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The air on the planet was cold and made breathing slightly difficult. The inhabitants of the planet were just as cold. Almost all of them were treating the Republic's clone armies with open derision, in in a few isolated encounters, with violence.

Ahsoka Tano, the young Padawan learner of the great Jedi Anakin Skywalker, didn't understand the hostility. She had been administering aid to a youngling in one of the villages, and an elder had approached them, taken the child away, and yelled something at Ahsoka. Ahsoka had asked a clone to translate, but the soldier had shifted his weight uncomfortably and shook his head.

"I'd rather not say that to an officer," he had said.

She didn't understand… after all, the Republic was actually helping the people. The Separatists just wanted the material that came from the ice caves. The Republic was trying to help the indigenous people stay free.

"Master?" she said.

Anakin was looking out from the command tower in the Republic's base camp. It was hard to see very far, with all the snow, but the Force helped him a little. "What is it, Snips?" he asked.

"It's just, if we're helping them, why are they attacking us?"

Anakin stopped what he was doing and looked down at her. "It's not that uncommon. It happens in plenty of places. They just don't like off-worlders."

Ahsoka shook her head. "Yeah, but in those cases it makes sense at least. I mean, in those cases the Republic and the Seps both want the same thing. But this time, the droids would soon as kill the natives. So why all the resistance?"

Anakin scratched his head. "I'd say this is just a more extreme version of what we have encountered before. You know what I mean. It's not like they're only attacking us."

Ahsoka nodded slowly. "It's just hard to find motivation to do the job when the people we are fighting for are actually fighting us…"

Anakin laughed. "That's something that bothers everyone from Padawans to the strongest Knights."

"And how would you know?" Ahsoka asked.

A grin spread across Anakin's face. "Cuz I am the strongest Knight. Come on, Rex and his men are returning."


Anakin and Ahsoka walked out into the cold to meet clone Captain Rex and his team of speeder-bike riding troopers. Ahsoka noticed there was one less clone then had gone out. She opened her mouth to ask, but Rex hopped of his speeder and spoke first.

"The natives," he said, his voice clearly fatigued even through his helmet. "They ambushed us. Took out one of my men."

Ahsoka's eyes widened. "But… why?"

Rex shook his head. "They could hardly speak Basic. One of them screamed something about hallowed ground, but-"

Anakin nodded. "I get it now… why they're so resistant to us. They don't care what we're here for. We're just trespassers to them."

"But- but we'll leave as soon as-"

Anakin's expression was sad. "I know Ahsoka. But they don't care. We've already done the damage."


Days passed. The Separatists continued to push forward, throwing more and more troops onto the planet. Ahsoka continued to grow more and more disheartened with the situation.

"Master! They're going to surround us if we don't keep moving!"

The droids had centered in on the Republic's position and was starting to push them back.

"We have to break through," Anakin said, his lightsaber whirling. "If we get pushed back, it's over!"

And then, suddenly, as if a switch had been flipped, the droids stopped moving.

Ahsoka looked at Rex. He shrugged at her and blasted a couple motionless droids.

"Stop." A robotic voice rang out. It was one of the commander robots. "We have been ordered to show you something by our superiors. We ask for a momentary ceasefire. You may clear the field of your dead and wounded if you wish."

Anakin was signaling to his clones to do as the Separatists had suggested.

"I don't like this," Rex said. "Something's not right."

The droid continued to speak. "This is one of the indigenous people. He has asked to speak to both sides."

"Yeah, right," Ahsoka sneered. "They probably captured him and-"

But she was wrong. The alien appeared to the fighters, not from the Separatist ranks, but on a cliff above the engagement. He began to speak in heavily accented Basic.

"The people off this planet want you gone. Outsiders… desecrate it with their presence."

Ahsoka shouted up to him. "But we just want to help you! If we leave, the Separatists will just-"

The alien interrupted her. "It does not matter. You must leave. We will fight any who remain to the death."


Anakin stopped her. "Ahsoka, it's not our place."

Rex gave Anakin a look. "General, with all due respect, we need to stop these droids from reaching the caves. We have orders from the top of the command chain."

"Does it look to you like we have a chance of winning this?"

Rex took in the situation, then holstered his pistol. "You're right. Let's move out men."

The clones seemed confused at first, but slowly began following the Captain's order. Soon, the combat group was in full retreat, heading to the evac point.

Ahsoka turned and took one last look at the scene. An army of the natives was massing now, preparing to attack the droids that remained. It was a fight they couldn't hope to win. Ahsoka felt a wave of crushing sadness.


"I know, Ahsoka."

Ahsoka felt crushed. "This isn't the Jedi way, is it, Master?"

Anakin bit his lip. "Sometimes, even I don't know that. I don't know. I'm doing what I feel is right- saving the lives of my troops while respecting the wishes of an entire people."

The shooting and the screaming started behind them.

"Sometimes," Anakin said. "You just have to fight for what you believe. Even if it kills you."
A short story set during the Clone Wars, focusing on the lengths some will go to defend their beliefs.

I DO NOT own these characters, they all belong to George Lucas and other very lucky people.
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Submitted on
September 2, 2011
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