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Operation: Crystal Night [PM, Invite]

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  • Operation: Crystal Night [PM, Invite]

    Hoth

    "Get up greenhorn," the rough hand shaking her awoke Jezekel to the cool interior of the prefab tent that she shared with the rest of the squad. "Gear up and muster in the Scout." The sergeant continued on by, his white armor covering the black body glove the very same uniform that the newly assigned Stormtrooper was now pushing herself out of the comfortable bunk to adorn.

    Donning her armor over the top of her own close fitting body glove, no one in the large tent gave thought to the others around them, only that they had a mission and it was time to get to work. Retrieving her rifle and helmet from her locker, the metal door slammed home as she strapped the Stormtrooper II over her right shoulder, team-slung now below her arm and the Mandalorian then donned her helmet before going out into the frigid air. Following the rest of her unit, her vision now went through the dark eye slots and clicking the inner toggle with her tongue, the helmet came to life. Audio and visual systems came on line and once through the tent's small foyer and outside, the brilliant night sky was alight with stars and long opaque cloud dirtied by stardust. Crunching of boots in snow were soon muted by the quieter whine of repulsor engines as Hoverscouts and Freerunners were being manned and supplied. Having no idea what they were in for, her adrenaline was already hitting ninety to nothing and soon, the squad loaded into the armored doorway of their Hoverscout.

    Taking the second seat along the port side of the vehicle's interior, their shoulders touched as she glanced left and over the shoulder of the vehicle's driver and out to the rest of the battalion.

    "Grab something to eat," the sergeant motioned to the floor plates down the center of the interior, one of the other privates crouched near them and opened one up, then began handing out ration packs and water. "We'll be briefed while underway."

    Removing her helmet, she tore open the package and began eating, sipping water with each bite until the makeshift breakfast was done.

    "Don't be throwing those wrappers on the floor either," the missile station operator stated, seated across from her as the corporal glared at them in turn. His position facing the wall and behind the chair of the sensor operator, there was little room for maneuvering in the closer confines of the armored repulsorlift.

    "This is our home too," the corporal to her right replied as radio chatter soon had the whole unit on the move. "Memory serves, I helped you clean up after the last one."

    "I was talking to the new nerfs," he motioned to Jezekel and another private that had flown in with her the night before.

    "Where's the trash bin," she finally asked and glanced to the trooper who grabbed a bag from above their heads and held it out, allowing her to toss her trash into it and then held it out to the other two on their side of the vehicle. Returning her helmet atop her head, she glanced back out through the windscreen to see the stark beauty of Hoth stretched out before them. Glistening snow like an enormous carpet gave her some bearing as the gentle sloping terrain gave way to large mountains in the distance. One of them being their apparent goal, or at least a landmark to guide the unit by.

    Soon, the sergeant turned to them, seated across from her and next to the missile operator. "Alright ladies, listen up. Command's given us a target. Pubs have finally been discovered about ten klicks southeast of us. Scouts a few hours ago ran into their outpost and supply station, but they reported Talz mercenaries fighting alongside the enemy. So, eggheads are targets as well."

    "Fighter support or just us," the quieter corporal to her left asked.

    "Wraith will be on station," a name that seemed to bring some calm to the unit as Jezekel had never heard anything beyond how to survive in the frigid terrain since she arrived.

    Running as quietly as possible and without any lights, the battalion flew toward the narrow valley that their enemy had chosen for their supply depot and outpost.
    Last edited by Jezekel; 01-02-2015, 08:18 AM.
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  • #2
    Having a lot weighing on her, the Mandalorian tried her best to relax as they had only taken part in war games back on Bastion before arriving here. She knew that with a war going on against the New Republic that fighting would be in her schedule rather quickly, Jezekel was now hoping that she could make her family and clan proud. Helmet on, she checked her rifle once more, ensuring that it was on safety and loaded, ready to work once she jumped back out through the door and engage the enemy.

    "They said you achieved marksman at Basic," the corporal to her right asked, his modulated voice catching her attention.

    "I did, yes," she nodded, straightening again. "We used to hunt with slug throwers back on Gargon, so I just had to get used to blasters when I arrived here."

    "Aim low when shooting Talz," the sergeant suggested. "If you get a head shot, they like to use their natural color to blend in with the snow, so you see that furry target, aim low."

    "Yes, sir."

    The quiet hum of the engines at the back of the armored vehicle mixed with the occasional comm chatter, point to point from each vehicle in the hopes of keeping their movements from being noticed until the very last moment. She had learned some things while at Basic as well as talking to several mechanics onboard the Coruscant during her flight here. She had never seen such large ships or been part of something this large and technologically advanced. The simple lives of her people back home had some tech, but nowhere near this much.

    "Just so you know," the corporal across from her began, eyeing her and the other new private. "I'm not carrying your sorry ***** out of the fire if you get shot. Firefights are dirty and chaotic, you just react and move. Muscle memory." He leaned forward and Jez was a bit surprised that their sergeant hadn't stopped him, but she quickly realized this was part of the survival speech that he probably gave every new recruit. "If it's your time, then it's your time. Just make sure to take as many of those terrorists with you before you go."

    As Jezekel's mind drifted to all the things that her father and family had taught her, she believed that just being here was a sign that their ancestors favored her and they were watching over her. Glancing back out through the windscreen, the terrain began to rise to either side of them as did the sloping valley, allowing the whole battalion some cover as they traversed the undulating ground enroute to their quarry. As her mind drifted to the mission, the corporal to her left turned to her, his quiet yet serious demeanor showing how seasoned he was.

    "Just stick close to me, you'll be fine."

    She nodded quietly, feeling a bit more confident now.

    "Five minutes out," the sensor operator seated to the driver's right informed. "Getting some readouts from the perimeter sensors," he listened intently. "Coruscant states they intercepted a transmission from the outpost. They've called for backup."

    "Hope that didn't get out," the sergeant replied.

    "This'll be over before their reinforcements arrive," the corporal to his left stated, crouched now at the floor plating and opened another box of grenades, adding a few to his belt, then passed the rest out. "Turn the dial, throw," he began, eyeing the other new private.

    "Take cover and pray, yeah, I got it." A comment that prompted chuckles from the squad as well as the Hoverscout crew.
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    • #3
      That call for backup did get out. Though it didn't come from the outpost, it came from a click away. In fact it had come the day before from the reason why the Imperial Scouts could only radio in that they've found the outpost and not be debriefed face to face. Sure the troopers enroute had received a message from command "only hours ago" but most of the scout team did not make it out of the ambush. The troopers did have the advantage in firepower and numbers, but the Talz were a willing distraction for Pubs that moved to a fall back position.

      This wasn't perfect, but it would have to do until they could get out of there. This outpost was a post for Intel and that meant that while not always, you would sometimes catch a spook there, and this was one of those times. The agent in question was one on a layover for a trip back to Telos, he was going home to take a few days off and be with his girlfriend. This was not the day to delay that and this was not the day to make him late. So as Aien watched as the Hoverscout screamed by his hidden position, he was waiting for any more incoming, the Talz would have to deal with these guys as he, and most of those specced for combat were out of position.

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      • #4
        "Lights are deploying," the sensor operator informed the sergeant which meant that the squad in this Hoverscout had to get ready as the Freerunners carried the heavy artillery and larger missile batteries. Their cover when things got heavy.

        "You guys know the drill," the sergeant stated as the Hoverscouts continued on through the night until reaching to within a mile of the outpost. "Scouts are base of fire, we do the rest. Keep an eye out for mines." He moved towards the main door and crouched, waiting to lead them out once the Scout stopped.

        Feeling her heart rate accelerate, Jezekel knew this was it as her right hand went to the handle of her rifle and she glanced out through the windshield once more to see the faint darkened entrance to a large cave, but she glanced to the sensor operator's panel and picked out another signature for a possible smaller entrance farther beyond it. Perhaps the larger one was a hangar, she mused. High, sheer walls around the target location would give enemy sharpshooters an edge, but their heavy artillery would be able to take care of that issue.

        Slowing, the driver turned right slightly, "Go!"

        One after another, the Stormtroopers climbed out of the hatch, then sprinted toward cover, the rest of the battalion's vehicles to either side of them. Hopping out into the night, Jezekel turned right and sprinted, keeping her eyes peeled for enemy as the corporal behind her tapped her on the shoulder, then led her around the nose of their Hoverscout and toward a shallow, snowy ridge. Confident that they had achieved surprise, the night lit up immediately with blaster fire. Lances of red bolts burning through the air at the Imperials, which was answered in kind. Chaotic blasts from the heavy main gun and smaller, anti-personnel gun near the front opened up and spurred the Mandalorian to run even harder alongside her squad. Diving into cover, she crawled up to the lip of the snowy hill and laid her rifle barrel over. Sighting possible targets, she was quickly frustrated at how fast the enemy Talz were moving. With the knowledge of terrain, they had the advantage, she knew.

        "Fire that frakkin' weapon," the sergeant screamed.

        Controlling her breathing, she sighted one Talz that had found a good spot to hide and only emerged when he was about to fire. Aiming to the spot near the corner of the large, snow covered boulder, she waited. Ignoring the sergeant's shouting, she timed it just right and squeezed the trigger. Having more range with her weapon, the private thought she saw the bolt hit the alien in the upper chest or neck area. Waiting for him to emerge once more, time clicked away as the battle raged around her. Brilliant explosions from incoming missiles lit up the night sky, tearing chunks of ice from the cliffside, while others bloomed into fiery bulbs that ripped up the ground. It was a terrible and amazing sight.
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        • #5
          It angered him to see the outpost wrecked but most of the inhabitants were long gone, the ones who remained behind were providing distraction enough to enable their escape. Pulling out a tracer arrow he uncoiled his bow and sent it through the air into the exhaust port of one of the dropships. If the Republic was going to lose this day, they were going to win the week as the troopers were hopefully going to give up their position when they "go home". He had to wait though, wait and watch as his compatriots fell, knowing he couldn't do anything to help them, not yet anyway.

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          • #6
            Those heavy repeaters that did open up on the Imperials seemed to be overwhelmed with return fire not long after as Jezekel did her best to keep track of targets that she could see. Firing when the opportunity arose and hoped for the best. Communications between the battalion were kept to those individuals that needed to know, but between her squad it was curses and shouts, marking targets and soon, the sergeant wanted them to move. The Hoverscouts still firing away behind them, the northern wing of the battallion's foot started moving up, going from cover to cover. Keeping her eyes up and into the rugged, white ridge to her right, Jezekel ran along with the corporal, firing as he moved. Perhaps in time she would gain a smaller carbine for that kind of action, she mused and dove into the snow once more.

            The constant barrage seemed to be working against the defenders and as Jezekel readied her weapon once more, she noticed a fallen Talz for the first time. The ground around him darkened from the grenade that he had been caught with, his body was torn and smoking. Adrenaline kept her mind on the task at hand and she leaned in once more, barrel over the snowy dune and began targeting the fewer Talz and New Republic soldiers that she could find.

            "Looks like the Pubs are leaving the eggheads behind to give them time to run," the corporal chuckled. "Cowards."

            Jezekel kept her opinions to herself, having some of her own family having been mercenaries at one point or another and she knew that confidence would be gained once the shooting stopped. For now, she assumed that both groups were still in this fight and to assume otherwise could be dangerous, if not deadly. Noticing a runner, she aimed and led him slightly, then fired. Burning a path just in front of him, she slowed her pan before squeezing the trigger once more, then finally made a hit, though in the shoulder. Should slow him enough, she thought and aimed again, waiting for him to get up as the constant rumble of explosions and brilliant flashes lit up the night around the valley and outpost entrance.
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            • #7
              -“Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides."

              Deciding that he couldn't just sit and watch anymore, Aien moved closer to the battle, in fact he found his way near two downed Talz Commandos. One of them had a bodysword (Much like a Klingon batleth) that he took. The agent was on the move and soon coming up behind a sniper and his/her cover agent, the two troopers were bludgeoned in moments, not his style but it was made to look like Talz had committed the killings. They were on the same side, but the Imps didn't know that he was there. Setting one of their own grenades beneath the cover agent's body in a "deadman's switch" position, he was on the move again.

              Moments later he was in cover behind an E-web crew, the weapon did its work again, they had fallen violently, and he was on the move again behind cover and back to his original position. It wasn't much but they were down two key components to their formula; and it looked like someone else did the work.

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              • #8
                "Watch the flanks," the sergeant's voice cut through the din of combat and Jezekel glanced once to see another platoon to their right and hoped that the Talz hadn't found a good place to hide, then sprung up behind them. It seemed like a good tactic though, she mused as she went back to the task at hand.

                "Make sure the dead, really are dead," the corporal added, then fired a shot into a nearby body.

                She didn't have any idea how chaotic and messy battle could be, until now. Taking several more, carefully aimed shots, the squad's sniper was yanked back and down as a brilliant explosion ripped up the ground where she had just been laying. Sprayed with snow and bits of rock, Jezekel screamed as the concussive blast blew her even farther away. Shaking her head, her ears ringing, she opened her eyes to see the corporal lean up again.

                "You alright?"

                Sighing, she nodded. "Yeah, thanks." Picking her up again, they moved forward once more as the rest of the squad picked themselves up as well. What had once been a neat, snowy bank was now a dark gaping wound in the ground. Rushing forward the group of arctic stormtroopers continued the charge, firing as they ran alongside the rest of the company. Over their heads the Hoverscouts laid down an impressive barrage, missiles screaming down range and exploding chunks of ice and snow. Adrenaline pumping, the Mandalorian felt almost invincible.

                Their goal within reach, the entrance to the outpost was now within throwing distance as the Talz began pulling back into the cover of the manmade tunnel. Unfortunately for them.

                "Cover," the sergeant yelled. Finding cover within an impact crater, she laid there and kept her eyes on the cliffs around them as the sergeant then called in the coordinates to the tunnel. "Everybody stay down. Heavies are about to knock on the door for us."

                The wait seemed like an eternity.
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                • #9
                  He had heard the yell for "cover" and like it or not, he wanted to keep the secret that he was there. The Talz were doing this so he could get away but he had to give them a chance to survive, no matter how little. That meant running behind what little cover he had and finding the power generators, or at least the ones that were outside which weren't many. He had four detonator arrows he could use, so he placed them in strategic areas and ran. There was a transport over the ridge, he could see it, they were loading people up, that meant that the Imperials were waiting for them to take off before shooting holes in them, he couldn't let that happen.

                  Sprinting off in the opposite direction he pressed the code into the activation buttons on his bow and moments later the explosions lit up the area and shattered the structural integrity of much of he base, at least in that area.

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                  • #10
                    Before the sky lit up again with fiery trails from missiles, four other explosions erupted deep inside the target structure, smoke and bits of permacrete flying in every direction. Then the rain of death entered the same area and the consecutive concussive blasts prompted Jezekel to wrap her arms around her head, trying her best to keep from being among the casualties of this battle. Darkening, the night sky's brilliance was clouded by a black billowing that rose into the air. Fires erupted everywhere, burning even the snow as the sergeant's voice cut through the din.

                    "Back to the Scouts!"

                    Grabbing her rifle, the Mandalorian ran with the others, her squadmates around her as they broke from the attack and she was now wondering why. Had the barrage from the distant Freerunners destroyed the building that bad, she wondered and glanced back to the firestorm that rose amid the rising smoke, almost appearing like some enormous demon rising up out of hell. Turning her attention back to the unit, she avoided the fallen and craters.

                    "Why we running," the corporal asked.

                    Turning as he slowed, the sergeant shook his head. "Seems the eggheads left us a parting gift. We're not going after them that way, you idiot."

                    Rejoining their vehicle, the group stopped and finally had a chance to assess any wounds. Keeping her rifle close, Jezekel couldn't take her eyes from the distant inferno that was once a quiet outpost buried in the snowy canyon. The ground between painted in an orange glow was tortured and nothing like she recalled on their trip here.

                    "Quite the sight isn't it," her self-assigned trainer commented.

                    Jezekel just nodded, then turned to the sergeant. "We just letting them run?"

                    He crouched allowing the squad's medic look after a wound to his upper arm, "No, Wraith's got 'em now."

                    A few chuckles only made the Mandalorian wonder at who or what that was, though she had heard the name mentioned earlier. "What's he fly?"

                    "Skipray," the medic replied as he applied synthflesh to the sergeant and then wrapped the arm. "That crew's saved our ***** more than once. Rather him on station than a flight of TIE's, personally."
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                    • #11
                      He saw the vehicles pulling away and while he couldn't reach them all, he could hit one with a tracer arrow. It was a tricky shot but if it hit, which he couldn't tell for sure, it would give beacon that could be traced for klicks. He didn't have much else he could do, especially with a blastboat flying in overhead. They didn't see him, moving way too fast but circling around for a strafing run, it was going to take out the Talz and he was not going to stand for it if he could. Pulling an explosive arrow he gave up his position, if the pilot was paying attention and sent it flying in what should be the flight path of the Imperial air support.

                      Making his way to the rally point, Aien went into a sprint, an access point lead him to a speederbike he could take to the launch bays of the nearby base. It wasn't a good situation but considering what he was doing, it was viable.

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                      • #12
                        "Load up, ladies," the sergeant yelled in their helmet coms, prompting the squad to hop back inside and she noticed that eventually every Hoverscout was preparing to move. Eager to see where they would be going now, Jezekel sat down in her usual seat and relaxed for a moment, knowing that they were safer inside. And warmer.

                        "What's going on, Sarge," the corporal to her left inquired as the Scout's driver turned them around and filed in with the rest of the company.

                        "Pubs are apparently running and Command wants us to try and intercept." He turned to the sensor operator, "See if we can't find a pass through the mountains to get there quicker. Radio the others to follow if you get that lucky."

                        "Will do," the copilot in the cramped vehicle replied, then she noticed his fingers dance across the console, bringing up a holographic map of the terrain.

                        "What do we do if we gotta go," her fellow, new private inquired.

                        Turning, the medic pointed to the back of the vehicle and a pull-down seat next to the main gun's turret access door. "There." Getting up, the private headed back to it and Jezekel realized there would be a point where she would have to go as well, having not thought about that before. But, fighting alongside these other troopers had helped her relax around strangers already, so she assumed that everything else would be easier too.

                        "Found a route," the copilot stated to the driver and sergeant. "But, it's going to be a few miles the opposite direction. Fighter command can't get to them faster?"

                        "Going to take them the same amount of time to get here, they're busy," the sergeant replied.

                        "Alright."
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                        • #13
                          The explosive arrow found its mark, but not completely, the port wing as damaged badly and only getting worse but was able to hold long enough to get back to base. That was good for the Talz escape but what about the Imps? He had a shuttle to catch to get home, but he wasn't leaving now, had to find out what they were really doing here and why and simply to take out a couple of outposts was crap. That's when it hit him, and he pulled a 180 and headed back to the outpost.

                          Jumping off the bike Aien went to loot the troopers he took down, well, not really, he took their powercells, and the comm-link off of one of them, now he could listen in.

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