The boom was deafening. The bombs fell, the Mandalorians closed in. Shard was one of the few left in her squad. The rest were either killed or taken captive and tortured then left for dead.
They had been there for weeks trying to drive out the Mandalorians from Tatooine’s capital city of Mos Eisley. Shard was sent there with her men in Scrapper Squad. They had been successful at first, but the Mandalorians began to bring in more and more warriors, outnumbering the clones ten to one. Though Shard fought valiantly for her remaining troopers, she was unable to save the remainder of them. The Mandalorians made quick work this time around, taking them a matter of a day to dispose of them. The Mandalorians made leaders suffer by eliminating their men, and ending by capture of the leader.
Shard was the only one left by this point. The rest of her men were killed. She continued her fire and held her ground. She was growing weak from the lack of sleep, food and water. The supplies were diminished to hardly enough to sustain one person. But Shard did the best she could with it. She made what she could last.
The Mandalorians pushed her back. She was cornered now. She dropped her ARC pistols and quit firing. She threw her hands up in surrender. Her panic and guilt consumed her. She never gave up a fight. She hated that she gave in, but there was no other choice. The choices that were left were; a chance at survival, or instant death.
The Mandalorians were silent as they slapped the binders on Shard’s wrists. She was yanked forward harshly. She stumbled, failing to regain her fitting before collapsing to her knees. One warrior drew his blaster and pointed it at Shard, flicking it in a motion warning her to move. She growled at them from under her helmet. Another used to butt of his pistol to hit the back of her head to silence her. The helmet tumbled from her head, hitting the ground with a thud. Her hair tumbled over her shoulders, covering her face. The Mandalorians gasped when they saw her features.
“You’re a female?!”
“Yeah I am. Ever seen a female trooper before?” she spat. Her face twisted in a snarling glare.
“Yes we have. Just never a female clone trooper.”
Shard let out a low, raspy laugh, “Well you’re in for a treat then, aren’t you?”
The warrior that hit her, causing her helmet to fall off her head, hit her again. She stood up and whipped around to face him, her lips baring her teeth as she snarled at them.
“Now now, no need to injure her any further. Hasn’t she been through enough as is?” the leader stepped forward.
Shard threw her head back, exposing her throat and said exasperated, “Just kill me now! Put me out of my misery. You Mandos are good at that.”
“You seem to be in a hurry to die.”
“Well in case you haven’t noticed; I am your prisoner and I would like to, you know,” she held out her bound wrists to him, with an innocently smug expression, “not be.”
“I am well aware of your situation, you petty little clone.” he hissed.
“Then do whatever it is you Mandos do to your prisoners.”
“Normally I would have. But you haven’t physically fought back-” he began, but Shard interrupted him, “You think I have the strength to do that? You must be as dumb as you look!”
He thrust his face to hers, yet her expression still stayed smug, “Listen here clone,” he spat, “I could kill you now so you can end up like your dead comrades over there. OR you can shut that pretty little mouth of yours and have a slight chance of living.”
“I’d rather die.” she snarled, holding her head up proudly.
He drew his face away from hers and flicked a dismissive hand to his warriors, “Very well kill her.”
The three warriors circled around her. She smirked, scanning her eyes around them. They rushed in and she jumped into the air. She skidded out of the circle mere seconds before they collided. She let out a low laugh as they regained themselves. One whipped around and charged at her. She wrapped her bound hands over his neck, throwing him over her head as she landed on her back. He flew out of her grasp as she launched him away with her legs. He hit the wall which knocked him unconscious. She sprang to her feet, in a combat ready position. The second barreled at her, his blaster drawn. Shard ran at him then stopped. Once he got close enough he stopped as well. “What are you gonna do now? You’re trapped.” he said with a growl.
Shard sprung into the air to launch a roundhouse kick to his temple, sending him to the ground in a groaning heap. “That.” she spat.
When her feet made contact with the ground, the last one came charging at her. She merely smiled as he dropped like a pin. She back-flipped to hear the sickening snap of his neck when her ARC boots made contact with the bottom of his chin.
She fell to her knees when she hit the dirt. Her breathing was heavy and she was more exhausted than ever. The Mandalorian leader approached her, applauding slowly. “You’re a better fighter than I anticipated. I would have never thought a young, pretty thing like you could kick-arse better than my best warriors.” He knelt in front of her, running a finger along her jaw, speaking in a sickly sweet voice.
She drew her head away, glaring in disgust at him. “You. Are. Sick.” she said dryly.
“Look at me, clone,” he spat, “I have control of you now. I could kill you right now if I so choose. I-”
“Then why haven’t you, O high and mighty one?” she was stalling and he was falling for it. Luckily the canister on the back of her belt was equipped with a lock pick. She slid it quietly from the canister and picked the lock on her binders while he sputtered.
When he drew her face away from hers, she slipped her hands out of the binders and nailed a vicious left uppercut to his jaw. He reeled back, holding his now cracked jaw. She smirked in satisfaction, shoving him to the ground, hissing to his face.
“I can kill you now if I so choose. But I’m gonna show mercy under one condition, you give me a set of beskar armour.”
“You aren’t deserving of beskar. Only the ruthless are awarded beskar.”
She took his blaster and shot his foot. He screeched in pain. She pointed it at his thigh and fired as well, “Only the ruthless huh?” she aimed it at his forehead.
“Ok ok I’ll give you what you want. But I have one condition as well; you have to stay and learn our ways.”
“I will do no such thing. You give me my beskar, I let you live. Sounds even to me,” she shrugged and began to pull the trigger but stopped when he yelled, “WAIT!”
“My patience is running out buddy,” she snarled.
“I agree to your terms. I can have your armour ready by tomorrow morning.”
“Good lad,” she smirks, putting the pistol away and scooping up her helmet from the ground.
When she had her back turned, he drew his other blaster and was about to fire when Shard swiftly dodged the bolt, whipping around and firing one single shot into his exposed neck. He flopped back motionless.
“Shame. I could have had a nice set of beskar,” she shakes her head.
Shard tried and tried to call someone to help her, but she couldn’t get through to anyone. She was on her last ration and was far away from any town.
She heard the faint sound of a speeder and whipped around in circles to find the source. A speeder came barreling at her and screeched to a stop next to her. It was another Mandalorian. As much as she wanted to refuse help from this one, she forced herself to ask for help. The Mando took her with them back to their camp where there was a small clan of them. Shard so badly wanted to run, but forced herself to stay. She was weak from malnourishment and had many injuries to heal. These Mandos helped her and nursed her back to health. In return she learned their ways as a way to say thank you. They both could learn from each other and she taught them some hand to hand combat they’d never seen.
After about two and a half months, she was back to full health. She wanted to go back home but they wouldn’t let her. She had been rewarded with a set of beskar armour just a few weeks before. She knew she couldn’t trust them because she was met with much resistance when she tried to escape. They were holding her hostage at this point. It took her another two weeks to finally have success in getting out. She had contacted the GAR and someone came to rescue her. She dragged her ARC armour behind her.
When she approached the small shuttle at the coordinates given, the three soldiers that were in it jumped and pointed their blasters at her. She jumped back and took off her helmet to show that she was one of them. They helped her into the shuttle when they realised who she was and took off. She looked at the planet hoping she would never have to see its surface again. Her mind was shattered from the past few months and was happy to finally get home to the GAR and the love of her life.