Hard Contact: Star Wars Legends (republic Commando) by Karen TravissHard Contact: Star Wars Legends (republic Commando) by Karen Traviss

Hard Contact: Star Wars Legends (republic Commando)

byKaren Traviss

Mass Market Paperback | October 26, 2004

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As the Clone Wars rage, victory or defeat lies in the hands of elite squads that take on the toughest assignments in the galaxy–stone-cold soldiers who go where no one else would, to do what no one else could. . . .

On a mission to sabotage a chemical weapon research facility on a Separatist-held planet, four clone troopers operate under the very noses of their enemies. The commandos are outnumbered and outgunned, deep behind enemy lines with no backup–and working with strangers instead of trusted teammates. Matters don’t improve when Darman, the squad’s demolitions expert, gets separated from the others during planetfall. Even Darman’s apparent good luck in meeting an inexperienced Padawan vanishes once Etain admits to her woeful inexperience.

For the separated clone commandos and stranded Jedi, a long, dangerous journey lies ahead, through hostile territory brimming with Trandoshan slavers, Separatists, and suspicious natives. A single misstep could mean discovery . . . and death. It’s a virtual suicide mission for anyone–anyone except Republic Commandos.
A former defense correspondent and TV and newspaper journalist, KAREN TRAVISS has also worked as a police press officer, an advertising copywriter, and a journalism lecturer. She has served in both the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service and the Territorial Army. Since her graduation from the Clarion East class of 2000, her short stories hav...
Title:Hard Contact: Star Wars Legends (republic Commando)Format:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 6.9 × 4.2 × 0.8 inPublished:October 26, 2004Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345478274

ISBN - 13:9780345478276

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from 3.5/5 A fun, enjoyable read for fans of the series or of military heavy novels that focus on a small group of elite soldiers. This is very much that book and as interesting as it is to see the ethics of using clone soldiers (do they have rights, individuality etc) the story stumbles a bit. But I've heard the series only gets better so let's find out. #indigoemployee
Date published: 2018-05-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Adaptation Great book and also a companion to the popular video game by LucasArts.
Date published: 2017-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hard Contact Good series and Im throughly enjoying it... this book focuses on a special forces commando unit and a young padawon.... very action packed and full of thrill... highly recommended... I will continue the series...
Date published: 2014-05-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Republic Commando.... novel? Republic Commando: the Game: fantabulous. Republic Commando the novel: great! While it was a great beginning, the middle was lacking but the ending was strong. Karen Travis is a star to describing the lives of troopers and I am glad that her initial success, ( this novel) brought her down the road to her second.
Date published: 2011-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An excellent Star Wars novel. Karen Traviss is a superb writer. Star Wars books can be so hit and miss but this one was AWESOME! That's right. Capital letters. The plot was fast paced and action packed right up until the very end, and had just the right amount of story in the last pages to bring the book to a close but not ruin the effect of the climax. What I liked the best is that there were no full Jedi in the story. It was based around a mission with only a Padawan and Commandos, two characters that I have found somewhat mysterious up until now. All the Jedi in the movies, and the vast majority of the books, are powerful and fully trained. Etain, the Padawan, was an excellent tool to take a closer look at the clones. To view them properly through another's eyes. The lead clone, Darman, is experiencing another planet and a new environment for the first time. His experiences and thoughts bring all of the clones into a new light for both Etain and the reader. After reading this book, the clones are not longer just a faceless army of super soldiers. There is also the most vague hint of romance which I simply love because it leaves you thinking about so many what-ifs. Bottom line; Star Wars fans - read this book.
Date published: 2009-06-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Weak Start to a Good Series STAR WARS: REPUBLIC COMMANDO: HARD CONTACT is a weak start to a good series. I personally love the idea of a series that revolves around nothing but clones. This gives you an in depth look into a clones life, although not just your regular trooper, but the tight knit units of the Clone Commandos. The novel takes a Commando unit to the planet of Qiilura, where they meet up with Jedi Padawan Etain Tur-Mukan. They are sent to quash a Seperatist uprising on the planet, however they are met with numerous obstacles that set them back, and could lead to the unit just being struck of the Grand Army of the Republics strength and left behind. Relationships form between the characters, that are good in nature, and ones that could have people removed form there respective group. This novel is a must read if you do plan to read this series, this one sets up the entire series for you, and although it is weak in comparison to the others you will not be disappointed with the out come.
Date published: 2009-01-23

Read from the Book

Think of yourselves as a hand. Each of you is a finger, andwithout the others you're useless. Alone, a finger can'tgrasp, or control, or form a fist. You are nothing on yourown, and everything together.--Commando instructor Sergeant Kal SkirataDarman moved on fast, up a tree-covered slope a kilometersouth. He planned on spending the rest of the daylight hoursin a carefully constructed hide at the highest vantage pointhe could find, slightly below the skyline.He concentrated on making a crude net out of the canopycords he had salvaged. The activity kept him occupied andalert. He hadn't slept in nearly forty standard hours; fatiguemade you more careless and dangerously unfocused than alcohol.When he had finished tying the cord into squares, hewove grass, leaves, and twigs into the knots. On inspection,he decided it was a pretty good camouflage net.He also continued observation. Qiilura was astonishing. Itwas alive and different, a riot of scent and color and textureand sounds. Now that his initial pounding fear had subsidedinto a general edginess, he began to take it all in.It was the little living noises that concerned him most.Around him, creatures crawled, flew, and buzzed. Occasionallythings squealed and fell silent. Twice now he'd heardsomething larger prowling in the bushes.Apart from the brief intensity of Geonosis, Darman's onlyenvironmental experience had been the elegant but enclosedstilt cities of Kamino, and the endless churning seas aroundthem. The cleanly efficient classrooms and barracks wherehe had spent ten years turning from instant child to perfectsoldier were unremarkable, designed to get a job done. Histraining in desert and mountain and jungle had been entirelyartificial, holoprojection, simulation.The red desert plains of Geonosis had been far more aridand starkly magnificent than his instructors' imaginations;and now Qiilura's fields and woods held so much more thanthree-dimensional charts could offer.It was still open country, though--a terrain that made ithard for him to move around unnoticed.Concentrate, he told himself. Gather intel. Make the mostof your enforced idleness.Lunch would have been welcome about now. A decentlunch. He chewed on a concentrated dry ration cube and remindedhimself that his constant hunger wasn't real. He wasjust tired. He had consumed the correct amount of nutrientsfor his needs, and if he gave in to eating more, he would runout of supplies. There was exactly enough for a week's operationsin his pack and two days'worth in his emergency belt.The belt was the only thing he would grab, apart from hisrifle, if he ever had to make a last-ditch run for it without hisforty-kilo pack.Beneath him, farm transports passed along a narrow track,all heading in the same direction, carrying square tanks withsecurity seals on the hatches. Barq. Darman had never tastedit, but he could smell it even from here. The nauseatinglymusky, almost fungal scent took the edge off his appetite fora while. If he had his holochart aligned correctly, the transportswere all heading for the regional depot at Teklet. Hetwisted the image this way and that in his hands and held itup to map onto the actual landscape.Yes, he was sure enough now where he was. He was tenklicks east of the small town called Imbraani, about fortyklicks northeast of RV point Beta and forty klicks almost dueeast of RV point Gamma. They'd picked RV points along theflight path because the Separatists would expect dispersal,not a retracing of their steps. Between RVs Alpha and Betawas a stretch of woodland, ideal for moving undetected byday. If the rest of his squad had landed safely and were onschedule, they would be making their way to Beta.Things could be looking up again. All he had to do was getto RV Gamma and wait for his squad. And if they hadn'tmade it, then he'd need to rethink the mission.The idea produced a feeling of desolation. You are nothingon your own, and everything together. He'd been raised tothink, function, even breathe as one of a group of four. Hecould do nothing else.But ARCs always operate alone, don't they?He pondered that, fighting off drowsiness. Leaves rustledsuddenly behind him, and he turned to scan with the infraredfilter of his visor. He caught a blur of moving animal. It fled.His database said there were no large predators on Qiilura,so whatever it was could be no more troublesome than thegdans--not as long as he was wearing his armor, anyway.Darman waited motionless for a few moments, but the animalwas gone. He turned back and refocused on the roadand the surrounding fields, struggling to stay awake. Lay offthe stims. No, he wasn't going to touch his medpac for aquick boost. Not yet. He'd save his limited supply for later,for when things got really tough, as he knew they would.Then something changed in his field of vision. The frozentableau had come to life. He flipped down the binoc filter fora closer look, and what he saw made him snap it back andgaze through the sniperscope of his rifle.A thin wisp of smoke rose from a group of wooden buildings.It was quickly becoming a pall. It wasn't the smokeof domestic fires; he could see flames, flaring tongues ofyellow and red. The structures--barns, judging by theirconstruction--were on fire. A group of people in drab clothingwas scrambling around, trying to drag objects clear of theflames, uncoordinated, panicking. Another group--Ubese,Trandoshan, mainly Weequay--was stopping them, standingin a line around the barn.One of the farmers broke the line and disappeared into abuilding. He didn't come out again, not as long as Darmanwatched.Nothing in his training corresponded to what he was witnessing.There was not a memory, a pattern, a maneuver, ora lesson that flashed in his mind and told him how thisshould be played out. Civilian situations were outside his experience.Nor were these citizens of the Republic: theyweren't anyone's citizens.His training taught him not to be distracted by outside issues,however compelling.But there was still some urge in him that said Do something.What? His mission, his reason for staying alive, was torejoin his squad and thwart the nanovirus project. Breakingcover to aid civilians cut across all of that.The Separatists--or whoever controlled this band of assortedthugs--knew he was here.It didn't take a genius to work it out. The sprayer hadexploded on landing, detonating any demolition ordnancethat Darman hadn't been able to cram into his packs. TheWeequay patrol hadn't called in when their masters had expected.Now the humans--farmers--were being punishedand threatened, and it was all to do with him. The Separatistswere looking for him.Escape and evasion procedure.No, not yet. Darman inhaled and leveled his rifle carefully,picking out an Ubese in the crosswires. Then he lined up therest of the group, one at a time. Eight hostiles, forty rounds:he knew he could slot every one, first time.He held his breath, forefinger resting on the trigger.Just a touch.How many more targets were there that he couldn't see?He'd give away his position.This isn't your business.He exhaled and relaxed his grip on the rifle, sliding hisforefinger in front of the trigger guard. What would happento his mission if they caught him?In the next two minutes, reluctant to move, he targetedeach Ubese, Weequay, and Trandoshan several times, butdidn't squeeze the trigger. He wanted to more than he couldhave imagined. It wasn't the hard-drilled trained response ofa sniper, but a helpless, impotent anger whose origin hecouldn't begin to identify.Don't reveal your position. Don't fire unless you can takeout the target. Keep firing until the target is down and staysdown.And then there were times when a soldier just had to takea chance.They could be Republic citizens, one day.They could be allies now.Darman wasn't tired anymore, or even hungry. His pulsewas pounding loud in his ears and he could feel the constrictionin his throat muscles, the fundamental human reflex toflee or fight. Fleeing wasn't an option. He could only fight.He targeted the first Weequay, a clean head shot, andsqueezed the trigger. The creature dropped, and for a momenthis comrades stared at the body, unsure of what hadhappened. Darman had nothing against Weequays. It wasonly coincidence that this was the third one he'd killed in afew hours.And, suddenly unfrozen, the band of thugs all turned tostare in the direction of the shot, drawing their weapons.The first bolt hit the bushes to Darman's left; the secondwent three meters over his head. They'd worked out where hewas, all right. Darman snapped on the DC-17's grenade attachmentand watched through the scope as the civiliansscattered. The grenade sent a shower of soil and shatteredwood into the air, along with four of the eight militia.He'd certainly pinpointed his position now.When he sprang to his feet and began the run down theslope, the four remaining enemy stood and stared for a coupleof seconds. He had no idea why, but they were transfixedlong enough for him to gain the advantage. A couple ofplasma bolts hit him, but his armor simply took it like apunch in the chest and he ran on, laying down a hail of particlerounds. The bolts came toward him like horizontal lumi-nous rain. One Trandoshan turned and ran; Darman took himdown with a bolt in the back that blew him a few meters fartheras he fell.Then the white-hot rain stopped and he was running overbodies. Darman slowed and pulled up, suddenly deafened bythe sound of his own panting breath.Maybe they'd managed to report his presence via theircomlinks in time, and maybe they hadn't. The informationwouldn't have been much use on its own anyway. He ranfrom barn to barn, checking for more hostiles, walkingthrough the flames unscathed because his armor and bodysuitcould easily withstand the heat of a wood fire. Even withthe visor, he couldn't see much through the thick smoke, andhe moved quickly outside again. He glanced at his arm;smoke curled off the soot-blackened plates.Then he almost walked straight into a youth in a farmer'ssmock, staring at him. The boy bolted.Darman couldn't find any more of Hokan's troops. Hecame to the last barn and booted the door open. His spotlampilluminated the dim interior and picked out four terri-fied human faces--two men, a woman, and the boy he'd justseen--huddling in a corner next to a threshing machine. Hisautomatic response was to train the rifle on them until he wassure they weren't hostiles. Not every soldier wears a uniform.But his instincts said these were just terrified civilians.He was still trailing smoke from his armor. He realizedhow frightening he looked.A thin, wavering wail began. He thought it was thewoman, but it seemed to be coming from one of the men, aman just as old as Sergeant Skirata who was staring at him inhorror. Darman had never seen civilians that close, and he'dnever seen anyone that scared."I'm not going to hurt you," he said. "Is this your farm?"Silence, except for that noise the man was making; hecouldn't understand it. He'd rescued them from their attackers,hadn't he? What was there to fear?"How many troops has Hokan got? Can you tell me?"The woman found her voice, but it was shaky. "What areyou?""I'm a soldier of the Republic. I need information,ma'am.""You're not him?""Who?""Hokan.""No. Do you know where he is?"She pointed south in the direction of Imbraani. "They'redown at the farm the Kirmay clan used to own before Hokansold them to Trandoshans. About fifty, maybe sixty of them.What are you going to do to us?""Nothing, ma'am. Nothing at all."It didn't seem to be the answer they were expecting. Thewoman didn't move."He brought them here looking for him," said the manwho wasn't whining, pointing at Darman. "We've got nothingto thank him for. Tell him to--""Shut up," the woman said, glaring at the man. She turnedback to Darman. "We won't say a word. We won't say we sawyou. Just go. Get out. We don't want your help."Darman was totally unprepared for the reaction. He'd beentaught many things, but none of his accelerated learning hadmentioned anything about ungrateful civilians, rescues thereof.He backed away and checked outside the barn door beforedarting from barn to bush to fence and up the slope to wherehe'd left his gear. It was time to move on. He was leaving atrail behind him now, a trail of engagements and bodies. Hewondered if he'd see civvies, as Skirata called them, in quitethe same benign way in the future.He checked the chrono readout in his visor. It had beenonly minutes since he had run down the slope, firing. It alwaysfelt like hours, hours when he couldn't see anything butthe target in front of him. Don't worry, Skirata had said. It'syour forebrain shutting down, just a fear reflex. You're bredfrom sociopathic stock. You'll fight just fine. You'll carry onfighting when normal men have turned into basket cases.Darman was never sure if that was good or not, but it waswhat he was, and he was fine with that. He loaded his extrapack on his back and began working his way to the RV point.Maybe he shouldn't have expended so many rounds. Maybehe should have just left the farmers to their fate. He'd neverknow.Then it struck him why both the militia and the civilianshad frozen when they first spotted him. The helmet. Thearmor. He looked like a Mandalorian warrior.Everyone must be terrified of Ghez Hokan. The similaritywould either work to his advantage or ge