The city was silent, the screams had been quelled. The once beautiful buildings of the city that were a massive improvement over its incredibly industrial center were now run down husks of their former selves. The streets were empty, it was the empty husks that were once buildings that held the most activity, as troopers in ebon armor filled the balconies. One of the troopers stood on a balcony that oversaw the great bridge, a pair of binoculars pressed against the visor of his helmet.
A chime came from his left gauntlet and he quickly removed the binoculars from his eyes to check his ringing wrist. He pressed the glowing red light on the radio on his wrist and a small projection of Tiberius’ head appeared in the palm of his hand.
“Milord?” The trooper reported.
“Platoon commander. There is a Jedi on his way to the city, he plans to enter the Sector D Carbon Freezing facility. I want you to make sure he doesn’t reach his destination.” Tiberius ordered.
“But milord, wasn’t the Gamallian supposed to kill him?” The trooper asked.
“I can’t count on that wild animal to accomplish that task, he’s already failed to kill this Jedi twice. At least this time, his failure will give me a reason to make him watch as I activate the charges I’m having planted in the workers barracks. Use any means necessary to stop this Jedi, use rockets, mines, or any other heavy or lethal weapons you have at your disposal. He should be approaching now.” The image of Tiberius faded away.
The trooper then pressed a dial on his helmet. “This is platoon commander TT-Alpha Bravo, to all troops within the city, we’ve got an intruder coming, clearance to use any high explosives and high grade penetration rounds has been granted.”
He removed the finger from the dial on his helmet and took another look at the bridge, he readied his sniper rifle as a short distance transport came into view.
Something wasn’t right. Dave could sense they were nearing the end of the bridge, he didn’t need to be in the cab with O’Reily to know that. In fact, he didn’t want to be in the Cab with O’Reily, but his instincts were telling him to move into the cab and be ready for anything. They should have encountered resistance as soon as they had reached the bridge, but the several mile long structure had been a smooth ride, a sure fire sign of an ambush.
His body reacted before he could say anything or think anything. He immediately rushed into the cab and activated his lightsaber and swung the blade in front of O’Reily’s head. The man was confused, no surprise there, he was always confused, but now he was more so.
“Sir Flynn, what are you—“O’Reily’s question was soon cut off as a laser bolt burst through the windshield of the transport, made contact with Dave’s Lightsaber blade, and they flew back out the windshield.
“They know we’re coming!” Dave stated.
“I thought we already knew that!” O’Reily responded.
“No, only Lyon knew I was supposed to know we were coming. Tiberius set this up, keep driving, don’t stop, no matter what happens!” Dave ordered.
“I have seniority over you Sir Flynn, and what makes you think anything’s going to happen because of a stray bolt?” O’Reily said in an arrogant manner.
They had entered the city interior, he barren streets were lined with crashed speeders, ships, and rubble. No one was on the ground, Dave looked to the buildings and saw soldiers, soldiers with explosives, with rocket launchers, blasters, and sniper rifles.
“It’s a trap!” Dave shouted.
Almost as if on cue, volleys of rockets, laser bolts, and small explosives rained down on the small transport with murderous intent. O’Reily jerked and thrust the controls around in a hell bent attempt to avoid every bolt and explosion that riddled the once calm roads. He was successfully avoiding the rockets, but the bolts continuously pelted the transport. Dave ran back to the cargo hold.
“Is there a rooftop hatch on this thing?” Dave questioned.
“No, this is a cargo transport, it’s not meant for combat. I think Flint wants me dead!” O’Reily said panicked.
“He’s not the only one.” Dave muttered under his breath, of course, HE was the one Flint wanted dead by the end of this mission, O’Reily was probably just a bonus.
“What?” O’Reily squeaked.
“Nothing, I’m going to make a rooftop hatch!” Dave yelled.
“How are you going to do that?” O’Reily yelled, but Dave had already closed the door to the cargo hold.
He stood in the center of the room, he managed to maintain his balance through the force, even with O’Reily’s shoddy driving skills. He could hear the explosions outside, he was reminded of the campaign on Mandalore, when he and his fellow Jedi had to storm an entire mountain range lined with heavy cannons. He wasn’t quite as armed as he was then, choosing only to wear his shoulder armor, gauntlets, and body armor, as opposed to the full suite of Commander clone trooper armor he had managed to salvage and update to be on par with the Galaxy’s current technical advances. His armor would serve him well here just as it did then, but armor did not win battles, neither did weapons alone, it was the warrior holding the weapon that won battles, and he was not going to die here.
He detached one of the lightsabers from his belt and activated the blade. He double checked his footing, he needed to maintain his balance and be ready to move when the time came. He thrust the blade into the ceiling, the metal heated and began to buckle and melt around the intensely hot blade. Sparks burst from the ceiling and small molten pieces of metal dripped onto the floor as he moved his blade in a large circle, crackling and hissing as it drew a bright red circle. If there was no rooftop hatch to exit through, Dave would just have to make his own. He pulled his blade back and the metal disk fell to the ground with a loud clang. He leaped through the hole he had just cut, he burned his robes as the briefly made contact with the still hot metal. He landed firmly on the roof and fought to keep his balance again, more bolts were coming down, and more rockets and sniper bolts and small explosives were following them. He activated the lightsaber he had pulled from his belt before, and then pulled his second sword from his belt and spun the blades around to keep volleys of lasers off the ship.
They sped down the road while the blue blades arced in their defensive performance to protect the transport. O’Reily was at least able to avoid the rockets, now if only he was able to keep the ship out of the line of fire from the rest of the riflemen.
The rockets stopped falling, something was amiss. They were an army, they had a star destroyer hanging above their heads, why stop using the rockets. Dave continued to block the bolts and try to figure out what the rocket troopers were doing, and then he caught a glimpse of what was ahead.
A great archway hung from two large buildings, obviously commerce centers, the various arched bridges connected the buildings for citizens to pass between them, and Dave’s face grew pale at the sight of it when he saw volleys of rockets aimed for the access points that connected the bridges to the buildings.
“O’Reily, speed up!” Dave yelled.
His cry fell on deaf ears, he should have realized O’Reily couldn’t hear him through a closed door, and the sound of the rockets would have silenced his voice anyway. The shots earlier had shattered the windshield of the transport, the loud wind made the inept driver hard of hearing, and the sounds of battle only served to deafen him to anything around him more.
Dave dashed towards the roof of the cab, there was only one way to get past the falling archways, and it would make him vulnerable to the snipers and rifleman.