Archive for September, 2012

28
Sep
12

Flashback part 1

Flashback part One

Sleeping in hyperspace was never strength of mine. I got out of my rack and made my way up to the cockpit to check on T7. None of us are pilots so I had left him in charge of the night watch. Corellia was our destination, located in the Core World’s sector. It was looking like a four day trip, probably shorter if we had a better calculated jump. I needed to work on getting us an actual pilot.

When I walked into the cockpit I waved to T7 as he beeped excited to have a visitor. I checked the Nav plot, I could fly fighters in a pitch but a starship was a bit out of my reach, but it felt like something I should do. Afterward I headed aft, back to the galley and made a pot of caf. I sat down at the dining table to think. This was an interesting assignment. Zotta and I had just dealt a major blow to the Empire by breaking up their main operation on Taris, I had killed Stalk, Lechelle had lost both her parents, and now we were on a slow cold trail toward ‘the General.’ Before that I had just finished training on Ord Mantell.

“What is troubling you my friend?” Zotta’s voice came from behind me. He moved to the other side of the table and sat across from me.

“Couldn’t sleep?” he asked.

“Yeah, something like that…” My voice trailed off as I looked away.

“Your mind is heavy Leftenant, please tell me. Perhaps I can lighten the burden.”

“I’ve just been thinking about stuff, everything that’s been going on… and a secret I’ve keep from you and Lechelle.”

Zotta only nodded.

Ord Mantell. My thoughts fell to the events I had just experienced not two months ago. This wasn’t your regular Special Forces training, we were way past that. This was Havoc Squad training. The four of us were all that was left of a class of twenty. One week away from graduation, we were a four man fireteam (strike team) with our last mission in front of us. Only this time it wasn’t a training op. This time it was for real. The resistance on Ord Mantell had grown so much, our training officer Lieutenant Jorgan didn’t have a choice. A covert team was needed to infiltrate a separatist base, and we were it. Myself, second in command of our squad, a weapons and combat specialist, Xifer a green skinned male Twi’lek, a skilled sniper and demo expert. Sydor, our combat medic and slicer, a Zabrak male with lightly tanned skin and lastly our squad’s team leader Sara, but we all called her ‘Striker’, a female Zabrak, with a slender figure. She had white and pink skin with a crown of horns on her head no different then the rest of her species. We were… well let’s just say we had been having fun in our off time. All of us were competing for the last spot in Havoc, any of our valuable skill sets would be a generous asset. But they were looking for one of us to join. Our target was simple: a big storage facility backed up against a mountain. Recon and Intel reported it was storing a large shipment of weapons and supplies bound, not for separatist, but for the empire’s efforts on Balmorra.

Other teams capable of handling this were off world and the four of us had worked and trained long enough to handle it. After our briefing we were dropped via transport about two clicks off shore and used a small boat to get to shore. It was midnight before we made shore and had our team meeting. Sara spoke first.

“Listen, we all know we’re competing for the same thing, but tonight isn’t about that. We have a mission, a duty to the Republic. Plus it’s a chance to do some damage to Imps.” She turned and looked to me.

I nodded, “Exactly. This is bigger then us, now this is our game plan; Xifer and I are going to set up on the mountain ridge in front of the west side door. Striker and Sydor will make their way to the door and slice in, once clear Xifer and I will follow.” Both Sydor and Xifer nodded in confirmation.

We stashed our small boat under some shore brush, did a final gear check, and split up into our pairs. I was short a power pack, but didn’t say anything; the damn thing must have fallen out in the water. We made our way to the ridge above the building; it would be a perfect spot for Xifer to pick off any roving patrols or curious sentries while Sydor took care of the door.  We took our positions on the ground, Xifer as the shooter and me as his spotter, well out of my weapons range. I looked through a high power pair of binoculars. The west door had only three guards. It wasn’t used for entry and exit, it was more of a private door for the supplies that sometimes went missing.

“Check one, Echo one.” Sara’s voice came across our comms channel.

“Roger Echo one, Echo two Lima Charlie.” I replied Lima Charlie, meaning loud and clear. With her and Sydor in position we waited. A roving sentry should be around soon, better to take on just the three guards than have one come around the corner with time to sound the alarm. As Xifer sighted in his scope we set wind points and waited. In our off times during training we had laughed and joked together, but not here, not on a mission. A distracted soldier was a dead soldier. After about twenty minutes the sentry came around the corner and stopped to chat with the three guards. They traded power cells for their radios and then the sentry continued on his way. We waited for another five minutes until we were sure he was gone.

Xifer was sighted in and Sara made the call over comms, “Scorpio.” The command to fire. Positioned as they were Xifer’s job was to take out two of the guards while Sara closed to the third to take him down with her vibroblade. Xifer fired and silently one guard fell next to his comrades: a head shot. Both the remaining guards turned to look at the fallen man and in the time they did Xifer fired again, taking down a second. Xifer and I packed up and rolled out heading down the ridge to the door to meet up with the others. Sara had closed the gap between her and the last guard. The guard, in shock from his two fallen comrades turned around to use his radio, he never had a chance to click the comm-button before Sara drove her vibroblade under his chin and into his head. Xifer and I were still in route when Sydor and Sara started slicing the door. As we rounded the last part of the ridge I saw the roving sentry coming back to the west door, not on his usual path. I’m not sure if he had forgotten something or what his motivation was for changing his path, but he was pressed up against some brush lurking in the shadows watching Sara and Sydor work. I said nothing over comms as to not startle Sara. There was no reason to let this sentry know that they weren’t alone. I snuck up behind him and stock struck him with the butt of my rifle right in the back of his neck. There were two sounds, the snap of his neck breaking and the thud of him falling to the ground.

“All clear,” I said over the comms. “But I’d guess we have five or ten minutes before that sentry misses a check in.”

“Roger, I’m almost in,” Sydor said. With our backs up against the wall myself, Xifer and Sara formed a barrier while Sydor worked.

“Finally,” Sydor said, as the access panel clicked open.

I opened the door a crack and then a crack more to insure there was no trip wire or device on the door. I made entry followed by Sara, Xifer and then Sydor. We were in a small hallway, dimly lit. This entrance was meant for shady business, not VIP’s. Slowly we made our way up the hallway and into a big storage area. It opened up into something similar to a hanger bay. There were pallets of supplies all around us. We used some for cover and quietly made our way over to the transport. No marking or identification on it, but according to our Intel this was the transport that would be taking the supplies to Balmorra.

Sydor and I approached the transport to place server trackers on it, while Xifer and Sara cleared the rest of the hanger.

“Echo two, Echo one, we found something on the far side of the hanger; an opening or something, moving in for a closer look,” Sara said over comms.

“Roger Echo one,” I replied. “Be careful. We will join you after we complete here.” After placing the trackers on the ship, testing them, and then deactivating them so they could be activated at a later date, Sydor and I slowly and cautiously headed to the opening Sara had described. Sqeeeeech, beeeep, SNAP! Came over the comms, I ripped out my ear bug, Sydor did the same. I check the frequency and there was still static, “Switch to alternate comm. Frequency,” I told Sydor and we both did.

“Comms, check, Echo one, do you copy?” I said into the comms. No reply. Sydor and I had taken cover behind a large crate to try and reestablish comms.

“Echo one, this is Echo two, do you read?” I tried again.

Sydor had gotten out a frequency scanner but wasn’t getting any reading on any other frequencies. I wanted high ground. I didn’t want to walk into a trap. Our friends could be in trouble and we needed to hurry. Over head there was a catwalk that ran clear across the warehouse. Sydor followed suit as I connected my grapple to the end of my blaster and then shot it up onto a joint in the structure of the warehouse just above the catwalk. We both secured the lines to our belts and we were standing freely on the catwalk in less than a minute.

Once there I saw what Sara had seen. Apparently this warehouse wasn’t just a warehouse.  The separatists had built the warehouse inside the mountain. The warehouse was the entrance to whatever was going on in and underneath the mountain. Using the scope on my blaster rifle I analyzed the entrance. Grey and black mountain walls with smoke going up toward the top of the mountain but not escaping into the warehouse.

“Dimbo, there,” Sydor said and pointed just inside the entry way where two Imperial soldiers stood in front of Sara. Sara was on her knees and Xifer lay motionless at her side, his rifle three feet away from him.

“Dimbo, his chest isn’t…he isn’t breathing,” Sydor said with sadness in his voice. The Imperial officers were asking Sara questions and smacking her around a bit. I assumed they had killed Xifer when she didn’t respond.

Sydor and I made our way closer to Sara and the officers via the catwalk trying to get in weapons range. The smoke blocked a lot of my view, I could really only see Sara and the two Imperials, “I’m sure there is more then just the two Imps,” I said to Sydor. “It’d take more then that to take out Sara and Xifer.”

“Unless they got the drop on ‘em, and let’s be honest Dimbo, Xifer’s skill was ranged not hand to hand.” He was right, had we walked into a trap?

By now we could hear what the Imps were saying. “I’m only gonna ask you one more time, where is the rest of your team? How many of you are there? Why don’t you have unit markings?” The Imp had his blaster pistol pointed right at Sara’s head.

Sara’s reply made me smile, “Striker, Sergeant Major, Republic Army.” Then she spat blood on the Imp’s feet. That got her another kick to the chest. They had really done a number on her. Now it was time for me and Sydor to return the favor. We both dropped down from the catwalk onto a tall stack of supply crates and then made our way down to the ground level. I went right and Sydor left. The plan was simple, the moment before they kicked Sara again Sydor would throw a flash grenade at their feet. After it went off I would move in for the kill.

We were well in place when the Imperials tried again, “Where is the rest of your team? How many are with you? What detachment are you with?”

“This sure is a lovely warehouse you folks have, whatcha hauling?” Sara joked. Her joke was about to earn her a pistol butt to the face and Sydor was a millisecond away from releasing his flash grenade when a Rattataki dressed in black robes appeared from behind the smoke.

“Standfast Sydor,” I whispered into the comms.
“Gentleman, Gentlemen, that is no way to treat our guest, let alone a beautiful lady.” He turned his back to us and it was hard to make out the rest.

“Dimbo, what are you doing?” Sydor asked. I signaled to him to look at the man’s belt, where a silver hilt hung at the left side of his waist.

“Sith…” was Sydor’s only reply.

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