Log:New Republic: Hot Chow Come Morning
It's night. It's cold. The rain is falling and the thunderstorm is rolling. Every fight has been felt. Every scream, a new wound to add to the litany of others. Stormtrooper corpses lay all around the outside of defense point Besh, a high walled hastily set up ambush defense point rooted with generators that dominated its center, and turrets that were powered from the generators stationed at each direction.
Besh has been fighting for seven hours straight; since the initial engagement at the spaceport, and there after. At one point, the defense post was supported by two others with a mission to repel the enemy assault and keep the First Order from invading the city. General Ambrosia Greystorm, the Old Battleax, ordered Besh to hold their position until they could not hold it anymore. So they held.
They held despite their sister defense points falling, they held despite being surrounded, they held into the dusk and beneath a cold storm, and they hold now.
A break in the fighting allowed a covert contingent of Commandos to approach friendly lines, arriving from the city proper and carrying MUCH NEEDED supplies like ammo, first aid rations, and replacements for the haggard looking soldiers who had held the line and suffered for it.
The Rangers, the replacements that had come to reinforce Point Besh, found that the Republic was in a bad way. Turrets were powered by three generators which were constantly going down because of power fluctuations and overclocked use. The Commander of this post, Commander Rose Tico, has relegated herself to fixing this divesting the role of defense coordinator to Lt Quish, who is injured, and Captain Ban Iskender of the Vice Royal Dragoons.
Republic soldiers use barricades for cover, and others have been STRAPPED to turrets no longer able to hold themselves on it by their own volition. Hands, occasionally, taped to hold the trigger down so the fire continues even post death. It smells like death here, the sound of dying is obvious, but the Master Sergeant running the line directs his soldiers appropriately and points out elements from the ambushes that keep the soldiers engaged. When people speak to the endurance of a soldier, it isn't about what obstacles they can climb at any given second.. it's how many times can they conquer that obstacle until they can't climb anymore. The obstacle here? Stormtroopers. The morale? High. The current state of health? Undetermined.
"WE GOT MOVEMENT ON THE MOTION TRACKERS.. ALL SIDES!" Yells the Master Sergeant. "TO THE WALL! HOLD WHAT YOU GOT! TURRETS?!"
"THEY'RE DOWN, SARGE!"
"COMMANDER TICO?! WE NEED POW--"
"Power's up!" Rose calls back, cutting him off just after kicking a panel closed.
Ban Iskender measured time by the number of breaths he could draw in the minutes when his elaborate green bladed sword could be deactivated. He wasn't certain how long the power cells that charged the elegant weapon could last; he'd never needed to know, before. The battlefield meditation was the nearest he'd gotten to rest, numbering breaths and steadying nerves. The moment of rest had passed with word of a fresh assault. The dragoon's green eyes opened, his green sword returned to life, and he drew a deep, steady breath as he voices with noble composure, "At your service once again, Commander." A sidelong look to Chani, and a short nod.
Chani might ache, if she could feel anything. Her body feels numb. Fatigue has long since set in, and where her muscles had been burning before, now there's nothing but extra weight. At least the rain doesn't chill her to the bone. Through that symbiotic relationship she has with the Force, there's an internal heat that's keeping her core temperature from dropping. Maybe it's helping her muscles, somehow, too. It's as good an answer as any as for why she's still on her feet and fighting. Or maybe that's just because she's stubborn. She's been tested against the anvil, and rather than break, she wasn't found wanting. She's tempered enough to endure. The pouring rain forces her to sweep her eyes clean of rain. Her hair is slicked back.
The stunsaber is on. She hasn't turned it off save for those few moments where it's been an actual combat tactic used to catch a stormtrooper by surprise. The hilt vibrates in her hand. It casts an absolutely eerie glow against the plating of the landing pad and the area surrounding it. It's nothing compared to the bright green blade wielded by the Alderaanian noble here with them. Chani hasn't spoken to him for hours. When part of the line collapsed, he'd gone to handle it, and Chani glances to him as he approaches them again. "It feels like I'm in overtime during a game of quoits. Only, y'know, more painful."
The fallback positions were ready - hell, they were already in use, receiving survivors from Alpha and Cresh hours ago. And yet...Besh still held. For how much longer? Descended from her place in the high castle, General Greystorm made a daring run from forested spire to Codru Capital to see for herself and to partake in the carnage. The shine of Brass must come from sweat and blood if it is to instill courage in the tiring warriors. She need be more than just a disembodied voice.
The approach of her racing transport is heralded by a low hum, which builds into a dull roar, and finally a scream as it lances into the fray from 'behind' and the side door is thrown open to reveal not only the General, but a small retinue of soldiers. Personal guard. Her uniform's been traded in for an old suit of armor, visor already shielding half her face from view, lit up with an active HUD and tracking system.
The rain does indeed dare to pound upon Ambrosia's head and shoulders, much as anyone else, but it is a cleansing feeling. One she will come to appreciate soon enough. A tiny crook sets into her mouth's grim line and she hops out to meet what's coming. Boot after boot splashes down behind her and together, the little group marches forward to unassumingly file in amid the ranks. Quietly. Complacently.
<< Who's got one more fight in'em? >> Greystorm's question crackles in every helmet as her fingers wrap comfortably around the ribbed hilt of a small, handy eviscerating tool.
At one point, Callax Dalso might have made jokes about the situation, strident commends about the enemy and their lovely white armor - arrogant quips that one who fights from a cockpit, not on the ground, so very often have the comfortable space of making. But those days are long past, now. One does not make those jokes when facing one's fate behind gun barrels, explosives, heavy armor. When death is not certain, nor is survival in one piece. All that /is/ certain is suffering, and it is enough to humble even the androgynous commander of the Rangers. And that is all to the good.
The Rangers made that march, dismounting from speeders long before making the descent down steep and rocky hillsides to the capital, and to where the Republic hangs on by a thread there. They'd just come to raid suppot depots; upon hearing about the precarious situation in the capital, they marched here instead of going home. Callax comes at the head of a platoon of troops, men and women and droids in the red, black and gray livery of the little organization. And it is still at the head of that group that Callax moves through the chaos toward where Rose and the other would-be heroes of the hour work. Helmet removed, a stern, feminine face stares out from beneath a cap of red hair tamed into a bun, lips set in a hard line. "Commander," Callax intones, voice a husky contralto. "Callax Dalso, Perlemian Rangers." Offers a hand sheathed in powered plate. "We're here to help." Fresh troops, however few. At least they're insulated from the cold in their suits. "Please, direct us where you need us."
The smol form of Jinx rides on the back of Callax's armor, her sensor dome poking up over his shoulder to observe the world as he moves. There's not much need for scouting, she figures, as it sounds like the facility is already a target rich environment on all sides. "Further reinforcements may be required. Jedi are a force multiplier of their own, however." she chirps and beeps, her sensors taking in the light of the sabers further down.
Rose looks awful. Her hair is wet and plastered to her face, her armor is barely hanging on and smudge with grease and oil, and she's holding a wrench in one hand and a DE-10 handcannon in the other. The presence of lightsabers have some impact on the morale, so too does the arrival of the Rangers for the gear they're hauling is more valuable than credits. Soldiers dig into the ammo by droves, priming their weapons and locking rifles over the edge of cover. "LET'S GO! YOU HEARD THE GENERAL! SHE WANTS A FIIIIIGHT!" The soldiers screamed despite the pain, despite the drowning rain that pooled up in puddles on the duracrete they held. Turrets were brought back online and people began to climb into the apparatus to 'man' them.
Rose nodded to General Greystorm, then to Ban and Chani, before arriving at Commander Callax of the Perlemian Rangers. "We got plenty of gaps in the defense that need filling, Commander. Do what you can. Can't go wrong out here. Every direction you shoot likely has a badguy." Rose smiles despite the weight behind those words.
"UP HIGH!" Calls one of the soldiers, as the sudden appearance of rocketpacking stormtroopers arrived. Five (5) in total landed RIGHT in the center of the point, then? The sound of a division of stormtroopers moving in, their bootsteps loud even over the rain. "EAST SIDE..EAST SIDE.. A WHOLE LOT OF THEM!" Screamed someone from the turrets, and that side of the point light up. Between the cyclic rate of turret fire, the shadows of sprinting stormtroopers approaching the defense could be seen.
Quoits? "I am unfamiliar with the game, mistress," Ban answers Chani between breaths. A short nod and salute of his sword toward the General and rangers as the much needed reinforcements arrive in time's very nick, just as rocket troopers jet in. Ban's salute is turned upward before the jumptrooper sergeant is cut down, followed by two more swift slashes. With the rain hissing and sizzling on the energy blade, Ban turns his eye outward, at the incoming tide.
It's not so much the sound as the brightness of the stormtroopers' rocket packs that catches Chani's attention. She doesn't wait for them to land and get all nicely set up to aim their blasters. She goes in for them before their feet ever touch the landing pad. It means that when the five have touched down, Chani's there to meet them. She'd shared no introductions with the General of the New Republic or the leader of the Rangers. Chani's singular focus has been on the fight. The stunsaber in her hand speaks for itself, anyway. There's little need for talking. Instead, she lets her stunsaber do the talking. The stormtroopers going to raise their weapons find Chani's white beam coming for them.
The first is done from a low sweep, left hip up towards her right shoulder, and it catches the stormtrooepr's left arm at the elbow. He drops in a heap, nervous system turned haywire by the stunning nature of the weapon itself. She turns that into a quick swipe that changes her direction and sees her angle the beam from diagonal up to horizontal with her shoulders, adding momentum into the swing with the twist of her left shoulder in and her right shoulder out. The impact is hard enough to catch him near the shoulder and make him stumble. He collapses in a heap to join his friend. Neither are dead. They're spared the fate of their comrades.
And so it begins.
Ambrosia's battle cry joins in the chorus of screams inviting the stormtroopers to dance. She goes on the move, darting between barricade and body toward the wave that closes in from the east. The knife is tossed to left hand for safe keeping as she runs, freeing up the right to reach into a pack on hip and produce a sinister little canister. Her journey ends with a sliding duck into a sorely abused stack of crates and she cocks back her arm with clear intentions. "FRAG!" she shout obligingly before loosing it into a shallow arc, square into a pack of advancing bucketheads.
The jogging suits of white within that radius are soon painted pink with the gorey mist of their fellows. Ambrosia waits safely as she is then, prepared to snatch at whichever body makes it through the gaps in their firing line.
Callax barely has time to spare the poor bedraggled Rose a nod before the First Order makes its presence known; as Ban and Chani move to intercept the jet troops, Callax pulls on their helmet and begins barking orders whilst unslinging the rifle mag-clamped at their back. Fittingly, perhaps, it is also First Order issue, the DMR of the F-11 family. It has been spray-colored purple and black. << Rangers, >> Callax bellows over comms, gesturing with their free hand, << Separate into squads and make for battery fire! Aurek, over there - Besh, by the generators! Pour it into them, ladies and gentlemen, and don't let up! Heavy rifles with me - Jinx, spot for us, and Babo, help the Commander with those damned generators! >> The orders come fast and furious, as Callax has become quite accustomed to giving them under fire; with their own rifle now ready, they move to join the three K-4 droids with their massive battle irons, and almost as one the assembled Rangers begin to pour a withering red tide of coordinated fire into the oncoming enemy formation.
As the battle is joined, Jinx smoothly detaches from where she's riding along on Callax, slipping off to the side and disappearing into shadows, her optics glimmering faintly as she takes in the developing fight as the Ranger combat droids and troopers go charging past to take firing positions. She's not well designed for combat, unlike her counterpart Kayfive or the K4 droid triplets, but she stays alert for a moment where she could assist somehow.
The fight begins, with jetpack troopers taken down in quick order while soldiers turned their attention to the storming masses. Lightning flashed overhead, giving everyone a glimpse of the sea of white armor. Blaster fire came in by the droves, bouncing off the pavement, the cover, armor, debris, pocking up water, and hitting soldiers. There was already a call for, "MEDIIIC!"
The turrets opened up but a portion of the line went down when the middle generator bit the dust. "WE NEED POWER, SARGE!"
"COMMANDER TICO!" Yelled the Sergeant, and Tico answered after firing off a shot. "ON IT!" Rose goes to work, turning on a light and sticking the light between her teeth. Rain began to fall harder, and people can see their breath!
With the turrets down, Stormtroopers clashed against the barricade and began to mantle over. Ten (10) in total get by pouring in to engage the defenders at melee range!
Ban Iskender looks sharply toward the section of wall exposed by the failing turret, as white armored troopers storm past the barricade. Sword raised vertically in a salute en masse, the swordsman sprints toward the Orderly tide, green half-cape hanging sodden and blast marked at his back as a cut is made forehand across one's torso, backhand across another's, and finally thrusting through a chest plate. His effort to hold the wall slows the incoming tide, but does not stem it wholly.
With the five rocket troopers taken care of, Chani draws back closer to the generators. Blaster fire is starting up again. Someone screams 'FRAG' and the crumpled thump of an explosion carries with it enough of a concussion that Chani can feel it. Not much. But she knows it went off. It's not a dark night. Lights over the landing pad keep everything illuminated. It's made brighter by a hail of blaster fire being exchanged by both sides. Chani maneuvers her stunsaber into a defensive position, as if ready to intercept an attack from an opponent wielding a sword. And then she moves. It doesn't seem to be provoked by anything. There's no opponent in front of her. But the small Naboo native suddenly darts her stunsaber out, white beam thrumming.
A split second later, the a red bolt of frozen tibanna gas ricochets off the beam rather than hitting Commander Rose Tico. She'd seen it happen in her mind. A little flash moment of the Commander crying out in pain. The Force guides her hands, and Rose Tico is allowed to continue the extremely vital work of trying to keep the generators running without a flash-burned wound. She'd be amazed at what she'd just done, if she had the capacity to be amazed at this point. More importantly, she saved someone. She doesn't care if anyone even saw it. All she cares about is that in that moment, after these few months, Chani feels like it was all worth it. Unfortunately, it also leaves Lord Iskender to wade into the combatants alone. ..Not that that's any better of a situation for them.
Chani would even be willing to bet it's worse. The noble does not need to think about accidentally striking her with his saber. He's free to go through the full range of his graceful attacks.
Leaning back against a portion of their 'wall', the aging rebel can smell the carbon scoring that is there, the tinge of iron from the body count stacking up around them, the congealing stains on tarmac, slow to wash away by this deluge. It is a nightmarish scene that's every shifting, ever worsening. And yet...it is home. This is the piece of her former life that Ambrosia remembers, feels, more deeply that those bits and pieces of domesticated bliss she knows should cause a stirring in her heart but just...
Some parts of the General simply did not resurrect with the rest of her, those few years ago. But the killing? That instinct was never lost. It's what remains of her 'maternal' side.
What happens next then occurs as swiftly and smoothly as though she were merely taking a trainee to mat. A white, plastisteel shin guard enters her peripheral vision, descending from overhead. Her left hand strikes upward to sieze behind the knee with its cybernetic grip and assist the trooper in vaulting the barricade. She's on them in a flash, slashing upward through the groin as they topple. By the time they've hit ground and twisted the blaster in her direction, she's already on top of them, knocking it aside with a shoulder to hug her opponent, weasel finger tips beneath the rim of that helmet, force their head askew so that her right hand may deliver subsequent thrusts into the throat, the brain stem.
Their entwined roll about is brief and ends with that old battleaxe lying in wait for the next.
The terrifying surge of the incoming white masses are met with directed blaster fire - but even this cannot still them all, and suddenly there are marauders amongst them. Callax lets of a blast from their rifle, spite hurled from the enemy's own weapon, but the red lance sails clear and strikes a distant clod of soil.
The Rangers fare better. Directed over comms by their commander, one squad turns its rifles to meet the oncoming Stormtroopers and pours fire into them, point blank, joined by the rolling bark of the heavy rifles of the triplet droids; the other squad maintains pressure on those trying to overwhelm the barriers. Over all this, the sound of the third generator trundling back to life can be dimly heard as Babo, violently white and purple, busies himself with tending the cantankerous machinery back to life.
Jinx scuttles back in her cover, sensor dome turning back and forth, mostly trying to keep the generators and the battle in general in view as a panorama. Right now, it doesn't appear scouting is going to be needed, certainly, and she's not an astromech droid to help with the repairs to the generator. None of the enemy troopers have gotten far inside though, so she hasn't had to risk shooting anyone as of yet. Which is good for all concerned, considering her targeting systems are decidedly substandard. She lurks!
The generator comes back to life thanks to the efforts of Babo, which allows Rose to not only witness, but appreciate Chani's stunning deflect of a bolt that had Rose's number. "Wow!" She called out, raising her blaster to shoot down another trooper. "Thanks!-- GENERATORS BACK UP, SERGEANT!" Rose calls out, her voice loud over the rain.
They see the result of the power generators coming back online, and the sea of Stormtroopers and shot to pieces because of it. Green fire spit back into the masses and the gunners all scream. "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
The melee 'in-house' is chaotic. Droids and humans intermingle in a dance of death that's difficult to follow. Close range shots discharge LOUDLY, and the violent results of accurate impacts lay troopers out dead or dying, some even so bad as to be missing limbs.
"HOLD WHAT YOU GOT!" Screamed the Sergeant, who walked the line of Republic troopers screaming and directing their fire.
Nine (9) Stormtroopers manage to avoid the turret fire and mantle another section of the defense point. "WEST SERGEANT! WEST! CLOSE QUARTERS!" And so there were, 9 troopers in total joining the one remaining to make (10) in close quarters.
<<"Point Besh, this is Havoc Leader. We have positive ID.. two heavy armored walkers approaching from your eastern flank. I say again /Two/ armored walkers approaching your lines. Over.">> Rose steps to one side, pressing a hand to her ear. <<"CAN YOU SEE ABOUT CLOSE AIR SUPPORT! WE'RE UP TO OUR EARS IN TROOPERS!">>
<<"Be advised, Commander.. No one is on station at the moment. We will advise if it changes. Over.">>
<<"UH.. COPY. -- EYES OPEN FOR ARMOR, PEOPLE! ARMOR APPROACHING FROM THE EAST!">> It has not come into sight yet.
Ban Iskender looks sharply toward Chani as the warning is given of incoming armor. He says nothing but moves with haste to help deal with the breach in the west, quickly. The dragoon is still thinking of the danger that looms a mile to the east, and sensibly wary troopers backpedal, avoiding two of his thrusts. Ban parries one blaster bolt, before riposting into one trooper. He voices between heavy breaths, "This.. position.. cannot long survive walkers.."
Chani isn't privy to the information about armor until someone is screaming for them to be on the lookout for it. It's coming from the east. Chani looks that way, as if her vision might be able to pierce through the dark bubble of night beyond the intense illumination encapsulating the landing pad. In the distance, lightning pierces the heavens, and it's brilliant flash backlights.. nothing. They can't see them yet. "I don't think I can deflect those!" Chani yells over the sound of close combat. She's not sure why that's what comes to mind when she sees them, but the absurdity of it matches the absurdity of this whole situation. She doesn't have time to dwell on the joke and it's humor. Stormtroopers rush to fill in where others have fallen.
Chani doesn't even realize some of the standing puddles she's wading through are red. Her mind doesn't even really register the animalistic, frenzied stabbing of the General taking out her chosen prey. The landing pad is carnage, and her brain doesn't know how to cope with it. Chani's not sure she ever will come to terms with it. She feels so out of body that she's not even sure she'll be able to personally attach to the experience ever. Chani pushes all these thoughts out of her head. They're distractions. She takes a deeper breath, focuses on only the Force and the moment and what she can sense around her. The west needs help. To the west she goes, sweeping from left shoulder towards right hip.
The blaster rifle's barrel is knocked out of the way, and the upper section of the white beam smashes down into the trooper's shoulder. Down he goes in a heap. The one behind? He avoids a forward stab one her cutting motion is complete. Chani's misjudged the distance. She's still new.
<< Greystorm copies >> And doesn't sound happy about it. <<If those wa--->> a telltale blaster bolt sears by her shoulder, awfully close to home and she jerks her head around, glare locked onto the culprit through visor. A low growl puts whatever she was going to say on hold for a moment in favor of charging a quick few lunging steps to address the more immediate problem. The next shot fired goes just over her head as she ducks low, hands up to swat those pesky arms aside to deliver a precise little punch with that serrated blade in fist. The illuminated display in her visor's upper left quadrant continues to betray enemy positions in near vicinity but at this intimate range, she needn't really rely. A pivot to her left sees her left arm coming up to block the downward arc meant to bludgeon her skull while her right lashes out to swipe at her sneaking opponent. It lances through air only, but catches up under breastplate on the backswing, Amber's left knee bowed to the ground. A liver is split, aorta found, and the poor young man or woman beneath that emotionless visor will be dead before too long. Maybe.
<< WHAT'S THE POSITION ON THOSE WALKERS?? >> Because their current firepower miiiight not get the job done.
The news of walkers coming in sets Callax's teeth to clench in the middle of this fight; they almost miss the sudden movement to the west - almost. << Rangers, repel invaders, >> Callax barks over the comms, bringing up their rifle to drop one of the Stormtroopers as they surge over the barrier. << Now, now, now! >>
Though their tactical command isn't quite as sharp as previous, it /does/ gall Callax's troops into action; what isn't cut down by the Jedi meets a wall of blaster fire that drops the troopers en masse. Armored bodies tangle with the barricades, slick in places with blood, a gory heap of flesh and white plastoid to further soak up incoming fire.
Callax will think of the cost later. To the galaxy. To history. Every dead soldier could have made its mark on the future...but instead, they'll be snuffed out here. And it's a waste, all a waste, but it can't be avoided. They want the Republic troops to die for their country. Callax will do everything they can to make sure the Stormtroopers die for theirs instead. Such is the way of survival.
At the request over the coms about the walker locations, Jinx skitters out of her hiding spot and floats up, using a combination of her manipulators and repulsor to rapidly climb to the highest point she can as she starts to scan over the incoming forces, then transmits them back to the HUD of the Republic troops below. <Walkers located here, and here. Both moving to engage. Engagement in approximately 32 seconds.>
The fight is still utter chaos, but thankfully the vanguard the mantled the wall to the west answers for the mistake when the Republic forces stand ready for them. The news of the Walkers resonates with the position and everyone is well aware that there's no chance they can hold it here. Not only that, but one of the generators is down now and a section of the turrets goes offline. Rose blasts a trooper and storms off toward the generator, cutting the Sergeant off with, "I'm on it!"
The walkers are marked, and those with HUD capability see the outline of the approaching armor walking from the east. It's timed, it seems, perfectly with the sudden loss of power.
Distant ranged fire pours into the defense point, Republic troops and allies are hit from all angles, and thirteen (13) stormtroopers mantle the sudden gap in defense cutting Ban off from the East! Damn it!
"WE'RE GETTING OVER RUN!" Screams one frantic pilot, but the Sergeant grabs them and throws them back in the line. "THERE'S NO RUNNING AWAY. WE FIGHT TILL WE DIE, BOYS! GIVE IT EVERYTHING YOU GOT!"
The walkers loom over the smaller sea of white troopers, their clanking steps thunking against the ground SO HARD, the Republic forces can feel the approach. The Walkers have red view ports like looming demonic eyes intended to strike fear in their foes. They clearly have a mission and that is to crush this point.
Lightning flashes overhead, and the sound of thunder rumbles..
Only it's not thunder because it doesn't seem to have an end. The sound grows louder, Louder, LOUDER even until dark flashes pass overhead with glowing nacelles and engine contrails! When the lightning flashes again, the crew on the ground sees the outline of a small squadron JUST as they pass over.
Steam, and evaporated water cast up in waves from the low fly by over head, drenching those on the ground in their wake. Loud laser cannons spit from an X-Wing, hitting the AT-ST directly in a single pass, despite flying at supersonic speed. A Y-Wing, flying dangerously and erratic somehow gracefully smacks the other walker in close succession of the other.
Two massive explosions cast concussive waves outward, marked clearly by the rainfall as the walkers combust, fall, and burn bright with their munitions catching fire and firing off at random intervals.
Over the comms, a curt response fires off: <"Armor eliminated!"> followed by a lighthearted: <<"We shoulda mooned the wizards. Oh, un-tank dead, too.">>
The squadron is pursued then by a squadron of TIE/fo, the distinct scream of their engines dominating the sound of the immediate vicinity until they have all passed by, laser fire streaking the sky in reds and green.
<"WALKERS ARE DOWN! GIVE EM HELL!"> Screams Rose.
Thirteen (13) in close quarters.
The volume of incoming fire has intensified, as the Stormtroopers pres hard to keep the defenders occupied. Ban again parries aside a bolt from himself, but weariness is heavy upon him and he is too slow to catch a second shot at the Jedi beside him. His guard remains high, unable to look away from the foe long enough to check on Chani, and simply hoping to hear a cry of pain that indicates continued life. Then, Jinx reports two walkers and their close proximity. Thirty-two seconds. Thirty-one. Too close, too late. Can they be drawn off before opening fire? Is there time for the infantry to retreat? Twenty-nine. <<"General-">> he begins, before being cut off by a stroke of good fortune in the form of air support. Aloud, he prompts, "Mistress Tahn, how fare you?"
She's misdjuged the distance and she pays for it. The trooper that backsteps her and has his rifle trained up is at an advantage. She tries to snap her stunsaber's beam up into the way, and even sees a green one sweep into view. Neither of them make it. The trooper discharges his blaster rifle and Chani screeches in pain. "AGH!" A portion of the upper right arm of her jumpsuit evaporates from the blaster bolt. She very nearly drops the stunsaber from the shock of it, but the tendons in her forearm still work and her fingers grip on tight. She uses the pain of it, in fact, to squeeze all the harder. Teeth gritted, jaw clenched, and fingers squeezing the stunsaber hilt so hard they hurt. They're white-knuckled beneath the gloves.
For a second, she thinks the rain's intensifying, but it's actually just tears from the pain. This is how it happens, she realizes. The enemy forces don't need to be superior, they just need to throw numbers at the problem. Eventually, they'll all get hit. Eventually, they'll all be worn down. Thump. Thump. Thump. The water on the landing pad ripples from the center out, forming concentric circles timed with every new thump. The armor is here. Chani looks up towards where they're approaching. She can see death in those red eyes. This is where they buy it. This is where it's all over. ..For the armor. She doesn't hear the craft passing until she sees them zip by, because they're moving faster than sound. All she sees are dark daggers slicing through the dark sky, and then laser cannon fire that stitches through the two thin-legged scout transports.
They erupt with enough force that the whole landing pad seems to vibrate. Her teeth certainly feel it. "That's Black Squadron!" She's seen their ships before, aboard the Pantheon. She recognizes the orange stripes down their fuselages. Ban asks her a question and Chani looks forwards him. "I think I can still fight."
Grumpy Greystorm is breathing hard, bent over her last kill while gazing into that HUD. Her brain attempts rapid calculations and steely stare refocuses on what lies beyond the screen - a sea of diehard Republic troops, 6 live turrets, 3 dead...It won't be enough. She pushes up with a grunt, has already begun backstepping toward the westward concentration of fighters.
And then the miraculous hit occurs. Walkers down. Walkers down.
What begins as a slow, trembling sigh of relief rapidly evolves (or devolves) into a low chuckle which grows toward 'maniacal' in strength. Two broad claps of gloved palms salute the done deed that's /possibly/ ensured their survival here. At the very least, they can linger a little while.
<< WE'RE IN IT FOR AWHILE LONGER, BOYS AND GIRLS >> So back to work she goes, with renewed vigor. Long strides carry her over fallen uniforms of both affiliations, attacking a stormie's blind side. Ambrosia Greystorm is not too righteous to stab a body in the back, particularily when they are firing upon her comrades. The first thrust pierces upward into lung and her other hand grips o'er the backplate's upper lip. The shocked body is forced down to knees, steadied just long enough for a finishing slice to throat. They die as they're shoved forward into the next, becoming temporary meatshield so she might duck, make a slice up the back of the knee to cripple and keep on moving.
Wave after wave after wave - smashed by the thunderclap and concussion shell of the airstrike, the roar of the passing fighters, the shuddering collapse of the incoming walkers; it never ceases, nor does Callax as they direct their troops as best they can to most effectively intercept yet another surge of enemy infantry. << Spread out, Aurek, >> they call, lifting their rifle to drop one of the marauders that come charging over the barricades. << Besh! Direct your fire to angle two-one-seven! Kayfors, take those heavy lads in the back! >> Painting targets with an eyeblink via their helmet's HUD and tracking system, Callax is most effective not fighting, but telling their troops where to point their rifles.
And it /is/ effective. The human wave breaks against yet another coordinated salvo, coming up to add to the always peerless work of the Jedi. It is only once another group of enemy solderis are killed that a stray bolt hisses by and tags Callax in the chest; the tanklike plates of their armored suit soaks up almost all of the lethal energy, but some still gets through, leaving the androgyne with a nasty burn somewhere over the right pectoral. << Gods of Blood, >> they hiss, only to add, << I'm all right, I'm all right! Don't worry about me, keep up your fire! >>
And in the background, the third generator starts up again - Babo is busy tending to the turbulent machine as best he can, and so far his best remains sufficient.
Jinx burbles in relief as the two starfighters sweep by, eradicating the walkers before they're close enough to add their fire to the scrum already swirling around the Republic position. One less thing to worry about...though she alertly scans for signs of any other Order reinforcements on their way. Even a technical or two with heavy weapons would be more than a little bit of an annoyance at this point.
Eight of the thirteen are taken down in quick succession, prompting the remaining five to back track and mantle BACK over the wall to flee. The sea of white that had been thrown at them is thinning and retreating. From their position, they can see the troopers beating feet past the downed walkers, stalking back to the shadows of the city where Havoc squad's snipers are waiting to pick them apart.
It's not long after this that the night sky gives way to light. While the clouds where rain fall do not part, they take on the haze of blue. That's morning.
"It's Morning! IT'S MORNING, SARGE!"-- "Yeah.. and it's a good damned morning too.." The Sergeant replies, lighting a smoke and casting the spent flare over the collection of dead bodies all around them. A thoughtful toke, and he sighs out a long stream of smoke, the rain letting up.
Blood is everywhere. Death is everywhere.
What arrives with the morning light is a convoy of U-Wing transports. Fresh soldiers. And room to board. "Load the wounded first!" Rose yells. "We leave NO ONE BEHIND!" Point Besh is finally falling back to the rest of the forces. Despite their victory, some are sad to leave this piece of ground so hard fought for. One day, it would just be another city street, forgotten to time, but to them.. to those who survived the ordeal; it would be point Besh, and they fought for their lives to keep it.
With all troops loaded up, the convoy takes to the air as Black Squadron passes by again, escorting. From above, towers of tall black smoke can be seen from all sections of the city where the fighting is still happening. The battle is over, but the campaign is not.
<<"..You guys are gonna love it,">> Says the pilot of the U-Wing. <<"The staging area's got hot chow waiting. You all will eat like kings.">> The ship rocked from choppy air, and down below, the battle carried on.