing in the center of the impact zone seconds after the RPG went off. Silver and red lights flashed and hummed through the air as Leon fell into his personal favorite form of lightsaber combat Shien while Leon spent a lot of time practicing Shii-Cho, Soresu, Ataru and the dual variants of from V, Shien and Djem-so and form VI Niman Leon always felt a personal preference to form V. Master Fisto and Master Windu believed that Leon was too short and lacked the physical strength required to successfully perform many of the form V attacks, but the young Jedi's determination proved them wrong in the end mostly in part to his previous knowledge and understanding of basic combat before he became a Jedi. The basics of form V revolved around redirection rather than deflection and swift, but powerful counter attacks something Leon made look easy.

Using the Shien technique Barrier of Blades he was able to send every blaster shot in a chosen direction quickly whittling down the number of droids surrounding him until only one was left. Throwing out his hand and calling upon the Force, Leon grabbed hold of the droid's leg and pulled them out from under it making it fall to its back and in the same motion the fierce padawan pivoted on his foot and brought the tip of his silver lightsaber down impaling the fallen droid's head. With the closest droids defeated Leon waited for his allies to catch up allowing him to briefly catch his breath he could feel a throbbing pain in his head and his chest became tight, he feared his illness was about to hit him again, but thankfully it passed by as only a minor attack leaving him hungering for air as he gasped and panted loudly.

Edge caught up to him and placed his hand on his shoulder, "You alright sir?"

Leon nodded still panting for more air, "We…We need to keep pushing forward" he pointed at the Goliath half a mile ahead of them, "If we can get over to it and regroup with some others we can try and disable it".

Edge reminded Leon of the Goliath's size, "How can we fight something like that?"

"We don't" Leon told him, "Short of an orbital bombing all we'd be capable of it scratching it, but according to Liliana if we take out its eyes it will shut down so it doesn't end up destroying its own side".

Edge shook his head, "The Seppies must be getting desperate to bring out something like that".

Leon agreed as Luminara and the other clones joined them, "You alright Leon?" Baron asked him seeing him still gasping for air.

Leon nodded to the clone, "It didn't hit me too bad" he looked to Luminara.

"Leon you're being too reckless" she said to him.

Leon quickly defended himself, "Luminara, you know as well as I do the longer we take to disable this thing the more lives that will be lost. We can't afford to wait for long".

"I realize that, but you have to be more careful".

Leon lowered his head and nodded, "I know Master, but the longer we wait the more people die, we have to stop this thing and now".

Another violent tremor shook the earth they stood on as the Goliath stepped this time the tremor was followed by a threatening mechanical roar as the massive 120mm cannon on its back angled upward. A flash of light accompanied by a deafening boom roared across the battle field as the weapon fired. The heavy explosive anti-armor round immediately vanished into the clouds above them. Leon, Luminara and Titan squad watched the Goliath position its body again before firing another shot into the sky and then a third the recoil in its body showing the sheer force of its shots.

"What the hell is it shooting at?" Chip asked looking up at the sky.

"General Skywalker are you there?" Admiral Yularen's voice yelled over the comlinks.

"I'm a little busy Admiral" Anakin answered, "What is it?"

"The Starlight has been destroyed" the Admiral reported, "Something hit the ship and then it split in half. What's left of it is falling to the planet surface".

Leon looked to his former master again, "Do you still think we should take our time?"

Ever amongst the calmest and most patient of the Jedi even Luminara knew that they could not afford to wait or plan at this point they needed to act, within mere seconds the Goliath had destroyed one of their star cruisers in orbit over the planet it had to be stopped.

"Alright" the Mirialan Jedi nodded, "Baron, you and Coins stay with Leon until he catches his breath the rest of you follow me we're going to keep pressing forward".

Edge turned to his team and barked, "Alright you heard the general let's move".

Luminara ignited her lightsaber and turned to lead Edge and the remaining members of Titan squad back into battle, but after only taking a single step she suddenly pivoted on her heel and stabbed her lightsaber behind her. There was a surge of arcing electricity near the end of the lightsaber putting the clones on guard as they aimed their weapons at the spot Luminara aimed her green blade and within a few seconds the electric arcs ceased and the cloaked enemy was revealed.

"Dammit" Leon swore loudly upon seeing the spectre droid, "I hate these things" he whined as Luminara pulled her weapon from the droid's chest and then cut it down to finish it off.

"As if we didn't already have enough things to worry about" Baron sighed looking back to the Goliath which was currently holding its position, "Edge, we should warn everyone to be on guard for any more".

Edge agreed and activated his comlink inside his helmet contacting his brothers fighting across the battle field telling them that they had just encountered a spectre droid and to remain sharp as they continued fighting. For whatever good it would do, those were the thoughts in Edge's head a single spectre was difficult for even a Jedi to face add even just one of those to a battle of this scope and many of his brothers would die to it, all he could do at this point was just hope that this was the only one. Looking back to his team he waved his hand toward the battle signaling it was time to dive back into the fray and began leading the charge alongside Master Luminara leaving Baron and Coins with Leon who refused to sit back and watch. Once his former master and clones went to rejoin the battle Leon took one last deep breath and grabbed both of his lightsabers telling Baron and Coins to follow him as he returned to the fight. Placing all of his focus into his legs Leon willed the Force to his aid again to make a long leap far ahead of Edge and Luminara cutting down a destroyer droid as it unfolded from its ball form and then moving to attack a super battle droid.

Cutting the droid's weapon arm off he quickly lifted it up and threw it at a line of battle droids in front of him knocking them over and then summoning a blaster rifle to his hand. Placing two shots into the first droid's head he quickly stepped on the back of the second droid and unloaded a short burst into its head before ducking down and spinning a half turn on his heel getting inside the reach of the third droid and grabbing its weapon arm. Pushing the droid's blaster arm up Leon fired three shots into its chest before spinning behind it and making a wide roundhouse kick knocking the fourth droid's blaster away just as it fired. Continuing his turn Leon stretched out his arm and slammed the broadside of the blaster rifle against the droid's head making it stumble and allowing him to grab its neck and shoulder and with a battle cry he pulled the droid's shoulder and pushed its neck forward while sending a small, powerful burst of Force power into the droid's joints causing its arm and head to rip off.

"Uh sir…" Edge began as Leon threw the remains of the droid to the side, "What the hell was that?"

Leon held up a finger and took a quick breath, "Later" was all he said before activating his lightsabers again and running back into battle.

On the other side of the Goliath on the western side of the battle Liliana's ship had landed a safe distance from the battle. A short while after the ship landed the ramp to the cargo hold dropped and with two speeder bikes. Tossing a pair of goggles to Ahsoka and Thalia, Liliana hopped on her bike and revved its engine waiting for Ahsoka to get on the second one with Thalia behind her.

"Ready?" Liliana yelled over the two engines.

Ahsoka nodded to her and the two bikes zipped away from the light freighter toward the battle. Arriving at the battle they zoomed through the droid ranks with Liliana on the left shooting down an entire line of droids as she flew straight through them while Ahsoka and Thalia were only a few yards to the right their lightsabers active on either side of the speeder cutting through two lines of droids for a total of three lines completely wiped out in mere seconds. After reaching the head of the enemy formation they turned to the outsides and crossed back in now attacking from the sides wiping out other three lanes before turning for a third attack run, but their luck stopped there. The droids managed to get a lucky shot on the fuel tank of Liliana's speeder and the young smuggler just barely managed to jump off before the vehicle exploded propelling her further to the side. Liliana managed to roll with her landing minimizing the force of impact quickly she got back to her feet with both of her dual blaster pistols drawn and began firing at the droids with precision marksmanship. Ahsoka sent her speeder into a long powerslide and told Thalia to jump off when she did; taking a move she learned from Liliana back on Corellia Ahsoka sent the speeder into a low powerslide and jumped off letting it fly into the droid formation knocking over a large group of them.

Taking aim at the speeder bike Liliana sighed and pulled the trigger she watched the blaster bolt zoom by the still standing droids and impact the side of the bike's fuel tank rupturing it resulting in another explosion destroying the droids nearby.

"There goes another eight large" she complained to herself.

Liliana holstered her blasters as Ahsoka and Thalia returned to her, "This is to easy so far" she noted indicating the horde of destroyed droids, "Either of you hurt?"

Ahsoka shook her head, "I'm ok".

Thalia nodded, "I am as well" she turned around setting her eyes on the goliath, "How are we going to stop that thing?"

Liliana set a hand on her hip, "Well my favorite cliché is teamwork".

Ahsoka gazed at the goliath as well, "Even together this is going to be hard that thing just took down one of our cruisers".

"So what's our next move?" Liliana asked her.

Ahsoka peeled her eyes away from the goliath and scanned around what parts of the battlefield she could see, "We should try and regroup with the others. Fight our way to them and clear out what enemies are in our way. Once we regroup we can think of a way to stop that thing".

Liliana pointed to the east, "You're friend Leon landed to the east" she pointed to the south, "And Anakin's group is that way. Only question is which team do we go to?"

"Whoever's closest" Ahsoka said, "They can all handle themselves and until we receive request for assistance we go with the closest group".

A smirk crept across Liliana's lips, "I see Anakin has taught you well. Sound tactics and a level head under pressure, I find that attractive in a girl".

Ahsoka blushed and quickly turned away, "We should get moving the longer we delay the more soldiers we lose".

Checking their location Ahsoka determined that her master's group was closest to them and began running toward the south to regroup. As the young Togruta padawan ran off Liliana took note of the sickly look on Thalia's face.

"Are you alright?" she asked.

Thalia took a quick breath and nodded, "I will be…we need to end this quickly there are too many people screaming here".

"Try not to think about it" Liliana told her as they began running after Ahsoka, "Focus on the battle for now and shut out all external sources".

"It's not that simple" Thalia said, "I can feel them. It's like their dying breaths are clawing at my mind I can feel their pain right as they die".

"I can't begin to imagine what that must feel like" Liliana admitted, "But if it's that bad shouldn't you consider getting away from this sort of thing? Stop fighting and do something else".

"This wasn't what I intended to do" Thalia said lowering her voice, "When Leon first taught me to us the Force I wanted to use it to help my people, but then Dooku found us. The droids began attacking our home on Hoth I guess they were coming back to salvage their old base. They killed a lot of us before I was able to stop them and that's how Dooku found out about my connection to the Force. He held my people hostage forcing me to be his apprentice thankfully Leon was able to save me…again".

"Again?" Liliana asked her.

"Heads up!" Ahsoka yelled before Thalia could continue.

A separatist tank flew overhead rolling to a stop behind them before exploding.

"What the hell?" Liliana yelled pushing herself off the ground, "You ok?" she asked looking to Thalia.

"I'm alright" she gasped, "What happened?"

Plo Koon and Anakin landed in front of them, "Our tanks can barely scratch that thing" Anakin yelled.

"Master" Ahsoka called to them, "What's going on?"

Anakin growled, "None of our weapons are effective against that thing. Everything we've thrown at it anti armor rounds, tanks, rockets all of it useless and to make things worse it took down one of our cruisers".

"I told you" Liliana yelled running over to them, "The only way you're going to stop this thing is to take out its eyes. That or try an orbital bombing, but that will put your ships in range of its weapons as well".

A mechanical roar deafened them and the ground shook as the goliath's shoulder mounted cannon raised toward the sky again.

"It's targeting the fleet again" Plo Koon yelled raising his comlink, "All ships evasive action now".

This close to the massive weapon they could feel the tremor in the ground and the ripples in the air as its cannon fired sending the destructive shell into the atmosphere. Within seconds the captain of the targeted ship could be heard yelling the shell had found its target and the Republic ship was capsizing. The goliath roared again and its cannon leveled before the monster began walking forward.

"This is insane" Ahsoka yelled, "It can take down our cruisers and nothing we have can stop it" the ground shook and she caught her balance before falling, "How the hell can we get up to its eyes if it causes earthquakes with each step it takes?"

"I think I've got it" Anakin said, "We'll call for a gunship to pick us up and insert us onto its back. From there we can go for its eyes and shut it down".

"Another one of your daring plans Skywalker?" Plo Koon asked, "I dare to say this one sounds to be the biggest risk you've taken thus far".

"I think its our only shot" Anakin said, "With all due respect Master Plo I don't see any other way that doesn't risk the lives of every one of our troops and that thing is already in range to level our entire base".

"Very well" Plo Koon said, "You and I will take a gunship and attack the Goliath".

"Hold that thought" Liliana said tapping Plo Koon on the arm and then pointing to the sky, "We might want to move".

A vulture droid was flying toward them with a thick cloud of smoke trailing behind it.

"Yeah we should move" Liliana said again running to the side.

Everyone scattered as the vulture droid began firing wildly at them before crashing into the ground and sliding away from them before coming to a stop. The scattered Jedi and smuggler returned to each other as they watched a silver light flailing around on top of the crashed culture droid, sparks flying up as the light hit the wreckage.

"Leon?" Ahsoka yelled.

The silver light stopped and moved backward before falling off the droid and landing on the ground.

"Leon" Ahsoka yelled again running over to the light as the smoke began to flow upwards into the sky.

Leon was laying on his back his silver lightsaber in hand as he groaned painfully, "Don't ever let me do something that stupid again".

"So basically everything you do?" she asked holding her hand out to him.

"Basically" he grunted in pain as she helped him up, "What's the status? Is everyone ok?"

"Yeah we're all here" Ahsoka said turning to Anakin and the others as they joined them.

"Anakin" Leon panted bending over against his knees, "Please tell me you've come up with another borderline suicidal plan to deal with that thing".

"I have actually" Anakin told him.

"Sounds good" Leon nodded after Anakin filled him in on the plan, "So you, me and Plo Koon go in and stab it in the eyes while the others head over to our base and clear out some of the trash…I can live with that".

"Speaking of others" Plo Koon began, "Where are Master Unduli and your clones?"

Leon finally caught his breath and pointed toward the base, "We cleared out most of the rear ground troops so we were going to fly to the base and help defend it, but we got attacked by the vulture droids. They're probably at the base right now so the sooner we deal with Mr. Earthquake over there the sooner we can help them" he looked to Thalia, "You holding up ok?"

Thalia nodded, "I'm alright for now".

"Here are our rides" Anakin said waving down a pair of gunships flying over to them.

Leon jumped on the first gunship with Anakin and Plo Koon while Ahsoka got on the second with Liliana and Thalia.

"Where to Leon?" Coins said from the pilot's seat.

"Time to go monster hunting" Leon smirked, "Insertion point is on its back".

"Roger that" Coins replied, "There's a decent amount of AA fire, but nothing I can't handle".

"That's why I love you buddy" Leon said slapping him on the shoulder as the gunship took off, "How are Luminara and the others?"

"We landed safely before General Skywalker called for a gunship, far as I know they're still alright".

"Good to know" Leon nodded turning back to Anakin and Plo Koon, "Master Plo I owe you an apology for earlier. I have faith in Thalia's own abilities as well as what you've taught her".

"Its alright young Leon" the Kel Dor replied, "Just remember to be mindful of your own emotions when regarding another".

"Here we go" Coins yelled.

The doors to the gunship slid closed protecting the occupants from the anti aircraft fire lining the Goliath's back. The three Jedi held onto the hand bars above them as the gunship turned into a half loop avoiding the AA fire surrounding them.

"Good news" Coins yelled back to them, "Those AA guns have a set angle of fire. Once we get under it they can't target us".

"Then bring us in for a landing" Anakin told the clone pilot, "We'll take care of those AA guns first then we'll go for the eyes and shut it down. Let's just hope Liliana is right about that".

"Hang on!" Coins suddenly yelled and the gunship made a violent turn.

"Coins" Leon began in a growling voice tightly holding onto the handlebars.

"Sorry sir we can't land on that thing" Coins said, "There's a second set of AA defenses they've got surface to air missiles on that thing".

"Why didn't we know about that already?" Leon asked.

"They didn't appear until we got closer, maybe they're activated by proximity".

"That's actually pretty impressive" Leon said looking to Anakin, "Hide the heavier AA weapons that way if a ship does get too close surprise them with rockets that way they have no time to evade".

"Whose side are you on again?" Anakin asked him.

Leon smirked, "I'm on my side you two are on your own. Coins open the doors".

"I don't know what you're planning Leon" Coins said, "But I'm sure it's something insane".

"Have you ever known me to play by any other type?" Leon asked the clone.

Coins chuckled, "I'd tell you to be careful, but we both know you're not".

The doors slid open and Plo Koon's black eyes regarded Leon with an intense suspicion, "Why do I get the feeling I'm not going to like this".

"Oh you're not" Leon yelled over the roaring wind, "But if it makes you feel any better neither am I".

"So what is it you're planning Padawan?"

Leon pointed at the floor of the gunship, "Anti-Aircraft guns work by targeting a specific signature like the exhaust and thermal emissions of out gunship. So all Coins has to do is take us high enough to where they can't target us and then we'll drop in. The AA guns won't target us because our bodies don't give off sufficient heat or the proper chemical signature".

"That sounds like something I would come up with" Anakin yelled.

Leon shrugged, "I figured I'd beat you to it. See you on the other side".

Leaning forward Leon backflipped off the gunship and held his arms tight against his body increasing the speed of his dive toward the Goliath below them. The wind hammered at the young Jedi's unprotected face forcing him to close his eyes at the same time he smiled the AA guns had stopped firing. With his eyes closed he enhanced his other senses and with the Force felt the world around him able to sense Anakin and Plo Koon following after him and the right time to summon the Force underneath him to soften his landing. As his feet touched down on the Goliath's back Leon activated his two lightsabers and sprang into action cutting down several of the resting AA guns as his fellow Jedi joined him.

"I can see a lot of you in him Skywalker" Plo Koon noted seeing Leon charge from gun to gun destroying each of them.

Anakin smiled nervously, "Obi-Wan is close to believing we're related with how alike we are".

"I could see that" Plo Koon hummed crossing his arms.

Anakin chuckled, "I can never tell if you're being serious or not Master Plo".

The two Jedi activated their lightsabers and ran to join Leon in clearing out the AA guns. Each gun fell with a single swing of their lightsabers until only the hidden rocket launchers and massive cannon on the Goliath's back remained.

"This is too easy" Leon said sounding disappointed, "This thing seemed so big and bad earlier, but now that we're past its defenses its boring".

"You'd rather it still be killing our troops then?" Plo Koon asked him.

Leon shook his head, "Of course not, but doesn't it strike you as odd that for such a powerful weapon we were able to penetrate its defenses so easily".

Anakin looked back at the destroyed Anti-Air defenses, "He has a point. This was too easy this thing might have another way of defending itself against anything that manages to get on it".

"Then we will proceed with caution" Master Plo said, "But we must proceed all the same. We cannot allow this thing to continue its mission".

Using the Force the Kel Dor jumped scaling a good distance of the Goliath's back in a single leap grabbing a protrusion to serve as a hold. Calling for Leon and Anakin to follow his lead he began climbing with Leon and Anakin following him.

"We're almost there" Anakin's words were spoken too soon as the Goliath roared again and its cannon began moving only this time it was aimed directly ahead of them right at the Republic base.

"No you don't" Leon yelled leaping up to the cannon and driving his lightsaber into its base.

Grabbing his red shoto saber from his jacket Leon began slashing at the side of the cannon's base chipping away at its thick armor before flipping the weapon around in his hand and driving it into the base. Pulling his weapons toward each other he ripped and tore his way through the armor revealing the complicated wiring and circuitry of the massive cannon. Taking a deep breath he held his hand an inch away from the circuits of the cannon and closed his eyes sending a small, but violent force push into the machine tearing it apart. Pulling his lightsabers free Leon prepared to jump down, but a surge of electricity exploded from the machine catching his hand and coursing through his arm and into his body. Screaming through his teeth every muscle in Leon's body clenched and cramped locking his entire body in place preventing him from moving as the electricity surged through him.

Hearing Leon's screams Anakin yelled his name grabbing him with the Force and pulling him away. Dropping down to the Goliath's lower back Anakin set Leon down and checked his pulse.

"How is he?" Plo Koon asked.

"He's not breathing" Anakin gasped placing his hands over Leon's chest and pressing down, "Come on Leon wake up".

One press followed by a second then a third and a fourth, checking his pulse again Anakin swore to himself, "Dammit come on wake up".

Pressing down against his chest again Anakin counted to four presses then checked his pulse again, "He's not responding we have to get him out of here" raising his comlink to his lips he contacted Coins telling the clone he needed an immediate emergency extraction.

Just then Leon began coughing violently his body lurching upward and falling back with each violent contraction of his lungs. Anakin quickly grabbed Leon's shoulder trying to hold him still fearing the coughing would cause him to hit his head against the Goliath's armor.

"Pilot we need you to hurry" Plo Koon yelled into his comlink kneeling next to Leon and holding his hands above his chest, "I will use the Force to try and stabilize his condition, but it will only be temporary".

Leon's chest rose up and the build up of air quickly rushed to his mouth in one last cough accompanied by a fountain of blood that fell back into his mouth before pooling out from his lips.

"Turn him onto his side quick" Anakin yelled turning him over to prevent him from drowning in his own blood.

Thankfully Leon's coughing had ceased, but he was still unconscious. Seeing the gunship break through the clouds and turn toward them Anakin lifted Leon onto his back waiting for Coins to get close enough to jump on board. The doors of the ship slid open and the gunship slowed its descent turning to its side.

"Hold your advance pilot" Plo Koon said as the hidden surface to air missile launchers revealed themselves, "Wait until I deal with the rocket launchers".

"Roger that General" Coins answered, "Please be quick I have wounded men on board".

Once the hidden rocket launchers were destroyed Plo Koon called for Coins to land allowing Anakin to board with Leon.

"What happened Coins?" Anakin asked seeing the two injured clones on board.

"Ambushed by one of those spectre droids sir" Coins answered, "What happened to Leon?"

Anakin set Leon down against the wall of the gunship, "He went ahead of us to stop the Goliath from firing its cannon…I don't know what he did to it, but it shocked him and knocked him out".

"Is he gonna be alright?"

"Hopefully" Anakin replied "He started coughing up blood again we need to get him out of here".

"Shall I take him back to the Resolute?"

Anakin answered briefly and fell silent, "Yes…"

Coins noticed the tone in his voice, "Is something wrong sir?"

"No, I was just thinking is all. General Plo and I are going to make another run at the Goliath for now I want you to get these three back to the Resolute".

"Understood sir" Coins said as Anakin jumped off the gunship rejoining Plo Koon on the outside.

"So has your plan changed Skywalker?" Plo Koon asked as the gunship took off.

"Only a little Master Plo" Anakin answered, "With any luck Leon managed to damage the cannon so hopefully it can't fire anymore. So for right now I say we focus on the eyes and try to disable this thing".

"That just may be one of the easiest plans you've ever come up with Skywalker".

Anakin chuckled, "Even I like to take it easy every now and then Master Plo".

Anakin's comlink beeped and Ahsoka's panicked voice yelled, "Master are you there?"

"I'm here Snips, is something wrong?"

"We've got spectre droids inside the base, there's at least three of them" Ahsoka suddenly grunted loudly and her comlink shut off.

"Ahsoka!" Anakin yelled, "Ahsoka are you there! Ahsoka!"

"I'm here Master" Ahsoka panted, "I'm alright it's just a graze".

"Were you hit?"

"Not directly I'll be fine, but we need help".

"Just try and hold out as best you can" Anakin told her, "We're going to try and disable the Goliath just hold on we'll be there once we're done".

"Anakin" Liliana's voice yelled, "Half of your clones are dead and two of your cruisers have been destroyed. I don't claim to know much about military tactics, but now seems like a really good time to order a full retreat this isn't a battle we can win".

"There's still a chance we can Liliana" Anakin replied jumping with Plo Koon up to the Goliath's cannon, "If we can disable the Goliath we'll turn the tide of this battle".

"How?" Liliana yelled, "Your base is still heavily damaged and over half of your forces are dead even if you disable that thing you're still going to lose this base and more lives".

Ahsoka cut her off, "Understood Master we'll hold out until you're done just make it quick".

"We will Snips just hold on".

"Ahsoka" Leon's voice said, "I'm on my way it'll just be a minute".

"Leon are you well enough to keep going?" Anakin asked.

"Of course I am" Leon snapped back, "It's going to take a lot more than static to take me out".

"Look out" a clone near Leon yelled, "Grenade!"

When Leon's transmission cut to static Anakin and Plo Koon looked up to the sky to see the gunship slowly falling from the sky with a thick trail of smoke following behind it.

"Leon!" Anakin yelled, "Leon are you there? Coins? Someone answer me".

"Leon?" Ahsoka cried, "Leon can you hear me?"

Leon began coughing and slowly sat up, "What the hell?"

"How are ya feeling Leon?" Coins asked him.

"What the hell happened?" Leon coughed standing up, "Where's Anakin and Plo Koon?"

Coins answered, "Still trying to disable the Goliath. You were incapacitated after whatever you did to its cannon and they called me to medevac you back to the Resolute".

Leon scoffed, "Yeah ok good luck with that just get me back to the fight".

"Are you sure you're well enough Leon?" Coins asked, "General Skywalker said you took a big jolt".

Leon walked over to the front of the gunship and leaned against the opening, "Coins how long have you known me?"

"Almost a year" the clone answered.

Leon nodded, "Exactly get me back to the fight alright buddy".

Leon raised his comlink and switched it on, but before he could say anything he heard Ahsoka's voice yelling.

"Master are you there?"

"I'm here Snips, is something wrong?"

"We've got spectre droids inside the base, there's at least three of them" Ahsoka suddenly grunted loudly and her comlink shut off.

"Ahsoka!" Anakin yelled, "Ahsoka are you there! Ahsoka!"

"I'm here Master" Ahsoka panted, "I'm alright it's just a graze".

"Were you hit?"

"Not directly I'll be fine, but we need help".

"Just try and hold out as best you can" Anakin told her, "We're going to try and disable the Goliath just hold on we'll be there once we're done".

"Anakin" Liliana's voice yelled, "Half of your clones are dead and two of your cruisers have been destroyed. I don't claim to know much about military tactics, but now seems like a really good time to order a full retreat this isn't a battle we can win".

"There's still a chance we can Liliana" Anakin replied jumping with Plo Koon up to the Goliath's cannon, "If we can disable the Goliath we'll turn the tide of this battle".

"How?" Liliana yelled, "Your base is still heavily damaged and over half of your forces are dead even if you disable that thing you're still going to lose this base and more lives".

Ahsoka cut her off, "Understood Master we'll hold out until you're done just make it quick".

"We will Snips just hold on".

Leon calmly spoke into his comlink, "Ahsoka, I'm on my way it'll only be a minute".

Anakin's voice came back, "Leon are you well enough to keep going?"

Leon snapped, "Of course I am. It's going to take a lot more than static to take me out".

Something bounced and rolled across the floor of the gunship and one of the injured clones in the back yelled, "Look out grenade!"

Leon ducked down and huddled against the wall covering his head as the grenade went off blasting a hole in the side of the gunship.

"What the hell was that?" Leon yelled.

"Where did that come from?" one of the injured clones yelled scrambling to his feet.

Something grabbed Leon by the neck and slammed him against the wall of the gunship before striking him hard in the stomach. Leon hunched over when he was struck in the stomach and then something struck him across the face knocking him to the side. Falling to the floor Leon quickly turned onto his back and summoned a force wave in front of him pushing away the invisible enemy that attacked him.

"I really hate these things" he coughed getting back to his feet as the stowed away spectre droid revealed itself.

"Oh not one of these things again" one of the injured clones complained.

"Not this time" Leon yelled as the spectre dived at him.

Leon ducked down and pivoted on his heel using the Force and his open palm to uppercut the droid into the ceiling of the gunship. Turning toward the door he used the Force again to open it before lifting the spectre up and throwing it outside.

"Away with you" he commanded closing the door behind him unaware that the spectre extended its arm and grabbed the edge of the gunship on the outside.

Climbing around to the other side the spectre droid approached the small hole its grenade made in the hull of the gunship and rolled another grenade into the ship.

"Grenade" one of the clones yelled again seconds before the grenade went off causing even more damage to the inside of the gunship.

"Persistent trash can" Leon growled as the spectre threw another grenade this time toward the opening that led to the cockpit, "Coins look out" Leon yelled.

Coins yelled as the grenade went off next to him and the gunship suddenly dropped from the sky before the pilot managed to stop its fall sending it into a slow nosedive.

"Coins" Leon yelled cutting off the spectre droid's arm and pushing it off the gunship, "Coins are you alright?"

"I'm ok" he coughed, "I can't keep this thing in the air much longer".

A second gunship flew along side them and the pilot made contact, "Trooper what's your status?"

"I've got two injured and a Jedi on board" Coins replied, "They need to return to the Resolute I need you to take them from here".

"Coins what are you doing?" Leon yelled as the doors to both gunships slid open.

The clone in the other gunship was waving at them to jump over.

"Jump to the other ship" Coins told Leon.

"I'm not leaving you here" Leon told him.

"I can't" Coins told him, "I can't risk this thing falling on top of our guys on the ground plus I'm kind of stuck here right now. I can set it down just be sure to come back for me".

"Not happening" Leon yelled, "You're coming with us".

"Leon I'll be fine" Coins insisted, "Besides those two are too injured to make the jump on their own you need to help them now hurry before its too late".

Leon growled at himself before turning back to the door and lifting the injured clones with the Force and levitating them over to the second gunship.

"You better survive you understand" he yelled to Coins before jumping to the second ship himself.

Landing in the second gunship Leon turned around and watched as the damaged ship being piloted by his friend began falling in a circling pattern toward the ground before crashing.

"Coins can you hear me?" he yelled raising his comlink, "Coins answer me…Coins!"

The pilot coughed, "I'm alright don't worry though take your time".

Leon turned to the clone standing next to him and said, "Get these two back to the Resolute immediately" before jumping out of the gunship.

Using the Force to slow his landing at last second Leon landed on the ground and activated both of his lightsabers rushing toward the downed gunship which was being surrounded by battle droids intent on finishing off any survivors. Cutting his way through several droids he quickly rushed into the ship through the open door and cut away the wall separating the pilot from the rear of the ship.

"Hey that was fast" Coins said groggily as Leon cut into the cockpit.

"Oh god Coins no" Leon said upon seeing his friend's injury.

Thanks to his phase II armor Coins was protected against most of the explosion, but the close proximity managed to damage the side of his armor and tear into his skin and to make it even worse part of the pilot's seat had impaled through his leg.

"Yeah" Coins coughed, "Seen better days. Good news is I don't really feel it that much. I think the sudden shock of it all has numbed the pain a bit".

"Alright we're gonna get you out of here".

Using his lightsaber to cut away the debris impaled in his leg the blaster fire outside becoming louder as the droids closed in on them. Leaning back Leon grabbed an emergency first aid kit from the wall of the ship and opened it taking a syringe of specialized bacta and injecting it into Coins' leg. The bleeding stopped and the wound closed a little and the bigger injury on his side stopped bleeding as well, but would not close from such a small dose of medicine.

"Dammit that's all that's in here" Leon yelled throwing the kit away.

"Its enough" Coins said trying to get up, "Let's get out of here before the clankers get any closer".

"Coins listen I'll go out and distract them you run and find cover".

The clone grunted a laugh as he grabbed his rifle, "Not a chance its payback time".

"Alright" Leon nodded, "But you stay in here and shoot at them, you're too injured to be moving around. Stay here where you'll have cover and I'll deal with the bulk of them".

"Deal" Coins panted as they moved into the back of the ship.

Counting to three Leon jumped out of the gunship and engaged the small group of droids surrounding the downed ship cutting down three of them within seconds before their blaster fire forced him into a defensive stance. Coins braced himself against the wall of the gunship and raised his rifle taking aim at one of the droids and shooting it in the head before turning his sights on the one next to it nailing that one in the chest. Leon deflected a shot back to a droid and gave Coins a quick cheer before leaping forward and cutting down two more droids and then falling back into the Barrier of Blades stance. In only a couple of minutes the droids surrounding them were defeated giving them their opening to make a break for it shouldering the wounded clone Leon began walking as fast as he could away from the downed gunship and away from the battle calling for another ship to come and pick them up.

"Thanks for coming back for me Leon" Coins coughed.

"No one gets left behind" Leon told him, "Especially a friend".

Coins chuckled weakly, "I'm glad to have a friend like you Leon. A lot of clones only see Jedi as our superiors".

"I'm still your boss soldier" Leon laughed, "So when I order you to survive a crash you'd best survive it".

Coins laughed and then began coughing lightly, "Oh don't make me laugh dammit it still hurts".

Another ship landed near them and Leon helped Coins on board.

"Easy" the clone medic on board said helping Leon with Coins, "That's one hell of a hit you took there trooper".

"Yeah well I've dealt with worse" Coins grunted.

"How's that?" Leon asked him.

Coins removed his helmet and smirked painfully, "I have to put up with you a lot".

Leon began laughing, "This is true" he turned to the pilot of the gunship, "I need you to take me to the battle at the base then you need to get him back to the Resolute".

The pilot nodded and flew toward the battle inside the Republic base landing behind their allies allowing Leon to jump out. The young padawan ordered that any clones too wounded to continue fighting was to be evacuated immediately before he activated his lightsabers and ran to the side of Ahsoka and Luminara.

"Miss me?" he said stopping beside them.

"Terribly" Luminara said, "I was worried after you decided to go after that vulture droid".

"Nah" Leon slurred, "I was just going for a joyride".

"How are Coins and Anakin doing?" Ahsoka asked him.

"As far as I know Anakin is probably having a staring contest with Mr. earthquake right now and Coins is banged up pretty bad so he's on his way back to the Reso".

A loud explosion ripped through the air and Leon's eyes widened when he saw the gunship carrying his friend and several other wounded soldiers falling from the sky in a ball of fire. Fear and denial quickly became entangled as Leon slowly walked toward the spot the gunship once sat slowly shaking his head.

"No" he muttered, "No, no they can't be, he can't be…Coins!"

"Leon" Ahsoka called back to him running over to his side and grabbing his arm, "Leon you have to focus, the droids are breaking through".

Leon jerked his arm away from her still staring at the falling gunship, "Coins" he yelled into his comlink, "Coins can you hear me respond. Dammit Coins answer me".

"We have to leave" Luminara yelled, "We can't hold them back any longer retreat".

Everything around him fell silent as Leon watched the fiery remains of the gunship fall to the ground no matter how much he called Coins' name he didn't respond nor did any of the other clones that boarded the ship with him.

Luminara and Ahsoka grabbed both of his arms and pushed him forward forcing him to retreat with them as the droid army fully broke through their last line of defense and into the base firing at everything that moved with Anakin's voice telling them over the comlink that they had failed to disable the Goliath and that it was still moving toward the base.

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