Chapter 8

Hammer meets a Gun

The Covenant has begun growing more aggressive. They have even begun breeding programs and raided enough locations to become a sizable war machine. Only the highest military positions of the Empire know of the foreign threat responsible for the attack. However, rumors are always persistent. Especially when five colonies in the Unknown regions have already lost contact from anyone in over three weeks.

Thankfully, this unfortunate streak ended at the Colony of Junkins. A Covenant corvette in the sky had finished launching phantoms towards the colony when a Star Destroyer exited from their jump. The corvette, greatly outsized, began going for the retreat. The Star Destroyer chased after it with all weapons output to the maximum. With shields starting to go down, the corvette did an emergency slipspace jump. All that remained was the stranded invader's presence on the colony down below…

His white armor carefully crunched the leaves below him. The moon of the planet shined down, deterred by the trees. He flashed his eyes to the left and right. Lieutenant Mexa's passion had been filled with small hunts in his youth before enlisting in the Empire. But going after a species classified by his superiors as new? Now that was something special. He had only heard descriptions from the colonists that saw them, yet he can sense their formidable potential. Mexa increased his grip on the E-11.

He held up his left hand quickly and made some signals to his men behind him. Three of his stormtroopers began moving leftward.

Mexa stared behind a bush. He moved his Macrobinoculars up to his eyes. There seemed to be a small clearing ahead. Seven heavy apes were standing around attempting to work what looked like a communications device.

Lieutenant Mexa informed this to command, "This is Lieutenant Mexa. We have what looks like a simian-type species. Maybe a Wookie but possibly a different sub-species. Only seven of them, all armed though... Permission to engage?"

After a short pause, Command replied, "Permission is given. Shoot to kill Lieutenant Mexa. The Imperial researchers don't need them alive."

The stormtroopers followed their Lieutenant forward. They repositioned themselves around their targets, crouching behind some bushes. These unknown foreign creatures were now half-encircled. Mexa pressed a button on his arm, "Fire on my command. 3... 2.. 1. Now!"

All the stormtroopers began firing from their hidden spots. Blaster shots began hitting the shields at the wanna-be-Wookies. They began looking around, unable to tell from which bushes the blaster shots were coming from.

To one of the stormtrooper's amusements, he made a cocky remark into his comms, "Lieutenant Mexa, look at how undoubtedly stupid they are. Look one of them even has a hammer. They are the literal definition of brutes."

These Brutes began counter-firing with plasma being shot randomly at their hiding enemies. One of the plasma shots hit an unfortunate stormtrooper in the head. The stormtroopers fired more carefully now, staying more to their assigned cover. Plasma shots would skim past the hiding stormtroopers. A brute's shield finally went down and was killed with no protection. The main leader of the Brutes began to roar in rage. He stuck a spike grenade to another spike grenade, then proceeded to throw it at a bush that was firing the most laser shots.

The spike grenades exploded together and sent the spikes through two of the stormtrooper's bodies hiding behind the bush. One of the stormtroopers hurled a thermal detonator in response, exploding near the group of brutes. The brute's leader began speaking an unintelligible language, the tone sounded as though he was speaking to someone.

As the crossfire continued, a small purring was heard.

One of the stormtroopers asked, "Do you hear that?"

Lieutenant Mexa stopped firing and raised his Macrobinoculars and muttered into his comms, "It sounds like an engine, keep firing."

He then noticed a small hint of a metal plating in the trees behind the Brutes.

With a second of surprise, he shouted, "Enemy reinforcements!"

Five vehicles leaped from the trees at full speed and fired randomly at the bushes, killing several stormtroopers. They resembled a speeder-class vehicle. Even with the incoming blaster fire, their riders would keep circling around the first brutes. It was a clever tactic, it allowed the shields of the ambushed Brutes to refresh.

Lieutenant Mexa once again reached the command, "Update on the mission. Targets have received reinforcements. Five enemy speeders have engaged us, multiple casualties. Please advise."

Command replied, "Enemies sent vehicles? Alright understood. Head to Point A-18 for backup."

Giving the command to retreat, the stormtroopers backed up slowly, still firing. Till one by one, they began running off to their destination.

A small purring was heard behind the fleeing stormtroopers. A stormtrooper quickly looked back, only to have his body blown by explosive shells. The Brutes' vehicles were after them. They clumsily zigzagged through the trees, chasing their prey. One accidentally crashed into a young tree and knocked it down. The brute ignored it and speedily recontinued his approach.

Two stormtroopers caught up by the speeders attempted to shoot down the riders. As they stood back to backfiring at a speeder circling around them, they both turned their heads and saw a quick blur. A brute meticulously rammed his vehicle into the two stormtroopers.

After a time of a hard-pushed adrenaline retreat, the surviving stormtroopers and Lieutenant Mexa finally made it point A-18. It was a considerably large clearing.

A few moments later, a group of brutes and speeders arrived at the point. The stormtroopers, at the other end of the clearing, positioned themselves and aimed their weapons at the brutes. Even with their combined firepower, it wouldn't be able to defend themselves.

With a roar, the Brute Chieftain charged with his hammer. The speeders revved up and advanced at the huddled troopers. Then a large commotion occurred behind the stormtroopers. With the sounds of stomping pistons, the trees shook violently and out came two AT-ST walkers. They fired without mercy upon the brutes, ruining the speeder's path towards the stormtroopers. With the brutes in disarray, the stormtroopers mustered their courage and met the brutes head-on. That was a mistake, they still underestimated the Brutes endurance as some advancing stormtroopers were physically crushed, with one of them being obliterated by the chieftain's hammer. Lieutenant Mexa remained unphased, slightly disappointed in his trooper's actions but rather focused on the brutes instead. Normal soldiers wouldn't need so much attention from trained Imperials like Mexa, but the Brutes' energy shields have proven effective. With the brutes forces dwindling, it seemed this was the end. The AT-STs continued obliterating the remaining and speeders and forcing brutes to dive for cover in an open clearing.

Not going down with a fight, the chieftain and two more ran up towards the walker on their right. The brutes provide covering fire as the chieftain got close enough to throw his gravity hammer. As the AT-ST took a right step forward, a flying gravity hammer created an impact at the base of the right joint lowest of the leg. This caused the AT-ST to trip crashing down. The other AT-ST immediately ceased fire at the brute speeder it was distracted on earlier and instead focused on the brute chieftain who had just picked up his gravity hammer. The chieftain ran towards the second walker, taking in the laser damage with it's enhanced shields. Getting dangerously close, the chieftain knew he couldn't do the same trick but believed with enough hits with his gravity hammer, he can at least cause it to be disabled. Running, the AT-ST pilot immediately switched from its primary laser cannon to just firing a missile. The Brutes' hopes died as the chieftain got sincerely destroyed. Scrambling, the rest of the brutes charged without hesitation. Their efforts would've been fruitful if it wasn't for the AT-ST, even their shielding was no match for twin blaster cannons. No survivors were left. Lieutenant Mexa and the surviving stormtroopers were then picked up by Lambda-class shuttles.

[Sometime later]

Scientists and Imperial researchers would be stationed at the scene for a while, studying their new specimens and technology. As for the colony, they were prohibited from ever leaving the planet. To make up for that, the economy increased matching the new arrivals of Imperial personnel.

An officer's report was instantly created and sent to Grand Admiral Thrawn and Emperor Palpatine.

Officer's Report: "Regarding the incident on planet Junkins, Imperial ground forces have satisfyingly eliminated the alien threat. The creatures captured are found unidentifiable in Imperial records, they also have no biological relation to the foreign species already captured in the Covenant category. However, several technology pieces captured were found in correspondence with the Covenant category. For example, their communications device is the exact model. The footage derived from the Star Destroyer chasing the suspected ship also escaped via the same type of travel as the ship from the Battle of Onkioclite. However, the overall results of the quality of battle were disastrous. A count of 14 specimens with 5 speeder-class vehicles was able to repel a platoon and a half worth of stormtroopers. One AT-ST vehicle was destroyed in the aftermath, along with 37 stormtrooper casualties. It is also to be noted that these creatures have already been labeled as "brutes" by the surviving stormtroopers. These "brutes" were described to have died while fighting, their determination remained unwavering as their forces closed to zero, no exaggeration is included. According to their shielding specs they are..."

[In the High Council Chamber]

There was a significant murmur occurring. Talks of the Galactic Empire's estimated might and firepower was being discussed between council members. With the past constant small skirmishes, merely viewed as tests of their human opponents, a battle plan was to be formulated soon. In front of the prophets stood the Imperial Admiral, Supreme Commander, and rows of Field and Fleet Masters.

With a loud thump against the floor, the Sangheili Honor Guardsman lifted his staff and proclaimed, "Silence, the council's meeting has begun!"

A quick grunt and a look around, the Prophet of Truth began to speak, "This Galactic Empire is far superior to the humans we have exterminated in our galaxy. However, it is this test that will bring us to our new covenant. We must be prepared to eradicate these humans and stay true to our faith.

Being said, ever since escaping from our plagued galaxy, the Covenant has finally shifted to complete military power. This process has been a tremendous effect. Military production, along with breeding programs has established a trackback to the might we once possessed. It is time to amass the fleets and assemble the armies. Each Fleet Master is to wage war against the Empire at their own command and resources as quickly as possible."

The Prophet of Regret then continued, "Fleet Masters is to begin planning their warpaths. High Charity and the production planets will supply your armies, your goal is to eradicate human planets. Befriend any other species you come across, there is the potential of numerous assimilations."

Ending by the Prophet of Mercy, a holoprojection appeared and a chart was pointed to, "The Empire is spread throughout the galaxy, however, they already suffer rebels and internal conflict. With their troops spread thin, we will create a chain of planets under our control going straight to the heart of their Empire."

The Covenant fleets and armies were brought together. No more would small skirmishes exist. It was time for war.

Author's Note:

I'm most likely not going to update this anymore due to being more occupied with school. The reason I posted this chapter was that it was already halfway completed and I guessed I should just finish it anyway. By the way, the "speeders" used by the brutes are of course choppers. Also, I have updated the brutes fighting to death rather than them retreating, different from the originally posted chapter. I was already on the fence of this, but thanks to Mend1cant Bias's review I contemplated further and discussed it with a close halo friend. I've concluded it is far more likely the brutes were never going to retreat.