Prologue

Kal had never felt happier in his life, well not for a long time; he had actually got his boys back and all in one piece. He'd struggled to make sense of the Intel that had come out of Geonosis and Coruscant over the last five days but then when Camas had called him, it all fit into place.

No one could do anything with his boys, except him.

He had no sympathy with the Republic even though they had made him a wealthy man; it served them right, they shouldn't have messed with Fett's genes so much, and they definitely shouldn't have threatened to terminate those young lads all those years ago.

Who in their right mind buys a Clone Army anyway; it could only be the shabla Jetii. He hadn't thought about it much when he was on Kamino, he was too busy trying to make his lads invincible and tried not to think what they going into. He was Mandalorian and was used to the practice of sending younglings to test themselves on the hunt but this was different. He had no problem with his boys fighting that was what he trained them for but since they left he'd had several Tihaar fuelled nights to mull things over and it did not make sense. There was no logic to it.

Why order an army ten years before it was needed? The Jedi were supposed to sense things but that far in the future.

No.

Why use as the template a human, that was known to be able to kill Jedi and hated them?

That didn't make sense.

No, nothing about it made any sense whatsoever and if he thought about it any longer he would give himself an headache.

That wouldn't please Ordo, his lads knew when anything was wrong with him, especially Ordo but they were all protective in their own ways.

He headed back to Arca Barracks, he couldn't believe it when Camas had readily agreed to his demands during his boys siege; they had managed to lock down ARCA Barracks, hold off Jedi and squads of Clone Commandos, most of whom had not been trained by him. Now he was back with the Republic and being paid for it as well. But the main reason he was here was so he would be able to keep an eye on his boys and not just the Nulls but his other squads as well.

The ones that were still alive.

He would have done it for free, for his boys.

The di'kut'la Jetii had managed to send some of the most highly trained soldiers in the Galaxy into the middle of a firefight, when they should have used them to prepare the ground for the final onslaught. He'd seen the casualty lists and he had cried. He wasn't afraid to admit that, cried with sadness and rage at the senseless loss of life. His boys lives that he carefully trained to be the best. They weren't going to do that again, not if he has anything to say about it.

.

He had never actually been in Arca Barracks before but it was laid out much the same as any other barracks in the galaxy; he walked around the parade ground with the neatly trimmed small hedges and briefly wondered who thought it was a good idea to have that. He also wondered when it was likely to be used. He followed the instructions Ordo had sent to his datapad, to find the briefing room but first he took a detour. There were a few Commandos about and some of them recognised him, saluting as they passed by but he had the awful feeling that some were already in stasis. He tamped down the anger he felt rising at the thought of that; they had their army and now they were too scared to use some of the best soldiers that had ever been trained.

He'd heard about Jango, too. At Geonosis. Was that why they were scared? They didn't have much choice now, they had a war to fight and only the clones to fight it with.

.

He finally made his way to the briefing room to be reunited with his boys; he'd filled a kit bag with some provisions before he arrived at the barracks; he entered the stark room but to him it was filled with joy as he was swamped by six heavily built clones who seemed intent on crushing the life out of him.

"Ord'ika, Mer'ika, Kom'ika, Prud'ika, Ja'ika and Den'ika" he used the familiar affectionate Mandoa names he had always used and clasped each of the clones in turn, in a fatherly hug before scrutinising each of them carefully. They were all safe and unharmed at the moment. He emptied the contents of his kit bag on the table, "Haili cetare!" He didn't have to say it twice. His haul was a pile of the most sweetly highly calorific food items you could buy in Coruscant and the clones loved them. "Camas is with the Jedi Council, at the moment. We'll have work to do when he returns, make the most of it."

He sat back and watched his boys fondly; now he had to make contact with the rest of his squads.