I have been lying here in complete radio silence for the past 26 hours. The Lt. Cmdr and the rest of the team went in the cave entrance over a day ago.
They were not supposed to be this long. We dropped far from the city. The team is supposed to make though the cave, which hooks up with the sewer system and attempt to access a computer within the City. We were sent in as a 5-person team. A sniper, The Lt. Cmdr to slice the system and 3 other troopers as back up.
I am annoyed that the Lt. Cmdr had me stay here on sniper duty. WK 315 is normally our sniper. On the last 4 mission E775 and I have acted as escort to the Lt. Cmdr. She had that mischievous look when she told me I was on sniper patrol.
The worst part of long wait like this is the stims. They make me jumpy. Not good while trying to stay silent and still. I use the ancient Echani calming technique the Lt. Cmdr has taught a few of us. My body calms, but my mind remains restless.
I dislike all the waiting, it give me too much time to think.
My mind begins to wander.
5 months earlier on Coruscant
E775 is helping me up off the mat. He was bleeding from above his eye and I am trying to shake off the stun blow he had delivered to defeat me in the sparing match.
"Kandosii (nice one). You are getting much better"
E775 grinned at me; "I haven't beaten you in the last 7 matches, so I guess it was finally my turn today."
The Med Bot hovers up to us and begins examining E775 and me.
"Numerous abrasion, small incision above right eye caused by blunt force trauma, possible concussion." The Med Bot squawks at E775 and begins working on his cut and bruises. I can tell that it is going to leave a scar, regardless of the medical attention. I'll have to watch myself in the future.
As the Med Bot begins to treat my wounds, E775 start talking again. "So, how can you win so many of these sparring matches against me? We have the same training, came from the same Cloners, but you still seem to out match me most of the time."
I shrug, "I don't know. Maybe it because I've been in service longer than you. You came on after the battle of Geonosis. That's all I can think of."
E775 looks at me. The soon to be scar makes it the look quizzical, "I'm not..."
"Officer on Deck!!" barks the arena Admin.
All the troopers in the sparring arena turn to the voice and snap to attention.
Walking along with the arena Admin is a diminutive dark haired woman. I recognized her as the new officer, a Lt. Cmdr who was transferred here last week. On here second day here she had been given permission to interview several of the troopers. It seems she is building a team to work with her on selective missions. The troopers she interviewed came from many different units with out much rhyme or reason that I could discern.
"At ease!" the arena Admin shouts.
E775 quietly say "She been on the observation deck the last two day. Watching the trooper spar."
"I haven’t noticed" I lied
I do notice now that the Lt. Cmdr is wearing sparring clothes. But I don't see any other home-mades (clone phrase for non-clones) on the floor.
The arena Admin walks her up to E775 and me. "The Lt. Cmdr has requested a sparring session with a trooper. One of you two is it. No BIBO rules with her, understand!"
"Yes, Sir" we both bark back.
He turns and leaves us with the Lt. Cmdr.
She smiles and offers her hand "Lt. Cmdr J. Ranaé Oneida"
E775 puts out his hand "I am E775 and the quiet trooper next to me is TK 266. Unfortunately he'll have to be your sparring partner. I have to head over to medical..." he taps the cut on his head "concussion you know."
The Med Bot start to make a noise, but E775 bumps it hard as he leaves hurriedly, leaving me to fume and youngling-watch the officer.
The Lt. Cmdr does a slight eyebrow arch, "TK 266, I guess you're the lucky trooper today. You get to...hmmm what phrase would you use: Watch after, play host, waste time, baby-sit... me."
"Not at all, ma'am. I am happy to..."
The Lt. Cmdr points a finger at me. "Please don't call me ma'am. It drives me nuts."
"Of course ma'ma...I mean Lt. Cmdr"
"So TK 266, what do your friends call you?
I look puzzled "TK 266, ma..., Lt. Cmdr"
The Lt. Cmdr looks a little incredulous and says in a mock somber voice. "OK then, TK 266, let us get to the sparring and stop wasting a trooper's valuable time" A small smile plays across her face.
I shake off the memories like dew from morning grass and scan the area around the cave entrance. It is one click away and I have a clear view of everything in a 270-degree arc. Nothing moving in my immediate sightline.
Where are they?