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Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Oasis Calm Volume III continued ---- Part 2.

Commander Bly observed the pair while he followed them as a shadow. Each leaned in closely to whisper delicate words, even share several laughs. Looking closer, he saw the Chairman’s robes were not as glamorous as the temple’s initial grandeur. It seemed the prime reached its zenith decades prior; a time before sand, wind, war, and strife had taken its toll.

The growing harem stretched down the hall following the King and his blue female guest of honor. They turned a smooth corner into a large circular chamber with an equally vast round table made of prohibited Kashyyk timbers, taken before the system was declared Republic domain. “Your “summer estate” is quite luxurious your majesty.” His lordship’s eyes blinked slowly, being proud of Aayla Secura's compliment. “Isn’t it? Since I was a small boy, it’s always seemed so incredible. This was one of the original palaces of my people. How far we have come; how far, we too, have stumbled. That is why I invited you.” His court dispersed into the room, breaking into pods of conversations. Droids of a variety rapidly interspersed within the vast dining room; armed with trays of exotic h’orderves and flamboyant drinks.

The royal continued the conversation near the ear of the Republic delegate, “We are a sovereign system in league with the Confederation, but invisible strings are being pulled from off world. My agents are picking up scans from crypts abandoned long, long ago.”

A very tall, thin female approached the conversing duo. She chimed in as if she had been listening from the start of their dialogue, “The most disturbing facts involve communications from Serenno. We have no business connections or cause to be reaching that far. I’ve been investigating this as a possible lead.” Chuckling, Utak looked to Secura before taking the other females thin arm, holding both of them close. “Do excuse Clonna Sin Richodd. Her prowess is impressive, but she insists on demonstrating how effective a Minister of Intelligence she is prior to being introduced.” Secura gave a slight upturned nod, maintaining her false sense of arrogance, “A sound style. Some may find that troubling.” Clonna’s prideful grimace glowed, “Only those who don’t want light being flashed on their dark tasks! Ha, but I’m sure YOU have nothing to worry about.. being from the Republic.”

Nearby a chubby Faust male, crisply dressed, halted a nearby conversation. Standing about 2 heads shorter than Clonna, he turned from his entourage. With large eyes encased in large dark circles, they scanned. His grey skin exquisitely fair, and clothing finely trimmed. The male turned gazing toward the tips of Secura’s lekku, following them up her back toward her strong shoulders. The movement of his head more noticeable due to his elongated neck. When he spoke, his voice wasn’t unpleasant, but his breathing consisted of quick, sporadic inhalations which often interrupted his sentences - causing them to have an abrupt edge, “Excuse me.. your excellency..I have not yet.. the pleasure.. to make the acquaintance.. of your.. guest. I am Science.. Minister Gabrel Kindi.”

Lowering his torso, Gabrel Kindi’s hand quickly grabbed at Secura’s, then raised it to his chapped lips. “Rare.. it is to have such a starlit.. specimen visiting our court.” Secura felt her muscles tighten with distain, but did her utmost to mask her discomfort. The Jedi’s disgust was hidden too well as he continued tracing the crust of his lip up the back of her hand towards her wrist. He spoke simultaneously wetting his lips, “I am truly captiva..”

  • BING – BIING – BIING –

A chime sounded summoning all to their seats. Aayla sighed with relief, but noticed the king’s eyes looking apologetically in her direction. The Faust stood up, releasing her blue fingertips, “Ooohh..Delicious! What a feast.. we shall have! You are.. in for a treat.. to die for!”

Guests made their way around the table finding their proper places. The king graciously guided Aayla to a chair nearest his. Purposefully, Utak had assigned the most pugnacious separatists' seats intermittently around the table. This was not a time for plotting…at least not for them. Each chair remained vacant; the guests standing behind, waiting for Utak to take his place. Before doing so, he looked around the expansive table. Two seats were void of their occupants. Chairman Utak began an inquiry, “Where are the representatives of Onderon?” Quickly Clonna Sims, who stood to the high chairman’s right, leaned toward him with an answer, “Their shuttle arrived shortly ago. We were just notified Senator Bonteri was recalled for a parliamentary vote. Her husband will instead be accompanied by an advisor of King Demdup, Sanjay Rash.”

High Chairman Utak made a thankful gesture for the update, but his disappointment was palpable. He motioned to his court then took his seat, “What a shame. I always enjoy seeing Mina. Do reschedule another visit with her office after we dine Clonna.” Taking her seat, Clonna acknowledged, “Of course your excellency.”

Now the dining droids were sent about with new purpose. Hustling and bustling effortlessly bringing dishes and beverages to various guests. Clonna popped a bottle of rare Zygerrian wine, her personal favorite. The chartreuse liquid swirled; bubbling within her class. Lifting it, she slowly smelled the sweet aroma. Others spiraled their glasses, each with a different color and equally exotic flavor.

The sound of large doors heaving open sounded the arrival of the two absent guests. They paced quickly passed the squad of troopers and droids standing silently, tense at the entrance. Both men were well quaffed wearing dress uniforms indicating their status within Onderon’s command structure.

“My apologies my liege! The war has the most abhorred tendency to wreak havoc upon even the tightest schedules.” The first man's words were trite and arrogant, qualities Utak seldom sought to include in his own court. These words not only described his voice however, they summarized his entire existence. Standing taller than his station, his beard and hair were dark, raven black and trimmed flawlessly. Every ornament and customization afforded to this man had been taken.

The herald of Utak’s court spoke aloud, “Entering the Grand Chairmen’s presence: Chamber Counselor to King Demdup, Sanjay Rash! Following: General Declan Bonteri of Onderan Military High Command.”

“Ahh..welcome gentlemen! I’m sure you are weary from travelling such a distance.” The Chairmen was as pleased to see Declan Bonteri as he was annoyed by Demdup’s opening remarks.

Declan was a tall, proud, but humble man who stayed true to his purpose. The armor and uniform worn were the epitome of Onderon’s military dress code. His shoulders were adorned with silver armor plates, covered in beautiful etched details. Bonteri’s uniform bore the colors of his family’s heritage. To Utak, the greys and blues always reminded him of the Bonteri family. A big smile contagiously spread across both men’s faces the closer the general came.

Declan knelt to the kings side, “It is a privilege to be here again in such times. Mina sends her deepest apologies and love.” Leaning back in his chair, Utak beckoned the officer to his feet, “We are very fortunate! Ha ha, awe, pay no mind to it. I know Mina would be here in a flash if she could. And how is Lux?!” With the mention of his son’s name Declan’s presence noticeably lightened! “He misses your mentoring, but has grown so much! You’d be proud.. he has higher marks than any classmate when it comes to rhetoric.”

The king laughed, a sound the war seemed to have stripped away for the longest time. “Ha ha ha ha ha! That’s a good boy! ..or man, I should say!” cheeks grew rosier with each growing laugh “..ha, Declan, I want you to meet a very special guest. The shining Aayla Secura of Ryloth!” Declan Bonterri shifted the weight on his feet to turn towards the beautiful Twi’lek. Extending his hand, a polite, but noticeable degree of skepticism did not elude the Jedi. “It’s a pleasure to meet you. It’s been a long time, it seems, since last I’ve dined with a sympathizer of the Republic.”

“Always so civil yet pointed!” Utak lightly joked.

Aayla playfully, yet with equal force replied, “Until now, I never really knew one could dine with a separatist.. unless you had a battery pack.”

“Ha ha ha!! I see your point Madame Secura. Utak always has had a knack for selecting “enlightening” company. Trust this occasion will be no different.” Declan Bonteri made his way towards his seat.

Sanjay Rash by now had reached his chair and grew flustered the attention was no longer focused on his arrival. “Always a heartfelt welcome! A toast: To a dinn ---” The Grand Chairman’s glass rose, silencing Rash mid toast; it being impolite to toast prior to him at any meal. Utak picked up where Rash was stunted, “To a dinner worth remembering, friends worth keeping, and memories that remind us of good times. May this, join those!” Glasses clinked and laughs grew around the table. The room became filled with dozens of different conversations, droning into a light murmur.

Standing guard, Bly and his men stood silently. Still their eyes darted about the room observing every little shift. Having run so many missions together, without a word, they already knew a plan to decommission the commando droids if need be. Bly leaned over to one his men, “I can only imagine how clean those guns are back in the gunships.” He was very right --- While the evening drew on, the troopers within the gunships of the Regulator had cleaned their gear several times. Many didn’t want to risk the fog that accompanies waking up from a little shut eye in case something happened. Troopers stayed quiet for the most part; sitting in the cool red light of the larty bays. Hett continued his meditation.

----------- Some Time Later -----------

The state dinner had gone through several courses prior to the main event. As the premiere dish was distributed, the counselor from Onderon, Rash, sat steeped in malcontent. His eyes and outlook seemed normal to all around him, but Aayla could feel his displeasure with her presence. At a quiet moment, Rash chose to begin a verbal joust, “So what brings a Republic warmonger to the Confederation’s doorstep?”

Instantly the court was silenced! Mixed reactions visible, but all were intrigued for the response soon to follow. Atell’s violet eyes swiftly turned to Aayla’s face while she leaned back in her chair; fingertips pressed against her pursed lips. Eagerly, she prepared to listen.

Aayla looked directly towards Rash. She could feel her lekku tensing. “Families and their connections transcend the fronts of war, do they not? Clan Secura may be from a Republic planet, but we seek to nurture systems of past beneficial relationships. Atell, I’m sure you agree due to your position.” Atell’s pale green face wrenched when she was abruptly dragged into supporting the guest, “In part, but if this is the case, why bring their soldiers? You bringing them implies you bear a Republic agenda! Do you intend to undermine Aargonar’s place among the independent systems?”

Aayla swept her hand across the table in opposition “These soldiers were offered to me by the senate for protection against potential schemes. I came to see what fiscal connections may spawn here. As an optimist, I choose to see good in others even if the Senate disagrees. If my presence alone undermines some cause…perhaps THAT cause is the more fragile one.” Both Atell and Rash scoffed at the notion while others hosted a mix of reactions.

Declan Bonteri’s face remained pragmatically deep in thought. During the lull, he chose to speak, “The war is not simply black or white. There are unseen puppet masters and collaborating vipers behind every shadow. That’s to be expected with expansive governments, even corporations, but the difference is: we tried being a part of your republican government. Taxation, judicial action, coalitions: everything is stagnant or bogged down with deep-rooted corruption.” Around the table, most voices erupted into arguements. Before Geonosis, the debate would have been mostly divided, but here, everyone’s minds were already swayed. They argued about ramping up the war, ways to increase war dividends, or what terms were acceptable for a ceasefire. The room erupted!

Aayla sat mostly silent beside High Chairman Utak. His face heavy from the evening transforming into an unavoidable confrontation. He leaned over raising his finger tips to screen the dialogue between he and Secura. “Even when united, we are divided. I wonder if ever there will come an end. The galaxy is stretched tightly to the brink.” The volume raised far further beyond normal order. Clonna stood from her seat, irritated with the lack of reverence for the prestigious hall.

“Silence!!” she shouted to no avail.

“STRIKE YOUR WORDS!!!” her voice echoed off the walls. “Regain your..YOUR…reg..I….I don’t..”

Suddenly her body straightened! Veins bulged from every inch of exposed skin! Dark ridges protruded in tremendous daftly contrast!

“AHHH!!” her sharp shriek fleeting. Not a moment later her harshly erect body slammed against the table, splashing what remained of her wine and clattering plates. The room fell still in shock aside from gasps. Within moments a handful of others endured the same fate, screaming in an agony they couldn’t control until silenced by death’s tight grip. Their bodies covered in dark exposed veins, outstretched and contorted across their seats. Initially several aids tried to help their figureheads. The slightest contact rendered them the same fate! Leaning in closely they checked the vitals of their representative. Immediately after contact with the ripples or perversely bold veins, the new victim began their own death, falling to the floor shortly after, writhing.

Chairs slid back quickly. Everyone was at their feet! A flurry of questions and accusations had already begun flying to and fro across the table. Atell shouted, "Commando droids, Secure the room!" as Bly and his men made their way to Aayla Secura. “Murder! This is murder!!” one voice shouted. Another inquired, “What plot is this?!” As if a battle had broken out, Declan Bonteri moved swiftly and addressed the captain marked commando battle droid, “Captain, quarantine the sick. I want to know what is causing this. Your eminence, due to your second falling, I request the ability to begin investigating immediately.”

 The high chairman raised his hand, quickly nodded, and spoke shakily, “Ye..ye..yes General. Do what you need to!” Clearly shaken and disturbed by unfolding events.

“Captain, why aren’t you quarantining them?!” The commando droid turned to Declan and spoke in a low, emotionless tone, “They are already dead sir.” True panic of the unknown set upon the crowd. “Escort everyone to their assigned quarters and post guards in each hall! I’ll escort our guest personally.”

“Roger roger.” Doing an about face, the droid disseminated the appropriate orders to his troops.

Commander Bly rushed to the side of his commander, “General, are you alright?!” Aayla sensed she was untouched by the invisible attack, but looked to her skin which didn’t normally exhibit her veins; the same remained true. “I’m fine commander.” The room’s commotion heightened while droids “escorted” each guest to their quarters under close observation. Declan Bonteri scanned the attendees and crime scene for any overt clues. He pulled his tight fitting glove off hurriedly to see if his hands displayed any signs of the virus or poison. “That’s what it has to be!” he thought to himself; seeing that his hand was clear of any abnormal coloration.

Several meters away a movement piqued his attention – Rash was raising a glass to his lips. Aayla watched Declan leap swiftly, hitting the glass with the back of his forearm armor. The drinking flute was instantly obliterated into dozens of small crystal shards. The liquid splashed away from Rash’s lips. “Are you mad?!” His eyes flared with concern. Rash snidely retorted, “It's only water my good friend..”

“Nearly 15 people just dropped.. DEAD! We have no concept what we’re dealing with here.” The overly extravagant advisor to King Demdup rolled his eyes, “If you insist General Bonteri. I will defer to your knowledge. After all, you are more experienced with matters relating to death.” Declan paused.

The clanking of a commando droid approached. “Sir, I am to escort you to your apartment.” A voice short of breath stepped in, that of the long necked minister of science, “With you permission.. I’ll escort Consular Rash to his rooms.” Within seconds, the droid scanned his voice and had identified him Science Minister Gabrel Kindi. As a superior, the droid didn’t need a further moment to clear his request, “Roger Roger.” His long neck curled as he unnecessarily thanked the droid who had already begun walking away. Declan looked Rash in the eyes, “Please be careful. Onderon needs us now.” He quickly turned his attention to the Republic guest who carried most of his suspicions.

Sanjay Rash’s brow torqued to his comrades back. Turning from his seat, his legs straightened to accompany the male Faust escort.

Hushly beneath his breath Rash muttered, “Onderon needs me…”

The Clone Wars: Oasis Calm Vol. III Pt. 2
Hope you enjoy!!

This has a couple fun guests from the animated Clone Wars series!! Note the iconic shoulder plates in the picture ;)

Looking forward to your feedback and hearing what you think of this cat and mouse!

This fun pic is a piece by Inspector97! Check out his other works at the link: inspector97.deviantart.com/  Thanks man!
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Hey all!

Hope you are having a great week.

I created a new page on Facebook that has more content than here in terms of pictures at least. This link will provide a fun avenue to throw ideas and thoughts about the story or things you want to see!

www.facebook.com/COGS1138

Star Wars --- The Clone Wars

Oasis Calm: Volume III

"We become whatever we are committed to."

The sand ridden haze hurled itself against the lightly shielded Arquiten cruiser, the Regulator. Its savage gusts remained muted inside the cockpit, however, thunderous clatters of every loose panel inside the ship rattled continuously during the descent. Fear was entirely absent from the deck. Regardless if troopers had their eyes closed or honed into a piercing, fixed gaze; all transformed the fledgling emotion into a sharp focus. Aayla Secura’s crisp blue eyes looked to her left, her body bouncing amid the turbulence. Initially many scoffed at the idea of harnesses for a ship of this size, but when used for rapid insertions, they were all but necessary.

R4-G9 remained by its master’s side, activating its magnetic roller pads. The Jedi’s eyes looked over the crew who managed their stations with severe purpose. To her surprise, the bridge was devoid of all noise except for the clunking and various temporary alarms. Captain Sightreh remained in his stance, his voice alone in its commands. Many of the officers wore headsets that allowed the captain’s voice to be heard whilst alleviating their ears the distraction of commotion. This crew, evidently drilled again and again. The captain looked to General Secura and her clone counterpart, Commander Bly, and with a sly, almost prideful grin said, “She’ll hold together!”

The clone nav- officer shouted, “Captain! 1400 meters to ground. A spire 2200 meters ahead and closing!!”

“Adjust course to port with trim boosters! Bring the nose up 25 degrees and level out at 500 meters altitude. Overlay the nav maps with what we have of the regions topography!”

“Yes sir!”

The ship shuttered and pulled everyone’s bodies to the side during the ignition of the peripheral boosters. “We’ll be out of this shortly! Hold it together lads. Focus determines your reality!” the captain’s voice reaffirmed.  One pilot looked to his captain only for a moment, but long enough to notice a bold vein striking out of his captain’s forehead. The ship took another tremendous series of pelting beats from the torrential, desert winds of Aargonar! Aayla’s lekku jostled about enough for her to feel the need to take them in hand.

Having passed the first test this system had to offer, the golden flashes simmered down. Keeping the shields low prevented the whirlwind of sand from building up on the windows as well as clogging other necessary systems. The captain’s hands relaxed from the vice upon his pilot’s chairs.

“Well done lads! Well done indeed.” Sightreh adjusted the collar of his tunic, righting himself from the tense period recently endured.

“Captain!! Incomi..” The nav officer’s outcry was cut brief with a deafening clap! The ship lurched up from behind. An impact against the bottom hull redirected the ship upon contact. Instantly assessing the situation, an order quickly followed, “Level out! LEVEL OUT! Bow thrusters.. ENGAGE!!”

For a moment the ground below them became visible in the command deck’s windows; spelling incoming disaster! Swiftly the thrusters applied the necessary push, raising the bow and shifting the momentum from near deadly fate.

Commander Bly pulled his helmet over his head. His hands poised to draw his sidearm, simultaneously prepared to disengage his harness. “Captain, were we hit? ARE WE UNDER ATTACK?!”

“Ha ha ha, stave your heated blood commander! Continue the course helmsman.”

Aayla Secura was equally prepared to leap from her seat into the fray of battle. “Then what was th..?”

Sightreh began walking down the command deck towards the hologram table, “Like barrier islands beneath the seas; these dunes often move with the currents of the gales. That was just a really…really big shift according to the last chart we have.” The nav-officer was visibly shaken, “I’ll update the reference point immediately. I apologi..” Sightreh saw no need to chastise his officers when lessons learned were so apparent. “Sharp, if this is the worst thing to happen – then we will be in great shape. Prepare the ship for Stern docking procedures. I want us ready for a quick exit if need be.”

Nearly blended with the desert sands, a series of elegantly woven spires protruded from the dunes then culminating with two adjoining acropolises.  A snake like tunnel seemed to slither to and from an adjacent, equally stunning building.

The transmission line crackled less as the sands died away completely. A high pitched, chirpy voice railed against the eardrums of any within range…which was unfortunately everyone. “Vessel, you are now approaching the immediate air space of his Grand Chairmanship. Cease or Identify and state your intent!”

Sightreh aimed his face toward the comm-station speaking slowly, “This is Captain Sightreh of the Regulator. Carrying the emissary requested by YOUR excellency, Grand Chairman Utak. Patching clearance code now.”

There was a moment of silence. The Regulator lulled its engines, hovering over the shifting desert. Waiting..waiting..waiting. The high voice returned once again, “AH yes, as a matter of fact, we do have you on the register. My sincerest apologies for the wait, but… you could have been clearer. Lowering shields now. Good thing you came after the storm or you’d have to have waited!! Please proceed as quickly through as possible. We’ll be monitoring you! Oh! ..and do make your way to the main hanger.”

The large spherical shield quickly faded from sight when the powerful core was deactivated. “Helm, take us forward.”

The triple engines lowly murmured and pushed the ship toward the hanger. Simultaneously the Regulator began sinking towards the floor. Small boosters activated on the nose, spinning the ship to the right. “Captain! The hanger door is still shut.. If they activate the shield while we are still hovering over the cusp, it is not going to be a pretty sight!”

Sightreh opened the communication channel with the dock master, “Dock master, open the docking gate! Your shield will press us down if you activate it! ..not to mention cause catastrophic damage.” The seasoned captain’s agitation for the juvenile handling of procedure evident in his frustrated sigh. “AH AH AH…of course captain! Opening doors immediately. Landing grid has transferred. We await your dignitary’s arrival!” His high, squeely voice causing several flight officers to press a finger into their ear; attempting to insulate their sanity. “Sharp, bring us into dock. Steady as she goes! General Secura, Commander, it’s all yours from here on out. We’ll be ready for anything.”

Sharp, the Regulator’s clone navigation officer, turned to his captain, “Yes sir! Steady as she goes.” He flanked the helm operators while they made a coordinated effort to bring the ship into the tall hanger. Mostly void of other ships, the docking bay was tremendous inside its walls. Its beams were visible, but its lights bright and pure! The ship reversed slowly making minor adjustments. Indicators bleeped and blinked keeping the officer’s abreast of the ship’s proximity to the walls, ceiling, and floor.

Sharp reached down to the monitor below his immediate left “Deploying landing gear. Settle her down.”

Bellowing, the Regulator’s engines throbbed under low power. The hull of the ship dripped sand to the floor. Bold steel rods of the landing gear flexed under the heavy weight. Dipping momentarily until the suspension activated, lifting the weight into its central resting position. The thumping of the engines lowered. The beating slowed until the propulsion systems flicked off.

Meanwhile Aayla Secura and Commander Bly had made their final preparations aboard the cruiser. The pair walked towards the main lift with G9 in pursuit. Upon reaching the central lift, a small squad of clone troopers stood ready. Their war torn armor shined as much as possible for the occasion. Aayla smiled as she boarded the platform noticing the direction of several clone trooper helmets towards her. “I’ll take that as a compliment trooper” she said in jest. Her hand lightly touched the chin area of a trooper’s helmet, raising his view plate so she could use its clean reflective nature for a last minute mirror check while also sending a “message”.

The lift’s stage nonchalantly shook following Bly’s click of the direction key. Slowly the deck lowered towards the surface. Inch by inch it descended bringing the welcoming party into view, starting with their feet. During the mechanical whine of the winches, Bly place his gloved hands at the sides of his helmet, spiraling off his head it found home beneath his arm. “We’re here General. Eyes sharp men.. We’re deep in Seppie territory.”

“Commander, remember Master Hett’s words of advice: We are what we are committed to… let’s try a different approach this time around.” Each trooper on the platform turned their head to look at one another; snickering under their breath. “Ha, as you wish General.”

The welcoming delegation was made up of three separatist representatives, one of which was VERY well known. She was the first to approach the platform when it touched down, resting against the hangar deck. Her skin was a pale green that dulled against the brightly shinning lights. A pair of vibrant, flaming violet eyes darted back and forth studying the visitors before her. Aayla Secura’s breath shallowed. Was the mission already undermined?

 Behind the committee were two lines of four commando droids, a security detachment. Palms became tense, the troopers clenching their weapons in cloth moist with sweat.

The horned female’s voice was calm and neutral in addressing the disguised Jedi, “Welcome to Aargonar republic advisor..” her voice lulled, a subtle edge growing. “High Chairman Utak extended this invitation - we are here securing the sanctity of this planet’s treaty with the Confederation of Independent Systems. That being said, I am Voe Atell; an affiliate of the Corporate Alliance.” 

Smiling coyly, Aayla began weaving her false identity using her family’s well known clan name, Secura. “It’s good to be on solid ground again Counselor Atell. I’m sure you’re familiar with Clan Secura’s interests. Sadly Ryloth is a disputed system currently.. but that’s another matter.” Glowing violet eyes flared upon hearing the name. The Secura clan had numerous dealings extending far beyond the desert planet of Ryloth; even alleged, discreet dealings with the Corporate Alliance.

Her eyebrows piqued with intrigue, “Ahhh..that name does sound rather familiar. Maybe we’ll discover a thing or two in common during your stay.” Close behind one of her advisors leaned forward, whispering to her ear. “My advisors feel the need to constantly remind me of legalities. Your soldiers are requested to surrender their..” pausing momentarily, Atell quickly selected another word that would not cause consternation among her guests. “..yield.. yield their weapons aboard the cruiser. Only in an effort to maintain neutrality.”

Aayla nodded and signaled to her armored escorts an acknowledgment to the conditions at hand. The clone troopers’ posture initially gestured befuddled disagreement. A brief look at their commander’s stern supportive face and they knew there was no case to object. One by one, each trooper walked to the rack that was attached to the sides of the lift’s cage. -- Tick and clack – the butt of each rifle and carbine tapped the floor before it latched into the carbon metal harness.

Commander Bly then made a note of being the last to lay his rifle down. His thumb disengaged the locks to his sidearm holsters. Slowly he drew both pistols. Bly’s eyes hostilely locked with the Corporate Alliance’s green-horned delegate before placing them on the floor. The commander continued holding the helmet tucked under his arm while he approached Secura’s side. Confidently as if backed by an armada of heavy cruisers, Bly spoke with his masquerading general, “The terms are agreeable. We’ve got this under control.”

Secura’s cheek tightened; her lip curled prior to her head turning back toward the separatist welcoming delegation. Her eyes only met with Atell’s, asserting her dominance over the others, “Shall we? Gee- Nine; come.” Atell smiled, taking a step back before smoothly motioning her visitors to closely accompany.

A rare sight followed; clone troopers wearily marched alongside a squad of commando droid. Metallic feet clanked while the trooper’s rubberized boots thudded against the floor. Soon the metallic grids of the hanger gave way to a highly sought after stone. The tan base of every block fused with swirls of ancient red sand. Opposite the spirals were jagged pebble deposits of dark obsidian. When sliced during the process of creating tiles, brilliant contained colors burst from within each little nugget. Seeing exotic patterns brought out a natural smile from Secura.

Music clung to the warm air the further they weaved through the curving tunnel. Each step elevated the music further. The cold lights of the hanger bay were now very far away. Echoes of music faded in and out, ricocheting off dimly lit smooth walls. Light ovals alternated from ceiling and floor. Tighter and tighter the tunnel became. The clones marched in a single file line beside their droid counterparts. “Well this is a little awkward..” The clone’s shoulder pads grew nearer to the droids. Another of his brothers turned his head to the right, opposite of the droid phalanx, “That and it’s perverse! This better not turn up on the holonet.”


Bly’s staunch voice sharply cut through his comrades jests, “Stow it trooper!” Again, both lines marched in silent tandem, the clone trooper’s fists clenched. Through his visor, Commander Bly looked forward, constantly scanning his surroundings. In front of him General Secura’s dress shifted effortlessly as she glided across the stone. Her skill of engaging others looked effortless.

A tight archway blossomed out into an extravagant formal ballroom, or at least, that’s what came to Aayla’s mind. Crystals dangled from the layers of ceiling, spirals and walkways blended with every subtle edifice. Truly a beauty and structural wonder of the galaxy! The hall was far brighter than the corridor. Music bounced from wall to wall; the sound of chimes echoing. Gee-Nine’s dome pivoted back and forth. Even the droid studied the ancient craftsmanship. The grandiose nature of this getaway must have truly been a wonder during the height of its reign. Worlds tend to dwindle during Separatist involvement, but someone always benefits; but who was the pawn?

The spiraling staircases threaded in and out of the wall. What looked like one staircase was several bound within the rock. Two main pathways from opposing spirals congealed in the center of the atrium. A tall slender man slowly walked down the stairs. With no railing near, an aid provided a hand to stabilize the fragile monarch. His eyes a pastel brown surrounded by slim streaking wrinkles. His hair white, devoid of color for many years. Following in a pack, his court was composed of all sorts of creatures for both for advice and entertainment.

His voice was soft, but still held strength. Nearing the base of the stairwell, the trim robbed monarch looked to the visiting delegation, “Welcome to my domain and home, Aargonar. It gladdens me to see you arrive without incident.”

Aayla Secura smiled lightly, then lowered her head, bowing graciously. His aged voice quickly spoke, almost embarrassed by her formality, “Come friend. The Republic hasn’t always been so distant from my courts. Rise! See yourself among friends fair lady.” Her blue eyes peered from beneath her raising brow, “Grand Chairman Utak, we would not miss a calling of yours, no matter how long it’s been.” Though his smile grew, his eyes shrank with the weight of an unspoken truth. In his youth, the chairmen had been quite the savvy politician, but years of broken promises made him weary of double edged words.

“Come, take my hand. I hear you are of Clan Secura. I knew several of the patriarchs quite well. We have much to discuss.. Tell me, how is your Uncle?” The disguised, azure knight took Utak’s feeble hand, following his lead. The clones followed her close behind, G9 remained even closer.


--- Continue to Part 2 --->

The Clone Wars: Oasis Calm -- Vol. III Pt. 1
Here is the next continuation of Aayla Secura and A' Sharad Hett's secret mission!

Character refresher in case you forgot who Voe Atell is ---> starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Voe_At…

Enjoy the growing tension! :)

Part two of Volume III will be VERY soon.

Enjoy and I look forward to hearing thoughts or ideas.

Be well force users!!
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Star Wars --- The Clone Wars

Oasis Calm: Volume II

"The way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel influences the way you act."

Journeying through space was always a dangerous venture during the Clone Wars. Unknown threats lurking unseen in the distance, camouflaged by nebulas, or amidst space debris. In hyperspace, however, the Arquitens cruiser known as the Regulator glided effortlessly. While cruising at such incredible speeds, the ship's triad of engines lightly hummed. Every view port emanated a beautiful cerulean blue glow of the hyperspace lane. The crew and troopers aboard the vessel laughed as they reveled in this brief opportunity, but one presence wasn't so easily at peace.

The blast door to the bridge briefly hissed as its double sections split apart. In to the dimly lit, scarcely crewed area, walked Aayla Secura. When ships had long hyperspace waypoints during a mission, it was protocol to lower the battle order for the troops aboard the craft. This allowed a small skeleton crew to maintain critical functions while the troops checked gear and took in some much needed shut eye. Several crew members remained at their stations at the most forefront controls of the command deck. To their flank, Master A' Sharad Hett's silhouette was easily identified against the glimmering blue window. Aayla paced up the short stairwell to the elevated position. Her hand rested on two clone trooper's shoulders who mildly flinched upon her touch. She kindly lowered her face toward them, "Troopers, your station is not necessary during hyperspace. Both of you are relieved for the time being." Both looked at her with eyes of surprise, but were grateful. A silent weight lifted from their shoulders when they rose from their swiveling chairs, "Thank you General Secura." Heals clicked while they exited the bridge.

Master Hett's body remained facing the view ports. Closing the distance between them, Aayla twisted her head softly to the side, looking to view the solemn master's face. His eyes were closed, his breath steady. "I'm sure they are thankful for that. Heh, their tenseness could have burst the windows if you had touched them just a tad firmer." A large smile surfaced across the female Jedi's face, "Ha, I knew you had to be reveling in that.. just a little! Typically people are unsure what to around someone with such intensity." Hett faced Aayla, "I know, but I've always found more solace in meditation rather than the company of others." "Maybe we'll rub off on each other! Me with a little more foresight and you might leave the planet smiling!" Hett's eyebrows pursed in amusement, "What about hoping we don't get sand in our boots?" Still brimming with a smile Aayla replied, "Well that's the first priority!"

As if on cue, Lieutenant Hazoc, one of Commander Bly's subordinates, approached the pair with a data pad tightly gripped in his hand. "General Hett, Secura; your orders from the Jedi Temple and Security Council have arrived for review sirs." Extending from his crossed arms, Hett took the pad in his hand, "Thank you Lieutenant. This will be all for now." The clone trooper turned to walk back down the stairs. "Notify all quarters when we approach deceleration distance helmsman." "Aye aye, general!"

When at the table, Aayla pulled a small holochip from inside the pad her partner was holding. Clicking, the small data chip popped into place. An encrypted message spawned from the blue emulators circling the table. The figure was a tall man wearing ornate robes, adorned intricate piping and threading. His posture was not as erect it must have been in years past, but he still carried himself with a sense of pride and distinction. His right hand was raised beneath his dark pointed chin beard, pointer finger and thumb stroking through it,

    "Good tidings counselors. Though there have been many years of tension between our system and the Republic, I do hope this message may begin to set a rebolstered foundation in place. Joining the Confederation of Independent Systems seemed to be too good a proposition and it was just that!! I send this message in the hopes to meet with a delegation. Striving to undo the damage incurred will be a long journey, but it is an undertaking worth embarking. Sources say a threat is developing in our deserts. I do not want my system to succumb nor be responsible for a creation that will bring the galaxy to its knees! This meeting will be off grid.. and the ledger.. at my palatial retreat. Coordinates also are encrypted with the droid carrying this message. May redemption for Aarognar not be too far from grasp.."

Again crossing his arms, Hett began thinking strategically about the various levels of the message. What was said, what was left unsaid, even what motives existed for a trap. His blue counterpart clicked her tongue lightly against the back of her white teeth. She looked to her friend, "This is a precarious situation.." Hett began to make his way from the bridge, "Especially when we're going into it effectively blind. Our mere presence, if framed in propaganda, will only serve to galvanize our foe further." Following his lead Aayla agreed, "You're right! We must tread lightly."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Side by side they walked down the cold metallic corridors. Hatchway after bulkhead followed.

From down the corridor laughs and sharp voices echoed off the plating. "Ha ha!! EeyYES!" exclaimed a clone trooper raising both fists in a celebratory dance. "Come on Commander! Its your turn to show the lads how its done! OR.. are you only good at putting down SEPPIE DESERT DOGS!" Numerous voices laughed. "Aten-HUT! Generals on deck!" Hazoc shouted from his stance, resting against the entry bulkhead. The Jedi drew close. All clones snapped to their feet. Some wore only their under armor, others partially prepped for battle, but all revered the prowess of these two Jedi.  

"Ease yourselves men." A' Sharad Hett calmly spoke, placing his gloved hand on a clone's arm and then another. "Though we have fought adversaries here, in this situation I'd urge you to be less pejorative." Hazoc approached from the shadowed bulkhead, "We're here to discover a plot possibly even turn the system's leadership to our side...I'd say this is a rare opportunity sirs." Hazoc rarely said much, but what he did say was heavy with calculation. Though a clone, he believed the application of steady, strategic thinking could win a fight against opposition of any strength. 

"It is indeed Lieutenant." Aayla Secura affirmed confidently. Commander Bly pulled his helmet from a shelf with a curious spark in his eye, "So what's the plan general?" A' Sharad Hett made it a habit not to leave any element of a plan to chance. He had already devised several contingencies since their departure from Coruscant. "The plan is concise, but leaves us flexible enough to act. Since Grand Chairman Utak reached out to the senate initially, he won't be expecting Jedi, thus, Secura will be impersonating a Senator with Commander Bly and a squad as escort. Hazoc, you and your teams will board the gunships with me. They will be powered down while we approach the planet avoiding as many scanners as possible."

Bly raised his hand to attract minimal attention. "How will we conceal the gunships? This world still has a lot of Seppie support."

"Good question Bly, but we won't. Powering down won't allow them to be picked up by scanners. In terms of visual threats, we'll be docking in a covered hanger. This is what we'll have to do with the time given. The slowly fracturing beliefs of the populace means the Senate wants us to act NOW."

Hazoc clicked his small vibro-knife against his forearm, with an emotionless face his eyes squeezed. "Truth be said, I get it..but its fool-hearty. Never rush a military operation.." With a chuckle a clone from the shadows made his presence known. "Nothing goes according to plan Hazoc..no matter how meticulous! We all know Bly's approach. That's why we're the 327th!"

Hazoc exhaled lightly behind his comrade's zeal. "How could we forget Clipper?" The unamused clone brother raised his hands forming quotations with both his pointer and middle fingers, "Know the mission, know your enemy." Clipper chimed in, "Achieve the mission, kill the enemy!!" Bly's hand raised when Aayla began speaking with light jest, "Well that's all I need!" Bly looked to her at the same time holstering a pistol, "It's all any soldier needs."  

Hett subtly nodded, "Well then arm up men, its time we put the Star Corps' pragmatism to work!" The Jedi turned to leave the room. In various degrees of unison the troopers gathered together cheered, "Ha ha ha, YESS!!"

"HuZaah!"

"That's what I'm talking bout!"

"Lets do this! Get it DONE!"

Clatters chattered while drawers slid open. The clone troopers pulled armor from where they lay stowed. Clicking and snapping each additional piece into place. Within minutes the three squads of troopers stood together with their helmets off. Their armor white with a muddled golden stripe down the center. Each wearing a dull, light brown kama; scorched by the testament of battle. Bly stood at the center of the room, "In war we seldom are provided the time to mourn, but before we leave, I want us to remember three of our fallen brothers. Cameron, Lucky, and Flash. They await us in the stars! We fight - so that others in the Republic don't have to! Lets stay tight, do it right, and get our boots back on deck!"

"You said it Commander!!"

"Back on deck!"

"Lets make it quick 327!"

In double file column the troopers left their barracks toward the armory to rearm. One clone followed the column alone, placing a black pair of dress boots next to the bulkhead seal. Tapping the side, he ensured they were placed right where they were meant to be. "We'll be back."

________________________________________________________________________

Bly stood at the entry of the improvised boarding hatch which connected the pair of gunships to the larger frigate. His men hustled into the familiar Larty bay, strapping in and locking their weapons into place. A' Sharad Hett walked closer to Bly, "May the Force be with you commander." Respectfully Bly replied with the same pre-mission tensed focus, "Aye sir. May this not spark a bigger fight."

A younger voice came from the red hued bay after Hett passed, "Commander Bly..can you double check the Captain doesn't move my boots?"

The veteran commander smiled reassuringly at the shinnie, "Of course Stock. Now hop to!"

Hissing, the door of the gunship clamped shut, creating a self contained atmosphere within. Bly turned, pressing his thumb into a red key which closed the seal of the Regulator. "You always encourage the dynamics of your men Bly. It does them well." Bly, thinking he was alone, took a quick breath. "You're right Aalya. After my training I realized how instrumental honing personalities are. Yea...we might butt heads..but the versatility.. the variety gained from it is purely a strength." Aayla's face lightened.

This was always something she had believed and struggled with while commanding clones, initially. Jedi and Clone Commanders were paired for this purpose. Eventually they would grow to compliment one another creating a very potent combination of known strengths and weakness. "I'm glad we agree." the blue Jedi playfully whispered.

"I'll see you on the bridge shortly Commander Bly. Now I must go vale myself for a role as a senator!" She winked and briskly walked to her quarters to assume her new persona.

_________ Some time later. _____________

The ship silently pressed through hyperspace. In the gunship bay, many clones had removed helmets and began conversing with each other, even asking questions of the first battle to Hett. Bly stood with Captain Sightreh, commanding officer of the Regulator, overseeing the bridge. Officers and crewman had begun filing into their stations. Republic vessels were always at full battle readiness when dropping out of lightspeed.  Captain Sightreh skimmed over his coordinates and star charts. His voice low and always calm spoke succinctly, "Helmsman, prepare to slow from hyperspace." A clone officer echoed the order, as was protocol, "Helmsman, prepare to exit hyperspace."

"Ready sir!"

The nav officer's voice chimed the updated count down, "6...5...4...3..2.1 --- Commence deceleration of the hyperdrive!"

The blue avenue of hyperspace gave way to the dark; littered with white specs of other systems far far away. All aboard the Regulator lurched forward slightly from the rapid deceleration. The Arquiten cruiser sped through the Perkell Sector. A desert system stood before them, where months prior a tremendous battle had ravaged the planet. A battle grand in scale and destruction! At this point in the war, its losses were only second to that of Jabiim!

Captain Sightreh again spoke, keeping his order two steps ahead so there was no cause to hurriedly react. He could take any frigate and have her "fly casual."

"Nav officer, bring us into that commuter line. Half speed. Let us drift into position, not enough to bring attention, but enough to let em know you are not a military trained pilot...even though we all know you are. heh* heh*"

A murmur of chuckles made its way around the command deck. Sightreh's humor always remained understated, but perfectly placed to break tension. "That's it lads. Bring us in to the fold." Maintaining its momentum , the Regulator closed in on the line of trade vessels, merchants, military crafts, and personal travel shuttles that were making their way toward the surface. The boosters dimmed, while others counter fired, slowly bringing the ship between two, much larger, ships. "Well done. Well done. Now, Keep your eyes on the scanners. If there's trouble, don't bring weapons up unless I order it explicitly."

"Sir yes sir!" the crew barked.

***CCRSSSHH***

The door nearest the hologram table opened suddenly. Bly turned his neck to acknowledge who he thought would be General Secura. His eyes widened whilst his brow perked up. "Well done coming out of the hyperlane Captain." Aayla's voice sounded. Bly began to stumble over his words, "Uh..Gen..General Secura, you look.."

Without missing a beat, Captain Sightreh interrupted, "~Stunning~"

"Thank you gentlemen. Remember the war is between the separatists!" The duo of awestruck men let out a shy laugh, but couldn't help taking a prolonged gaze at the cloth that adorned the toned Twi Lek.

Aayla Secura wore a thin and very light fabric that clung to her skin effortlessly. Her blue Lekku were wrapped in a white fabric that had the slightest sheen, speckled with fine clear and blue jewels. Around her neck was a white collar resembling curved waves that spiraled either side. Flowing down the white material drifted down her arms rather snuggly, being held in place by a small silver ring that was worn on the middle finger. Her lower throat was bare, unveiling her soft, azure skin. The same wave pattern rippled further down her torso, exposing the inner sides of her breasts. From there towards the floor, her dress  dove into deep hues of blue and violet. Fine piping of green accented the design of what clearly was a master crafted article of clothing, for her and her alone.

From behind came echoes of loud Bwoops and Beeps's, clearly an R2 unit. Crossing on to the deck rolled Secura's bronze domed R4- G9 astromech. Rattling of a rapid series of Beeps, whistles, and sirens, her droid extended one of its claws which held tightly gripped, a snow white cloak, clearly intended to accompany the gown. Random suppressed laughs couldn't be contained as it became apparent that the droids alerts were not that of panic. Instead they fit the role of a knaggy mother chastising her adolescent daughter before going out for the night!

The Jedi Knight's cheeks heated up with both a dash of embarrassment and agitation for her droid counter part. "Thank you VERY much Gee-nine." Kneeling next to the droid she threw the albino cloak over her shoulders and under her long, dazzling lekku, with a flourish of finesse. The blue female then raised the lightsaber hilt she was holding, "Alright Gee-nine, where do you want it this time?" R4-G9 retorted with a low pitched, begrudging, little digitized grumble. A small trapezoid compartment popped apart. "Well that's a new spot! Thank you. Keep it safe." ***Bee Doo doo* The lightsaber fit perfectly into its new containment box.

Captain Sightreh opened communication linked with the gunships. "We are on the prescribed approach vector General. Set to maintain course until we near the palace."

***Ka-TACH! **crssCCHHHH **TONNNG ***kk..kkk.. *** pinG

Seemingly random noises began! Pieces of debris bounced off the hull and minimal shielding. A handful of clone officers stood from their seats to look out the view ports to report.  "What is that noise?" No window was needed for A' Sharad Hett to know the answer. Solemnly through the commline his voice was clear, "Ghosts of the past. No more comm chatter from here until touch down captain." 

Sightreh acknowledged briefly, "Yes sir." before silencing all deck comms. Bly looked out the window to a sight that struck every navy man at their station. The commander's face was nearly pressed into the glass. His eyes locked on what remained of a pair of bright grey, lifeless Acclamator Assault Ships. The pair were still being scowered by Separatist techs and scavengers alike. Secura stepped up to the windows.

A young clone, recently assigned, murmured without thinking, "What...in the name..of .."

Even Aayla's breath remained stolen for a moment. Captain Sightreh took a deep breath and sighed. "I thought we were dead in space that day. Its ironic to return here with Hett..he saved many lives during the rearguard action. It was gutsy to use the one, nearly empty assault ship to shield our vessel. That day trained Dao and I to be masters of our fear with Hett as our teacher... we'd all be dead as would those who later became Hawkbat Battalion...Ghosts.. ghosts indeed."

Continuing ahead, the unmarked republic frigate sped ahead, intermingled in the heavy traffic. During certain hours, Sepratists relaxed scanning and checks in order to get out as many cargo filled transports, reaping the benefits from the mineral laden planet as quickly and unmolested as possible. The Regulator flew right through the CIS blockade without a hitch or flag being raised.

"Here we go General. Entering the stratosphere."

A light bounce turned into a more violent shutter. Commander Bly sat in a chair, belting himself in. The ship heaved upward into the air then sharply down! The view plate transitioned from the dark void of space to a brilliant baby blue, but only for a moment. The further the descent took them, the more obscure their vision became. Relying on their instrumentation became necessary. Every body on board was relentlessly jostled by the turbulence. Aayla Secura's knuckles grew the closest they could to white while clenching the arm of her seat! 

The captain held his footing which were spread for balance as if they alone kept the ship stable.

"Steady the helm! Keep us on course! We've flown right into the middle of a sand blizzard!!"

Star Wars --- The Clone Wars

Oasis Calm: Volume 1

"Uncertainty is a sign of humility, and humility is just the ability or willingness to learn."

(Opening Crawl)

"The first months of the Clone War rages on! Grand armies of the Republic stride forward bringing order behind. Battlefields grow more diverse while growing heavy with casualties. Each side devises increasingly lethal plots to stave the enemies war efforts in the hope of sparing themselves financial burden. The burden of commissioning a new army.

A' Sharad Hett is charged with investigating such Separatist ploys. Located in the system of Aargonar, Separatists seek a new way to eliminate political opposition. The system's allegiance and resources weigh in the balance.

Jedi Knight Aayla Secura's 327th Star Corp prepares their ships for the coming task. The optimistic young Jedi holds diplomacy in high regard having recently secured a new treaty with the Lurmen of Maridun. The Jedi temple remains an emblem of tranquility on Coruscant; the hopes of the people glowing as the new horizon dawns...."

Firmly, A' Sharad Hett tightens the leather belt around his waist. Looking to the window, thick rays of brilliant sunlight beam from the bustling, urban skyline. The radiance brings memories of the hot twin Tatooine suns rising; bring a warm reprieve from night's clutching chill. Ever so slightly his cheek tightened. Far above, the silhouette of an approaching speeder briefly blocked his view. As it passed above his quarters, the shadow briefly blocked the ambient golden ray's glow which illuminated his sparse Jedi quarters.

The flirtation of a smile once present released from his face. Reflecting from the window stood a heavily tattooed face that stared back with deep penetrating blue eyes. Slowly they closed.

Not yet familiar with the face seen, Hett turned from the sight. Pacing away from the window, his two lightsabers wiggled briefly on his desk before swiftly being pulled to his hands with the force. Softly they clicked, adhering to his belt. Opening his closet door, Hett pulled several thin straps of porous cloth. Methodically twisting, his hands guided the fabric. Sprawling it across his forearm as he wove it. Tight in some places and not others, but just the way he wanted it. Looking down, Hett looped a small piece of the desert fabric through another to hold its chosen place. From his cloth, several tiny granules fell to the amber wooden surface beneath. Many would have paid no credence to this happening; others  may have seen it a nuisance, but to this knight, even the smallest grain was sacred. Slowly the small sands from across the galaxy were swept into his palm. As if an oil, he rubbed the grains back into the cloth.

A slight click snapped Hett from his meditative ritual. Cascading a shadow from the open door stood a lovely figure with brilliantly blue skin. One lekku draped over her shoulder, the other lightly touched her back. The female's teeth showed a brilliant white as her lips parted in a light natured smile, "So what happens when you start losing sand specks all over the place? Jocasta Nu is on to you!" The sound of her voice was musical in a melodic nature.

The human raised tusken, who had decided to live as a Jedi rather than any species, allowed the corner of his mouth to tighten into the hint of an elusive grin. "Welcome back Aayla. Its a good thing Master Fisto's kind are adept when it comes to breathing beneath water. You've been busy." Aayla's began to feel her azure skin heating up. Excitedly her voice burst with a hint of nervousness, "Who told you that?!? I..I mean.." A short sigh of humored relief left Hett's nostrils, "Master Fisto's smile said enouh." Dismissing the Jedi master's humorous tease, the knight closed the discussion of that topic abruptly, "That Nautolan NEVER stops smiling!!"

Master Hett continued his ritual, "This is true. Heh* Even death could not part the grimace from the wearer." Aayla's chest let loose a sigh of relief, "So why all the sand? Is that all you have?" A' Sharad's quarters were sparse in appearance. Having been raised among the sands provided little need for anything that was not necessary. Motioning to her, his hand gripped a small dark wooden box. She observed keenly. Noting its craftsmanship, it had small inlays of light bone. Easily lifting off the lid, the master reached down. Taking her blue hand, he raised it to be level with her waist. The contents of the box remained obscure while his fingertips dove within.

Moving his hand over her open palm, the mystery was revealed. The sand of all color and texture sifted into the creases of her smooth hand, "These can't all be from Tatooine, can they?" The master's low toned voice was full when he responded. "Not at all. These have been gathered from across the galaxy. Negotiations, gatherings, even from beneath fallen brethren. All followed me home, but are kept here. A past not forgotten." Aayla's presence became a solemn one, taking in the poignant purpose of Hett's lesson. "Thank you for sharing your way Master Hett, brother of the deserts." Her voice began to return to its upbeat rhythm, hopefully you won't collect much sand on our next mission. May this will actually be a calm one!"

Hett's fingers pulsed pulling the small sediment from Secura's palm, withdrawing pieces from what shallow creases existed. Spiraling, the sand passed from her hands to the little ornate, but humble box. Pressing firmly the lid sank into place. "I share your sentiment of hope, but the likelihood of that is as high as traversing Tatooine while hoping not to get sand in your boot on a calm day. As a daughter of Ryloth, you are aware how difficult that is...The Galaxy is amidst chaos...All that we do is shrouded in a sandstorm."

Smiling with a slightly coy nature Secura Dismissed Master Hett's insight. Walking to the slim doorway Aayla looked over her lightly clother shoulder, "Come Master Hett, Bly has our ship prepped for departure." Her leather wrapped lekku swayed with her brisk turn around the corner. A deep exhale left A' Sharad Hett's compressing lungs as he sighed, collecting himself. He too followed suit quickly walking through the door pursuing Aayla.
______________________________________________________________________________

Shortly after departing the temple, the Jedi pair arrived at the Republic Departure Facility.

Clone troopers in a variety of armor hustled all about, moving equipment and wounded from ship to ship. The war effort was constant. "General Secura, over here sir!" The clone voice emanated from a clone trooper dawning a brown kama with sidearms, a rifle in one hand, his helmet in the other. Two yellow tattoos adorned his cheek matching the mikadu yellow of his thigh plating. Aayla jogged over toward her designated clone commander who was flanked by several others wearing similar color armor. "Its good to see you again General. Will say..I finally got the grass out of my plating."

Bly and his men quickly saluted when Master Hett approached then held out his hand to greet the master, "Its good to meet you General Hett. Your record is awe-inspiring."

"That's appreciated Commander. I've hard of your successes as well, particularly against the odds you had on Maridun. Thank you for taking out that test weapon. Until then, I had only heard vague reports of what was being devised."

A second trooper approached from the large docking bays. His helmet bore a different design from the standard line down the middle, instead it was curved like a crescent. Stopping to salute the generals and his commander; Bly introduced the trooper, "Generals, this is Lieutenant Hazoc. Trained in small squad blitz tactics." Without removing his helmet the lieutenant began speaking, "Sirs, the men are prepared to get underway. In addition, we completed the adjustments to the Arquitens light cruiser. We improvised clamps for us to take a pair of gunships. Its a contested sector - Its my belief that using the "Regulator" will enable us to not attract negative attention."

Nodding, Hett agreed with the idea. "Well thought out Hazoc. Let's get to the ship!"

The handful of clone troopers jogged towards the ship then climbed aboard to join their compatriots.

Be - woop! Be- woop!

A Jedi communicator was going off! Aayla reached down checking hers, but it was inactive. Hett activated his while raising it from his tight utility side pouch. From the center a blue hologram of Yoda and Ki Adi Mundi grew visible. The grains fluctuated while they walked. Bowing their heads in greeting, Hett and Aayla acknowledged the high council masters.

Yoda's voice cracked over the hologram, "Brief this message must be, but most important your mission remains. To the Mid- Rim you must go. Meet with the Governor and his ministers you will. Be with care and lightly tread. Separatist schemes yet await unseen. Aargonar remains a critical system."

Hett's collected presence was not noticeably changed by the tasking order, but Aayla did note the trouble in his eyes. The tusken master spoke, "We will meet with them immediately; avoiding the creation of an incident."

Ki Adi Mundi smiled looking at his grown padawan, "Details will be sent to your ship shortly. May the force be with you A' Sharad and you Aayla Secura." 

The walking knights again bowed their heads to the grand masters whose image faded as quickly as it had appeared.

Curious about his reaction, Aayla inquisitively turned her face toward the tattooed knight, "Master Hett, why do you look so troubled upon hearing our assignment?" No immediate reaction was given. A Sharad's boots click as they began climbing the metallic boarding ramp. He paused briefly. His chin lowered as his eyes took on a melancholy sheen. Turning his eyes towards Aayla he spoke in hushed tones, "My padawan fell in the sands of Aargonar.."

The whur of the engines pulsed thunderously...

The Clone Wars: Oasis Calm -- Vol I
Enjoy this NEW Clone Wars story inspired by a piece of work done by my friend Smack. This story takes place EARLY in the Clone Wars... I'm sure you'll figure out where ;)

His work will be featured on Volume, but check out his work in the mean time! smackadoodeldoo.deviantart.com…

This cover art was completed by the wonderful Nike-93: nike-93.deviantart.com/ 
Thank you for such hard work and a great turn around!!

Thanks for stopping by! If you have feedback or thoughts, feel free to share or fav!!

MTFBWY!!
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Hey all,

Just a heads up I made it out of reconstructive surgery alright and am looking forward to getting you all some new stories.

I'm going to be wrapping up my Order 66 writings, but what era would you like next?

Clone wars, imperial, rebel transition?

Throw me some thoughts!

Y'all stay well and may the force be with you!

- Blake

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TheIrishRogue
Blake H.
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:iconlinzeda:
linzeda Featured By Owner 14 minutes ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the favorite!!!
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Leopold002 Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Love the Clone Wars: Oasis Calm!
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TheIrishRogue Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2015
AWE!! Thanks!!

It makes me ready to write more seeing comments like these! :)

More awesomeness to come!
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8-bitAsher Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2015  Professional General Artist
Thanks so much for the fave!
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TheIrishRogue Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2015
yep yep!
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zang-zip Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2015
Hey man, I've got the opening to the Saleucami fan fic up.  I'd love to hear what you think of it when you get a chance.  Take care!
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Sushiprincess Featured By Owner Edited Jun 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks so much for the comments and the faves!
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TheIrishRogue Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2015
mmhmm! :)
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Thanks a lot for the fav :) (Smile)
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Thanks for the faves, cheers!!
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