Join Date: Jan 2004
Chapter 2: Insertion
“We’re in. Spread out and maintain comm. Watch your steps and keep your eyes and ears out for droids.” Lectured Seliqa as the group slowly descended into the cave, through a red valley. There were rudimentary steps leading to the bottom and very few crystals peeking out through the mass of black rock. The clones turned on their flashlights, partially illuminating the place in white light. The clones kept shifting the center of the light, to effectively scour the entire place. Captain Wefive was at the head, his gun ever ready to shoot.
The first ‘corridor’ was some hundred meters long, from where it descended and spread out into larger caverns, some having water pools. As the clones entered the cave, Seliqa strode up towards Captain Wefive. “Be careful” she advised, “I sense concentration of droids. Heavy… maybe Super Battle Droids.”
“Have to be, General.” A trooper added, “We found no Federation Droid Ships out there, only SBDs can survive without them. The newer versions of Droideka too…”
“Wait!” Seliqa commanded. The squad was knee-deep in a water pool. A large pink crystal jutted out of the upper wall. Light reflected from it, lighting up the cave. From it was only one exit and one entrance. The latter was already checked, but the exit was where Seliqa now slowly crept. She motioned the squad to stay back and crouching behind a rock, peeped out. Ahead was an enormous cavern, in the middle of which was a natural, worn bridge. “Captain, we have the bridge in sight.”
Captain Wefive nodded and with a flick of his wrist, the squad slowly waded through the water. The room dimmed as the flashlights no longer targeted the crystal. Captain pulled up a map on his visor. Switching to inter-squad radio, he spoke, “Magenta, White here. We have Bridge visual. Report Location.”
After a pause, Magenta replied, “Minor resistance, no casualties. Proceeding to Chasm B.”
“Proceeding to Bridge. White out.”
Seliqa took the first steps, slowly crouching out into the corridor that led to the cavern. Captain Wefive and his ten-strong squad followed, switching off their flashlights. The large cavern was bathed in blue-white light that spread out from the broken ceiling. The clones were taken by surprise as detonation mines were set off at their end of the bride. The sound of the explosion was followed by yells and shouts from White Squad. Seliqa ignited her orange-bladed lightsaber. White Squad was not taking any more chances. In loose formation, they headed down towards the chasm. The explosion had damaged the bridge’s end considerably, making it almost impassable.
“General Camman, any chance you can use the Force to… uh… repair the bridge?” Captain Wefive uttered, looking at the crumbling bridge.
Seliqa seemed to be deeply observing the bridge. Bit by bit it was breaking down. “The droids were smart, for once. They must have demolitions droids here, SBDs can’t plant these. As for the repair, captain, I don’t think I would be able to. The bombs have blown the bridge to smithereens.” With that, she turned off her lightsaber.
A trooper scampered towards Captain Wefive. “White Squad reporting area clear, sir!”. Captain Wefive acknowledged and stamped the bridge. A large chunk of rock dislodged and disappeared into the chasm. Seliqa was deeply concentrating on something. Her eyes, closed shut opened suddenly. Igniting her lightsaber, she made a lunge at towards the edge of the chasm and swung her lightsaber hard. Miraculously, it hit an object, which exploded. It was a cloak field generator, a device that allows an object or a group of objects to be hidden in dim light conditions. A metal bridge appeared out of thin air. It was a compact bridge, probably built when the Separatists thought of building a base.
“A… Cloaking device! This large?” exclaimed an inexperienced trooper.
“Watch out. Let’s go!” ordered Camman and the troop rushed towards the bridge. The last half of the squad turned around to cover the back of the squad, while the front half scanned the forest of stalactites and stalagmites that lay ahead. Captain Wefive led the pack, with Seliqa at his side.
Luckily, it didn’t take long to cross the artificial bridge. Once crossed, anti-armour laid charges on the bridge and on the other side of the natural bridge, for detonation after the mission would be complete. “Clear it.” The Captain ordered and the squad spread out to secure the area. Soon enough, blasters were fired. The dark, large cavern was suddenly filled with red laser fire as the droids opened fire on the unsuspecting clones. Seliqa ignited her saber and unleashed her expert Form IV style upon the droids, slashing and destroying them. The form she had mastered, Ataro was an acrobatic technique, where the user would draw heavily from the Force to achieve almost impossible physical feats.
There were about fourteen super battle droids in all, strong, lumbering giants. They were damaged to some extent. The clones managed to take out a number of them, but Seliqa undisputedly had the highest kill count. The droids were smarter than their beige-coloured counterparts. They holed up themselves in the ‘chamber’ in the middle of the cavern. The ‘chamber’ was crystal-rich room, with walls of stalactites and stalagmites, some of which had been broken to serve as doors. The battle droids were well equipped, with blasters, high ammunition and a fat supply of grenades.
The clones followed them to the chamber and under the Captain’s command stood back and fired through the holes of the ‘walls’. Seliqa attempted breaching the ‘chamber’, but in vain. With clearance from the captain, the anti-armour team rolled out their own ion grenades and chucked a couple of them inside. The blast was spectacular. The green, blue and turquoise crystals shone brilliantly as the blue-white light filled the chamber in seconds. The clones pulled back as the ion grenades were known to damage visors, in some cases, permanently. When the brilliant light disappeared, the clones advanced, further this time. This time they rushed in and opened fir on the malfunctioning droids. Already sparks were flying from them. Some had lost their programming and had begun attacking random targets. As before, Seliqa was there to finish the job and slice every bit of living metal.