"Get an E-Web on that position there. Gearbox, I want a defensive position set up over there."
Jedi General Lia-nara Chaise turned away from the engineer and faced the approaching Trooper who handed her a datapad.
"From Master Kenobi." The Trooper stated.
Lia took the datapad with a nod before reading the contents and summarizing it for the Troopers as they approached to hear what the report said.
"The 212th and 501st have taken Hill 627. The Seppies are falling back. Hard."
"Towards us?" Gearbox asked.
"Every last clanker, Gear." Lia replied with a nod "We'll have to hold this bridge at all cost. We cannot let them get through. The 212th will be setting up shop on the hill while the 501st rest and will give chase with walkers after they regroup which means we're going to have to hold the enemy here until then."
Her eyes went to Bug who was carrying a blaster rifle in each hand. He looked down at the weapons before sighing.
"We're gonna need bigger guns."
The Heavy Weapons Trooper turned and walked away to look for a bigger gun.
The 82nd Delta Corps was currently stationed at the massive bridge that stood between the Separatist forces that were engaged in a battle against Jedi General Aayla Secura and the 327th Star Corps. If the Separatist forces retreating from Hill 627 reach the other side of the bridge, they can flank the 327th from behind and turn the tide against Aayla and her troops. They could not let that happen. So here they were now. Preparing for the arrival of the retreating Seperatist and ready to keep them at bay until the 501st arrive.
They could ask for support from their ships but all were engaged in a space battle. Although, the 82nd's Acclamator-class Assault Ship, the Valor, was still in atmosphere and can provide Orbital Strike support. But the problem was that they can't get a line on the Valor. Which brings them to the reason why the 41st was fighting on the other side of the bridge. Their mission was to take out a Separatist base that was jamming Republic communications within the planet.
The 82nd had set up at least four AV-7 Anti-vehicle Cannons on the other end of the bridge to provide artillery support against the droid tanks. E-Web Turrets with gun shields were placed in positions that had a clear view of the bridge and would provide suppressing fire on the Battle Droids. Only downside is that they didn't have any walkers, or any sort of vehicles other than the RTT-04 Armored Troop Transports they arrived in.
Clones from the 82nd Delta Corps, like their brothers in the 327th Star Corps, all wore command pauldrons and grey kamas. Their Phase II armor, however, was painted in urban camouflage and the Clones had backpacks which contained the basic necessities such rations, thermal detonators, medpac, binocs, etc. Troopers were armed with the standard DC-15 Blaster Rifles or Carbines and DC-17 Hand Blasters for side arms as well as a Combat Knives for last resort while Specialized Clone Units were armed with a variety of different blasters and other weapons that suited their specialty. Heavy Weapons were limited to RPS-6 Rocket Launchers, Z-6 Rotary Blaster Cannons and Mortars. They had more but the transport carrying their weapons was destroyed when they were taking the bridge from the Seperatists.
Lia turned to look at the speaker to see Rally approach.
"The Boss said he's in position. Him and the Sniper Team's got a clear view from the top of the bridge tower."
"Excellent." Lia nodded in satisfaction before looking up towards the bridge tower.
On the top of the bridge tower, Kale and two Scout Troopers were laying prone and looking through the scopes of their sniper rifles while another three were crouched next to them. Three of the Scouts acted as spotters while looking in the distance through their macrobinoculars while the other two, as well as Kale, acted as the shooters.
The Mercenary Commander wore the a lighter version of the Phase II Clone Trooper Armor with the armor on his biceps and legs removed except for the pauldrons, gauntlets and greaves. He also added kamas and a blaster holster on either side of his utility belt. Meanwhile, the Scout Troopers were equipped with Phase II ARF armor that was colored in urban camouflage as well and were also equipped with survival gear. Their helmets also had built-in macrobinoculars.
The snipers' primary weapons were the Valken-38X sniper rifles while the spotters wielded blaster carbines. All of them had DC-17 side arms and combat knives as well. Kale, on the other hand, wielded an IQA-11 and had two hand blasters as well as a second knife, a Vibroknife, secured in a sheath strapped around his left boot. All their sniper rifles had bipods attached underneath the barrels.
"Quiet night ain't it, boys?" Kale began while smirking "Great time to open up a bottle, sit back, relax and just look at the stars."
"No can do, Boss. We still got clankers to scrap."
"Yeah, Spot. I know." The Mercenary replied.
Lightning flashed in the night sky and was soon followed by droplets of rain falling on their armor. One of the Clones looked up and sighed before shaking his head.
"I hate the rain."
"When have you ever NOT hated the rain, Flick?" Another Trooper, Jak, retorted.
"Yeah. You hate it as much as General Skywalker hates sand." Geri added.
"I just don't like it."
"Hey, boys." Spotter knocked Flick's helmet to gain the Trooper's attention "I got movement."
The Sniper Team silenced themselves and turned serious. With the help of the helmet's built-in macrobinoculars, the snipers could see the column of B1 Battle Droids marching towards the bridge. They were quite the distance away but the Sniper Team can take shots at the droids right there. Thin them out before they meet the main force.
"I see a lot of B1s but no SBDs, Boss."
"No tanks either. Looks like the retreating force is comprised of only light infantry." Vin added.
"Do we take the shot, Boss?" Flick asked.
"Not yet." Kale replied before looking to the back of the line "They're marching in formation. If I were to guess, I'd say the SBDs are at the second line and the tanks further back. We'll wait and see."
Moments later and there were still no Super Battle Droids or tanks behind the droids.
"Uh, Boss. They're getting closer to the bridge."
"No they're not." Kale replied nonchalantly.
"Boss, they're at the bridge. I suggest we start shooting."
"They're shooting at our guys down there."
"That they are." Kale muttered as he looked down at the bridge "Alright, they don't have any tanks so feel free to light 'em up!"
The Sniper Team started shooting down at the battle droids. Blue blaster bolts raining down on the Seperatist forces that were nearing the bridge's first line of defense which had E-Web turrets returning fire at the droids as well as the line's infantry. Blaster bolts illuminated the night and the rain didn't look like it was about to let up anytime soon.
"Give it to them!"
"There on the right!"
"Take them out! Take them- Agh!"
"Man down! Man down! Medic!"
"Keep shooting!" Rally ordered before dragging the wounded Trooper behind cover. A Medic soon joined him, nearly slipping from a puddle, before the Commander saw someone run past them and climb up the barricade.
Bugger roared as he let loose with the Z-6 from the top of the barricade with his portable Improved Combat Shield protecting from enemy blaster bolts. The Heavy Trooper mowed down droid after droid with the Z-6 with ease.
"Get some, you scrapheaps! Oh, you want some too? Here you go, you bloody clanker! Come on!"
"Yeah! Give it to them, Bug!"
"Show 'em how it's done, Bug!"
"Bug!" Rally ducked and narrowly missed getting his head shot "Get down from there, you kriffing idiot! You're gonna get killed!"
"Don't worry, Commander." Bugger replied "These droids got nothing on me."
As soon as he said that, something exploded in front of the Heavy Trooper and sent him flying back. Rally looked to the enemy forces to see that a line of Armored Assault Tanks were hovering towards them while firing their main guns at the barricade. Accompanying the tanks were a group of Dwarf Spider Droids.
The tanks and DSDs were making their way towards the first barricade and taking out chunks of Republic infantry with their main guns while being escorted by the B1 Battle Droids. The Clone Commander cursed before Rally decided to pull the Troopers back to the second line but stopped when the General jumped over them, as well as the barricade, and ran towards the enemy lines with her lightsaber drawn.
Lia ran towards the droids but kept her body low. She danced around them and cut the legs of the battle droids she passed by before jumping on top of a DSD and spun her lightsaber into a reverse grip then brought the weapon down on the DSD. She quickly jumped off of it and rolled midair then landed in front of a battle droid which pointed it's E-5 Blaster at her only for said droid's head get shot off.
Back on top of the bridge tower, Kale smirked before taking out the droids trying to surround Lia.
Meanwhile, Rally saw that the General had taken the Seppies' attention away from the Troopers and saw the opportunity she gave them.
"Give them hell, grunts!"
The Clones let out a battle cry before firing their blasters at the droids. Battle Droids left and right were taken out by the combined efforts of the Jedi and the Clones. As for the tanks, Kale signalled the cannons by flashing a glowrod at the gunners who saw the signal before firing a barrage at the target area. Plasma shells soon rained down on the tanks, destroying them in one blow. Unfortunately, not all managed to hit and the surviving tanks set their sights on the Jedi.
Lia saw the tanks aiming at her and backflipped to avoid getting shot by one. Using the Force to enhance her speed, she dodged blasts from the tanks before running towards them. She jumped on top of a DSD and used it as a boost to get on top of one of the tanks before beheading the Tank Commander and pulling the droid's headless body out of the hatch.
One of the remaining tanks turned it's turret towards her and Lia jumped off just in time as the main gun fired, destroying the tank she was standing on. The Jedi landed on the ground with a roll before quickly unholstering her DL-44 and shot the head of a battle droid in front of her. She pointed the blaster to her left without looking and shot another battle droid in the head then holstered the blaster and jumped into the air with a flip before slamming her palm down on the ground and a large wave of Force energy blasted away the droids surrounding her.
The Jedi barely had time to deflect the blaster bolts raining down on her and looked up to see a group of B2-RP Battle Droids soaring through the sky and firing their wrist blasters at her. She deflected a few back to the Rocket Droids but there were too many of them and she had to fall back to the first barricade. The Jedi jumped over the cover and sat down next to Rally.
"And more tanks, General."
Lia peeked out of cover and saw that there were indeed more tanks makong their way to the bridge as well as two Multi-Troop Transports that then began deploying more B1 Battle Droids to the field. The AV-7s made quick work of the MTTs since they were stationary when deploying the droids but they had deployed enough droids to push forward before they were destroyed. Coupled with the arrival of the tanks and the Rocket Droids, the first line defenders were slowly getting pushed back.
"We have to retreat." Lia stated before looking back at Rally "Pull them back. I'll cover you."
Too late. Lia jumped over the barricade and tried to draw the Separatists' attention away from the Clones. Rally cursed but did as he was ordered.
"Fall back!" He yelled "Fall back!"
The Clones pulled back but fired their weapons as they retreated. The Troopers ran for the second line and quickly jumped over the barricade before taking positions behind it. Rally knelt down and aimed his carbine at the droids in the distance only to see that the General was still holding them back but he knew that she had to fall back soon or she would be overrun and the sniper support wouldn't be enough to cover her retreat.
Back to the Jedi, Lia Force Pushed a group of battle droids away before using the Force to lift a DSD and throw it at another DSD. The Jedi knew she didn't have long before she was overrun and gunned down so she had to think of a way out.
A group of Rocket Droids passed by and the Jedi didn't hesitate to Force Jump towards one of them. She managed to grab onto one of them and hitched a ride on the droid before jumping towards the next.
The other droids fired at her but she jumped to another one as the droids destroyed the one she was riding before. Lia repeated this until there were only two Rocket Droids left.
Activating her lightsaber, she impaled the one she was riding before jumping to the last one and steered it close to the second barricade before kicking herself off when she was close.
Falling midair, she used the Force to push the Rocket Droid towards one of the supports of the bridge tower and landed safely on the ground while the Rocket Droid slammed into the support and exploded. Lia then jumped over the barricade and joined Rally behind the cover.
"I held them off for as long as I can. The MTTs are destroyed so droid deployment is out of the table but they still got tanks heading this way."
"Then we'll have to hold them here. Luckily the cannons are doing a good job in slowing their advance, General."
True enough. The AV-7s constant barrage of plasma shells impeeded the Separatists march to the second barricade. Lia looked up to see more squadrons of Rocket Droids were flying towards them and the Jedi sent a powerful Force Burst towards one squadron of Rocket Droids and sent them hurdling towards a second squadron. The two groups clashed in a fiery explosion but more Rocket Droids sped through the smoke and launched rockets from their wrists at the Clones on the second barricade who fired back with their turrets and blasters.
"I want those metal bastards out of the sky!" Rally yelled.
"Sir yes sir!"
One of the Troopers crouched and aimed a rocket launcher at the flying droids before pulling the trigger. He missed and the Trooper crouching next to him handed him another rocket launcher before reloading the used one.
"AAAGGH!" The Trooper manning one of the E-Web turrets screamed as a rocket struck the turret and sent him flying.
"Watch those wrist rockets!" A Clone Sergeant yelled only for himself get hit with a rocket. Obliterating the Clone.
"Damn it! Shoot them down already!" Rally ordered before looking over his shoulder to see three Mortar Teams running towards them "I want all of you to set up over there and rain hell on those clankers!"
"Yes sir! Sledge, get over here."
The Mortar Teams quickly set up their mortars on the designated area before beginning their barrage. Mortar shells soon rained down on the droids in the distance but a not all hit their mark.
"That's a miss. Adjust fire. Adjust fire!"
Another barrage and this time it was spot on.
"Direct hit! That one scrapped a lot of 'em."
"Mortar Teams. Don't let up!"
Despite the barrage from both mortar and cannons, that didn't stop the Rocket Droids from flying towards the cannons. Clones on the last line of defense as well as those guarding the cannons began firing at the Rocket Droids. They managed to shoot down a few but the other droids launched their rockets at one of the cannons. The gunner jumped out just in time before the rockets hit and destroyed the cannon.
"Cannon 3 is out! I repeat. They took out Cannon 3!" A Trooper yelled.
One of the Rocket Droids that got shot down barreled straight into the ammo crates of Cannon 3 and exploded, blowing away anything and anyone near it. Clones in the area quickly dragged their brothers away from the burning ammo pile before checking them over to see who's dead and who's not.
"Get these men out of here and find me another bloody Medic!" A Clone Sergeant ordered before dragging away a Trooper whose leg was caught in the explosion to safety.
Back to the second barricade, the droids were closing in and Lia was deflecting blaster bolts left and right back to the shooters. Clones with rocket launchers fired their weapons at the tanks and managed to take a few out but not all. Gritting her teeth, the Jedi made a break for the three remaining tanks. Using the Force to enhance her speed, Lia cut her way through the droids all the while avoiding blaster bolts sent her way. Fortunately, there were no Droidekas. Thank the Force for small miracles, right?
Lia leapt over a row of battle droids and landed on top of one of the tanks. She Force Pulled the Tank Commander out of the turret before jumping inside. She destroyed the remaining tank crew before using the tank itself to destroy one of the tanks before setting it up to full speed and ramming straight into the last tank. The Jedi then jumped out of the hatch and landed on the ground before sending a Force Burst towards the two tanks that sent them flying off the bridge.
Lia let out a breath before turning to see that she was surrounded by battle droids. Their blasters aimed at her while the rest of the droids pushed towards the barricade. The Jedi sensed something and heard the sounds of Jetpacks and looked to the source to see hundreds of Jet Troopers soaring through the air and firing down at the droids. The Jet Troopers also threw thermal detonators on the groups of droids and took chunks of the Separatist forces out.
Seeing the droids surrounding her head turned their attention the Jet Troopers, Lia concentrated on the Force before violently pushing it outwards, causing a spherical explosion of Force energy that blew the droids surrounding her away. The Jedi quickly ran back to the barricade while the Clones of the 82nd open fired on the droids from the front while the 501st struck from behind and above.
In the distance, AT-TE Walkers marched down towards the bridge. Firing their main guns as well as anti-infantry guns at the remaining droids and DSDs. Then it was over. The droids were nothing more than scrap on the bridge and the Clones cheered at their victory against their foes.
Lia sighed in relief before taking a seat on a large piece of debris and ran a hand through her wet hair. Drops of rain trickled down her body and she felt the exhaustion kick in as the adrenaline left her system. Her hand went to the Kyber Crystal necklace and her fingers began fiddling the crystal.
She looked up to see Kale, hair dripping wet, looking down at her with a lopsided smile.
"Saw what you did back there." The Mercenary began "No matter how many times I see it, you Jedi always manage to surprise me. You alright?"
"Tired but fine."
"That you are." He looked up and huffed "Now the rain stops."
With a shake of his head, Kale took a seat next to her and set his sniper down on the ground before looking at the Clones retrieving the dead or what was left of them anyway. A sight they had seen a hundred times since the war started. Even then, it was never a pretty sight.
The two looked to the speaker to see none other than Captain Rex walking towards them. His helmet was off and he too was equipped with a Jetpack. The Captain saluted and Lia nodded.
"We were starting to think you boys got lost." The Jedi teased.
"A little sidetracked, ma'am. There was an MTT and two platoons of droids blocking our path and we had to take care of them."
"At least you made it." Kale cut in "Nice touch with the jetpacks. By the way, where's Skywalker?"
"With the rest of the 501st." Rex replied "They're heading to support General Secura now."
"Shouldn't they have passed us?" Kale asked.
"They did, sir. General Skywalker commandeered several Separatist dropships to take our boys behind enemy lines and give 'em a nasty surprise."
"Good plan." Kale complimented "And what did Kenobi say about that?"
"I believe his words were: Don't do anything stupid."
This caused Lia to snort before looking back up at the Captain with an amused look.
"Has Skywalker ever listened to that advice?"
"Sometimes." Rex shrugged "Where's Will, General?"
"Will took the 18th Marauder Battalion to support Aayla while we hold the bridge."
Lia then stood up and dusted off her pants while Kale stared at her behind from the corner of his eye. Then the General turned to the 501st Captain.
"I believe we've delayed your men long enough. I'll have Rally clear the barricades for your walkers. Dismissed, Rex."
The Clone saluted once more before turning away and leaving. Troopers of the 82nd cleared the bridge of barricades and let the 501st pass through.
Soon, Rex's detachment crossed the bridge and marched to support the 327th and the 18th Battalion in taking out the jamming source amd regroup with their General while the 82nd rested for a bit and would hold the bridge until they reestablish communications and request for extraction.
A Commando Droid was cut in two by Aayla's lightsaber and she turned around to destroy the second droid behind her but two blaster bolts struck it in the head and chest before crumpling to the floor, joining the other four Commando Droids on the ground. The Rutian Twi'lek looked to her right and saw Bly and Will pointing their respective blaster pistols to where the droid was. The two Marshal Commanders lowered their weapons before making their way towards her with the latter twirling the weapon around his finger before holstering it.
"What took you boys so long?" Aayla crossed her arms and leaned on the wall with a smirk on her face.
"Sorry for being late, General." Bly replied "We got caught up by some rollers. We had to find a way to loose them before we could reach you."
"Then we had to deal with some of these clankers too." Will added and lightly kicked one of the destroyed Commando Droids.
"Well I'm glad both of you could make it." Aayla said "Do you have the explosives?"
"Yes ma'am." The two anwered simultaneously.
"Good. Let's destroy the jamming device and see what's happening to our ships."
The trio made their way deeper into the command center. While the 327th Star Corps and the 18th Marauder Battalion were keeping the Separatists busy outside, the three snuck inside the base with a small group to destroy the jamming device. Unfortunately, their little covert operation wasn't so covert as they thought. Defense systems, droids, traps. The Seppies were expecting the Republic to send a strike team to disable the jamming device. Because of that, they lost five good men getting to the command center.
Aayla suddenly stopped and held out her arm to the side, stopping the two Clones from going further. The Twi'lek Jedi narrowed her eyes before looking towards the end of the hallway. A moment later, the door slid open and a squad of Super Battle Droids began marching towards them before firing their wrist blasters at the trio. Aayla ignited her lightsaber as well as her second lightsaber before deflecting the shots sent their way.
Meanwhile, Bly and Will stepped back before the former unholstered his blaster pistols and fired at the droids. Will, on the other hand, unslung his DC-15 Blaster Rifle and dropped to a crouch before shooting at the droids. The Marshal Commander heard the door from where they came through open and looked over his shoulder to see a squad of B1 Battle Droids marching towards them.
Will rose to a crouch and took out a thermal detonator before priming the grenade and throwing it towards the battle droids. The detonator landed by their feet before exploding a few seconds later. The Marshal Commander then quickly dispatched the remaining B1s.
With the droids behind them down, Will turned back around to face the SBDs only to see General Secura slice the legs off of one of the droids before swinging her second blade upwards to cut another SBD in half. Without missing a beat, Aayla used the Force to push the third SBD and slam it against the one behind it before throwing her lightsaber to the remaining two SBDs, bisecting them. Her lightsaber returned to her hand and she deactivated them before returning to their trek to the jamming device.
"Bly, where's the jamming device?"
"First room on the left once we turn the corner, General."
They turned the corner only to be met by two Droidekas. The two droids unrolled and activated it's shields before shooting at the trio who quickly took cover. Will took out another thermal detonator and rolled it towards the Droidekas. The grenade exploded and overloaded the shields which Aayla quickly took advantage of by lifting one of the Droidekas with the Force and sent it flying to the end of the hall. Bly rolled out of cover and fired his twin blasters at the remaining Droideka before he was joined by Will and together, the two destroyed the droid.
Without another word, the trio entered the room and saw the jamming device was guarded by a squad of B1s.
Will was the first to act and rushed the closest droid before smacking it across the head with the butt of his blaster rifle then used it's body as a shield. Pointing at the other droids, he pulled the trigger of the hand blaster and shot one of the droids in the head.
Meanwhile, Bly quickly shot the clamps holding the blaster before rapidly shooting the droid in the chest multiple times. The Marshal Commander snapped to his left and moved his head to the side, narrowly avoiding getting shot in the head by the droid before shooting said droid in the head.
Aayla ducked a blaster bolt and kivked a B1 into another B1 before igniting her lightsaber and cut the head off of the droid on her. She used the Force to lift the two downed droids and threw them outside the room with Bly finishing them off with shots to the head.
After killing the second remaining droid, Will pushed the droid he was using as a shield and shot it twice. One in the chest and the shoulder befoe ending it with a shot to the heast. Letting out a small breath, he looked over the jamming device before putting down his pack and taking out a set of explosives. Bly did the same and a few minutes later, the two were done.
"Alright. Bombs are active." Will spoke as he stood up and raised his forearm to show the General the blinking light "The blinking means the explosives are active. And they're remotely detonated. I suggest we blow it up on the way out."
"Agreed." Aayla nodded before turning to her second "Commander, lead the way out."
"Understood, General. Follow me."
The three exited the room but Will stayed behind and took out a fusioncutter before welding the sliding doors shut. The Clone then ran after the others to make their escape. Halfway, they detonated the explosives and destroyed the jamming device. As soon as they did, their comlinks were flooded with chatter from all three Republic forces on the planet as well as their ships out in space which had been trying to reach them for hours.
A LAAT/i landed in front of them before the two climbed inside. Kale and Lia were one of the last to be extracted when the Jedi ordered the dead and the wounded to be taken back to the ships first, followed by the transports and cannons then the rest of the army. She stayed behind to see the extraction go off without a hitch and Kale joined her. His Sniper Team extracted with the rest of the ground forces.
"Welcome aboard, General." The pilot, Burnside, spoke through her comlink.
"Pleasure to be here, Burnside."
"Get us back to the Valor, Burns." Kale replied through his own comlink.
"Will do, Boss. Oh, speaking of Will, he said him and the 18th would be hitching a ride with the 327th."
"Of course he would." Kale muttered in amusement before sharing an amused look with Lia.
Ever since Maridun and Alzoc III, the two had noticed the Clone Commander had developed a slight attraction to the Rutian Twi'lek Jedi. It was obvious to them but not to anyone else. Will made damn sure that his attraction would never be noticed. Mostly because he knew that Jedi aren't really inclined to form attachments. Some were fond of their troops but anything more than that would be going against the Code.
Lia's eyes found themselves staring at Kale who was talking to the pilot through his comlink and found herself smiling briefly before looking away. Through thick and thin, all the times they shared along with the near death experiences, the man stayed by her side. He was given an out once. Take his payment and leave the Republic but he didn't. Once she thought, that he would leave but he never did. In time, she grew to care for him as well as the Clones. She became attached even though she knew that their chances of surviving wasn't always high. But her attachment to him was different. To her, the Clones of the 82nd were family. Kale? More than that and she was afraid of what it meant.
So she tried to keep her distance and deny the feeling she felt but it didn't work. They were too important to her. She cared too much. Not a really good role model for Younglings, eh? No wonder they didn't give her a Padawan.
Now with the Republic slowly gaining more victories against the CIS, the war would be over soon and the Jedi had decided that when it was over, she would leave the Jedi Order. She would turn in her lightsaber, stripped of her rank and be sent off.
Then she would begin an organization with the sole purpose of helping those who were affected by the war, including the Clones. She knew the public opinion of the Jedi Order wasn't exactly very positive to say the least. More than enough people blame them for the tragedies that befell upon them.
Add Separatist propaganda to the mix and the Jedi were sometimes seen as the villians along with the Republic. Considering that the Order had become too involved in politics than actually helping people, she can see why many were swayed by such propaganda. The public image of the Jedi isn't looking so good and people would be more inclined to drive them away rather than accept their help.
"General. Boss. We're coming up on the Valor now."
Lia was shaken from her thoughts by the pilot's voice and hadn't realized she how long she had zoned out. She looked to Kale to see the man was just staring at her with a lopsided smile. The gunship entered the hangar and made a smooth landing before the side doors slid open and the two walked out of the transport. Kale gave a thumbs up to Burnside and his copilot and both returned the gesture before the Mercenary followed after Lia.
"So what's next on the agenda?" Kale asked as he caught up to the Jedi.
"Well, other than waiting for Will and the 18th to get back, nothing. Hopefully, we wouldn't be deployed for a few more days. We could use the rest."
"Yeah. Hopefully." Kale replied.
The two had made their way to the bridge and contact Masters Kenobi and Secura and Knight Skywalker. A little while later, they reached the bridge and walked towards the holotable before contacting the other Jedi. Moments later, the aforementioned Jedi's holograms appeared on the table.
"Master Kenobi. Master Secura. Knight Skywalker." The three nodded in greeting "How are things on your end?"
"Quiet." Obi-wan answered "A welcome change of pace. The base building is going along nicely and the 212th will take care of the remaining pockets of Separatist forces within the planet."
"All's clear on our end." Anakin replied with Aayla nodding "The droid base is down and we have a team looking into retrieving anything valuable from the command center's database."
"The 327th is doing the same but we'll be leaving for Felucia soon." Aayla answered.
"Hmm. I already have men stationed there." Anakin stated before crossing his arms and scratched his chin "They could use the support. They've been fighting there for months now."
"I'll see to it that they are relieved when we arrive, Skywalker."
"Thank you, Master Secura." The Chosen One nodded his appreciation before looking to Obi-wan "Master Windu contacted me and said we'll be heading out pretty soon to help him take care of a Separatist problem in Anaxes."
"And what of this planet?"
"The 82nd will tie up loose ends here, Master Kenobi. Anaxes sounds like a big problem if Master Windu wants BOTH of you to help." Lia spoke.
"Thank you, Knight Chaise. Anakin, when are we to leave?"
"In about a day or so. Master Windu said we can take a breather for a bit before we head to Anaxes."
"Very well. I'll inform the 212th." Obi-wan then looked back to Lia "I trust I can leave the base building to the 82nd as well?"
"Our Engineers will handle it." Kale replied "Just tell us where the Seppies were last seen and our boys will take care of it."
"Very well. I'll have someone send the intel to you later. Anything else?"
The other Jedi answered no and the short meeting was over. A little while later, they were given the coordinates to where the pockets of enemy forces were last seen and Kale immediately headed out to take care of them. Better to deal with the problem now rather than later.
"So how's Bugger, Doc?"
"As you can see... "
"I told you. It's just a flesh wound, Pac. I can go back and fight."
"Bug. You're arm as well as two ribs and a leg are broken. You also have a concussion. You need more than a few days rest THEN you can go back in the field and get karked up again."
"Bah! It doesn't even hurt that mu- AGH! WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT FOR, YOU PRICK!?"
Pac gave the Heavy Trooper a look before gently pushing him back in the bed and left to attend to the other wounded. Bug muttered to himself before sending a rude gesture behind the medic's back. Spotter and Doc shook their heads in amusement before the Scout Trooper left and headed to the armory to return his sniper rifle. On the way, he passed by Trey and Vin who nodded in greeting before returning to their conversation about getting the 82nd a Massiff Unit.
The Scout Trooper reached the armory only to see the Boss was there and saw that he was restocking his thermal detonators. A standard DC-15A Carbine with an unfolded stock laid on the table next to the pack. Spotter decided to approach the Boss.
"You're heading out again, Boss?"
"Yeah. We still got Seppies in the area and I'm sending out platoons to take care of them." Kale turned around to face the Scout Trooper "Don't worry your pretty little head, Spotter. I'm not taking the Sniper Team with me. I'll be taking a platoon of Shinies. Of course a squad of Vets will be accompanying me too. Can't have them dying on their first deployment, right?"
The Mercenary patted the Scout Trooper on the shoulder before grabbing his weapons and helmet from the table and headed out. Spotter watched him go before shaking his head and walked over to his locker to turn in his weapons.
Outside, Kale whistled a tune as he made his way to the hangar. He had already sent out an order for three platoons to assemble at the hangar and informed them of the mission. He raised the comlink and contacted Lia.
"I'm heading for the hangar now. I'm taking a platoon of Shinies. A good 'ole droid hunt's a good first deployment mission. Less casualties that way."
"Alright but do be careful. Who knows how many droids are out there."
"Come on. You know me, Lia. I'm always careful."
Kale entered the hangar and made his way to the awaiting transports.
"And by that, you mean you always get shot in the arse."
"You know what I meant. Hopefully, we can finish this up before nightfall but I doubt it'll be that easy."
"Indeed. Good luck and may the Force be with you."
"Don't need the Force when luck's on my side, Blue." Kale ended with a chuckle before entering one of the LAATs and looked at the Troopers inside. The majority of them wore the standard Phase II armor but was as shiny as the day it was given to them. A squad of Troopers on the back, however, had urban camouflage armor as well as bandoliers, pauldrons, packs, kamas and visors attached to their helmets. They were the Veteran Squad Kale would be commanding.
"Alright, Shinies. You've already been briefed on the mission but let me give you a refresher just in case. We got pockets of Separatist forces scattered all over the area. Our job's to wipe 'em out and get back to the Valor. That's it. A simple search and destroy mission. Understood?"
"Sir yes sir!" The Shinies replied while the Veterans replied with an 'Understood, Boss'.
"Good. Hope you boys packed rations, this could take a while."
The side doors closed and the transports hovered off the hangar floor before leaving said hangar.
~Three Days Later~
"General, we've been getting some strange readings for the past hour. We traced the source and it's coming from the mountain."
"Are you certain?"
Lia crossed her arms and looked to the said mountain's hologram displayed on the holotable. Now that the Clone Naval Officer mentioned it, she had sensed a disturbance in the Force roughly an hour ago and she had been sensing it ever since. Narrowing her eyes, she looked to the Communications Officer.
"Contact Kale and tell him to head for the mountains once he's done with the clean up. I'll be waiting for them there."
And with that, the Jedi made her way to th hangar. On the way, her mind was occupied by the disturbance she felt in the Force and what it had to do with the strange readings coming from the mountains. She found it odd since they never felt it when they entered the planet. It's like it just appeared out of nowhere.
Before she knew it, Lia had reached the hangar and was making her way towards her Jedi Interceptor which had astromech droid, R4-P47, already in the socket waiting for Lia. The astromech droid greeted the Jedi with a series of boops and bleeps and Lia smirked in response as she climbed her starfighter.
"Hello to you too, Arfour."
Another series of beeps and Lia chuckled before starting the Jedi Interceptor's engines. The starfighter hovered off the hangar floor before speeding out of the hangar. It wasn't long before she made it to the mountains.
Lia circled around the mountains to see if she can find a good place to land before her eyes found a small clearing near the cliff and decided to land the starfighter there. The Jedi Interceptor landed safely on the ground and Lia climbed out of the starfighter before looking to the astromech droid.
"Contact the Valor and tell them I'm at the mountains." She ordered "Send a signal out to inform them of our location. I'm going to have a look around and find the source of this disturbance."
The droid beeped in affirmative before doing what it was told and contacted the Valor.
Meanwhile, Lia followed a path she found and felt herself drawing closer to the disturbance. She soon found herself in front of a cave and narrowed her eyes when she saw the destroyed B1 Battle Droid lying on the mouth of the cave. The Jedi knelt down and saw that the droid wasn't destroyed by a blaster but was torn apart.
"It could be a creature living within the cave that did this." The Jedi spoke outloud before rising to her feet then looked to her right "What do you think?"
Kale walked towards her and looked down at the wrecked droid. He had to agree with Lia. There are markings on part of it's body that were unmistakably bite marks. There was also the fact that some of it's limbs were missing and the droid's body was torn open.
"I think you're right but that still doesn't really answer the question of what the hell did this?"
"Well." Lia looked to the cave "Only one way to find out."
"I knew you'd say that." Kale replied.
The Mercenary put on his helmet* and turned on the Personal Light Unit* attached to his shoulder before taking point and entered the cave. Lia followed after him and took out a glowrod from her utility belt before looking around in the cave. They spotted some scratch marks here and there. Either the creature was marking it's territory or something else.
The two eventually came upon a dark and narrow path that lead to an opening that was small to the point they had to crouch to go through it.
"Please don't tell me we have to go there." Kale muttered.
"We have to, Kale. I sense the disturbance is originating to wherever this path leads."
"Great. Abso-fucking-lutely great."
Kale sighed in defeat before taking out a combat knife with a magnetic clamp and attached it on the underside of the carbine's barrel before entering the small opening. Lia followed suit.
"Maybe I should've brought a Scattergun for this." Kale muttered to himself.
After traveling the small tunnel for who knows how long, the two finally reached the end and Kale was all too eager to get out of the tight space. The Mercenary exited the tunnel and quickly rose to his feet before checking his surroundings. What he saw wasn't what he expected. He certainly wasn't expecting a giant machine of sorts.
"Hey, Lia." He called over his shoulder "I think I found your disturbance."
Kale walked over to what appeared to be a console but he wasn't sure. The keys on the console had letters that he was sure as hell not Basic or any kind of language he had ever seen and he can recognize a lot. The machine had three tall pillars on top of a circular platform and a console next to it.
"What is this?"
"Beats me." The Mercenary replied before pressing one of the keys in the console much to the Jedi's shock.
"Are you bloody mad!?"
Before she could say anything else, the machine came to life and tendrils of electricity shot out from the pillars and one of them struck Kale right in the back and shocked his entire body. The Mercenary screamed in pain before another tendril of electricity struck him in the front. When it finally stopped, the man fell face first into the floor and passed out.
Lia ran to the man's side and quickly turned him over before checking for a signs of life. Thankfully, he was alive but in great pain if the screams were anything to go by. Then the Force screamed at her and she turned around while igniting her lightsaber before swinging upwards, cutting her attacker in half.
She didn't have time to examine the beast as she raised her lightsaber to block the torrent of electricity sent her way. The Jedi grunted as she kept it back but it was too much and her lightsaber flew off her hands before she felt the agonizing pain Kale felt as the electricity struck her. Moments passed before Lia joined Kale and the two lay unconcious on the ground.
'So much for old comrades.'
Commander Jane Novak-Shepard thought bitterly as she watched Ashley and Kaidan leave before turning away to leave. The Alliance would be there soon and frankly, she didn't wanna deal with them right now. Miranda and Garrus silently followed after the brooding redhead as they made their way back to the Kodiak's pickup point.
When they reached the pickup point, the trio came upon an unconcious body lying on the ground. Jane was quick to jump into action and knelt down to check for her vitals. She found them but they were very faint. It didn't help that the woman had a huge scar on her chest. Fresh from the looks of it.
"Novak to Normandy, I need that shuttle here ASAP! I got a wounded unknown with me. Someone tell Chakwas to get the Med Bay ready." She then turned to Miranda "I know what you're gonna say but can we have this discussion when we're back on the ship?"
The Cerberus Operative simply nodded in response. After the shouting match the Commander had with her old friends, she knew Jane needed to cool off and get her mind out of that particular encounter. Besides, even if she disagreed, Jane would still bring the unknown to the ship. She wouldn't turn away someone in need. She even helped a Batarian, a BATARIAN, during the plague in Omega and Miranda knew how much the Commander loathed them.
Without saying a word, Miranda helped Jane set the unconcious individual on a nearby rock while they waited for the Kodiak.
"So? Any idea who she is?"
"Unfortunately, no, Commander."
Jane sighed and shook her head. Currently, the two were inside the Med Bay and were looking over at the unknown woman who lay blissfully unaware of her surroundings. The woman's clothing were easy to remove though the weapons they found were odd to say the least. Jane ordered Miranda to get an ID on the woman to see if they can figure out who she was as well as have Jacob and Mordin examine the weapons.
"And by that you mean... "
"She doesn't exist." Miranda answered, her eyes narrowing "I've checked Citadel, Alliance and Cerberus records but nothing. On a related note, I think you'll find her weapons quite interesting."
Jane replied by looking at the Operative with a raised brow. Miranda answered by holding the cylinder she picked up on the ground back in Horizon and pressed a button. As soon as she did, a blue blade of light shot out from the top of the cylinder and Jane flinched back before tilting her head curiously at it. She moved to touch it but she got a quick slap on the wrist from the Operative.
"Don't. When I activated this thing, I tested it on one of the target dummies and it cut clean through like hot knife through butter."
Miranda deactivated the device before placing it on the table they were leaning back on.
"The pistol she carried? It's not anything I've ever seen anyone wield before. Citadel species, Geth, Collectors, Alliance or Cerberus. But what I do know is that it fires red bolts of plasma. Jacob tested it and it's safe to say that it can put a hole in an organic and cauterize it."
"So it fires lasers?" Jane asked with slight tilt of her head "Cool."
"No, it's... " Miranda stopped herself when she saw the small twitching of the Commander's lip and knew the woman was baiting her "Yes. It fires lasers."
"Damn. I thought I'd get you this time."
"In the amount of time we've worked together, I'm starting to see a pattern to your behavior, Commander."
"That easy to read, huh?"
"Not really. Though I do wonder why you insist on walking around the ship in that. Don't you get cold?"
Jane raised a brow and looked down on her wardrobe. Instead of wearing the uniform they gave her, she was wearing a black tank top that showcased her muscular midriff. Black and white crewman pants and a pair of black combat boots. A holster around her thigh with a folded M-3 Predator secured in it. Jane looked back at Miranda and shrugged her shoulders. Though she didn't miss the woman's eyes lingering on her slightly glowing scars and knew the Operative was going to suggest she have them removed in the future but Jane didn't want to. Chicks and dicks dig scars, right?
"It's my ship and I can wear whatever the hell I want, Lawson." Jane finished by crossing her arms and looking away.
"Does that include the time you walked around without any pants on? You certainly gave the crew quite the show. Miss Chambers couldn't look at you without turning red like a tomato for a week."
"That was one time!" She jokingly punched Miranda on the arm, earning a smirk from the XO. A rare sight.
"And you know I was up all night trying to catch up with all the things I missed. I got like ten minutes of sleep before you people called me up for a briefing. Can't fault me for being a brain dead zombie that day."
"Commander. Miss Lawson."
The two straightened when they heard the Normandy's Chief Medical Officer call for their attention.
"Our guest is waking up."
The Commander shared a look with the XO before walking towards the doctor who was standing next to the woman who was starting to stir.
Cyan blue eyes slowly blinked open before widening in alarm. The woman shot up from the bed with a gasp but winced before her hand went straight to the scar on her chest. She was breathing heavily, trying to remember what happened and looked down at her state of dress, or rather undress, before sensing the three people surrounding her. Blinking, the woman quickly covered her exposed chest and looked at the other occupants in the room awkwardly.
AN: So this is another reboot of In a Galaxy Far, Far, FAR, Away because... reasons. Can't really make up my mind about that fic. I got back here because of Clone Wars Season 7. I changed a lot of things in this fic but I doubt it matters.
*1= Commander Neyo's helmet but in urban camouflage.
*2= The shoulder lamps used by the Marines from Aliens.