I’ve been reflecting on the events that recently took place in our war. It is our war. Despite the many others involved: generals, legions of clones, droids, separatists, senators, and loyalists… to me it is my personal war and the war of my closest comrades. I only have a limited perspective, my own view is clear, and I can see things some things from the perspective of the others: Softball, the Medic, Roger, Captain Therin… it is only that which makes up my world.
We were assigned to be one head of a two-headed strike on a piece of valuable war resource. It is imperative that I not commit the details of the resource or its utility to our cause to this journal in case it falls into enemy hands, however, writing this helps me to come to terms with the fact that our action constitutes a critical contribution to the Republic war effort. We have deprived the separatist scum of materiel and provided it in abundance to our fellows.
Ours proved to be the weaker of the two assault teams. As I mentioned, it was a two-headed strike… one was headed by a general, a Jedi of great renown, Kenobi. His team made quick work of his objective, as difficult as our own, and he saw fit to chide us for that. Kenobi had the Force on his side in addition to more senior clone troopers. How can a man of (professed) modesty see fit to berate us like that in a time of pitched battle? I lose respect for the Jedi by the day.
So, as Kenobi chided us, I became emboldened. I would not sit back with my fellows and take a cautious route to victory. I would use whatever means necessary, be they just or unjust, to persuade, beguile, overthrow or kill any intermediate obstacles. I have always been fond of the blades. They are weapons of silent efficiency. They do not require blaster packs. They are precise. They are concealable. And, as I learned today, they make very effective implements of intimidation.
I think it must come from incomplete training that I missed something about the weapons. Cutting only dummies or targets I gained appreciation only for the reliability, the silence. I liked that it required extra skill to wield effectively but that it would never jam, never be exhausted, never fail me. Instead only I could fail it. I worked hard to avoid that possibility, and that spurred my progress. However, now long off Kamino and in the field, I see more clearly that the weapon also has a passion.. a violence.
I could see it in the eyes of those Neimoidian toadies. Those contemptible creatures who finally did relinquish us the bridge. I must not say too much about our mission. Regardless, even though they succumbed only to the pain I promised, the truth is that I would have cut them. If they’d refused, they would have bled on the floor. I knew then that this was very different than training exercises, and that these were not like droids. I find I actually enjoy the thought of cutting the flesh of an enemy… it would feel, I think, better than blasting a droid… or a training dummy. I know it is separatist leadership like these Neimoidian stooges that are the real targets, the effective targets, the live targets. I guess you could call my feeling a bloodlust. I think it’s just knowing what I was trained for and seeking it out. For me. For us. For our war.
Bloodlust. I would once have thought that an ugly word. To be dispassionate would be better, or so I thought. But remember the hybrid… my brother’s life stolen to make an abomination whose details I will not elaborate upon… but that creature ignited in me a spark of vengeance and anger that did not dissipate. Perhaps it grew over time. Perhaps the Neimoidians’ cowardice nurtured it. Perhaps it is the strength I can harness to surprise the likes of Kenobi… or of the Sergeant Major.
After that first success, my resolve was steel and my mind opened to the possibility of my opportunity to excel. Though a unit, we are a unit made of individuals. Individuals cut from the same cloth, but destined for our own particular roles. I saw my life then as expendable, my mission as that of the van. To lead from the front, and plow into the enemy before they had a chance to respond or react, the commando’s role. That is why after contemptible Kenobi chided us again, I ran to the fore and launched myself at the Engineer. The assault and acrobatics instructors would be proud of my ascension. My newly acquired powerful blaster surprised even me as I vaporized the barrier. However, the engineer would not be cowed by threat. Instead, she seemed resolved to die, even horribly, rather than relinquish her post. I stunned her… but I wanted to cut her.
The rest is chance and happenstance. I should have waited for Medic or Softball to slice the terminal, but my mind was awash in a fever of action, of purpose. I was truly surprised when it worked. When Kenobi finally grudgingly acquiesced some credit for our success it was bitter for me. At least now I have a glimpse of my purpose… not just for the Republic. For us. This is our war. Not the Jedi or the droids, or the Trade Federation or anyone else.
On to better things now I suppose. With our captain granted a ship of dubious combat worthiness I have doubt whether we will be the hammer or the sword. No, instead we will be a surgical thing. Gently applied but precise and effective. I received an unexpected promotion to sergeant. I will lead my small group, try to instill them with the same purpose I saw in that last battle. Try to keep them alive, and maximally effective. Make them the surgical tool our captain needs, our Generals will note, and our war requires.
It is a calling I answer.
I will point the way; I will hold the knife.