With her eyes widened and jaw dropped, Shamila looked at the sight before her. And even though he had seen it before, Vhiran held his breath for a moment as the three stepped through the door at the end of the hallway. Countless of disk-shaped containers each holding a great number of cylinders filled the massive chamber they entered. From the left to the right, front to back, from the high ceiling almost all the way down to the deep floor, so low that it was not visible from where they stood. Some of the numerous clone troopers and Kaminoans present in the chamber looked at the entrance upon the entering of Blackout and the two Jedi, then continued with their work.
“Magnificent,” Vhiran said under his breath. He took his lightknife from under his robe and focussed his thoughts to the crystal inside the weapon. ‘Tha’ci, you have to see this.’ He felt a short surge coming from the knife. The features on Vhiran’s face changed slightly as the former Shadow’s spirit made her way out of the crystal into his body.
Through the Jedi Knight’s eyes Tha’ci let her gaze fall upon every part of the chamber. “A cloning facility, hmm?” she said with a voice that combined her own voice with that of Vhiran and nodded with a look of genuine admiration. “Very impressive. It, reminds me of the facility my group built, but this, it is so much more massive.” She looked at Blackout. “You could clone entire armies with this…”
“Sir?” Blackout seemed puzzled with the apparent sudden change in his general.
Vhiran felt another surge and the next moment he had control over his own body again.
‘Sorry about that, Master Ashukahwa.’ Tha’ci’s voice sounded in his head. ‘I believe your friend does not yet know about my presence.’
The Jedi Knight nodded. ‘That’s alright, Tha’ci, though I’d like to hear more about that facility of yours sometime.’ He turned to Blackout with a smirk. “I will explain that later on. So…” He looked up at the cloning tanks. “This is your plan then.”
“Indeed it is, general.” Blackout crossed his arms and looked around the chamber with pride. “The seeds of our very own Grand Army!” he mused. “The beginning of the end for the Empire!”
“You must be the one the lieutenant has spoken of,” a gentle female voice suddenly sounded. “General Ashukahwa, correct?”
Vhiran looked next to him to see an elegant slim Kaminoan woman and made a deep polite bow to greet her. “That is correct. I am Vhiran Ashukahwa.”
“I bid you welcome then, general. My name is Shu Yi. I was appointed by Prime Minister Lama Su as Coordinator of this facility. The Prime Minister is most displeased with the recent attitude and blatant disrespect the Empire has shown towards us and decided we are to resist their occupation of Kamino.”
“This is just one of the hidden undersea facilities activated for that purpose, general. I’ve had contact with the Prime Minister since the day of our last meeting on Nar Shaddaa. It did not take much to convince him of our cause and the Kaminoans have agreed to be our allies in this war,” Blackout continued. “Most valuable allies I would have to add. With the current progress in cloning technology, it won’t be long until we have a massive force capable of not only crushing the Empire but also to keep order in the Republic that will arise from its ashes.”
Shu Yi nodded calmly. “The lieutenant speaks the truth. It takes only a few years now to grow a clone into maturity and with the training they will receive from our finest instructors, you can have a completely battle ready army at your disposal within only five years, possibly even four. Once our planet has been liberated from Imperial yoke, we Kaminoans will gladly aid you in your battle to bring down the Empire.”
“And I shall aid you as well as I can.” Vhiran placed his hand on his heart and bowed. “I must attend to a Jedi meeting on Kessel in a few days, so I won’t be able to stay here for long.” He turned to everyone around him. “But I shall inform my fellow Jedi there of the efforts and progress that are being made here and see whatever can be done to speed up the war effort. Lady Shu Yi?”
“General Ashukahwa?” The woman made a slight polite nod.
“If possible I would like to see and learn more of this facility, as well as the others.”
“Certainly, general,” Shu Yi replied with her ever calm and gentle voice. “But do you not wish to refresh yourself first? You and miss…” She looked at Shamila.
“Ehm, Shamila,” the young Padawan said softly.
“You and miss Shamila seem quite weary of the recent travel, the Kaminoan continued. “Quarters have already been prepared for you.”
“You are most kind. I thank you, my lady.” Vhiran bowed again. Shamila nodded and followed her Master’s lead by making a quick and somewhat clumsy bow.
“I’ll lead them there,” Blackout said with a look at Shu Yi, who made a short nod and strode away as silently as she had come.