A Long Campaign
It was a long campaign for us as soldiers and as men. We had finally reached Hoth the planet where we believed the Rebel Alliance to be massing their troops. We had sent a probe down to the Hoth’s surface. Along with other planets we thought might be possible rendezvous spot for the Rebel army after we kicked them all the way back into the Outer Rim. Once we lost contact with one of the probes Vader just seemed to know. The whole Star Destroyer began to mobilize as our navigators set a course for the Hoth system.
Days later I gathered the men under my command and packed them into one of the troop transports ready to shuttle us to the planet below. As I looked around it was obvious that they weren’t enthusiastic. It was evident in the way that they stood rigidly in their bright white armor. Staring at one another wordlessly, wondering if they would see their brothers this time the next day. Another trait that I should have known was there was their defiance and however hesitant they were they would fight to the last man for their Empire.
“Boys,” I said “this is it. After this there will be no Rebel army, only the Empire!”
Many of my men cheered. They started to loosen up and lose their rigidity. I knew they were ready.
Minutes later the transport touched down softly in the snow. I ushered out my men and started getting them formed up into squads. We set up our snipers with their gear and sent them out ahead of us to scout and report the Rebel’s state of battle readiness, which we assumed to be at zero anyways. We needed covering fire in position for our boys in any case. Once all that was cleared away we called in the big transports for our AT-ATs, the heavy fire power in this operation. At this point my boys were confident and ready for a fight.
Our AT-ATs walked slowly toward their base in the mountains, the shield generator coming into view as we marched behind them. As we marched to what would be many of our deaths I looked to my left and right at the men I had served with since the formation of the 501st back in the Clone Wars. I knew they would fight hard and die for their Empire. It was the replacements I was worried about and I prayed for them and hoped they would die as valiantly as their 501st brothers.
We got word from one of the snipers that they had finally spotted us and were mobilizing the base. The first shot was fired when we reached a 1/4 klick mark from the shield generator. The trooper immediately to my right went down.
"Sniper!" I shouted to my men. "Break ranks!"
My men split up into squads and ran to take cover and capture objectives that we had set up specific points the Empire needed to capture before the battle and my men all scrambled with their squads to get there and hold the position but the problem was soon after the first shot there were just as many Rebels running around the battlefield as there were of my boys. They just had to stick to their training and they would be fine.
Their Snowspeeders flew overhead trying to take down our AT-AT walkers. Explosions peppered the battlefield. Red and green blaster fire flew through the air. We had most of our heavies taking care of the AT-ATs so we were ok for a while, until a Snowspeeder managed to take down one of the AT-ATs. As I ran to the fallen hunk of metal that had been our walker to try and recover any men or equipment that I could, a rocket hit the "neck" area and the whole thing went up in flames. I now ran in the opposite direction covering my head for fear of falling debris.
“You there, trooper, take your men and set up a comm. station in the debris. Call for reinforcements.” I said to a survivor of the explosion.
“Sir.” He replied
I then ran to a bunker where several heavy Rebel troopers had taken cover. I ran in, my E-11 blaster firing before I had even lined up the sights. The three Rebels dropped where they crouched. Now it was my turn to take cover. A hail of blaster fire came from two more Rebel troopers I was too shortsighted to see before. Another squad of my men entered and helped me dispatch the last two.
I called to one of my men "Marcus, you and the others set up here."
For this was one of the “command posts” we had picked for our men to capture.
"Yes Sir" he replied
I crawled out and up onto a hill where I could see the ongoing battle. My men were being pushed back, slaughtered. Our intelligence must have been off they had more troops than we had originally estimated.
As I ran out of my cover more rockets hit the last AT-AT. It went down hard. As I began to lose hope I heard it, the whine of the TIE-Bomber’s twin ion engines. The call for reinforcements had gone through. Tie-Bombers flew through the air dropping their payloads and clearing a path through the middle of the battlefield that made it possible for my men to regain their footing. Also taking out the rebel’s evac transports in one go. At that moment about a hundred Dark Troopers jetpacked onto the battlefield, reinforcing the line and allowing my troops to move forward.
I ran to a squad of my men taking cover around the remains of the last AT-AT they were laying down suppressing fire keeping the Rebels at bay. As I assumed a position and began to assist they began to fall back running back to their mountainside fortifications. Most were cut down before they could even make it back.
A few minutes later the remains of the Hoth Rebel contingent had locked themselves inside their base with an entire Imperial legion at their doors. We had our demolitions experts place thermal charges on the door. My visor polarized as the charges detonated and as they un-polarized once more the tumult of battle had resumed once more. But it was short lived. The few soldiers that remained in the room were dispatched quickly and it was only a last sweep of the base that the Empire required before the battle could truly be called a victory.
Hours later the last sniveling excuse for a soldier had been found in a store room and eliminated. One more planet for the Empire and another battle survived by my boys and the 501st.
Mandalore The Shadow has requested a fanfic review for this thread.
“You needn't die happy when your time comes, but you must die satisfied, for you have lived
your life from the beginning to the end and ka is always served.”
― Stephen King, The Dark Tower