发表于 2015-1-24 13:26
本帖最后由 zzg1945 于 2015-1-28 22:55 编辑 |
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As the shuttle descended through Hockaleg's atmosphere, Vader said, "I am curious about the details of your demotion."
"It's all on record, sir," the trooper said, angling the shuttle toward the spaceport.
"I would prefer to hear it from you."
"Permission to speak freely, sir?"
The trooper cleared his throat.
"You are aware I'm a clone, sir?"
"Well, twenty years ago, after Shadow Squadron was disbanded, I had a new commanding officer-a non-clone. When he ordered me to kill my gunner - who had been wounded in combat, but not mortally - I refused. And when my commanding officer tried to shoot me for refusing, I broke his jaw. I spent a year in solitary."
Vader considered the details, then said, "What happened to the injured clone?"
"He recovered, although he was killed several months later during a bombing run."
"Do you regret your actions?"
"No. sir. Everybody dies. I'm just glad I helped a friend live a bit longer."
As the spaceport came into view, Vader said, "If you were to serve under my command, would you ever disobey an order?"
"Yes, sir, but only if it helped you live longer."
Vader was stunned by the aged clone's words and the implication that he might disobey one of his orders...or that he might consider the Sith Lord a friend. Before he could ask the clone for an explanation, the clone tested the comm and received a loud burst of static. Switching the comm off, he said, "I can't establish contact with spaceport control, sir. We don't have clearance to land." Vader said, "Do you expect any troops will fire at the shuttle?"
"I don't know, sir."
"Take us down."
The shuttle landed beside the launch gantry. The shuttle's boarding ramp extended and the clone stepped out, carrying his blaster rifle. As he led Vader down the shuttle's boarding ramp, he tapped the side of his white helmet and said, "CT-6981 to TK-813, do you read me? TK-813?" He glanced back at Vader and said, "Just static, sir." At the bottom of the ramp, he looked around and added, "Where is everyone?"
Vader heard shouting in the distance, and then the sound of blasterfire. He turned to the clone, and could tell by the tilt of the clone's helmet that he heard the shots too. They looked toward an alley between two nearby buildings and saw a Stormtrooper emerge, firing his blaster rifle behind him as he ran. He stumbled and collapsed, face down on the ground.
"TK-813!" The clone ran to the fallen trooper and rolled him over. Blood flowed out from under TK-813's chest plate. The clone hauled the younger Stormtrooper behind a small shack while Vader strode toward them, his eyes focused on the alley.
"What happened?" the clone said to the injured trooper.
"You were right about the laborers, sir," the trooper gasped. "They don't like...the Empire. After they saw the... Tarkin blow, they attacked the headquarters, and then...."
The trooper's body went slack.
"He's gone," the clone said.
"Stay with me," Vader said. He walked fast toward the shuttle, the clone keeping close to his back. They were halfway to the ship when five armed men in grease-stained coveralls ran out from behind the gantry and started firing at them. Without breaking his stride, Vader raised his right hand and deflected the energy bolts with ease.
He assumed the five men recognized him and were aware of his capabilities because they gaped and cringed as they lowered their blasters.
Keeping his gaze fixed on the men, Vader said to the clone, "Board the shuttle and prepare for..."
Vader was interrupted by another round of blaster fire, followed by a clatter of armor behind him. He glanced back and saw the clone sprawled on the ground, clutching at his left side. Another group of laborers had emerged on the launch pad and now faced Vader too. They all looked very afraid.
Ignoring the laborers, the Dark Lord dropped to one knee beside the clone. The clone was still breathing, but Vader could tell that he wouldn't last long.
The clone said, "I couldn't just walk away and... let them hit you, sir."
Vader removed the clone's helmet. Although the clone still resembled Jango Fett, his face was more heavily lined with age and his hair was mostly white. Vader said, "Contrail, when we were with Shadow Squadron, at the Battle of the Kaliida Nebula, your call sign was Shadow Eleven. You flew well."
The clone did not seem surprised that Vader knew his name and details about Shadow Squadron. He smiled and said, "I had...a good teacher, sir." And then his eyes went shut and he died.
Vader rose and directed his gaze to the men who had shot the clone.
One of the men said, "Lord Vader, please forgive us. We didn't know you were on Hockaleg."
"I was adrift," Vader said as he drew his lightsaber and ignited its glowing crimson blade. "Allow me to thank you all for bringing me back."