Corporal Hicks cradled his E-11 Blaster Rifle, half heartedly listening to Sergeant Apone's speech about kicking some motherfucking alien ass. Across from him, PFC Mark Drake stroked his DLT-19, the only distinction between him and the rest of the stormtroopers in the bay of the AT-AT was the oversized blaster and a small IFF tag appearing on the Corporal's visor, calling out the tall ginger's service ID number. No names needed for the Empire.

Ricco Frost bumped Hicks's shoulder, "Eh, man, you ready?"

"To blast some fucking bugs?" Dwayne Hicks smiled, "Always a favorite of mine!"

"Think we're gonna get air support on this one?" Dietrich asked, barely recognizable as a woman underneath the stark white armor.

"When have we ever gotten it before?" Drake asked, and though Hicks couldn't see it, he'd bet there was a dumbass smile under there.

"Yeah, man," Private Hudson joked from his spot across from Dietrich, "Striker pilots will be too busy doing barrel rolls in the sky to get down and dirty. Besides, we don't need 'em! It'll be just like the rebels on Dantooine!"

"Shut your mouth, Hudson!" Apone suddenly barked, breaking from his speech to berate the Private. Leave it to Hudson to get caught by the Sergeant.

Hudson looked back to the Sergeant, "What's the matter, Sarge? Just talking about how much we love the Corp!"

The distinguished Sergeant, made notable through his two black shoulder paldrons and bandolier, moved as though he were going to continue to berate Hudson when the intercom on the troop bay of the AT-AT interjected.

"Sergeant!" the voice of the transports co-pilot called through, "We've got incoming! Brace yourselves!"

"Time to drop?"

"Two minutes till we reach ground forces."

Just then, the durasteel plating beneath them shuddered and the world around them rocked as something struck the walker.

"Armor holding."

There were muffled pings and pops as some sort of energy round smattered across the thick armor plating of the walker, then there was the much more audible electronic thump as the pilot's returned fire at whatever was shooting at them.

Again, the walker shuddered and shaked as another blast struck it.

"Gunship."

"I see it," the cabin shook again, though this time not from an explosion, but from the ludicrous firepower of the AT-AT's twin heavy cannons.

"You missed."

"Shut up!"

There was more pings and pops along the outer hull as something firing down on the walker passed over head when suddenly, there were two dull thumps.

Hicks's head snapped up, "That wasn't weapons fire."

Apone apparently agreed, "On your feet! We got boarders!"

The twenty troopers in the bay all rose, the AT-AT was only at half troop capacity to make room for two AT-ST's, both of which were currently folded up on the right side of the bay, ready to drop once they reached the target. All four pilots of the walkers were sitting outside of their walkers, helmets off and tucked under their arms as they looked around with some concern as the stormtroopers began switching the safeties on their blasters off.

There was some thumping as whatever had landed on the huge walker moved over its hull. Whatever it was, it was heavy, but there only seemed to be one. It moved along the top, trying to find a way in, before moving to the right side of the AT-AT's roof where the noise fell away.

The Corporal gestured to a couple of troopers who were new to the squad to move up with him while also gesturing to Vasquez, "Keep that DLT-19 ready."

The shortest trooper in the 212th nodded as she set the heavy repeating blaster atop one of the seats. Apone got the rest of the troopers ready, spreading out and keeping behind Vasquez, all seventeen E11 blaster rifles pointed at the bay door that would slide away for entering elevated structures.

There was some scraping and it almost sounded like something was climbing down the side of the walker, although that should have been impossible, the hull was too strong to use climbing hooks as they couldn't dig in, and the angles were too sharp for someone to hold on just with friction, and the hull plating automatically demagnetized any magnetic grapples. So how was…

Two white-blue prongs slammed through the latch of the sliding door, burning the durasteel away and sending sizzling hot sparks flying through the cabin, bouncing off the thick armor plating of the AT-ST parked there.

"Here they come!"

They, was inaccurate. It implied multiple. Hicks and his fellow stormtroopers were greeted by one, singular, enemy. But what an enemy it was.

Even as its massive bulk was propelled in via a powerful jetpack on its back, Dwayne could hardly do anything but marvel at the size, the speed, the grace, and the power of the alien. With a single strike, it decapitated one of the stormtroopers that had approached with Hicks, a blue, two pronged sword easily chopping through the white armor plates of the unfortunate trooper, leaving an angry red line along the armor, and filling the air with the stench of burning flesh.

Both Hicks and the second trooper, a PFC with a service ID the Corporal wasn't familiar with, opened up with their blasters on the towering, white armored creature, only for the red blaster bolts to bounce off a shimmering barrier.

A massive four fingered fist crashed into the helmeted face of the second trooper, shattering the plastoid and twisting the metal breather underneath. The sound of the impact was nearly enough to cover up the sickening snap of the human's neck snapping.

Finally, after what felt like an eternity to Hicks, Vasquez opened up with her DLT-19, heavy red bolts raining down in rapid succession on the towering, eight foot tall alien. The heavy blaster bolts had the unfortunate effect of ricocheting off the shimmering shields, one striking Hicks directly in the chest piece, knocking the Corporal on his ass.

The composite plastoids were designed to diffuse the kinetic impact and heat of a blaster, but that didn't mean he went unscathed. It felt like a nerf had kicked him in his chest and then someone lit his recently kicked chest on fire, but he'd live.

That was more than he could say for the four AT-ST operators who had been caught out of the safe confines of their walking tanks. Their blaster diffusing cloth uniform provided much less protection from the strange, dual pronged energy blade than the stormtrooper's armor, and that had already proven ineffectual.

One of the pilots had literally been cut vertically in half. Another was missing both of his arms, rolling on the ground howling in pain and no way to get back up. The third operator managed to raise his blaster pistol, but was beheaded before he could so much as squeeze off a shot. The fourth one, a man who'd probably never had someone take a shot at him without five inches of durasteel between him and the shooter, stood frozen in fear, taking no note of the crimson and scarlet blaster bolts flying past him and overhead. A few hit their mark, again, only ricocheting off the alien's shields.

The hulking being, with strange hooves and two fingered, two thumbed hands, raised its unarmed hand, and brought it down, open palmed, on the pilot's helmet so hard, it pushed the poor man's skull through the neck and into the chest cavity with a disgusting squelch.

Hicks finally managed to pull himself back together, though his chest still felt like it had been caved in and set on fire, and switched the trigger on his E11 from single fire, to rapid fire. To hell with safety regs.

The rapid pulsing of the E11 in his hands made a few shots go wide, but Dwayne Hicks hadn't passed the intense stormtrooper training through sheer luck, and kept the majority of his shots on target. The first three were stopped by the shimmering barrier, which grew brighter, and almost appeared to be cracking, before the fourth one finally shattered it. Five, six, and seven all landed directly on the alien's white, segmented armor, but while the bolts may have been strong enough to incapacitate an armored stormtrooper, the monster standing before him was seemingly unfazed, as it merely used its jetpack to rush into the crowd of troopers on the other side of the bay.

Vasquez was the first one to meet it, shifting her heavy DLT-19 to continue raining heavy fire on the hulking alien, and received the impossibly hot edge of the blue sword for her efforts, molten armor falling to the floor in red globs as her cries were silenced instantly.

Another broad swing of that strange looking energy sword cut through another three stormtroopers as the soldiers moved closer, trying to crowd in around the beast.

"No!" Hicks shouted as he took a few wobbling steps forward, "Spread out!"

Drake lost his leg just above the knee before the rest of the stormtroopers could heed the Corporal's words. The heavy gunner fell with a scream, his helmet muffling and distorting the noise.

"Coordinated fire!" Sergeant Apone yelled over the screams of the dying, "Shoot its legs out, or go for its head!"

A hail of crimson bolts crisscrossed the bay, burning through the thinner leg plates and striking flesh underneath. The alien roared in pain, or maybe it was rage, whatever the noise was, it wasn't joyous. Those injured legs still held a lot of power in them, however, as it propelled its massive bulk into a leap that crossed ten feet and ended with a trooper's chest collapsing under its stupendous weight.

Hicks lined his sights up with the alien's head, right on the black visor that seemed to be in some sort of semi-liquid state. The E11 bucked in his hands as yet another stormtrooper fell, a glowing gash across his chest with burnt flesh and melted armor pouring from the wound. A crimson bolt splashed against the shoulder armor, scorching the white metal, followed by another one, that clipped the top of the white, ornate armor piece, burning the tip off and casting burnt shards into the alien's face, and finally, the third one struck the semi-liquid black visor.

The almost gooey substance seemed to burn when the bolt struck, causing the massive alien to rear back, putting a four fingered hand to its chin and ripping the helmet off.

What an ugly son of a…

The thought was cut off as the creature's four mandibles spread wide and let loose a guttural roar that, no longer muffled by its helmet, shook the Corporal to his bones.

The enraged beast struck down another stormtrooper, moving so fast it seemed to blur. No creature that large had any right being so fast. Nor did any living thing have any right to be so tough, as blaster shots pounded the creature's large body, but only served to enrage it, they needed to get close.

Hicks had received more than a few disciplinaries from the ISB and Sergeant Apone for it, but Hicks always kept his Verpine Shatter Gun on the small of his back. The modified coil gun was designed to fire a dozen flechettes with each pull of the trigger. For close encounters.

His chest burned, and he was short of breath, but adrenaline surged and the Corporal surged forward, each step shooting pain through his body until he was right behind the alien, who turned to stab him with its burning sword.

"Eat THIS!"

The coil gun was near silent in its operation, so the only sound in the bay was the sound of the alien's head being rent apart and its grey matter splattering the ceiling.

"Kriffin A man!" Hudson shouted as the giant body slumped to the ground, "How many of these fucking things did they bring?"

"What is this thing?" Dietrich asked, poking the gory paste that used to be the thing's head with the barrel of her E11.

"Look sharp!" Apone shouted, "We're dropping in less then a minute, and we've already taken casualties! So buck up and-"

The sound of thrusters brought Hicks's attention away from the Sergeant and out towards the still open bay of the AT-AT, where the city scape of Christophis passed by slowly, too slowly. A pair of those armored aliens, same strange gooey visor, same sleek compact jetpack, were hanging on the edge of a massive skyscraper the walker was passing. They had activated their packs, and were hurtling straight into the bay.

"INCOMING!"

The two flying aliens, both maroon colored, crashed into the bay, their strange two toed hooves smashing into the durasteel deck. The weapons in their hands, strange, oblong purple weapons with a spinning component in between two prongs and a shining blue light at the tip. Not a sword, so…

"Hit the DECK!"

Hicks, Hudson, Dietrich, and Frost all managed to hit the deck, they were all coincidentally, soldiers in his command. Apone managed to grab a stormtrooper and pull them to the deck, but most stayed on their feet, and were blasted by thick, blue blaster bolts.

Whatever weapons the aliens' were wielding, were far hotter than the average blaster bolt, but with a lot less kinetic energy. Hicks watched one trooper take a blue bolt directly to his chest piece, which erupted in a fountain of molten plastoid, but he was able to keep his feet and return fire, until a second bolt hit him in the chest again, burning right through his ruined chest piece and cooking him alive from the inside out.

"Hudson!" Hicks shouted over the blaster bolts, "Get Drake's gun!"

The overly mouthy stormtrooper, for once, didn't have anything to say as he crawled underneath the crisscrossing bolts, grabbing the DLT-19 and pulling it up and pointing it at the two maroon colored aliens.

The stream of crimson bolts smashed into the shields of the two beasts, and to Hick's surprise, the barriers shattered. One took two bolts to the chest and dove behind one of the AT-STs, while the other one was struck four times, once in the chest, twice in the legs, and once in the gut, tearing the huge form of the creature apart. The Corporal popped up, E11 in his right hand, putting his shatter gun away with his left and pursued the last alien behind cover.

As he rounded the corner, three blue bolts passed by, one clipping him in his orange corporal shoulder pauldron, melting the tip off, which threw off his aim as the first two bolts from his E11 struck the alien in its own shoulder, scorching the deep red metal. With a jerk, the stormtrooper pulled the barrel of his blaster rifle back on target and held the trigger down, punching crimson bolts through the thick chest plate and through the back in half a dozen shots.

"Pilots!" Apone was at the hatch leading into the cockpit, "We've got to stop and circle the wagons, get a line to the Colonel!"

"…"

"Pilots!?"

The Sergeant opened the hatch, and started in, when something came out, tackling the white armored soldier on its way.

With a raspy screech and a flash of… feathers? Blood sprayed from Apone's throat, coating the blue armored alien in red.

Much smaller than the other three that had forced their way into the AT-AT, this creature was only the height of a human, and had feathery quills on the back of hits head, sticking up from a blue helmet. The hands ended in four fingers again, but with only one thumb, and much more dangerous claws, one hand of which, was covered in bubbling blood, and instead of mandibles, this birdlike monstrosity had a beak, lined with saw-like teeth.

"Open Fire!"

With a snap, the alien activated a bright blue ray shield that reflected blaster bolts back at the stormtroopers, who by this time, had started to figure out how to dodge their own shots coming back at them. That said, they also knew the value of keeping their fire up, if only to keep that alien from pulling up its own weapon, a strange looking sidearm with pink needles sticking out the top, and it also helped Hudson move closer.

"You want some?!" Private Hudson came from the avian alien's side, vibroblade whirring in his hand.

The feathered creature, the same height as any of the stormtroopers, ducked under the first swing of the blade and kicked out with one talon filled foot. The blow landed squarely in the large man's midsection, the sharp talons only scraping the durable plastoid armor, but the force was enough to lift Hudson in the air and knock the feet out from under him.

The man hadn't become a stormtrooper for nothing, however, as the white clad soldier surged forward on hands and knees and caught the next foot with his vibroblade, cutting the small alien's front three toes off. The birdlike monster fell with a shriek, as Hudson climbed over its prone body and slammed the tip of the blurred blade into its chest.

One trooper rushed past Hudson, into the cockpit, "Both pilots dead! Looks like the thing came in through the top hatch. Oh Fuck!"

"What is it, trooper?" Hicks called as he pushed forward towards the AT-AT's cockpit.

"Our way is blocked, sir! Enemy armor line straight ahead, lots of enemy fighters in the air."

The Corporal pushed into the frontmost compartment of the walker and looked out the thick transparasteel window. A kilometer and a half ahead, alien vehicles, short, squat, and purple, formed around large piles of rubble that the walker would never make it over. Just a few hundred meters in front of the walker, another AT-AT comes from a side street of the city, their way must have been blocked as well, but they also came out in range of the alien armor units.

Huge blobs of blue energy were launched into the air, arcing in an unnatural line, for it couldn't have been gravity affecting them, their angles far too parallel to the ground. Judging by the number of energy projectiles launched into the air, there were eight of these energy mortars by the roadblock.

The blue projectiles reached their peak and came down, much harder then Hicks expected, for as lazily as they had been floating through the air, he hadn't realized the velocity they would achieve on their way down. They exploded against the thick, durable armor of the AT-AT ahead of them. The huge walker was certainly rocked, its surprisingly flexible legs bending to absorb the impact and stay upright, but it seemed to weather the storm well, then the second barrage fell.

Those mortars must have been able to fire every five seconds, or they had another line hidden behind the rubble. In either case, the Imperial walker was rocked once again, this time its armor started to slag off of its gigantic frame. One mortar splashed against the head of the AT-AT, engulfing the head in brilliant blue flame before receding to reveal the scarred and battered command pod of the walker.

Miraculously it still stood, and even functioned, after taking sixteen of the large blue projectiles, though perhaps it should not have been so surprising. The walker had been designed to take multiple rounds from the strongest anti-armor guns in the galaxy. Sure the beast of a machine had weak points on the legs, but you had to be shooting specialized ion rounds to take advantage of those. Perhaps Hicks merely overestimated the power of those mortars, perhaps they weren't as strong as he had suspected.

Another barrage hit the other walker, now fully out into the road Hicks and his company of stormtroopers had been taking, and tore the large, quadrupedal machine to bits and pieces. Another round hit the head of the walker, completely slagging the heavily armored component. A few rounds struck the legs, completely snapping them in half with the sheer kinetic force of their release. As the monstrous machine fell, more struck the main carriage, punching through the armor and exploding inside, shooting debris, and melted stormtroopers, in all directions.

"Sir, the walker is still headed forwards."

Hicks noticed, with a start, that the walker they were in was, indeed, still pacing forward. The only reason they hadn't been shot yet could only be due to being out of range of those energy mortars. The Corporal reached down and yanked the throttle back, swaying on his feet as the AT-AT halted its slow walk immediately.

Another volley launched into the air, following the same, weird trajectory the other shots had, too flat for their lethargic velocity to account for. Hicks watched with baited breath as the mortars creeped closer, waiting for the boom of the strange blue energy exploding against the AT-AT's armor. Instead, just a hundred meters out, just past where the other walker had been taken down, the blue mortars fell apart, washing the air with intense heat that the stormtrooper could see distort his view of the street and the mobile platforms firing the mortars.

"We're out of range," Hicks muttered and watched as the squat purple artillery platforms moved forward, "But they're not…"

The trooper sat down at the targeting station of the walker's cockpit and thumbed the heavy cannons, the two turbolaser batteries on the side of the transport's "head" turned ever so subtly and let loose with a thunderous roar.

One red laser hit the ground near one of the purple tanks, shattering duracrete and perforating the vehicle with shrapnel and debris, resulting in its destruction. The second laser struck a tank directly, completely vaporizing the mobile mortar platform and exploding between a pair of vehicles behind it, wrecking both of those as well. Through the targeting scanners, Hicks was able to watch as the rest of the mobile mortars disappeared behind cover. They'd had a taste of the walker's firepower, and were willing to wait him out.

Looking out the viewport at the sky, the Corporal watched a pair of purple and red aircraft swoop down and spray a stream of plasma across the AT-AT. Tactical readouts of the vehicles armor status declared that the damage was incredibly minor, and mostly cosmetic. That was when one of them launched some sort of green missile, striking the hump of the robotic camel and rocking the machine on its feet. This time the readouts were not as cheery.

Hicks stormed out into the troop bay and found six troopers waiting on his orders. Hudson, Frost, and Dietrich were all from Second Squad, Hicks own squad, and the other three were from various squads and fireteams. His manpower was limited, his options even more so. Retreat would result in summary execution for him and his men, while pressing forward in the AT-AT would result in a gruesome death at the hands of those alien tanks.

He'd have to take out those tanks first.

"Second Squad," Hicks pointed at the AT-ST's in the bay, "Mount up! You two!"

The two troopers he pointed at stiffened as they were addressed, "get to the roof, with rockets, keep those enemy fighters from tearing this thing apart."

Hicks swiveled back to the stormtrooper he had gone into the cockpit with, "Stay in there, you're going to cover our approach on the enemy position with the big guns. Use the blaster to cover our airspace, the turbolasers to pound enemy armor."

Finally he regarded the last trooper, "You, make sure no other aliens board this thing."

"How am I supposed to hold off another one of these things?" the stormtrooper kicked the white armored reptile laying dead on the floor.

"We brought an E-WEB," the Corporal pointed out, the massive repeating blaster cannon sitting in the back of the troop bay, "Set it up."

Dietrich and Frost hopped in the second AT-ST, the walker having two anti armor blaster cannons mounted on the side of the cab, while the one Hudson ducked into had one missile pod and one rotary blaster on either side of the cab as well as the two chin mounted blaster cannons. Dwayne crawled up the ladder on the walker and dropped into the cab with Hudson.

"What's the plan, man?" the Private asked as the Corporal flipped on the power source for the scout walker, "I haven't run a simulation on a scout walker in years, hope you're not expecting much."

"How'd you manage that?" Hicks asked, genuinely surprised, "Every four months every trooper has to run the pilot sims."

"I was, uh, sick."

Hicks shook his head, "Kriffin A."

The Corporal hit the switch underneath the dash and the floor beneath the scout walker dropped away, and his stomach surged into his mouth, before slamming into his feet as it pounded duracrete beneath it.

"I drive, you shoot."

"Whatever you say, man."

As the two AT-ST's surged ahead, small, pink speeders shot over the rubble pile, their speed keeping them airborne for a few seconds before dropping back down to just a few feet off the ground. Seven, in all, they were much thicker and bulkier then the speeders the Empire might deploy, but as they raced over cracked and burnt duracrete, they were evidently just as fast.

"Contacts, closing in," Dietrich could be heard over the comms as she too, saw the large, pink speeders rush their position.

"Frost, Dietrich, move forward and engage, we'll cover."

The second scout walker moved forward, chin mounted blaster cannons and side mounted heavy blaster cannons swiveling around to point at the oncoming alien speeders. The walker swayed as it walked, but some of the most sophisticated targeting software in the galaxy kept the blasters' aim true as crimson bolts lashed out.

Two smaller bolts from the chin mounted guns struck one of the pink speeders head on, crumpling the metal and sending it into a side spin, but the pilot, some sort of short, squat alien with a triangular hump on its back, managed to save it and continued is run at the walkers. Its two companions were not as fortunate, as the heavy blaster bolts punched through the thick pink armor and destroying the repulsor lifts below, resulting in both speeders vanishing in a bright, blue cloud of fire and shrapnel.

"Track those speeders on the left," Hicks told Hudson as he yanked on the controls, moving the walker into a better firing position, "Missiles, one each."

"Only got twelve," Hudson said in such a way that he was asking the Corporal to confirm his orders.

"And we only got one shot at this, so lets leave it all out on the battlefield, open up."

Two missiles launched from the missile pod on the left side of the cab and shot forward towards the two speeders moving to flank the lead walker. One struck, detonating and ripping the armor and pilot apart in a gory and fiery mess, while the other one struck the duracrete beneath the speeder, flipping the vehicle and crushing the squat alien under its weight.

Of the seven speeders that had been on them from the start, only three remained, but their firepower made up for their lack of numbers, as hot blue bolts lashed out in remarkable quantities. Again, their seemed to be little kinetic force behind the shots, unlike the Empire's own blaster weapons, but the heat transferred by each round was enough to quickly melt through the much thinner armor of the AT-ST.

Watching his armor integrity drop like stone, Hicks swung the cab around and opened up with the chin mounted blasters, trying to keep the speeders from focusing their fire and buy Hudson some time to load up another pair of missiles. The two that had fired on him scattered as his blaster fire struck one of them, crumpling the armor but leaving the speeder intact. Across the street, Dietrich and Frost were doing the same as Hicks and Hudson, trying to keep the speeders from focusing them with their devastating energy weapons, but their strange blasters weren't the only dangerous aspect of the vehicles.

One of the pink speeders Hicks had fended off hit some sort of booster, rocketing off, directly towards the legs of Dietrich and Frost's walker. The large, thick, and powerful speeder collided with the thin, if very durable, legs of the AT-ST, sweeping the left leg right out from under the walker. With a groan of durasteel, the tall walker fell and the cab hit the ground with a resounding boom.

"Sith spit, man! What are we gonna do?"

"Do you have missile locks? Hudson! Do you have missile locks?"

The Private was breathing hard as he tore his eyes away from the downed AT-ST and looked down at his instruments, "Yeah, uh, yeah, on all three."

"Then fire!"

Three missiles launched from the pod, all drifting in the air above the walker for a second before lashing out and destroying all three speeders in quick red and blue explosions.

"We have to push forward," the Corporal proclaimed, pushing the walker forward towards the road block, "we get over that rubble and there are probably going to be enemy troops all over the place, have the rotary blaster ready."

Hudson continued to simply mutter under his breath, every statement punctuated by a whiny "man!" as the trooper began spinning up the anti-infantry rotary blaster. Above them, a few more of those purple air speeders dove down, looking like they were going to make an airstrike that the AT-ST would certainly not survive, when large red blaster bolts lanced out and vaporized the strike craft. Good to know the trooper in the AT-AT still had his back.

They were approaching the road block when the comms lit up.

"Behind you, look out!"

Hicks didn't have a chance to turn the walker around when something crashed into the cab, lurching the two troopers in their seats.

"What was-"

The hatch ripped open and one thick, hairy arm reached down and pulled Hudson through the opening.

"Aw man, game over man, game over!"

There was a sickening crunch, and the hand reached down again, grabbing Hicks and pulling him through, but unlike Hudson, the Corporal was ready, with his shatter gun already in his hands. As he was hauled up, he was brought face to face with perhaps the ugliest creature he had ever seen.

As though it were some sort of super wookie, it was hairy, with a toothy maw, muscles on muscles on muscles, and a size that have it towering over any wookie. None of that mattered, however, when the barrel of the shatter gun was pressed against its chest and Hicks pulled the trigger.

The weapon jerked in his hands as the back of the alien's torso blew out, and the Corporal waited for gravity to take over and drag him to the ground, only for the vicious looking simian in front of him to snarl in pain, and squeeze.

Hicks felt bones break between his shoulder blades as the massive paw holding him squeezed, and his arms went limp as he lost all feeling in his body. Finally he felt the pull of gravity as he was tossed from the top of the walker onto the ground. The impact would have hurt more, if he hadn't lost all feeling in his body apart from his neck and head. His position was that he could just see the brutish alien leap from the top of the AT-ST and land on the ground with a grunt. The hole in its torso was bleeding profusely, and Hicks felt a little bit of satisfaction as he knew the alien would die.

The alien staggered over to him, and looked like it was going to drive its strange bladed weapon down into his body to finish the stormtrooper off, when it looked up to the sky, confusion visible on its face, before explosions wracked the street, passing over the pair's head and striking the rubble directly ahead. That was when the Corporal's helmet crackled with more radio chatter.

"Red Leader, confirm effect?"

"Copy Red two, good target, path is clear."

The silhouette of a Tie Striker passed overhead, the specialized Tie fighter spitting green death from its wing mounted cannons, striking the purple air speeders out of the air with impunity.

"This is PFC Rodin, requesting additional air strike one hundred meters north of last coordinates."

"Copy that, PFC, reading multiple armored targets, Red Four, Red Five, take them out. Blaster to soften them up, missiles to finish them off."

Two Tie Strikers sped by again, green blaster bolts lashing out, followed by the smoke trails of concussion missiles burning hard towards their target. At the resounding explosion, the monster above him roared in rage and pain, gripped its bladed weapon in both hands, and plunged it down into Hick's face.

You've probably got questions, ask and I will try and answer.

Next? Ship to ship battles? A little bit more of frontline fighting, maybe from the covenant perspective? A little more of the tactical side of things between the commanders? Let me know.

For the record, there isn't really a story in mind here, this is just a thought exercise for myself that I thought I'd post here. I might continue the scenario beyond Christophsis if this becomes popular, which, lets be honest, it already isn't and probably won't ever be popular, which would introduce more story elements like, why is the covenant invading, what is the empire going to do about it, whats going on with the rebel alliance.

Quit asking about the UNSC, they're not coming.