Traitor of Ryloth
Vice Admiral Rampart and Captain Howzer walk through the detention block of the Capitol building in Ryloth's capital of Lessu. When they reach the cell holding Cham and Eleni Syndulla, Rampart mocks Cham, saying he was once considered the liberator of Ryloth, but is now the traitor of Ryloth after attempting to assassinate Senator Orn Free Taa. Cham retorts that the people won't believe the Empire's lies, but Rampart believes they will turn against him easily. He then appeals to Eleni, saying that its dangerous out there, and if they tell him where Hera is, he can ensure her safe return to them. Eleni retorts that she's seen how Rampart treats his allies, and she would prefer to be his enemy. As Rampart leaves, Howzer looks at the Syndullas with concern.
Rampart orders Howzer to scour the planet and arrest all of Cham Syndulla's supporters. Howzer says that the people are not insurgents and have committed no crime, but Rampart says they are a menace, having attacked their transport and shot Senator Taa. Howzer objects, saying he was there, and the blast that hit Taa did not come from Cham or his fighters. Rampart asks who was responsible then, and Howzer admits he doesn't know. Rampart tells him to carry out his orders, and Howzer promises to locate Hera himself. Rampart says that isn't necessary as another squad is looking for her and she will be found soon. As they return to the building, the droid Chopper rolls out from behind a nearby crate and begins chattering.
A call for help
In the mountains above her family's residence, Hera tells Chopper to hang on, and uses her macrobinoculars to observe stormtroopers and Elite Squad troopers searching their home. The elite troopers report to Crosshair, saying there is no sign of Hera and she may have fled the planet. Crosshair says she would not have left without her parents and orders them to keep looking. Hera contacts Chopper on her comlink, saying there's a new plan: to meet her at the base to send out a transmission.
On the Marauder, Omega attempts to fix Gonky's prime power source which isn't charging fully. Hunter tells her he can't be fixed as he's a defective unit. As Tech calls Hunter to the cockpit, Omega reassures the droid that they are all defective too. Tech tells Hunter they are receiving a recorded transmission from an unrecognized frequency. A hologram of Hera appears, telling Omega her parents have been captured by the Empire and she needs their help quickly at coordinates she will send. Hunter asks Omega why she gave Hera their comm channel, and she replies that it was for emergencies and Hera's situation sounded pretty urgent. Tech says that children often overreact, and that perhaps the situation is not as dire as it appears. Hunter tells her it is a big galaxy and they can't help everyone who needs it. Omega asks, "Why not, isn't that what soldiers do?", and Hunter looks thoughtful.
The Marauder drops out of hyperspace over Ryloth, and heads into a canyon area and onto a landing platform at a cave. Clone Force 99 disembarks, and are greeted by Chopper and Hera who have been hiding there. Hunter asks Hera why the Empire is after her and she tells him they are arresting anyone loyal to her father. Hunter looks unconvinced and Hera offers to pay them to free her parents. Hunter agrees to see what they're up against, but offers no guarantees.
From the mountains, Hera and the Bad Batch observe the city as Rampart addresses the citizens of Ryloth, telling them those responsible for the shocking attack on their senator have been detained, and that Orn Free Taa will make a full recovery. Omega sees Crosshair in the city, and Hunter, Echo, Tech and Wrecker step back to discuss the situation. Wrecker wants to fly in and blow their way out, but Echo says the scanners will pick up their ship, and the number of troops is similar to that on Raxus, meaning this is a military occupation. A probe droid hovers above them, but Hunter hears it and disables it, although they know Crosshair and the Empire will already know they're there. In the city below, ES-02 hands Crosshair a datapad, showing the probe droid's image of his former compatriots.
Back at the base, Hunter tells Hera that they can't help her, especially now that the element of surprise is gone, and the Empire will be expecting an attack and has increased security. A desperate Hera offers to pay them double, but Hunter bluntly responds that credits mean nothing if they're dead, and offers to take Hera off-world, but rescuing her parents is not worth the risk. Hera responds "not to you," and walks off, followed by Chopper. An angry Omega tells Hunter he shouldn't have said that. Hunter tells Omega that being strategic means knowing your limitations, and she replies that Hera is trying to protect her family, and Omega would do the same for Hunter and the others.
In the city, Rampart tells Howzer that arresting some of Cham's supporters is not good enough, he wants them all. Howzer is concerned that arresting innocent citizens will provoke an uprising, but Rampart says that they should be arrested too and peace has a cost. As they enter the Vice Admiral's office, Crosshair is waiting for them. He throws a datapad on the desk and announces Clone Force 99 were spotted near the Capitol. Rampart says they have a battalion of troopers, but Crosshair tells him it's not enough, given what they are capable of. Rampart asks Crosshair what his squad is capable of – if they cannot capture Hera Syndulla, he will assign the task to someone who can. Crosshair glares at Howzer as he leaves.
A rescue plan
Chopper speaks to an upset Hera but she tells him that she doesn't want to hear a lecture, reminding him that Hunter gave up, not her. Omega finds Hera and tells her that Hunter means well. Hera asks why she trusts Hunter so much and Omega says he's her brother, and so are the rest of the squad. She tells Hera that Hunter will come around if they can come up with a strategy, and Hera knows Ryloth better than any of them.
Howzer visits Cham and Eleni in the detention block. Cham says they see what side he has chosen, and Howzer says they attacked an Imperial convoy. Eleni says they were only protecting Hera, and Howzer looks around surreptitiously before saying that's what he's trying to do. He begs them to give up Hera's location so he can protect her, but they don't believe him, with Cham saying he won't make the mistake of trusting Howzer again.
At Syndulla's base, Hera and Omega outline their plan: one squad will attack the Imperial doonium refinery on the outskirts of the city, drawing reinforcements away while the other team rescues her parents. Echo asks about defenses at the refinery, and Hera tells them there are five unmanned perimeter autocannons, which can be disabled by Chopper at the command console. Hunter agrees, telling Hera and Omega to back up Chopper while he disables the cannons, then Tech and Wrecker will attack the refinery while he and Echo scale the Capitol wall and rescue the Syndullas. Hunter decides to follow Hera's lead.
Attacking the refinery
Later that night, Hera and Omega wait in position as several Twi'lek workers and astromech droids including Chopper disembark from a transport outside the refinery's checkpoint. Chopper mingles among the astromech droids but breaks away to reach the command console. He electrocutes an Imperial astromech droid manning the console and tries to access the network terminal. However, Chopper finds he cannot access the cannons. The droid is soon cornered by two clone troopers.
Hera says that they need to help Chopper. While peering through the macrobinoculars, Omega says they will but first they need to take the console offline. When Hera asks how they are going to do that, Omega points to one of the parked Imperial Rho-class transport shuttles and reminds Hera that she said she wanted to be a pilot. Omega leads the way.
Meanwhile, Hunter and Echo scale the Capitol wall and knock out a clone trooper sentry. Back at the Imperial refinery, Omega and Hera infiltrate a parked shuttle. Tech asks Omega if Chopper has disabled the cannons. Omega replies that she and Hera are working on it and warns him not to shoot down their shuttle. Hera fires up the shuttle but struggles to control the ship, colliding with another ship and scattering the craft. She manages to fly the shuttle near Chopper, who takes the opportunity to stun his two clone trooper captors.
Hera uses the shuttle to take out the command console, which explodes and triggers a wave of explosions. Chopper fires up his thruster and boards the Nu-class attack shuttle. The trio fly away. Tech inquires about the multiple explosions at the refinery. Omega confirms it was them and tells him that the weapons are down. The Marauder then descends on the undefended refinery. While Tech flies the shuttle, Wrecker uses the Marauder's weapons systems to take out the gun emplacements. The clone trooper commander calls for reinforcements.
Rescuing the Ryloth resistance
Captain Howzer informs Vice Admiral Rampart that the refinery is under attack. He offers to deal with it but Rampart insists on handling the attack and orders Howzer to guard the Capitol. Meanwhile, Hunter and Echo stun the sentries guarding the Syndullas' cell and frees Cham, Eleni, and Gobi. Gobi is surprised to see the Bad Batch, whom he regards as mercenaries, rescuing them. Gobi says he didn't hire them. Hunter explains that Hera hired them. Cham asks if Hera is safe.
While Hera enjoys flying the Nu-class shuttle, Tech tells her that her dangerous and uncontrolled maneuvering is confusing to both him and the Imperials. At the Capitol, Crosshair accompanies several clone troopers and Elite Squad Troopers heading towards the refinery. Crosshair tells his troops to stop. ES-03 points out that Rampart ordered them to protect the refinery but Crosshair points out this is not the enemy's true target. When ES-3 asks why they are not attacking it, Crosshair turns to look at the Capitol building as shuttles lift off.
Howzer watches Crosshair from the balcony before walking back inside. Meanwhile, Hunter and Echo escort the Twi'leks through the prison corridors. Crosshair's troops form positions outside one of the Capitol's doorways while Crosshair takes up position on a balcony. As Hunter, Echo, Cham, Eleni and the other Twi'lek resistance fighters approach the doorway, Howzer warns them that they are walking into a trap. He removes his helmet and tells them that there is a squad out there waiting.
Gobi is distrustful and asks why they should trust him. Howzer replies that he is on their side and says that what the Empire is doing is wrong. He faces the armed Hunter and Echo, telling them that they have to get out of here but that the exits are blocked. Eleni proposes using Senator Taa's shuttle in his private tower hangar. Howzer apologizes for not stopping the Empire's actions earlier.
Cham puts his hand on his shoulder and reassures Howzer that their fight for Ryloth is not over. He vows to return. Eleni invites Howzer along since the Empire will know he has defected. Howzer is unwilling to abandon his squad and says he will try to get through to them. He tells the Free Ryloth fighters, Hunter and Echo to leave while there is still time. The insurgents and their clone rescuers flee through a different direction while Howzer prepares to face the Imperials.
Later, Hunter updates Tech about their new escape plans. Tech is relieved since they are being pursued by multiple Imperial vessels. Meanwhile, ES-04 asks Crosshair if they should move in. Crosshair orders her to stay in position and insists this is their way out. Then, Howzer exits the gate and speaks to the clone troopers, addressing them as brothers. He reminds them that they came to free Ryloth from Separatist control and that they have succeeded. Howzer tells them that they have been ordered to target the very people they have sworn to protect.
He says that he will not be a part of this any longer before throwing down his blaster. He asks if any of the clone troopers will stand with him. Several drop their blasters and shields. Watching from above, Crosshair orders loyalist clone troopers to arrest the mutineers. Just then, the fugitives escape in Senator Taa's stolen shuttle. Crosshair tries to shoot it down but he misses. Hunter watches from above while Crosshair glares. Captain Howzer is arrested and handcuffed. He and the mutineers are led away.
Live to fight another day
At Ord Mantell City, the Bad Batch land their ships at a hangar with Cham Syndulla and his Free Ryloth fighters. Eleni offers to pay the Bad Batch but Hunter tells them to keep the money since they will need it. Hunter adds that these occupations are happening on other worlds. Cham says that he hoped to have fought his last war but that his people need them now more than ever. Cham says that he needs to organize. Hunter apologizes that he won't be able to help since he has his own people to look out for. Eleni says that if a war is coming, it will be their fight as much as ours.
Eleni calls for her daughter Hera, who has learned how to scramble a ship's signature from Tech. Eleni is impressed and says that she will have opportunity to put it to the test. Before leaving, Hera reassures her co-pilot Omega that they didn't do too badly. Omega is sad that her friend has to leave but Hera promises to see her again. She tells Omega to keep an eye on her brothers and thanks her for believing in her. Hera hugs Omega before leaving with her parents and Chopper aboard another ship.
Back at the damaged refinery, Vice Admiral Rampart speaks with Crosshair. Rampart admits underestimating his four "friends" and wishes the Bad Batch were fighting for the Empire instead of against them. Crosshair requests permission to hunt down the Bad Batch, which the Vice Admiral obliges. Crosshair smiles darkly as Rampart and his troops walk away.
When Rampart and Howzer walk through a door in the Capitol in an early scene, the clone standing next to the door is missing his left pauldron armour piece.
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Notes and references
- Star Wars: The Bad Batch begins with Order 66, an event that Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 19 BBY. Battlefront: Twilight Company establishes that the Stormtrooper Corps was founded by clone commandos, an event that occured shortly before the fourteenth episode, "War-Mantle." Because Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know dates the formation of the corps to nineteen years before the Battle of Yavin, an event that Galactic Atlas dates to 0 BBY, the Stormtrooper Corps was founded in 19 BBY, and "War-Mantle" takes place in the same year. "Return to Kamino" and "Kamino Lost" take place shortly afterwards, so they take place in approximately the same year.