Palpatine's image flickered momentarily, the ghostly blue holo resolving itself into an evil leer, which caused the clone trooper to take an involuntary step back. It was unmistakably the face of the Chancellor, that much was certain, but boy - he must have been hitting the drink heavily in the last few weeks if the lines and wrinkles on his face were anything to judge by. The workload had obviously taken its toll on the poor man. Talk about a bad hair day…
"Execute order…." Growled Palpatine menacingly, his voice cut off by a sudden burst of static.
He'd had too many cigaras, too, by the sound of it. Several thousand more than he should have.
"My Lord, I didn't catch that. Could you repeat?"
Palpatine, his eyes flaring menacingly, repeated his orders with all the warmth of a glacial storm on Hoth. No sound at all was forth coming this time.
"Audio contact is lost, my lord." Cody shook his head. "Please transmit your order visually."
The kind of visual clues that Palpatine treated poor Cody to were not particularly enlightening except to demonstrate his displeasure. Then finally when the Chancellor had calmed down he held up what appeared to be a flimsyplast card with two numbers written upon it.
After a moment of confusion the startled Commander Cody stood smartly to attention.
"It shall be done, my lord." He nodded to the holo image.
As Palpatine's dissipated and dishevelled face winked out of existence the trooper sighed. Here he was in the middle of battle, fighting alongside his fellow clones, and suddenly he was in charge of executing very strange and bewildering orders that seemed totally irrelevant to the winning of a war. Still, his was not to reason why but to do as Palpatine had ordered, baffling as it seemed…
He turned to his identical clone brother to give him his instructions.
"Execute order 99." Commander Cody insisted.
"But sir?" The clone tugged the helmet from his head. "Order 99? Are you certain?"
"I think that was what the Chancellor said." Cody frowned, wondering if he wasn't perhaps number dyslexic in some way. "Just inform the other commanders via the holo transmitters that order 99 is to be carried out with immediate effect."
"Yes, sir." The clone nodded before hurrying away.
Some moments later General Kenobi, riding some kind of giant native lizard, scurried into view.
"I think you might be needing this, sir." Cody pulled his hand out from behind his back as if keeping some kind of surprise hidden there.
Obi-Wan frowned. "Ah, you mean my lightsabre? Thank you, Cody. I dropped it when I was pursuing Grievous…careless, I know."
"No sir," Replied Cody, holding out what appeared to be a plastiform bag, "It's carryout: order 99. Crispy fried Nerf strips in a Takkini sauce, egg noodles and a portion of seruli dumplings on the side. Compliments of the Chancellor…"
Obi-Wan blinked a few times uncomprehendingly, then decided he felt a sudden urge to contact Master Yoda on Kashyyyk. It wasn't without the bounds of reason that the Chancellor was really the sith lord they'd been looking for in disguise, now trying to kill of the Jedi by poisoning them with a dodgy supply of take-away food…
"Order 99?" Obi-Wan mused for a moment, thoughtfully stroking his beard. "Thank goodness it wasn't order 69…"
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