The not-so-long awaited chapter II is here. Hope you'll enjoy some of the background story I've put in place, remember to comment and share your thoughts on the story.
We got the net back up, though none of us liked how it hung in its place. One hit and it would be down again, if we were lucky. Beviinn kept the morale up with his insubordination. Whilst we were out to fix the net, the ruus’alor had gotten us some new toys and some fresh meat for our lovely part of the trench. Command actually gave us a light artillery gun, durasteel strips and some fusion cutters, which we used to reinforce the net.
The newcomers were the gun’s crew, though we all knew how to operate it in case one of them died. Besides bringing us a new plaything, the crew had also brought a radio and reports from the front surged in.
Stomper, target is acquired. Fire ordnance package when ready.
Command, Imperial eastern line is being marshalled, troopers gathering to the west along with armor for an attack. Over.
Their all over us! We can’t evade them, where is our cover?
We detected the pattern, their attack would be soon and the odds were against us. But then again the odds were always against us. At Taris, at Dxun and Mandallia. I haven’t seen a Mandallian giant since the start of this war and I doubt I will see one ever again. The Empire is like a fire, burning all across the galaxy and few can stand against it, few will stand against it. First to fall were the Echani, their stand did little to rally people but nearby worlds were given a chance to escape a similar fate. The Noghri became the next examples, their stubborn guerrilla attacks held back the Empire for nearly two months until Stormtroopers started to exterminate entire villages. Finally, the Wookiees did exceptionally well, for every Wookiee killed at least a platoon of Stormtroopers were brought to heel. But then their forest homes were burnt to a crisp.
Ten years ago, the Empire was an engulfed in a civil war when its Emperor died without naming a successor. Ten years the Republic’s senate chose to ignore the chance to strike at their enemy. Now, it has cost us all dearly. The new Emperor, Korbut, is vicious and absolutely ruthless. Worlds that pose no threat he burns, worlds that resist he exterminates and worlds like Mandalore where he is stalled or suffers defeats he will wipe off the map. I find the prospect amusing. Being wiped off the map, to become a legend in a story. Somewhere a child would ask its parents about the Mandalorians and their defiant stand against the Empire.
The sound of blaster fire and screams brings me back to the now, had the battle finally started? I looked around to find Beviinn manning his station. In the distance a line of white and blue insects approaching quickly. Over them were the walkers, small and fast moving ones coupled with their larger and slower counterparts. Behind that army there was a series of white and purple flashes that carried the sound of distant thunder, I looked as lines of this thunder arched through the sky and came down like comets. The ground shook but there was no loss in life in our station, across the trenches I could hear screams though and the radio started to mention Bacta with increasing frequency.
The ruus’alor felt it necessary to give us a quick speech as the Imperial army drew closer, I and probably half of the other warriors only caught a bit of it. We were too busy picking our targets. At the end of her speech, she yelled out “Oya!” And we joined her, our warcry actually carried through the entire trench as we heard other positions join us, of course it could also be that command had told the officers to give the same speech at the same time.
The warcry was repeated several times, the Imperials actually slowed down because of it. Our defiant scream in the face of destruction must have caused confusion or panic. Just as the first salvos were fired from both sides a screen of smoke shrouded the battlefield, unlike Beviinn I did not have a thermal visor, he turned to me and said: “Last one to reach five hundred buys drinks.” I gave him a nod and accepted the challenge. Each time he fired a single shot, I could hear something in the distance drop, yell or burn. It made me regret accepting the challenge, but I would give it my full to try and win. Behind us the big gun started to fire as well, the sound deafening as it was directly behind me. The clank of the large shell being ejected and a fresh round being loaded barely reached me as my ears rang from the earlier blast. In the distance a walker exploded into bits, likely because of our gun. These walkers were visible over the screen of smoke. One AT-AT was headed directly for us, beneath it several AT-ST’s formed a protective encirclement over its parent vehicle. The fire of the many Stormtroopers and AT-ST’s was impressive, despite the lack of effect. But the towering AT-AT did hit succeed in destroying something I picked up faintly in the corner of my visor.
Our gun turned its attention towards the AT-AT, several gunships had also turned upon the behemoth walker and fired upon its legs, the metal beast roared in pain as the steel twisted under duress and it caved, falling on its knees and crushing several Stormtroopers and walkers below it. Our station was joined by several Battle Legionnaires reinforcements as our Canderous tanks pushed forward over the trenches. By now the amount of vehicle wrecks on the side of the Imperials provided them with a large metal trench of their own, too close to our own for my liking. With the smoke clearing I could finally make out the bright white and blue shapes and started to fire in bursts, systematically making my kills.
My weapon moved left, three shots fired and two landed on the torso, killing the trooper. Left of the fallen, four shots, one to his head, with a jolt he fell backwards to his grave. Right of him, red spots approaching fast, I duck as the blaster shots run over my head. My rifle was over the top and firing before my I saw my target, six shots, and a bloody Legionnaire took the kill.
“I’m on thirty, how about you?” Beviinn laughed whilst reloading his rifle. Two kills so far, the abundance of allied forces made it impossible for me to win the bet. I could see the Stormtroopers move backwards and our warriors climb out of the trenches and charge into them. My desire to kill overcame me as I clambered out of the trench and joined the early and unorganized line of warriors, droids and tanks that were pushing the Stormtroopers back.
The nearest vehicle wreck became my home of the moment, another up turned TX-130, maybe even the one my station destroyed earlier. Beviinn and the rest followed me, so I entered the metal trench without waiting. Before me were four Stormtroopers by an AT-ST that had fallen on its side, one was in cover behind the legs, two were dragging the fourth who had been wounded.
The Stormtrooper fired first, the pressure and heat of blasterfire hitting my shoulder plates knocked me to my knees, my momentum carrying me. Without as much as a second thought, my off-hand was raised to support my rifle. I peered down the scope, the sights had already been placed on the helmet of the Stormtrooper, almost directly on the visor. Two bolts left the blaster, the visor shattered and the trooper jolted backwards. His comrades dropped the wounded and raised their weapons against me, the one on the ground pulled himself upright and raised a pistol. I emptied what was left in my energy clip into them and they fell down, their armor darkened with blaster marks.
Quickly, I entered a new magazine into the chamber of my weapon and rushed on. Around me similar scenes were occurring as many Mandalorians left their trenches and chased the Stormtroopers off, I even saw an alor’ad lead a platoon forward. Gunships flew overhead and Canderous tanks with warriors riding on its tracks pushed the vehicle wreckage out of their way, crushing unfortunate Stormtroopers using it as cover.
Beviinn and the ruus’alor caught up with me. At the same time a group of five Stormtroopers appeared. Me and Beviinn dove to cover and counted down with nods before we would rise up and kill the troopers, to our front our ruus'alor walked towards us in our cover. With her single pistol in hand, she felled the enemy, defiantly mocking the Stormtroopers to the pace of her fire.
Beviinn and I looked to each other in surprise, we've never seen the ruus'alor fight and this display of ferocity emboldened us to share the defiance against our enemy. We rose over our cover, shouting whatever insult we could think of at the moment at the four remaining Stormtroopers. They marched backwards in a perfect line. With a single shot I downed the leftmost trooper, the round penetrating his chestpiece and darkening the surrounding blue on white paint.
To my right, brother Beviinn fired a long burst at the second to last right trooper, astonishingly downing two despite his poor aim. The last Stormtrooper looked around in surprised desperation, but instead of running he charged towards us, firing his E-11 without control and yelling “For the 501st!” I and Beviinn ducked for cover, as I settled the sound of a blaster hitting armor followed by a thud caused me to look to my right, only to see Beviinn laying on the ground.
Meanwhile the ruus'alor finished off the last trooper, muttering something about his parents's negligence to protect themselves. I looked to Beviinn, a blaster mark adorned his helmet but it didn't seem to penetrate. The ruus'alor sat down next to me and reached for his shoulder pad, as customary a piece of armor should be taken from the beskar'gam of a fallen warrior and given to his or her family to wear.
A black and red gauntlet covered in decades of dirt grabbed the Ruus'alor's palm “Ma'am, five more minutes ma'am!”