Join Date: Jan 2004
Part II: Facing the Unexpected
The droids advanced relentlessly, as if the shields had made no difference. The Super Battle Droids readied themselves, aiming their wrists at the clones. Battle droids raised their blaster rifles and their sharpshooters took aim. Snipers separated from the mass, attempting to take cover before they get blasted to smithereens. Anti-armour droids crouched on a knee loading their rocket launchers. The other droids moved around them with a chilling silence. The mass closed in, now only a hundred metres away from the first shield.
“Fire!” Lt. Wefive announced, and blue blaster fire erupted from the slope. The droids, seemingly undaunted by the shields, opened fire which was effectively blocked by the shields. SBDs fired their wrist-mounted blaster cannons, which too were stopped. Droids fell and broke, oil splattered around and yet the tan-and-grey mass of droids loomed closer. Clone snipers aimed and shot accurately, aiming for SBD heads. The droid snipers, too found their way around the shield and began shooting the slope. Their sharp fire got a trooper, who was shooting off mercilessly.
“Take those snipers out! Anti-Armour on SBDs!” Sgt. Eff-jay barked. The droid snipers were blasted easily, as they had failed to take cover. Anti-Armour troops slid down the slope and took appropriate cover. Taking off their bulky rocket launchers, they reloaded them and fired at the SBDs who were hit rather badly and flew around like play-droids. Unfortunately, an inexperienced clone’s fire landed straight on a shield generator, eliminating the third shield and his chance for promotion. As the others cursed him, he shot down battle droids.
The battle droids began entering through the shields. By now there were only a couple of clone casualties, but the number of downed droids was beyond count. Wind struck suddenly, toppling dead parts and rocks alike. SBD torsos that were still firing and limping flew away. Lt. Wefive ordered all to seek cover from the wind. But he used the wind to his advantage. The wind was going perpendicular to the battle droid charge. Lt. Wefive took out a couple of thermal detonators and threw them into the wind. They flew fast, and hit the left flank of the invading force. However, the blast broke the first shield generator as well.
There were only some twenty droids left in full condition, when the last droid entered the shields. The battle was now in full swing with radio chatter everywhere and unpredictable gusts of wind in almost any direction. Clones were strong and fought till their last, leaving very little room for casualties. The Battle droids were defeated easily, but the SBDs were unstoppable. Rockets had been used up and using grenades was far too dangerous in the close-quarters battle. Snipers made easy targets for the SBD cannons as did the close packs of clones.
A good forty-five minutes had passed since the beginning of the battle when the last battle droid was shot and destroyed. Then began a scrutiny to check for any surviving droids and the number of casualties. Eventually, it was found that the Clones had suffered only but six casualties in total. The fourteen-strong squad now stood victorious in the battlefield of scattered metal and splattered oil.
“This is Lt. W-E5S! RAS Shred’da, do you copy?”
“We copy, Lieutenant! Report status.”
“We faced a seventy-five strong droid charge. We have six casualties and our ammo is a little out. We have no readings of further hostilities.”
“Understood, Lieutenant.” The static, which was mild up to now grew and the communication was being interrupted.
“RAS… RAS? Do you copy? We need further advice… RAS Shred’da!?”
The static was now too much to continue communication. Lt. Wefive turned his comlink off and looked about, considering what could’ve broken the communication. He glanced upwards. A gunship was approaching in their direction and the Republic Assault Ship was seen, pointing out into the infinite space out of the Durankhian atmosphere.
The clones now looked over at the slick gunship approaching and there was silence for a while. Lt. Wefive stood firm, gazing at the gunship. The silence was broken soon. Sgt. Ay-See had spotted something and expressions of awe escaped his mouth and into his comlink. “What is it, Sergeant?” A trooper asked.
“Enemies! Mechs! Spider droids, a couple of hailfires and a mammoth droid army is advancing, sir! We don’t have a chance!”
Lt. Wefive checked on his own visor. The vision took some time to be activated, but it was clear, the forces advancing towards them were droids and mechs were their vanguards. The gunship landed, but no one saw it. The first spider droids became clear on the horizon. Tall, stilted droids with a deadly laser arsenal. Their smaller counterparts, the Advanced Dwarf Spider Droids (ADSDs) trudged along, their hungry cannons scanning for targets. And then rolled in the Hailfire Droids, a missile battery between two tilted wheels moving at breakneck speeds.
Lt. Wefive took a step back and began full retreat. “All! Board the gunship and get out of here! This is too much for us!”
The clones rushed towards the gunship, as the clone pilots frantically made communication with Lt. Wefive. “Sir! Our gunship has capacity of just upto ten. Your party looks… bigger than ten.”
“You will follow my orders, you understand? We’ll get into the ship, and you will fly us to RAS Shred’da. Now shut up.” Was the reply he got. All he could answer was a typical “Yes, Sir.”
As soon as the last troop set foot on the gunship, it lifted. Troops stood inside, clutching the ceiling handles, some sat on the edge of the gunship. Four positioned themselves in the turrets. The droids were clearly visible now and the bigger droids were much closer now. The gunship, after reaching a particular height, turned towards RAS Shred’da and began it’s high-speed burst.
Immediately laser fire burst from the surface and was responded by frantic shooting from the gunship and its turrets. But it was too late, as the Hailfire missiles trailed the gunship and eventually it was hit. Luckily, it was one of the turrets that was hit. The second one missed it. A third finally connected the gunship at the middle of the bottom. A fourth hit the jets, causing a huge explosion. Clones fell from the gunship, and Lt. Wefive found himself cursing the droids.
Clone pilots hit the buttons, but it was over. They knew it was over. The gunship was losing altitude and the high-speed wind was only increasing the already fast gunship. The ground loomed closer and closer. Nobody said a word, but all expected the moment, when the gunship would hit the ground and a ragdoll-fest would kill all clones. It was there, in that moment of terror that a news of hope arrived.
“Sir! Our Repulsorlift is still active! We can hover over this planet, sir! But it’s gonna be hard. The repulsion would…”
Before the pilot could finish his sentence, the ship’s repulsorlift kicked in and the ship bobbed up and down, before reaching a level altitude above the surface. More troops fell out, but the impact wasn’t much. The gunship was now a much slower pace and nearly down. Suddenly the repulosrlift fell and the ship dropped to the surface, grinding to a halt. Clones lay scattered around, marking the path the ship travelled. Some lay fallen on the ground, some were getting up, rubbing their heads.
Lt. Wefive got up and scanned himself. His armour was dusty and so was everybody else’s. The droids were just a line on the horizon and their mechs were tiny silhouettes. The gunship was badly damaged and one clone pilot had suffered fatal injuries. The other dropped out of the devastated gunship. Lt. Wefive switched on his comlink, which was enveloped in static.
“All troops, regroup at me! All troops, regroup! We are going to make it through this. We are, believe me!”
Nine troops limped towards the lieutenant. Sgt. Eff-jay wasn’t with them.