Science Fiction
 

Star Wars: Omega Squad: Targets

Author: Karen Traviss

Published By:
The Ballentine Publishing Company


Reviewed by Melissa Minners

 

            In Star Wars: Republic Commando: Triple Zero, we hear about a heroic act committed by one of the clone troopers in Omega Squad.  The event is discussed vaguely, but never really expanded upon.  We know Fi threw himself on an explosive device, revealing himself to be a hero in the eyes of his fellow troopers, including Ordo, a Null ARC Trooper and local Coruscanti law enforcement.  Other than that, we know nothing.  Thankfully, the paperback version of Triple Zero also contains a short story by Karen Traviss called Star Wars: Omega Squad: Targets which explains it all.

            The story takes place a short time before the events in Triple Zero.  Omega Squad is taking a moment to enjoy some down time between missions when they are called into action.  An armed siege is taking place at the spaceport in Galactic City, Coruscant.  Normally, this would be handled by the local police, but when one of the hostages is a Senator, the ante is upped and a military mission is required. 

            They arrive at the spaceport and meet up with the local police and Senate guard to learn as much as they can about the situation.  Apparently, the citizens of Haruun Kal are unhappy with the Republicís interference in their lives and want the Republic to withdraw from their planet or they will kill the Senator.  Captain Ordo and Kal Skirata arrive to take control of the situation and lead Omega Squad on their strike. 

            A Jedi is sent in to bargain with the hostage takers while secretly taking footage of the interior.  Unfortunately, he is sent out dead, wearing quite a message - an explosive device.  This is when Fi becomes a hero in the eyes of his fellow officers and the Coruscant Security Force by throwing himself on the explosive device, saving everyone in the area by smothering the explosion with his Katarn armor without thought to his own preservation.  Gaining respect from a Null Arc Trooper is no easy feat, especially when that trooper is inclined to find you annoying, but Ordo realizes what an asset to the team Fi is and, thanks to this heroic act, finds himself proud to call him a brother.

            In the meantime, the troopers must find a way to take out the hostage takers without harming the hostages.  To do so, they must have intel and in order to get that, they will have to send someone in they can trustÖsomeone who knows what to look for and how to get the info back to the troopers.  They send in Kal Skirata.  Can he get the information they need to make the mission successful?  How will they rescue the hostages without setting off the explosive devices strapped to their bodies?  All these questions and more are answered in this short story.

            As short stories go, Star Wars: Omega Squad: Targets was longer than most at twenty-four pages, but every page was action filled.  This story is detrimental to the rest of the Republic Commando series, revealing how certain relationships and alliances came into place to afford Kal Skirata the necessary latitude he would need to pull off his covert ops in Triple Zero.  It also explains the bond between Fi and Captain Ordo and shows a different side of Fi that we arenít used to seeing.  Iíve said it before and I will say it again, Karen Traviss has the best handle on writing these clone troopers, making them more human to us and showing us a side of them that is more than just test-tube-grown soldier.  Every short story or full length novel Traviss writes in the clone wars series reveals just a little more about the lives of the clone troopers and endears them to the hearts of the readers that much more.

 

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