The pristine tropical scenery of Bal'demnic had little substance without sound. Only a sharp ring crushed outward on his skull. Dazed. Heart pounding. Hands shaking. Nausea. He lurched off his stomach silent and numb as the damp ground rumbled under his feet. Muffled booms penetrated the ringing periodically. Panicked voices started to come from the haze. He staggered and turned to see the cratered and burning forest from where he had come. A couple of clone troopers ran past him. One stopped for a moment to point further up the trail and yell at him. The Jedi knight squinted and shook his head. The words were still cloudy. Another plasma round from a cliff-side turret screamed through the trees before slamming into the ground, uprooting the foliage and deeply scarring the surface of the planet. They both jumped. "Ge----- ---tor ord---- - --trea-! Sir! We --- -ot -- --gage! Sir! We ha-- to move! SIR!" the trooper shouted. "WHAT?" the Togruta yelled back before starting to run. His own voice sounded strange. "Our orde-s a-- to retreat! We are not to e--age the Kon'me natives!" he responded. "They attacked us first when we were here to liberate them. Seems we need to beat some sense into the morons if you ask me!" the Jedi hissed. "Sir..." "Don't give me that. Nobody would miss them. They all just roll around out here all day doing nothing but being brutish and picking their gross noses and yelling at slaves to mine faster." A rasping wail sounded ahead of them. The trooper scrambled to stop, the mud and leaves leaving him slipping and flailing. The Jedi slammed on the brakes just in time to slide to a stop mere inches from the face of a Kon'me lieutenant waiting with his men in the trees. The bestial creature snarled and growled. The Jedi took a slow cautious step back with his hands up. On the ground in the center of the soldiers was the fresh corpse of the other clone trooper. "WAIT! Wait! Stop! Didn't you see the armor!? We're from the Rebublic! We're not with the droids! We're here to help!" he pleaded. "'Brutish' 'gross'?" the lieutenant grumbled in a deep guttural voice, "Je-dai chooses words not as wise as its freinds." He clenched his teeth, glared, took a deep breath through his nose and relaxed his shoulders back. They knew. The lieutenant raised his hand and the soldiers behind him raised their rifles. A bead of sweat trickled down the side of the Togruta's cheek tracing a line through the dirt down to his neck. He exhaled and spread his fingers aware of the weight of the lightsaber on his belt and the unstable soil supporting them. The hulking aliens had them locked in their sights for a tense moment with the anticipation of blood in their eyes. The most subtle twitch in the lieutenant's wrist stopped his heart and lungs. In a flash the Jedi ripped his hand through the air parallel to the ground. The ground beneath the soldiers' feet bunched and slid to the side leaving them toppling to the ground as if a rug was pulled from under them. The Jedi's arm shuddered. He turned to the trooper and bolted over the fallen Kon'me. "Run! We need to get to the transports on the beach!" he ordered. The trees and low branches and brush ripped at his skin and clothes as they sprinted. They were close. He could feel it. In only a few minutes they would be on a ship and speeding away from this horrible planet. Whoever had decided this outer-rim armpit of a place was beautiful or peaceful or a paradise or whatever those rich blubbering tourists from Courescant said could go soak their head. The mud and dirt was giving way to a more coarse covering and the thick plants spread out. The bright sun light on an open space was glittering through the gaps in the green. The Jedi and the trooper ripped out of the forest at full speed over the sand. Several clone transport ships were stationed a few hundred yards down the beach. One of them was already taking off a second was getting ready to do the same. Troops and a handful of other Jedi knights were gathering and accounting for their squads and casualties. "I think we made it!" the Jedi managed a snaggle toothed grin. He slowed to a stop and checked his six, making sure he hadn't been followed. It was all clear. He took a moment to catch his breath, listening to the roar of the ocean waves. The trooper ran ahead to report to his captain. He supposed he should contact General Ventor and do the same. With a huff he walked toward the transports again. His eyes trailed up the towering mossy cliffs which absolutely glowed in the mid-day sun. Somehow they reminded him of something, but he couldn't quite put his finger on what. Something far away in the past just out of reach of his earliest memories. There was a movement on an outcropping where a thin grove of trees clung to the rock face. He squinted and shielded his eyes from the sun. A tiny figure seemed to emerge from the trees and knelt with something on its shoulder. "No..." he shook his head in disbelief. His boots dug into the sand as he took off for the transports. "No, no, no! MOVE!" he threw his hand to the side motioning for everybody to run, "GET AWAY FROM THE SHIPS!" As he ran his blood boiled and he gathered his focus on the Kon'me on the cliff. Urging the forces in him with all his strength he felt the shooter and slammed his energy into him. A bright missile flared out of the barrel of the launcher before the soldier was force slammed into the rock beside him, breaking bones before he fell to his death. Before he could react the missile struck a transport engine as the ship hovered into the air. The reactor ruptured. In a jerking slow arc the ship rolled and plummeted into the ground where the others were parked. A shockwave ripped through the air. The Jedi felt as if he had been punched in the gut. The power threw him back into the sand. Debris rained down. Smoke billowed into the sky. He pushed himself up on hands and knees, shivering and bleeding where he had been hit by shrapnel. Out of the forest marched the Kon'me lieutenant with blood running from a jagged wound on his scalp. He chuckled. "Kill survivors," he ordered his men.