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Star Wars Saga drabbles
Why They Fight - Clones, Geonosians (RotE) 
22nd-Nov-2009 01:35 am
Learn me a book ❧ FFTA
Title: Why They Fight
Prompt: Important
Characters: Clone troopers, Geonosian warriors
Era: Rise of the Empire
Rating: PG
Word Count: 400
Warnings: None really. It's battle, but not gory.
Author's Note: I've never been able to see redshirt characters as blank slates, whether they're on the good guy or bad guy team. Takes place during "Landing at Point Rain."

Geonosis is hell.

The troopers know this. They don't need General Kenobi's Force sense to know that thirty of their brothers are now dead. They can hear the screams as the transport that had been flying beside them spews smoke and flame, plummeting mercilessly towards the surface. Beneath their helmets, they grimace, yet they do not have any prayers for the fallen. The Jedi say that the dead become one with the Force. But they've never seen the Force do anything except hurl things around and knock things over. It doesn't seem like much of an afterlife.

And they wonder, despite how they have been trained not to, if they will survive. Survive to land, survive to reach their objective, survive to return. It is a thought shared by every man inside the transport, and none of them would admit it. But they will fight all the same. For the glory of the Republic, to hold the Galaxy together, for the Jedi. That is what they've learned. But there are no Senators out here, and none of them have ever met the civilians they're supposed to fight for. So the more experienced ones know the truth. They'll be fighting for their brothers out there.

Geonosis is hell.

The warriors wait in their catacombs, gripping their blasters, listening to the thud and high-pitched scream of the blaster cannons as they fire on the invaders. They are soldiers; this is the life they were born to. They will defend their colony, and they will defend their planet. Some of them have heard that the Republic army is like theirs, bred for battle, and when one Geonosian has heard something soon the whole hive has. And some of them wonder if they are all that different.

The younger ones are nervous. They are eager to prove themselves and to drive off the Republic invaders. They fear because they have never been in a true battle, but it is a fear they share and natural. The older ones are calm; their fear does not show. They know what they fight for, and it won't be the Separatists. None of them have ever been off-planet, and for that matter they aren't sure what the difference between Republican oppression and Separatist freedom is. So when they fight, it will be to keep their sisters alive.
22nd-Nov-2009 08:57 pm (UTC)
Wonderful, gritty anc chilling. I really liked:

They can hear the screams as the transport that had been flying beside them spews smoke and flame, plummeting mercilessly towards the surface

The mirror image of the Geonosians and the clones; how divorced both side is from the ideology of the conflict; brothers and sisters - united in their fear and determination...
22nd-Nov-2009 08:57 pm (UTC)
anc = and (*headdesk*)
23rd-Nov-2009 02:08 am (UTC)
That really struck me while I was watching the episode--seeing a transport be shot down is one thing, but when you could hear the men inside screaming as it goes down really has an incredible impact. It was definitely the most brutal battle on the series so far.

And yeah, when you think about it the clone troopers and the Geonosians are really not that different--just on opposite sides. They're both born to fight, literally, but they're still sentient, thinking beings.
22nd-Nov-2009 10:22 pm (UTC)
Oh goodness I love this. I love the glimpse you gave us at Geonosian culture, and of course the parallelism between clones and Geonosians. And in some ways it's almost a meta fic; the grunts on both sides of nearly all wars must feel like this.
23rd-Nov-2009 02:26 am (UTC)
I really wish they did a better job with the Geonosians. Battle droids should not be getting more characterization than a race of sentient beings.

It is kind of meta; I tend to feel like this whenever I see nameless soldier characters getting mowed down in any fiction. When I was writing this I kept thinking of the dedication from Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett: "Their job is to rush in, one at a time, and be slaughtered by the hero. Nobody ever asks them if they wanted to." It's something that applies to the clones and Geonosians so much more deeply than most redshirt/mook groups because they have never had a choice. From the day they were conceived they were meant to fight and die in battle, and they don't actually get the freedom they're supposedly fighting for--so all they truly fight for is each other.
23rd-Nov-2009 03:43 pm (UTC)
Wow, Geonosian's and Clones, in an episode I thought was a nice difference from the norm in the way of episodes. You hit home what both sides had to fight for, that while they may be physically different they share the same beliefs in what they fight for. How this isn't focused on just one or two characters but the groups as wholes if a very nice difference as well.
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