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Falling Leaves

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‘The times are a changing, but it does not mean we have outlived our purpose of being useful.’

 

“Where have you been Rex?”

Echo’s words blurted out of his mouth before even a single hello was uttered.

With a hint of a smirk, Rex could only give a rather vague response to his former Arc Trooper.

“That, would be a long story.”

“Well, we have nowhere else to be, so do, spill.”

Wrecker had laughed, only too happy to have his second favourite reg back.

“Provided you offer me a drink. As I am parched!”

Rex had laughed, but his request had been fulfilled, the Batchers only too happy to comply as it had been a rather pleasant surprise to find out Rex was still with them.

 

The stories shared over drinks, the happenings since they had all last met and worked together. Since before the war ended. And well, things had not turned out so well to those who did not sign up for the imperial agenda by free will or otherwise.

The rogue clones as someone had so fondly put it. Only for Rex, it had been even more different as he had been listed as killed in action. Surely, a good thing to be in the eyes of the Empire.

As it turned out, Rex was running his an op of his own now. Deep behind the dark shadows of the Empire. Far away from the reaches of the mighty ones having taken over the galaxy practically over night. Rex, helping those who could not help themselves.

It had taken some effort, despite Rex helping the Batchers to remove their control chips, that Echo had managed to convince Hunter of them joining with the former Captain’s cause.

But, knowing well by now which buttons to push and the fact that the rest of them, namely Tech and Wrecker would fall into line if only Hunter made the decision. As Crosshair was still pretty much in the wind, held deep in the clutches of the Empire.

But there were promises made by Rex. That perhaps they could help get the missing sniper back to the fold, if the Bad Batch would join him. Strength in numbers and all that.

And so, after a few weeks since their reunion, Clone Force 99 as it was now, still missing a crewman, landed the Havoc Marauder in the small landing bay of Rex’s new and very secret base.

 

“Welcome everyone!”

Rex greeted the team with a wide grin on his face and hefty handshakes.

Having been waiting for them to debark the ship, with another rescued clone, Gregor by his side. As with no small thanks to the Bad Batch, who had aided in getting the commando escape the Empire.

“You all remember Gregor.”

“Of course.”

Hunter grabbed the offered arm to shake, having already gotten acquainted, even if briefly with the always smiling clone after his rescue.

“How are you?”

“Doing better than ever!”

Gregor laughed, his mood catching, always seeing the brighter side of things.

“Best decision I’ve ever made while defecting the Empire!”

While the others gathered around Gregor, Echo and Rex had a private moment to themselves.

“I am really glad you managed to convince Hunter to join us.”

Rex’s tone was lower, even if there were no real secrets shared between him and Echo as they chatted. Just, the mood of their conversation keeping their voices low.

Echo grinned, as even if it had taken some effort, Hunter was not stupid. And this was their best choice for survival in the long run, being together with their kin.

“Nothing to it, Rex. Hunter knows what the Empire is doing is wrong. But also, what you and the others do here is the way we should be doing things as well. Helping people.”

Rex placed his hand on top of Echo’s shoulder, patting it ever so gently and with a hint of mirth in his tone then said.

“And I am sure you used all the best tricks in your play book just the same.”

Knowing how persuasive Echo could be when he wanted to be. Having all the right facts presented to whomever he was trying to convince. And if that did not work? Well, bringing up all the guilty cards was the next best option.

It had worked on Rex in the past and he was sure it had worked on Hunter too.

Echo laughed out loud, surprising the others in doing so. As he rarely did that these days. Laugh. But it seemed, that Rex was able to pull that out of him.

“I am sure I only stated the facts.”

Echo added then, as the two of the joining the rest of the group.

“Echo is right.”

Hunter chimed in just then, having realised what Rex and Echo had discussed.

“This is our place to be. The best choice for the team.”

Hunter assured Rex as much as he did his own team of the very same.

“Well, I am very touched and happy of that fact.”

Rex simply stated rather solemnly even if he was elated Clone Force 99 had decided to join his little cause. The group continued chatting further while settling into the place, getting a small tour of the overall area in the process.

 

It was really good, being with the other vode for Echo. Even if he loved his Batch, his new family.

Still, having been part of Rex’s squad, one of his Arcs and together the two of them having spent endless hours in plotting and planning against the separatist back in the Clone War. But there had been more there too, between them. And well, guess one could say, that the two of them had been lovers, even if there really had been no labels on their relationship way back then.

And now?

Well, guess that was all ancient history. Echo did not even want to dwell on the what had been and what could have been if the war had not ended and Order 66 had not happened.

As of now, Echo was only too happy to be reunited with Rex and the other clones working with him. Having his new Batch with him there as well. Wanting only to be on the side of the good fight against the Evil Empire. Just as he had wanted ever since the very beginning.

And so now, here they were. Becoming part of the resistance, whatever that meant for them all. But surely it was so much better than simply galavanting aimlessly around the galaxy. Working on shady gigs as mercenaries just to get their ends to meet.