"Come on, let's move!" Carth shouted at the Republic soldiers as they rushed towards the bridge, only a few steps ahead of the pursuing Sith boarding party. "I'll cover you! Get inside!"
The armored Republic soldiers turned around and made a dash for the open blast door Carth was waiting at. The soldier had unholstered his two blaster pistols and was firing madly down the hallway, trying to slow the advance of the Sith. The hostile soldiers took cover as a hail of blaster bolts met them; several of the Sith soldiers were brought down by the barrage, but the rest took cover until it was safe.
"Get inside, hurry!" Carth growled as the soldiers made it through the entryway. "Seal this damn door!" he ordered to one of the officers on the bridge. A few of the unwounded Republic soldiers turned and helped Carth provide covering fire against the Sith, using the entryway as cover. However, they could not completely halt the Sith advance, and the silver armor of the enemy grew closer and closer.
The door shuddered and started to close, but before it did, Carth saw a trio of thermal detonators roll through. His eyes widened and his breath caught as he expected the detonation, but instead, a rush of wind blew past him and sent the three detonators through the closing door and into the advancing Sith lines, where they detonated, five soldiers vanishing in the blinding light of the explosion. The door finally closed, sealed.
Carth relaxed and breathed a sigh of relief. "Thanks," he said, turning to the Jedi, whose Force wave had sent the thermal detonators into the Sith forces. She was young, but her posture was confident, her eyes controlled, not giving away any emotions. In her right hand was a long lightsaber hilt, with two emitters at either end.
"You're welcome," she replied before looking around. The floor creaked and the room shuddered as the Endar Spire continued to take damage. "We need to get off this ship."
"Agreed," Carth said. "That door won't hold the Sith for long." He turned to three Republic soldiers. "You three, take commander Shan to the escape pods. Her safety is of the highest priority."
The three saluted. "Yes sir!"
Carth turned to the Jedi. "I'm staying here to coordinate the defenses. We'll hold long enough for you to get off."
The Jedi's eyes narrowed. "Have I no say in this? I will not be forced to abandon my men!"
"Everyone on this ship swore an oath to protect you," Carth growled. "A lot of good men lost their lives, and a lot more will die within the hour. But we're all here to keep you safe. Don't you dare make our sacrifice in vain by letting the Sith capture you. Now get out of here!"
The Jedi clenched her teeth, but her posture relaxed. "Very well. Let's move." The three Republic soldiers accompanied her to the other entrance to the bridge, which led the way to the ship's escape pods. "Good luck, Carth," she muttered before leaving the bridge.
"Thanks," Carth replied, more to himself than to her, before turning to the door. A low hiss was beginning to emanate from it, and Carth suspected the Sith were trying to burn through the blast door. "Alright," he said. "Let's get ready!"
The soldiers moved into defensible positions, using bridge consoles as cover. The Endar Spire rumbled again as the Sith did more and more damage. "Sir, shields dropping below 20 percent!" one of the bridge officers warned.
"Take the engines offline," Carth ordered. "The ship's going down anyways. Transfer that power to shields. All other system power save life support I want going to weapons and targeting. Clear a path for those escape pods."
"Aye aye," the officer responded, doing as bidden.
"Let's kick some ass," Aaron said, equipped with all of his gear. He didn't like the idea of following Trask, an obviously new recruit with way to much self-imposed authority, but he figured that the soldier could be useful in helping him off the ship.
"We should stick together," Trask advised. "We'll have more success in a group than on our own."
My thoughts exactly, Aaron muttered to himself. He nodded and they left the room, immediately coming to a closed blast door. "Can you open this?" Aaron asked the Republic soldier.
"Yeah," he replied, sliding an access card through the control panel on the side. "The ship's in emergency lockdown, but I've got the access codes to override the locks. That should do it."
The blast door opened into a hallway where Aaron saw a Republic soldier fighting against a pair of silver-armored Sith troops. The soldier didn't last long out in the open, and before Trask or Aaron could assist, the trooper went down.
"These Sith must be the advanced boarding party!" Trask growled. "For the Republic!" He pulled out a blaster pistol and opened fire, using the blast door entryway as cover from the Sith. His shots missed their targets as his they took cover, but he was able to keep them suppressed. Aaron stayed back, formulating a plan; the Sith believed they were fighting a single Republic soldier, and he would use this to his advantage.
"Cover me," Aaron ordered, activating his stealth field generator and grabbing his pistol. Trask nodded and opened fire, forcing the Sith to retreat to cover. Aaron quickly covered the width of the hallway, invisible, and took cover opposite Trask. He looked once through his scope, sighting one of the Sith taking cover. A laser dot on the pistol shined on the side of the Sith's helmet. Aaron fired thrice, each shot hitting the Sith in the head, killing him.
At the same time, Trask managed to get in a lucky hit with his blaster pistol, maiming the other Sith soldier. Aaron rushed forwards, his cloak abandoned, and finished the trooper off with a shot to the head. Before the group could move on, both soldiers heard a beeping from their pockets. They both pulled out their personal communicators, devices handed out to all of the Republic soldiers on the ship.
"This is Carth Onasi. The Sith are threatening to overrun our position! We can't hold out long against their firepower! All hands to the bridge!"
"That was Carth on our personal communicators," Trask said.
No shit, idiot, Aaron muttered to himself, rolling his eyes; he wasn't a fan of people stating the obvious.
"If he says things are bad, we'd better believe it," Trask continued. "We need to get to the bridge and help any way we can!"
As long as I can get to the escape pods from there, Aaron thought. Still, at the same time, he figured that meeting up with the rest of the soldiers could give them a better change of making it off of the ship. "Let's move, then," he said, nodding to Trask. The soldier moved forward, coming to another blast door.
"This door's locked," Trask growled, sliding his access card through the panel to the side of the door, "and I don't have the codes to open it."
"Move," Aaron ordered, brushing past the soldier and accessing the security panel. After a brief moment, the holographic interface flashed and the lock disengaged, the door sliding open. That's how we do things, Aaron thought, glad to make use of his security skills.
"Get down!" Trask shouted, diving for one side of the entryway. Aaron did the same, barely avoiding a blaster bolt. He peeked out of the corner and saw a pair of Sith soldiers laying down suppressive fire on the two of them.
"Trask!" Aaron called, catching the soldier's attention. "Take the one on my side! I'll take the one on yours! On my mark!" The soldier nodded and Aaron readied his pistol. He waited for an opportunity, a break in the blaster fire. The stream paused for a second, and Aaron made the call. "Now!"
He leaned out of cover, his laser sight shining in the visor of his target. One shot downed the Sith soldier. At the same time, Trask fired a barrage at his target, hitting him several times in the torso and killing him as well. "Good call," the soldier said, moving into the room with Aaron.
"We've got to keep moving," Aaron replied, ignoring the compliment. "Get that door." Trask nodded and examined the access panel. The door was locked like the last one, but Trask figured he could bypass the lock easily enough, as Aaron had. While the soldier worked, Aaron took notice of a small footlocker on one side of the room. He approached and lifted the lid with his foot, kicking the cover open. Inside were three thermal detonators and a short sword similar to the one belted to his hip.
Aaron knelt down, deftly pocketing the thermal detonators. He picked up the short sword and gave it a few swings, nodding in approval at its light weight and good balance. He unsheathed his other blade and practiced for a moment using both weapons at once. Confident in his abilities, he decided to use both of the weapons, belting the new sword to his hip opposite his old one. "Trask, you done yet?" Aaron asked. Or do you need help from a real slicer?
"I've got it," Trask replied, even as the door slid open. The two heard blaster fire ahead. "We'd better get ready," Trask muttered. For once, Aaron agreed completely with the soldier, checking again the sights of his blaster pistol.