Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Desert canyons of Praesitlyn
Chapter 2: The Trail of War ----------------------------------------------------------------//
RV Alpha – Mygeeto Mission Clock 00:15
Hunter walked about twenty meters in front of the rest of Iota Squad, on point. According to the holo map, there should be an incline approximately two hundred meters to their twelve. Hunter could see some light reflect off of the incline, and he knew that they were headed in the right direction. Once they reached it, they would be able to have a relatively clear view of the main assault path, MAP, that the AT – RTs were taking, along with Pi Squad and Tau Squad. Kappa Squad would be on the opposite side of the MAP, on a similar trail to the one that Iota Squad would be taking. These smaller trails were designated Kappa Trial and Iota Trail, after the squads that would be traveling on them.
Hunter listened to the chatter that took place on the 501st Platoon Comm. System. He could hear Tau Squad and Pi Squad coordinating their movements along the MAP. “Any sign of hostiles?” Caleb, the leader of Kappa Squad asked.
“Not with in my view,” replied Ace, one of the AT – RT drivers. “The Forward Command Post is still about five klicks off. I suspect that they’ll be coming soon, though.”
“Roger that, Ace,” came one of the gunship pilots named Echo. “Through our long range surveillance, we’ve been able to pick up quite a bit of activity at the Forward CP. Looks like they’re just spotting you guys. Be prepared for hard contact.”
“Will do,” said Ace.
“Hold you’re positions MAP squads. Wait until Iota and Kappa get into positions before we move forward. We want to make sure we have some flanking action,” ordered Commander Spike from the LAAT/I overhead.
“Roger that, Commander,” Max said. “Just a few more meters.” As Iota squad reached the top of the incline they could see some tattered views of the MAP between jagged rocks. About twenty meters down and out, Hunter could see Tau and Pi Squads along with the two AT – RTs. “Iota Squad is in position.”
“Same here,” came Caleb from across the assault path. “All 501st forces are in position, waiting for the go-ahead.”
“Carry on,” said Commander Spike. “Take note we have droid forces coming to greet you. Watch out for the AA turrets also. They can leave a dent in your armor if you get hit. They are mainly positioned around the Forward Command Post. I can see about eight of them from up here.”
“I’ll make a note of that said,” replied Kin from atop the second AT – RT. “501st forces are moving out.” Hunter watched as Pi and Tau squads scattered from rock to rock looking for cover as they moved up the main assault path. Hunter turned back to their trail and started walking in a crouch.
The crouched position in which they walked would have been very painful for ordinary humans who hadn’t gone through the training, but for Iota Squad, it was routine. However, after ten minutes of walking as they were while carrying roughly 40 kilos of gear and armor, even the elite troopers of Iota Squad could get sore. And after ten minutes of looking through sights of a DC-15 blaster rifle at glistening ice that was built up all around, Iota squad did get a little sore, but it wasn’t enough to make them any less ready to take on hoards of battle droids. In fact, Hunter was looking forward to pounding plasma through some scrap metal.
“This is Ace here. We’re encountering some hard contact here down on the MAP. Our squads are about twenty meters back and providing fire. We’ve got everything under control,” Ace said. Suddenly an explosion was heard. “Mortars away!” Hunter looked through his scope down onto the MAP. He could see tracers flying out from behind some rocks and reducing droids to piles of parts. Hunter knew that Pi and Tau squads were in on the action.
There was another loud explosion, which resulted in a pile of rubble roughly five meters wide. “Nice shooting there Kin,” Caleb commented. We’re getting the whole thing on tape over here.” Iota Squad kept walking. The forward command post was getting closer, though it still was a ways off.
“I bet they’re having fun,” Hunter said to the rest of Iota Squad.
“Don’t worry, seven-six, you’ll get plenty of combat time once we get closer to the CP. If this place is as important as Spike says it is, the CIS will have droid patrols all over the place,” Max told Hunter over the squad comm. system.
“Yeah, I hope so,” said Storm in his deep scary voice, holding his DC-15s pistol at the ready as he walked. “I can’t stand not shooting something for so long.” Suddenly, a blaster bolt came from around a bend in the trail approximately twenty meters to their twelve.
“Down!” Max shouted, and signaled at the same time. They hit the deck; their chest plate armor making a thud as it made contact with the firm ground. Hunter shot a burst, which nicked the rock from which the original blaster bolt had come from. Storm rolled to the side of the trail for more cover and aimed his pistol at the bend. Max knelt down behind Storm and trained his sights on the same place. Flash rolled to the side before standing crouched on the opposite side of the trail.
“I’ll check it out,” Hunter said.
“Go for it, seven-six,” Max said back. Hunter crept over to the wall. When he came to the bend, Hunter pulled out a string of fiber optics, and strung it around the corner. Sure enough, there were approximately twenty battle droids and a human officer.
“We’ve got around twenty tinnies and one wet. Requesting permission to ‘nade ‘em, five-eight” Hunter said.
“Permission granted,” Max replied. “Standing by.” Hunter pulled a thermal detonator and two electrostatic charge detonators from his ammunition belt. He primed them and let the grenades fly into the pack of droids, before he dove back towards his squad. There was a loud bang, and then a long sizzling noise. Jerking droids walked out in front of Iota Squad.
Iota Squad unleashed a stream of plasma fire and the enemies were soon reduced to scrap metal. “Good job,” Max told Iota Squad. “This is Iota five-eight, here. We’ve just encountered some resistance. I advise Kappa Squad to be on the lookout for droid patrols.”
“Roger that, Ioto,” Caleb said. “We’re encountering slight resistance also. How are you guys doing on the MAP?”
“Not bad,” came Ace. “I don’t see any enemy vehicles.”
“Be careful of the anti-vehicle turrets. They’ll be coming up soon, try to hold on until Iota and I get farther ahead. We’ll be able to take out most of the turrets, hopefully.”
“Roger that, Kappa Lead.” Iota Squad formed up and crept along the wall of rock leading to the bend in the trail where the droids had been hiding.
“I’ll go first,” Hunter said, slamming a new clip into his blaster rifle. He brought his rifle up and rested it next to his neck. Then, in one quick motion, Hunter twirled around and brought his rifle into firing position. Around the bend lay a half-dead organic officer and a couple of twitching droids.
The officer reached for his pistol and attempted to shoot the clone trooper standing in front of him, blaster pointed at is face, but it was too late. Hunter skillfully shot the officer in the forehead, and then switched his attention to the droids. Five shots later, the area was secured and the rest of Iota Squad came around the corner.
“Nice job, seven-six,” Max said, as they came around the corner.
“Yeah, nice job,” Storm said enviously eying his unused pistol.
“Just doing my job,” Hunter replied, checking the ammo count in his rifle. Suddenly, a large explosion shook the rock wall behind them. Dust and rocks fell down onto Iota Squad. Storm pushed Hunter out of the way of a large rock just in time, for it would have crushed them. Iota Squad ran down the path before they found a safe cave-like indent in the rocks. All the way, anti-vehicle mortars were blasting all around them.
“Iota, are you okay?” Commander Spike asked. “Your position took some AA hits.”
“Iota Lead here, we’re alright. That droid patrol must have sent our position back to base,” Max replied and poked his head outside of the small cave. “It looks like we’ve got a good three to four klicks left to the command post. Probably three before we have to meet up again.”
“Well, it looks like you’re still in position. Our main assault boys are just in front of you, taking heavy fire from droid infantry.”
“I’ll see if I can get Flash to provide some sniper fire to the MAP.” Flash nodded his head and pulled out his DC-15x sniper rifle, which was strapped to his back. “Yup, we’ve got you some sniper fire. We’ll continue down the trail. I think that Storm here can take out some of the AA turrets before the AT – RTs arrive.”
“That would be most appreciated. Carry on.”
“Iota, out.” Everybody reloaded their weapons before exiting the small cave. The mortar fire had ceased for the time, and Iota Squad took advantage of it by starting out in a run. Hunter and Flash took the lead, while Max and Storm followed, providing cover fire if needed.
When they had ran about two klicks, Flash set up a sniping position in a covered nook with a hole pointing down on the MAP. Iota Squad was about a klick within the enemies’ borders, but the forces down on the main assault path were pushing forward every minute. The Forward Command Post was much larger by now and began to feel as though it was hanging overhead. It wouldn’t be long until the droids sent another patrol, and once they did, the mortars would come again. This time, they would come with much more accuracy.
As Flash disposed of droid after droid, Hunter crouched down on one knee and scanned the area. Max and Storm were approaching, sneaking along the sides of the trail. Hunter watched them, but all of a sudden, they hit the floor, blasters pointed behind him. He ducked into some large rocks before he turned to see another droid patrol coming. “Another droid patrol, to your six,” came Max. “We need to shoot together, in order to take them all out at once. We can’t allow them to give away our position again, not at this range.”
Flash turned from his sniping, stowed his DC-15x, and pulled out his pistol. “Roger, Iota Lead,” he said, getting in to position. The droid patrol consisted of eight standard battle droids. There’d be more coming of course, they all knew that once the enemy was found, the Separatist leaders wouldn’t worry about losing a couple of droids. “Hunter and I will get the back line of droids, you and Storm can take the front line. On your mark, Lead.”
The droid patrol passed Hunter’s position and continued on towards Max and Storm. “Scanning for hostiles,” one of the robot warriors said. “Scan inconclusive; continuing scanning procedure.” They continued by the hidden soldiers of Iota Squad. Hunter trained his sights on his droid.
“Mark!” Max yelled into the squad comm. All four members of Iota Squad pulled their triggers simultaneously. Four droids were downed in the first second of the assault; the other four were soon to follow. Hunter’s other droid turned around to face him and fired a shot. Just as Hunter was pulling the trigger to destroy his last target, the blaster bolt hit him in the shoulder, causing him to fall onto his chin. The plasma shot that he had just fired flew out of his rifle and just nicked the battle droid’s elbow plate.
“Fierfek!” Hunter shouted as Flash stood up and plunged his vibroblade into the droids chest cavity, twisted it, and pulled it out through the droid’s skull. Hunter’s chin ached from the impact, but wasn’t severely damaged. His shoulder on the other hand had taken a direct hit. The bolt didn’t go through luckily, just left an indent about four centimeters in diameter and three centimeters deep.
“Are you okay?” Flash asked him.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” Hunter replied. He could taste blood in his mouth and his vision was a little blurry, but he’d have to over come it. “We’ve got to get out of here. The mortar turrets will have spotted our position. If only I didn’t slip!”
“Its okay,” Max told him as he ran up to Hunters position. “We’ll find another cave and patch you up with some bacta.” Hunter turned his head and saw Storm jogging over to meet them. Just then, a mortar round landed right next to Storm. The blast of the explosive launched Storm forward, in the air. He hit the rock wall and skidded to a halt, lying still on his chest.
“STORM!” Hunter yelled. He stood up and ran over to him, swaying as he ran. Storm stood up, grabbing the wall for support. He didn’t say anything, but ran towards the mortar turret.
“We have to find some cover,” Max shouted and ran after Storm. Flash provided support for Hunter as they ran after Storm and Max. About fifty meters away, Hunter saw Storm disappear into the rock wall, just before a mortar round landed in the exact position. Max disappeared into the smoke.
“It’s my fault, thought Hunter as him and flash ran towards the smoke. Max came running out of the smoke a minute later, and motioned for them to hurry up. Hunter picked up the pace and ran into the disappearing smoke. Max shoved him and Flash into a cave and dove in after, as another explosion rocked outside the entrance to the cave.
Inside, Storm was propped up against the wall of the cave. His helmet was off and his face was bleeding and bruised. Hunter couldn’t bear to look at him clean off the blood with a bacta wipe.
“Sorry about that,” Hunter said, leaning up against the wall. “Really.”
Max turned very stern. “In no way was that your fault, Hunter, and I won’t allow you to blame yourself for what happened to Storm.” He said reassuringly. “Now let’s get you fixed up too. We’re all going to be okay.”
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