Separatists pushed to the brink!
Republic forces continue to mount
victories on battlefronts across the
galaxy. After the Jedi Knights thwarted
an attempt to kidnap Chancellor Palpatine,
the evil droid general Grievous retreated
to the Outer Rim. With his legions of
battle droids severely depleted, Grievous
mounts a desperate and brutal counterattack
across several star systems. We find
Republic clone troopers locked in deadly
combat on the besieged world of Kaller.
Led by Jedi Master Depa Billaba, they
struggle to hold their position as they
wait for reinforcements to arrive….
Rescue on Kaller
On Kaller, Clone troopers and AT-TE walkers are locked in combat against advancing B1 battle droids and dwarf spider droids. Clone Commander Grey takes shelter with Jedi Master Depa Billaba He expresses pessimism about the commander but Billaba reassures him that her Padawan will be back. Caleb Dume soon arrives after traveling through the snow. When his Master asks where the reinforcements are, Dume reassures her that they are right behind him.
When Grey and Billaba press him for more information, Dume tells them that they have five reinforcements. Grey believes they are doomed but Dune reassures him that these Clones are different. Just then, a large boulder rolls down the hill, crushing and scattering a column of battle droids. The Bad Batch take advantage of this distraction to ambush the battle droids. Sergeant Hunter uses his vibroblade to take out droids while Tech plants devices on droids which short-circuits them. Crosshair takes out battle droids with his gun from an entrenched position.
Watching through a pair of macrobinoculars, Commander Grey admits he is impressed with Clone Force 99. As Wrecker and Echo smash through the ranks of battle droids, Hunter tells Crosshair to take out the Armored Assault Tanks. Crosshair fires cables to each of the tanks, attaching them to one another. Wrecker uses his strength to push the column of tanks.
A battle droid commander tells his troops to activate the stabilizers but is electrocuted by Tech’s projectile. Commander Grey and the Jedi watch as Wrecker throws the tanks down a cliff. Tech destroys the remaining droids with explosives. Hunter removes his helmet as the squad walk towards Commander Grey and the Jedi. The last remaining droid tells Wrecker to surrender but has his head ripped off.
Approaching the trench, Hunter tells Commander Grey and Master Billaba to launch a counter attack since another droid battalion is approaching. Grey tells Hunter that Jedi General Billaba is the one who gives the orders around here. Concurring with Hunter, Billaba orders Grey and his men to launch the counter-attack.
Echo meets up with Caleb, whom he is familiar with. Greeting Caleb, he tells the Padawan that he missed “all the fun.” Caleb says that watching his team in action was the fun. Master Billaba asks about his “new friends.” Caleb introduces her to Wrecker, Hunter, Echo, Tech and Crosshair.
While Master Billaba doesn’t share Caleb’s sense of fun, she is quite impressed with their exploits. Wrecker is bemused by Billaba’s description of their exploits but Echo tells him not to worry. When Billaba asks about her “actual” reinforcements, Hunter explains that they have been rerouted to the capital and Crosshair finishes that Clone Force 99 is all that she needs. Tech says based on his calculations, the General may not need them because the Clone Wars will soon be over. Commander Grey tells him to tell that to the “clankers.”
Citing the encrypted comm chatter, Echo explains that Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi has found and engaged General Grievous on Utapau. Crosshair believes that with Grievous captured or killed, the Separatist command structure will collapse along with the Separatist droid army. Billaba dismisses this as a fascinating theory that they have little control over.
She suggests that they focus on the task at hand. Hunter asks if she has any orders and tells the rest of his squad to get to work. Wrecker cheers. Master Billaba asks Caleb if they should let them do “what they do.” Caleb agrees but says only if he gets to go with them. Hunter jokingly warns Caleb that they move fast. Wrecker responds with a joke before they leaving.
After Clone Force 99 leaves, Master Billaba senses that something is amiss. She turns to see Commander Grey receiving a hologram of Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine issuing Order 66. Commander Grey shuts the hologram and then suddenly opens fire on Billaba. As Caleb rushes to the battle, he senses trouble and finds Master Billaba defending herself with her lightsaber against Commander Grey and several Clone troopers. Calling his master’s name, Caleb rushes to help with his lightsaber while Clone Force 99 stop in their tracks and turn back to watch the unfolding confrontation.
Seeing Caleb, Master Billaba tells him to run. A distraught Caleb complies and leaves as Commander Grey and his troops converge on Master Billaba. Caleb flashes his lightaber at the Clone Force 99, telling them to stay away from him. The Bad Batch tries to follow Caleb but he vanishes over the brow of a snow-covered hill.
Hunter asks what happened. Tech explains that the comm chatter is only transmitting one message: “Execute Order 66.” Wrecker asks about Order 66 but Tech doesn’t know. Hunter tells Tech and Echo to check with the regiment commander to find out what is going on. Hunter tells Crosshair to help him find Caleb to make sure that nothing happens to him. Before leaving, Hunter tells Wrecker to stall anyone who tries to follow them. Hunter and Crosshair trudge down a snow-covered slope, reaching a dense forest of fir trees. They notice a disturbance of snow from a tree.
Reaching a boulder, Crosshair spots Caleb hiding in the branches of a tree above. Hunter tells Caleb that they are there to help. When Crosshair attempts to stun Caleb, the Padawan thinks they are lying and leaps down from the tree with the Force. Hunter asks what Crosshair is doing but the Clone trooper responds that he is just following orders. Hunter responds that they don’t even know what Order 66 is and orders him to stand down until they know what is going on. Hunter storms off while Crosshair mumbles that “good soldiers follow orders.”
Meanwhile, Wrecker encounters three Clone troopers who ask about the Padawan. Wrecker claims that Hunter is handling him but the Clone troopers respond that they have direct orders from the Supreme Chancellor himself. Wrecker reiterates that Hunter is handling it but the Clone troopers order him to step aside and rush down the hill. Wrecker warns Hunter that they have regular Clone troopers inbound.
Tech informs Hunter via comlink that the regular Clone troopers have received orders to execute all Jedi under the pretext that they have committed treason. Crosshair believes this explains everything but Hunter disagrees. Tech suggests that Hunter return.
Just then, Crosshair spots Caleb hanging on a branch and shoots the branch, causing Caleb to fall onto the snow. Caleb lands and ignites his lightsaber. Crosshair fires at him but Caleb deflects his blaster bolts with his lightsaber. Hunter orders Crosshair to stand down but the sniper ignores him. Caleb then uses his lightsaber to knock the blaster from Crosshair’s hand. He then throws Crosshair against a tree. Caleb flashes his lightsaber in front of Hunter, who tries to de-escalate the situation by throwing down his weapon. Approaching the Padawan, he reassures Caleb that he is on his side.
Not trusting Hunter, Caleb flees into the forest but reaches a slope overlooking a sheer cliff-face. Caleb sees a waterfall to his right. Hunter approaches him but Caleb tells him to stay back. Taking off his helmet, Hunter tells Caleb to listen to him. A distraught Caleb says that the Clones killed Master Billaba but Hunter says that the others did. He adds that he is just as confused as Caleb.
Meanwhile, Crosshair gets to his feet. Hunter approaches Caleb but the Padawan tells him to stay back. Hunter offers his hand but Caleb only holds his blade tighter. Hearing voices in the forest, Caleb uses the Force to leap over to the other side of the waterfall to Hunter’s dismay. Hunter watches as Caleb deactivates his lightsaber and leaves. When Crosshair arrives and asks about the Jedi, Hunter claims that he stunned Caleb who fell to his death in the waterfall. After inspecting the bottom of the waterfall with his helmet scanner, Crosshair believes that Caleb perishes and leaves while the three regular Clone troopers survey the waterfall.
Later, Clone Force 99 travel on their ship the Havoc Marauder to Kamino. Wrecker remarks that it is good to be home. When Echo asks how long they have been away, Tech replies that they have been away for 180 rotations in a standard cycle but that galactic adjusted changes put that figure at 205. Wrecker is confused but Echo says they have been away a long time, which Wrecker agrees.
Meanwhile, Crosshair eyes Hunter, asking him if he is sure the Padawan died. Hunter claims that Caleb is dead but Crosshair observes that when someone falls, it is usual to look down and not across. Hunter replies that some of us don’t like to watch and walks away from Crosshair.
As the Havoc Marauder enters Kamino’s stormy surface, two V-wing starfighters fly side by side and request their clearance code. Echo is surprised while Tech thinks this is a protocol drill. After confirming their clearance code, the pilot orders them to land at landing bay one-tac-one. The Havoc Marauder descends towards Tipoca City and lands in a hangar.
The squad file out of the ship, carrying their helmets in their arms. While Clone troopers service the Havoc Marauder, a squad of crimson-striped Clone shock troopers march through the hangar. Over the comlink,, the announcer announces that a Level 5 lockdown remains in place and orders the security teams to report to the command center. Tech realizes this isn’t a drill while Wrecker wonders what they have missed.
One of the shock troopers responds that they have missed the end of the war. The trooper informs Hunter about the passing of General Grievous and the collapse of the Separatist leadership. He believes that the war is over. Wrecker quips about the end of the war.
A pair of clone troopers carry a covered body on a stretcher. As they walk past Clone Force 99, a lightsaber rolls out . A shock troopers retrieves the lightsaber, catching the stare of the squad. When he asks if there is a problem, Hunter denies there is a problem and heads to their barracks. The shock troopers tells them that there is a mandatory assembly at 1500 hours.
On the way to their barracks, Hunter notices the large presence of Clone shock troopers and that the regular Clones are acting strange. Tech decides to test that theory by greeting a group of Clone troopers and asking them where they are from. The leader trooper orders them to step aside and brushes his shoulder against Tech. Tech remarks that they seem the same to him.
Clone Force 99 enters their barracks, which Echo finds smelly. Hunter says that he will get used to it. While relaxing around the table, Wrecker says that they have completed 11 more successful missions. Echo says that Kaller wasn’t a win. Wrecker disagrees but Crosshair says they have not completed every objective.
Crosshair accuses Hunter of letting the “Jedi kid” escape. Hunter responds that he doesn’t think that executing their commanders is a mission objective. Crosshair counters that an order is an order. Hunter asks since when and the two clones lock eyes. Echo opines that nothing makes sense since General Billaba’s Clone troopers had served alongside her for several years. He wonders what would make them turn on her. Tech thinks this is because of the regulars’ programming. When Hunter inquires about the matter, Tech explains that the Kaminoans inhibited the cognitive functions of Clones to engineer them to follow orders without question. Wrecker says that they don’t before putting his arm around Crosshair.
Tech says that the Bad Batch is different since the Kaminoans manipulating pre-existing aberrations in their DNA, resulting in Wrecker’s brute strength, Crosshair’s sharpshooting skills, Hunter’s enhances senses and Tech’s exceptional mind. He believes that they are immune to the effects of the programming but is uncertain about it.
When Hunter asks about Echo, Echo wonders why he did not react like the others. Tech explains that the damage that Echo sustained on Skako Minor most likely wiped out most of his present behavioral modifications, making him a cyborg. Echo says he is lucky. The intercom orders all Clone troopers to assemble in the staging area for a briefing on the state of the Republic. Hunter says this is one meeting he doesn’t want to miss. Tech says first time for everything.
A New Order
At the staging area, the Clone troopers stand at attention as Palpatine delivers a speech claiming that the Jedi rebellion has been foiled. He adds that the remaining Jedi will be hunted down and defeated. Palpatine says that the attempt on his life has left him scarred and deformed. Wrecker quips while Tech takes notes. Palpatine claims that his resolve has never been stronger.
Hunter looks up at the gallery and catches the eye of a blonde-haired human girl. Tech asks what is going on. When he looks again, the girl is gone. Meanwhile, Palpatine announces the reorganization of the Galactic Republic into the first Galactic Empire. Echo expresses surprise while Palpatine talks about establishing a “safe and secure society.” As the regular Clone troopers begin cheering and lifting their arms, Tech observes that his theory has been confirmed.
Later, Clone Force 99 return to their barracks. When Echo comments about the change in regime, Crossfire opines that it doesn’t make a difference what regime they are serving. Tech says that the systematic extermination of the Jedi is a big difference for him. Hunter notices that they have company.
The squad turn to face a blond-haired human girl. Wrecker asks about the subject while Tech determines the person to be an adolescent human female with unknown origins. The girl identifies herself as Omega and says that she was wondering when they would return. Hunter asks if she knows who they are as Omega names the members of Clone Force 99.
When Hunter asks what she is doing, a female Kaminoan Nala Se responds that Omega is her assistant. She says that Omega has a curious mind that causes her to wander. She leads Omega away into a hallway. Hunter remarks that this day keeps getting weirder and weirder.
Later, an Imperial shuttle flanked by two V-wings lands inside a hangar. Two rows of Clone troopers stand at attention. Admiral Wilhuff Tarkin descends down the shuttle’s gangplank accompanied by four armed Clone shock troopers. Tarkin is ushered into a meeting with Kaminoan Prime Minister Lama Su.
Lama Su is surprised by the news that Tarkin brings since Chancellor Palpatine has always supported their cloning advancements in the past. Tarkin explains that Emperor Palpatine’s priorities have changed. With the Clone Wars over, the need for future Clones is in question. Lama Su reminds Tarkin that their contracts stipulate the continued production of Clone troopers.
Tarkin counters that Kamino’s contracts were with the Republic, which no longer exists. Lama Su brings up the precarious state of the newly formed Empire and that Clone troopers will be needed to enforce order in the galaxy. Tarkin agrees but opines that a conscripted soldiers could provide this service at half the cost. Lama Su vouches for the skill and accuracy of their Clone troopers to any recruited body. Tarkin responds that he will be the judge to that question. Tarkin strolls out of the meeting.
Omega watches several Clone troopers eating in a mess hall. Hunter eavesdrops on other Clone troops chatting about Admiral Tarkin’s recent visit to Kamino and his plans to evaluate the soldiers. At Clone Force 99’s table, Wrecker vows that nothing will control him. Tech says that it is a logical conclusion that his affinity for destruction stems from his conditioning. Wrecker disagrees but Tech says he is merely stating a scientific hypothesis based on factual data. Wrecker counters that he likes to blow things up because he likes to blow things up. He slams his fists on the table and waves his finger angrily at Tech.
Crossfire remarks that he is convinced as Hunter joins them. Hunter tells them that an Imperial has been sent to evaluate the Clones. When Echo asks what type of evaluation, Tech hopes that it is not a mental one since they won’t pass it. They are joined by Omega, who reminds them of their earlier meeting in the corridor.
When Hunter asks if she has some place to be, Omega says that she wants to sit with them. This heartens both Tech and Echo. Omega says she likes them because she is a misfit. Hunter asks what she is doing on Kamino and whether she has family and parents. A passing regular Clone trooper mockingly remarks that the “defect squad” has a new recruit, which he dismisses as the “Sad Batch.”
Omega hurls some sauce at the troublesome Clone and demands that he apologize to her friends. Wrecker says he likes this kid. The regular Clone trooper tries to bully Omega but Hunter suggests that he keep moving. While Hunter glowers at the soldiers, Wrecker backs up Omega. Walking away, the Clone trooper tells Omega to know her place as a “lab scrubber.” Wrecker throws his tray at the troublesome Clone trooper.
More trays are thrown and a fight breaks out. Hunter punches one of the regular Clone troopers. Crosshair eats his meal while Echo throws some punches but gets thrown into Crosshair’s dinner. Crosshair joins the fight and hits a regular Clone trooper with his tray. Wrecker throws a soldier across the table while Echo fights off another Clone trooper. From above the gallery, Admiral Tarkin and a Kaminoan watch the fight disapprovingly. Echo is hit on the head by a tray and blacks out.
Deviant not defective
Later, Echo awakes to hear a medical droid informing Omega that she has been assigned by Mistress Nala Se to the sub-level medical wing. The medical droid orders her to leave but Omega insists on staying till Echo wakes up. Echo awakes to find AZI-3 conducting tests on his head and panics. The droid tells him that his tests are not yet complete.
Omega calms Echo down, telling him that she understands his dislike at being hooked up to machines. When the droid addressed Echo as CT-1409, Omega reminds him that his name is Echo. The droid introduces himself as AZI-345211896246498721347, his assigned medical droid.
The Clones are soon joined by the rest of Clone Force 99. Wrecker is pleased that Echo is alive and says that the others owe him two credits. AZI-3 informs them that CT-1409 is stable but breaks the news that the squad appear to be genetically defective clones. Wrecker raises an eyebrow at Tech who frowns. The medical droids leaves them to process the news.
Echo says they have a problem but Tech disagrees, saying that they are more deviant than defective. Echo is concerned about the presence of Admiral Tarkin, who is evaluating the Clones. Tech brings up the mission to rescue Tarkin from the Citadel which led to Echo’s injuries which turned him into a cyborg. Echo warns that Tarkin is not a big fan of clones. Hunter informs them that they have been summoned by Prime Minister Lama Su.
Wrecker quips about the mess hall fight while Hunter leads them to the meeting. Omega offers to go since she was involved in the fight but Hunter insists that she not follow them, saying that their squad is trouble. He tells her to keep a distance. Omega looks sad.
In the hallway, a Clone shock trooper tells the Bad Batch that the training facility is the other way. He informs Hunter that Admiral Tarkin has summoned the squad for a battle simulation. Tech asks if they are not being reprimanded. The shock trooper responds that they are being tested and sends them on their way. Wrecker wonders if they are not in trouble and thinks that the Empire is not so bad since they want them to fight more.
While Admiral Tarkin and Prime Minister Lama Su watch from a balcony, the Bad Batch enter the training facility through a ramp. Tarkin informs them that the value of all Clone troopers is being challenged by the Empire. To demonstrate their effectiveness, he says that a combat proficiency test is in order. He orders the Clones to take their position.
Hunter gets the squad to assume positions. Under Tarkin’s orders, the Kaminoans activate several floating droids equipped with laser arms. Automated turrets are also unleashed on Clone Force 99. The squad take cover behind several crates. Hunter sends Crosshair to take out the tower while the other squad members take on the floating droids. Climbing one of the towers, Crosshair takes out the various gun emplacements with his rifle. Tarkin watches with interest from above.
Wrecker slides down a basin with the other Clones following. They take cover behind blocks and exchange fire with the floating droids. Growing impatient, Wrecker charges into the fray and takes out several droids with his fists and blasting. After taking out the last droid, Wrecker asks Tarkin and Lama Su what they got and demands more.
Watching the simulation from above, Tarkin tells Prime Minister Lama Su that if the Galactic Empire is to be stronger than its Republic predecessor, its soldiers must follow suit. He orders the Prime Minister to switch to live fire. Lama Su protests and says that live rounds could damage his Clones and facility. Tarkin reassures him that he will be fully compensated and reiterates his order.
Lama Su nods to an assistant, who summons two armored battle droids. Wrecker fires at the droids but his blaster has no effect on their armor. He tries to ram one of them but the droid hurls him across the room. The second droid opens fire on Wrecker, wounding him.
Hunter and the other clones realize that the new battle droids are using live rounds. While Hunter and Echo deal with the new droids, Tech aids the wounded Wrecker and drags him to safety behind a block. Crosshair shoots at the droid but his blaster bolts also have no effect on their armor. The droids return fire. Crosshair joins up with his comrades as two more droids enter through trapdoors. A third pair of battle droids are brought up.
Hunter, Echo and Crosshair retreat behind a block while Tech and Wrecker shelter behind another. Realizing that their training blaster are no match for the new battle droids, Hunter decides to improvise. He whistles over to Wrecker and makes hand gestures. Wrecker grumbles but Tech has memorized them and understands the messages. He reminds Wrecker to do what they did on Felucia.
Understanding the plan, Wrecker gives Hunter a hang gesture and moves out. Hunter and Crossfire exchange fire with the droids while Echo runs circles around the droids. Wrecker wrestles with one droid while Echo jumps on the back of its companion. Echo damages the head of his droid while Wrecker and Hunter subdue their droid. Tech begins reprogramming the disabled droid.
Above, Admiral Tarkin observes the clone’s unconventional tactics. Lama Su explains that the clones of Clone Force 99 have a tendency to veer from standard combat protocol. Meanwhile, Tech manages to reprogram their captured battle droid. While riding the reprogrammed droid, Tech uses the terminal on his arm to command the reprogram droid to take out the other droids.
Hunter eliminates one of the stragglers with his blade and slices the hand blasters off another, allowing his comrades to take it down. Wrecker subdues one and throws a second to the ground. Tech’s droid is soon shot down by one of the remaining battle droids. Hunter throws his blade at the droid but comes under fire. While the other clones stay down, Wrecker flings a knife into the air. The waiting Crosshair then shoots it inside the head of the last battle droid, causing it to malfunction and collapse to its knees.
Hunter thanks the team for their work. Tarkin watches with disbelief before exiting the chamber with Lama Su. The Bad Batch stand triumphantly in the simulator room.
A question of loyalty
Later, Tarkin visits a Clone incubation chamber where several Clone fetuses like in incubation tanks. While Nala Se is impressed by the clones, Tarkin says that remains to be seen and asks about Clone Force 99. She explains they are genetically defective clones whose cellular mutations enhance traits desirable in a soldier. Omega also watches.
When he asks how many of these defective clones remain, Nala Se replies that only five remain. Lama Su opines that they could be an asset to the Galactic Empire. Tarkin counters that they exhibit a concerning level of disobedience and disregard for orders. Nala Se says this is a side effect of their mutation while Lama Su adds that this has not hindered their missions.
Tarkin then asks if they executed Order 66. Believing General Billaba and Padawan Caleb to be dead, Lama Su assumes that the Clones are reliable. Tarkin points out that only Billaba’s death has been confirmed and that a counter-report fled by one of their own says that the Padawan has escaped. Tarkin wants to test the loyalty of these Clone troopers and walks out of the room. Omega is visible anxious.
Clone Force 99 return to their barracks. Wrecker is incensed that the Kaminoan cloners and Tarkin used live rounds on them. Echo responds that he tried to warn them about Tarkin. Wrecker demands to know who is Tarkin while Crossfire says that people get shot all the time. Tech says there is a fundamental difference between been shot in battle and being used for target practice. Wrecker add they are not “dummy droids.”
Tarkin agrees and enters with two Clone shock troopers. Hunter pockets his knife while the squad stands to attention. Tarkin claims he was impressed and says that the Empire may have some unorthodox methods but so does Clone Force 99, which he says has merits. Tarkin is aware that Nala Se speaks highly of her five enhanced clones and claims they are more capable than an army.
Tarkin informs Clone Force 99 that he has a new mission for them. The Empire has tracked a group of insurgents to the Onderon sector and says they must be dealt with. When Echo asks about the insurgents, Tarkin claims that they are Separatist forces seeking to keep the galaxy at war. If they eliminate this new threat, Tarkin promises to give them a favourable report when assessing the needs of the new Imperial Army. Tarkin and his guards stroll out.
Later in the hangar, Tech prepares the Havoc Marauder for flight. He exits the ship and asks Echo if he has found more information about the rebels. Echo says he has been unsuccessful since Imperial files have been locked down tight. Tech asks Echo for the files and promises to crack them.
Wrecker remarks that the Empire loves firepower and says that the squad should see the new armory. Crossfire says that Wrecker cried but Wrecker reminds him that they both did. Tech says there is not enough room aboard for more ammunition but Wrecker is stubborn. Tech does not want any explosives near his rack. Crossfire boards the ship.
As Hunter enters the hangar bay, Omega calls to him. Hunter reminds her that he told her to keep her distance. Omega says she needed to talk to him and warns him that Tarkin has it “out for him.” She confides that she heard Tarkin talking to Lama Su and warns that Tarkin dislikes Clones. Hunter says this is nothing new and that they get the job done.
Omega tells Hunter that she does not trust Tarkin. Hunter says that it is just another mission and nothing to worry about. Omega asks to come along. Hunter replies that she is not a soldier and that it will be dangerous for her. Omega responds that it is dangerous here on Kamino and that they need to leave. Hunter reassures her that it takes time to get used to change before walking away. Omega tries to tell Hunter something but decides not to.
When Crossfire asks if there is a problem, Hunter says that there is something about Omega he can’t figure out. Omega waves goodbye while Crossfire quips that Hunter doesn’t understand kids. As Clone Force 99 takes off in their ship, Nala Se tells Omega to come along, reminding her that she told her to stay close. Omega follows her mistress.