Squadron Legacy, Chapter 9
Chapter Nine: Capture
Tyren arrived at the other side of the lake after an exceptionally draining swim. His short hair formed small spikes, dripping with the frigid water. His skin was clingy, and goose bumps rippled his whole body. His body shook, shivering as he emerged from the deep water.
‘Shake it off, shake it off,’ Tyren thought to himself, remembering survival training. ‘You have to keep moving.’
Tyren jogged several meters into the dense forest vegetation, and looked back toward the burning Aurek.
Brilliant flames still licked the crippled hull. Tyren could see the distortion of the forest behind the Aurek as hot gases rose from the fighter. Then, out of the corner of his eye, Tyren detected movement.
His head swiveled to the disturbance immediately. He saw an armored figure emerge from the woods across the lake, rifle in hand. Tyren let out a slight gasp, and his heartbeat quickened.
The Mandalorian was a few hundred meters north of the Aurek on the shoreline, and hadn’t seen the fighter yet. Tyren watched as the Mandalorian began to walk in the opposite direction of the burning craft.
Suddenly, an enormous explosion bloomed from the fighter, sending shock waves across the lake. Glowing fragments zipped high into the sky above, as a cloud of gas ignited above the fighter. The Mandalorian immediately swung around, his blaster rifle shouldered. Intrigued, the Mandalorian broke into a jog toward the fighter. He slung the rifle across his back, and brought his wrist up to his helmet, obviously calling in backup.
Tyren knew that he should be putting some distance between himself and the Mandalorians, but his curiosity got the best of him. He wanted to see if his bluff was going to work or not.
After reaching the Aurek, the Mandalorian drew a pistol, and circled the smoldering spacecraft. Cautiously, he kicked at some of the scattered wreckage, and moved a little closer. Bending down sideways, he peered into the space under the inverted canopy, checking for signs of life. Then, a fresh blast of flames erupted from the cockpit, sending the surprised Mandalorian stumbling backwards. The Mandalorian picked up his pistol, stood back up, and shook the dust off his armor.
Suddenly, a flash roared over the forest on the opposite side of the lake. Another armor-clad figure gracefully descended, his jetpack blazing. He came down to about a meter off the ground, and then shut the thrusters off, falling gently to the shore. The first Mandalorian ran up to the newcomer, and saluted. Then, the two walked back toward the burning Aurek. The commander then brought his hand to his helmet, communicating once more. Then, signaling the first Mandalorian, he walked closer to the Aurek.
The first Mandalorian pulled something out of his pack. Tyren watched as the red-armored warrior walked to the water’s edge, clutching the object. Then, Tyren could see clouds of thick red smoke rising from the object. A smoke signal!
Tyren’s ears picked up a distant rumbling. The rumbling slowly grew louder, and then it quickly became a shriek. Tyren glanced up, and sure enough, a Mandalorian fighter roared over, subsequently followed by another. The two gleaming fighters streaked across the sky, leaving vapor trails in their wake.
‘Okay,’ Tyren thought, ‘Time to get out of here!’
Tyren turned to make his way through the dense forest. Thick foliage shrouded the floor, and giant boughs of the beautiful trees created a green canopy above him. Pushing the underbrush aside, Tyren forged ahead into the strange world. Everything seemed to resist his movement. Branches were determined to block his path, and the bushes below tried to trip him with every step. Still, Tyren slowly trekked further away from the lake.
An hour later, Tyren was panting and out of breath. He had rarely experienced anything this tiring. Pulling himself together, he continued. Up ahead was a small clearing. Tyren edged cautiously toward it. Something didn’t feel right. Tyren crouched and scanned the tree line. Tyren couldn’t see anything, but his gut told him to stay crouched.
Suddenly, he heard the unmistakable sound of someone walking through the dense forest. The footsteps crashed down through the underbrush. Tyren instantly shrunk further, desperately trying not to be seen. The footsteps paused for a moment, and then changed direction. Tyren breathed a sigh of relief as the noise began to fade away. He started to stand, but lost his footing.
Tyren fell to the forest floor, making an enormous crunch as he landed on a pile of leaves. Tyren then jumped to his feet, drawn blaster in hand, shaking from the adrenaline. A red-armored Mandalorian stood looking at him silently. It appeared that the figure was almost as startled as Tyren. The Mandalorian regained his senses and started to reach for his blaster.
Tyren, pointing his pistol directly at the Mandalorian, yelled, “STOP! DON’T REACH FOR IT!”
The Mandalorian extended his arms, and began to bring them up. Tyren relaxed his grip on the pistol, and said, still shaky, “Turn around!”
The armor-clad figure did as instructed. Tyren slowly approached, and brought his left hand down from his blaster. Standing directly behind the Mandalorian, Tyren extended his arm to grab the enemy’s weapon.
In a deft move, the Mandalorian swiftly kicked backwards and reached for his blaster.
Tyren caught the kick on his knee, and reeled back with a yell. Recovering, Tyren squeezed the trigger on his pistol, firing wildly.
The Mandalorian had just turned around, only to be peppered by several blaster bolts.
Tyren stood back up as the Mandalorian fell, shaking as he walked over. Standing over the bleeding figure, Tyren could hear him saying something.
“…Pilot…he’s…in…the clearing…” the Mandalorian rasped.
“Stop.” Tyren commanded, pointing the blaster at the Mandalorian’s helmet.
“…4 clicks… east of… the…”
Tyren’s finger hovered over the trigger.
“AAUURGGHH!” Tyren screamed as he began to slam the blaster down on the Mandalorian’s helmet.
The gun made a visible dent in the helmet, and Tyren brought it above his head again, and then continued bashing the Mandalorian. After a few more hits, the Mandalorian finally was knocked unconscious.
His heart racing, Tyren sped off into the forest. Like a hunted animal, nothing got in his way and stayed there. As Tyren ran, branches and vines tore at his body and his face.
Behind him, Tyren could hear voices.
“He’s over here!”
The sound of the approaching Mandalorians only spurred Tyren on. Tyren streaked past trees, running faster than he ever had. His lungs gulped air as his mouth hung wide open.
Tyren ran down a small gully, and leapt across the small creek that ran down it. Still charging ahead, Tyren was in a dead sprint. He heard a loud splashing as Mandalorians raced across the creek.
Blaster bolts whizzed by, missing Tyren by centimeters. Tyren turned to the left, deciding to take a new course. Over all the noise, Tyren heard a rumbling, constant roar. Not having time to process it, Tyren continued to evade, but the Mandalorians were growing closer.
Thinking quickly, Tyren removed the emergency transmitter from his vest and activated it. A small bleeping ensued, but Tyren didn’t pay any attention to it. He simply clung to the object as he ran.
With a flash, a huge chunk of the forest in front of Tyren exploded. The ground buckled and shook, sending a shockwave out. Tyren was thrown backwards as debris rained down on him. Dazed, everything seemed to happen in slow motion. As smoke rose from the crater, Tyren tried to stand. His ears rang, and he couldn’t hear anything. Turning his head, the world grew blurry. Tyren saw a bright light over the crater. Focusing on it, he could make out something descending.
It was the first time that Tyren had ever seen a Basilisk up close. It looked like a giant robotic Ronto. A Mandalorian rode on its back, guiding it down into the crater. Slowly, Tyren started to regain his senses, and then everything sped up again. Tyren turned to run from the Basilisk, and tripped.
Landing face-down in the dirt, Tyren pushed himself up with his arms. Standing up, Tyren saw about two dozen Mandalorians in front of him. All of them were pointing various weapons at his chest. Tyren saw blaster rifles, carbines, pistols, and even something that looked like it was ripped off a starship. Many of the Mandalorians were brandishing blades as well.
The reality hit Tyren harshly. He was a prisoner.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As sad I am that Tyren lost this battle, as my Per'dra lost hers versus the Sith at the end of ConFessians of a Jedi Consular, I'm glad that Tyren (and she) aren't dead!
I've been planning this since the beginning, but don't worry, it's not over yet.
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