Empire: Brace for Impact

A choppy static-filled communication comes in from a group of troopers sent to steal classified data at an Imperial facility. They frantically relay that their intelligence was faulty. There were more defenses than accounted for, and they need assistance completing their mission before their barricade is overrun.

Download the data? You and what reinforcements?

The Rebel Troopers are cornered behind the barricade, just the three of them, but there must be more in the forest. My two Stormtrooper groups are defending the Command Center; wouldn’t want any of these Rebel scum to get in and unearth any Imperial secrets. Three troopers are from the veteran 105th battalion, they’ve been around for a while and can endure a lot of pain. As I shift my focus to ending the miserable lives of the Rebels, the feline warrior Nexu crouches low, hairs upright, hissing. “What is it girl? Smell something in the brush?” Before she or the nearby trooper can react, a violent war-cry echoes through the clearing as an enormous wookie charges forward, slicing her in half.

As the piercing cry of the dying creature fades, three more bodies become visible, Jyn’s smug look shining in the sunlight, Diala behind her listening intently for more danger, and Mak, emerging from the shadows, rifle at the ready.

The nearby Stormtrooper unit notices the heroes’ arrival but their orders are clear: focus on the barricade so that these Troopers don’t have to waste my time any longer. They get to work on the first barricade, successfully dismantling it while doing their best to dodge blaster fire. As the barricade falls, the Stormtroopers get hit and the Rebels retreat safely into the plain behind them. Right where I want them, its time to send over a surprise. After all, the investment made recently to the droid factory has yielded its first product – a standard Probe Droid model on the outside, but with upgraded software, allowing it to provide quick weapon upgrades to troops on the ground, and a more efficient movement protocol to travel further. Unfortunately, this particular specimen is not long for this world. I calculate the distance to the Rebel troopers is just right. Off it goes, whizzing past the Rebel heroes on its mission of death. Soon it will be nothing more than scrap metal, hopefully with three trooper bodies around it.

The heroes advance towards the command room, they must have intel regarding the data stored there. I should be able to hold them off, I don’t think they know what awaits them inside. On top of that the terminal has a strong security algorithm, I’m not sure what the Jedi is thinking running up to the door, her chances of cracking the code are as realistic as a Trandoshan Hunter’s chance of missing its target. I watch on as the veteran Stormtroopers take apart the remaining barricade and take cover from Jyn’s attacks. The time has come for my Probe Droid to fulfil its purpose.

The exhausted rebel troopers gaze up to the hovering menace, not sure what is about to happen next. A short beeping sequence is emitted, then a loud explosion rocks the forest.

My troopers report the three Rebels were killed in the blast. All moves according to plan. They also call in to notify me of a hidden path in the forest, they think it loops back to the command center, I can take the rebels by surprise if more of their troopers come from the forest.

Diala and Jyn advance toward the command center door, I’ve left the way open for them. As it opens, their faces contort. At the other end of the room, two red robes can be seen in the shadows, and the unmistakable noises of another Probe droid. “We’ve been expecting you”, mutters the Royal Guard, standing near the terminal. He watches Diala approach the terminal, a look of frustrated confusion on her face as she realizes the electronics are a bit more complicated than the spaceship’s autopilot. Jyn is right on her heels though, looking strained. As she sees the terminal up close her expression becomes more confident, but then, it always is. She’s left herself vulnerable though, and the Royal Guard strikes her down with great focus, zapping her hard and leaving her twitching. He laughs and continues towards the door: “You’re not going anywhere, Smuggler”.

Meanwhile, Mak and the wookie continue their attack on my Stormtroopers. They mow them down with ease but their comrades are ready to replace them in battle. The Engineer I sent off from the command center finally reaches the western clearing. As he sets up his tripod, he calls in to report that three more Rebel Troopers have emerged from the underbrush. “Like womp-rats in a shooting galley” he radios in to me. “Take them down!”. The troopers catch sight of him setting up his tripod and realize their inevitable fate. They decide to make a run for it, two even manage to escape far enough to be out of range of his devastating Emplacement Weapon. One of them cannot make it far enough though, he looks back at the Engineer’s turret, eyes glistening with courage.

“For the Rebellion!” he shouts. As the E-Web fires, the trooper drops to prone, a powerful force seems to protect him, and the blaster bolts completely miss him.

The E-Web fires again, more concentrated now – He misses completely. “How…. How did you….” the Engineer mutters to himself and curses as he notices his generator has overheated. The rebel trooper stands up, unscathed, and proceeds north to the distant clearing.

In the command center Diala helps Jyn to reach the terminal, her legs limp. Her fingers tap away at the console. The firewall holds her off for a while, but she finally manages to secure the data and download it. She falls back to the floor to inspect her injuries. Diala leaves her behind: “See you at the ship!” She dodges the Probe Droid and sneaks past the guards to join Gharkaan by the ruins. “Cut them off!” I shout over the intercom, “Roger that commander.” my troops echo. “Over here, that must be where their transportation is parked”, I show the captain of the elite Stormtrooper unit. He nods and makes his way down through the tunnels of the command center. One of the exits is perfectly located just behind the final Rebel Trooper, he won’t see that coming. The Royal Guard advances, empowered by the Probe Droid’s support. But his path to the Rebel Trooper is blocked by the massive hairy beast. He strikes the wookie with the full force of his electrified pike. Gharkaan raises his axe to defend and absorbs the attack. The guard’s weapon ricochets off, and he stumbles back. “Pathetic…”

Time for the Stormtrooper captain to make his move. Suddenly, from behind the tree, Mak jumps out and kneels down to take a shot. The blaster bolt just misses the trooper’s torso, and he stumbles back only slightly. As he moves in on the last remaining Rebel Trooper, Mak attempts a pitiful maneuver to protect his comrade. But there is nothing he can do. The powerful attack lands square in the Rebel Trooper’s chest and he falls to the ground, motionless. A sad wookie-cry is heard for miles through the forest. Jyn catches up to Diala, limping through the grass and as the heroes scuttle to their ship, she drops the datapad. The Stormtrooper captain walks over and destroys it with his blaster. A great victory for the imperial forces. Time to head off this planet and update the Emperor on the campaign progress… eliminating the Rebel Troopers successfully will certainly garner me much favor and influence.

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