Of Light and Shadow
„Fear is disease; hope is its only cure."
Iego, Secret Imperial Research Facility 091
Astrid was running after Shadow, red streaks of energy whizzing past them. The Stormtroopers were still on their heels.
„We can't keep running forever, Shadow.", she yelled to him.
„I know, but there's no cover around here. There will hopefully be some crates near the reactor room.", Shadow answered and fired a few random shots at the stormtroopers with his Commando Pistol.
„There are a lot of Stormtroopers coming our way, Heather!", Fishlegs told her: „What are we going to do?"
„We can't let them have the virus, we have to hold the laboratories.", Heather replied. There was only one entrance to the laboratory complex, but it was located at a hallway intersection. One way to the front, left and right each. „Snotlout cover the front, block the corridor and don't let anyone through!"
„Got it." Snotlout said and took cover behind some crates. The three barrels of his TL-50 heavy repeater aimed down the hallway.
„Ruff, Tuff, take over the long hallway on the left. Shoot as soon as anything is in range."
„With pleasure.", Ruffnut responded.
„Why do Astrid and Shadow get to have all the fun and blow something up!?", Tuffnut spoke dramatically. "Such tyranny!"
„Shut up, Buttelf!"
„Don't mess with the almighty Nut, Trollface!"
„I'll show you 'almighty Nut'!"
As the twins began brawling, Heather turned to Fishlegs and told him: „Nobody gets through that door unless I say they do. I'll take care of the hallway on the right." She drew both her lightsaber and her HL-27 blaster pistol, carefully observing the corridor before her. 'Now we wait'.
Not a minute passed before Fishlegs called out:"I hear steps, here they come!" He drew his C-10 blaster pistol and leaned against the door. Snotlout was already laying down fire in his corridor, while the twins were picking off Stormtroopers one by one. They were out of range, from the Stromtroopers' E-11 blasters. Heather on the other hand was confronted by a heavy weapons squad, equipped with DLT-19 heavy blaster rifles.
In their midst, Heather recognized someone they had confronted before. The black armour of the Imperial Security Bureau let Agent Eret stand out amongst the white-armoured Stormtroopers.
When she got into his sight, Eret's eyes narrowed. „You! I know you, Rebel scum! Surrender now, this is my last warning!", he shouted and leveled his E-11D blaster at her.
„I'm sorry, but I can't allow that.", Heather gave him a sly smirk and ignited her lightsaber. „You're not getting your hands on the virus." She observed confusion flash through his eyes. 'Even he doesn't know whats going on here, huh?'
Ord Mantell, high orbit, Gratitude, bridge
„We have to buy time, stand your ground!", General Oswald yelled. The bridge was the last strongpoint of the remaining Rebels. Alliance Marines and navy personnel were holding the Stormtroopers off with everything they had, but they were getting pushed back.
Eventually they had to retreat into the bridge itself, only one blast door between them and the enemy.
„As soon as they step through that door, they're dead! They will pay for this ship with their lives! We fight to the last man and to the last bolt!", Oswald addressed his remaining men.
They cheered, knowing that they would not make it out alive.
„FOR THE REBELLION!"
But suddenly a red beam of light poked through the door, a lightsaber. The men backed away from the door in fear and uncertainty. An explosion shook the ship and the power was cut off. The lights went out and only the eerily glowing lightsaber, that was beginning to cut a hole through the thick door, still gave off light.
Iego, Secret Imperial Research Facility 091
The firefight at the laboratories wasn't going well for the group of Rebels under Heather's command. The twins were getting overwhelmed, there were more Stormtroopers than they could shoot.
Snotlout wasn't doing any better. He had taken out many of the approaching Stormtroopers, but the high fire rate of his heavy repeater led to the weapon producing a lot of heat. With the three barrels smoking, he had to duck behind cover more often. Fishlegs even had to lay down cover fire, while Snotlout's weapon cooled down at least a little bit.
Heather was by far having the most difficult of times. Blocking blaster bolts was easy, even from heavy blasters with a high rate of fire, but blocking blaster bolts from multiple of these weapons at close range was something else entirely. She had to concentrate in order to swing her lightsaber at this speed without any mistakes and it was slowly taking its toll, even on Heather's viking physique.
'I can't keep this up forever, I need to think of something quickly!'
„Ruff! Tuff! Three droid poppers to Fish! Now!", Heather yelled over her shoulder, her eyes were glowing a bright green again.
„Right away, Master Jedi!", Tuffnut shouted in answer and tossed the three EMP grenades at Fishlegs.
The bulky Viking caught the grenades, only to realize that they were already armed. „They're armed!", he yelped. Thinking quickly, he threw them into each of the three corridors. The stormtroopers had no time to react, as the EMP blast disabled the aiming systems in their helmets and the sights of their weapons.
„NOW!", Heather shouted and the gang sprung into action. Snotlout began firing his heavy repeater again, the twins sent blaster bolts flying down range and Heather fixated a stunned Agent Eret with a devilish smile.
„Showtime." Heather jumped forward, cutting off the barrels, of two Stormtroopers' weapons with her lightsaber. She hit one with her lightsaber's hilt on the side of the head with such force that it cracked the trooper's helmet and knocked him out. Keeping her momentum, she spun around and sent the other one into the wall with a kick. Before the other three Stormtroopers in front of her could even react Heather had jumped at the wall, spun around and kicked one of them in the neck, sending him to the ground. Landing in a crouch, she pushed the other two into the wall with the force. Heather jumped up and with using Agent Eret as a step, landed in front of the remaining three troopers. Upon landing, she slammed her fist into the ground, sending a force wave at them.
Agent Eret was shocked, his entire squad had been taken out in the blink of an eye. However, before he could retaliate, his weapon was ripped from his hands and the blue beam of a lightsaber appeared under his chin.
„It's over.", Heather addressed him. „Fish, Snot, tie our guest over here up so he doesn't get any ideas."
As Snotlout and Fishlegs got to work, Heather inspected the weapon she had taken from Agent Eret with the force. "Hey Tuff, keep this for me, would you.", she said and tossed it to him.
"Alright, I placed all the charges I had.", Astrid called over to Shadow, who was also just finishing placing explosives around the reactor room.
"Good, now we just need to tell the rest to get to the ship, before we set the charges off.", he said and walked over to her.
"I'll contact Heather.", Astrid answered and activated her comlink. "Heather, we're ready to blow the reactor up, we'll meet at the ship."
"Got it, we're on our wa- Hey! Watch out!"
Alarms started going off in the entire facility and emergency lights went on.
"What happened? Heather!"
"The virus- We took this ISB agent prisoner and, well, he tried to escape and a rack with the virus capsules fell over."
"But you're not contaminated, right? The virus is water-based.", Shadow inquired.
"Well, they somehow transformed it into a gas. We got out of the lab as quickly as possible, but the window is damaged and it's leaking through; it might burst soon. Also... we're trapped here, the security doors are all closed."
"Then time is of the essence now. Astrid and I will acquire some reeksa root to extract the antidote."
"Just... Please be alive when we get back.", Astrid pleaded.
"Don't worry, I've survived this once, I'll survive it again.", Heather tried to reassure her.
"Alright, wait what did you say!?"
"Uhh, it's... it's a long story Astrid...", Heather explained nervously.
However, before Astrid could retort, Shadow stepped in. "A story we don't have time for, Captain Hofferson. That she survived this previously doesn't mean she's immune and the others certainly aren't."
With a last look at them Heather ended the transmission.
Astrid suddenly seemed very reluctant:"We can't just leave them here!"
"I know you care for them, but if they are to survive we need the antidote and we need to act fast. Astrid, please.", Shadow, usually cool and collected, seldomly sounded so pleading and sincere.
Astrid was, for the lack of a better word, shocked. Shadow never called her by her first name, it was always "Captain Hofferson" or just "Captain". It awoke a feeling in her, but she couldn't quite put a finger on it.
Iego, near the city of Cliffhold
Astrid and Shadow were climbing down a deep ravine. Night had made way for dawn, the sun was starting to peak over the mountains, but the thick fog still lingered in the crisp morning air.
"What exactly are we actually looking for?", Astrid asked Shadow, her breath condensing in the air.
"Reeksa root. The roots of large carnivorous and very dangerous plants.", Shadow answered.
"Well that sounds reassuring", Astrid commented.
After a lot of climbing they reached they bottom. A cold breeze swept through the ravine, making them aware of the eerie silence.
"I think something's watching us.", Astrid said.
"Yes, be care-", before he could finish his statement, two claws appeared from the fog, aiming for Shadow's shoulders. His quick reflexes saved him and he ducked under them before grabbing one of the creature's legs and pulling it down. A winged creature with six blue eyes crashed to the ground. Roaring, it sprung up and immediately lunged at Shadow.
Astrid quickly drew her vibro-axe, but couldn't act because Shadow had rolled on top of the creature and drawn his arm back. Yet instead of punching it, as she had expected, a vibro-blade came out of his gauntlet and Shadow rammed it into the creature's throat.
He stood up and wiped his blade clean.
"What in the name of Odin was that!?", Astrid exclaimed.
"That was a Xandu. We need to hurry, there will be more of them."
Suddenly the ground before them burst open and large vines covered in thorns came forth. Four big head-like outgrowths with sharp teeth emerged from the middle of the plant.
"I take it, that's a reeksa plant?"
"Yes, and we are going to be its breakfast if we don't hurry. I'll keep it occupied, the roots shouldn't be hard to find."
Digging up the ground with her vibro-axe, Astrid was quickly able to find a root and cut a large piece of it loose.
"I got it!", Astrid yelled triumphantly.
"Captain! Watch out!", Shadow shouted.
Astrid looked over her shoulder and saw him fending off three heads at once with his electrostaff. However, the fourth head was coming straight at her. Astrid's warrior instincts instantly went off and before the head could reach her, she jumped up and brought her axe down. The head was split in two by the mighty cut.
"Let's get back to the others!"
They started to run down the ravine with the reeksa plant on their heels. Further down the ravine Astrid could see a large opening, with a steep fall.
"We won't make that jump!"
"We have to, please trust me."
"Alright.", Astrid didn't know what suddenly overcame her, but she was ready to entrust him with their lives.
"Jump! Now!", Shadow told her.
Astrid jumped with all her might and realised halfway that she wasn't going to make it. Panic flooded her mind, but out of nowhere, some invisible force pushed her forwards and she landed safely on the other side.
It was only when she looked back and saw Shadow make the jump no human being could have made, that she realised what had happened.
"You can use the force?"
Okay it has been a very long time, but here's a new chapter!
I have now access to a computer, so the chapters will look a little different from now on. I have also updated the stories' cover. The new crest and motto of the Dragon Legion were also a reason why this chapter took so long. The english translation for the mandalorian phrase "Vi at aranov Ka'rta Tor" is "We move to defend (the) Heart of Justice".
To those who asked about my accident: I had luck and was able to leave the hospital after two days. I have recovered ,but let me tell you: If the accident doesn't kill you, the paperwork will.
Anyway, the gang is infected with the virus and Astrid discovers one of Shadow's secrets. I hope you enjoyed the chapter and would like to express my gratitude to all those who continue to read and review this, even with my sparse updates.
Bis zum nächstem mal! Until next time!