Hoth - I can't believe you made me write fanfic (A Poots contest entry)Submitted by ridiculous at 2011-02-08 06:46:10 EST
Rating: 1.56 on 126 ratings (126 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
The planet, a small craggy white ball silhouetted in the blue of its atmosphere appeared on the main viewer whilst the reports from sensor droids scrolled along the peripheries for what seemed like the hundredth time. Analysts in their grey uniforms sat in rapt attention despite the beeps and whirring sounds all around the command deck of the Executor. The General, in his Olive Drab uniform strolled closer to the viewer and studied the planet below. His brown eyes flicked this way and that across slowly rotating image as he was preoccupied willing himself to see the subsurface base his droids reported existed beneath the surface ice. The Admiral approached from behind and spoke:
“General, we’ve synchronized orbit and the landing craft are prepared, shall I commence the invasion?”
Major General Maximilian Veers cast a withering look at the black suited Admiral Ozzel.
“Would you be so presumptuous in a pain amplifier, I wonder?”
“What?” It was a dare to repeat himself, not a question
“You idiot, do you know what would happen if you signal the attack? No, Lord Vader will dictate when to land the troops.”
“Then I suggest you contact him immediately, their sensors will certainly register our presence.”
“Perhaps if not for your incompetence we would have the element of surprise?”
“My competence? For your information asteroids are not conducive to a long life when one is aboard a starship! If you and Tarkin had finished the job on Yavin there wouldn’t be a Rebel Alliance!”
“You bastard, that’s treason and Lord Vader will hear of…”
The eyes of both red faced soldiers widened. They simultaneously gasped for breath as the living force coiled is icy tendrils tighter around each throat. They rose through the air, face to face, helpless and terror stricken. There was a gasp from the helmsman who witnessed the event before his better sense took hold and he returned his attention to his console.
“Why was I not informed that we have arrived?” The mechanical voice boomed from beneath the polished black mask of the Sith. He relaxed the tension in his raised hand and the ability to speak was, temporarily, granted to the dumbstruck men. It was Ozzel who spoke first:
“My Lord, we had just arrived and were going to contact you immediately, the landing craft are boarded and all…” His voice drowned in a weak croak as the force again closed his windpipe.
“Did I not instruct you that this was to be a surprise attack? Did I not instruct you to inform me before leaving hyperspace? You have failed me, Admiral.” A strangled cry escaped the constricted throat as the man was lifted higher and turned to face his tormentor, his eyes seemed to bulge and his hands clawed wildly at a something that wasn’t there, somehow he managed to beg:
“Ple.. please.. my lo.. plea..” His eyes beginning to roll into the back of his head his body stiffened before going limp. The merciful Sith Lord released the Admiral who collapsed in a heap.
“Do not fail me again.” The mechanical voice carried a menace that every man in the Empire knew too well, the weak it tormented in their dreams while the ambitious, like Veers, were filled with pride and a healthy dose of fear. “As for you, General.” The man maintained his composure as well as any man whose feet were no longer touching the floor may. “Do you not have an AT-AT to command in this battle? Do not make me reconsider Grand Admiral Thrawn’s recommendation of you. There are worse places in the galaxy than the prison on Zaloriis…” The General stiffened at the implication.
“My Lord. I would never disappoint you. If not for…”
“See that you do not.” With that the Sith dropped the General and turned away. “You will personally lead the invasion force.”
The man steadied himself and stood straight.
“It will be as you command m’lord.” With a bow he clicked his heels and marched down the gangway to the hyperlift.
The mirror polished jett armor of the Sith reflected the viewers solitary image as he approached the giant screen. The bluewhite marble spun slowly on its axis. The mechanical respiration of the suit slowed and mirrored lenses did not betray the closed eyes within.
“I can feel you, Skywalker…” The voice was just above a whisper but carried the tone of malice and ill intent through the force to its recipient. “I am coming for you…”
The ice covered floor of the valley surrounding Echo Base was alive with blaster fire. Veers had deployed his armored squadron with the efficiency and technical expertise that had become the hallmark of his military career. The AT-AT squadron, designated Blizzard, marched the valley floor slowly tightening the noose on the doomed Rebel base. Lord Vader, tired of watching the Rebel shield generator grow in his viewfinder a single step at a time snapped the periscope like devices handles into position and watched it sink into the floor with a hiss.
“Commander, take control.” The sound of a crisply snapped salute was the only response.
Vader walked to the communications holocron.
“Blizzard One, maintain a course for their shield generators. Keep the AT-ST’s active on our flanks to destroy any ground resistance and notify Admiral Ozzel of any entrenched rebels. They have already begun their evacuation and I do not want to waste any more time bringing these scum to their knees.”
The two foot image of Veers saluted. “It will be as you command my lord.”
The Sith pressed a button on the holocron console and watched the image flicker and vanish. Turning he strode off the bridge and into the hold of the massive Imperial ‘Walker’. He spied the gangway he wanted, marching into the belly of the steel behemoth and climbed into the cockpit of the INT-4 Interceptor. It wasn’t his TIE Advanced, but it would do for a short trip. Sliding the overhead cockpit closed he pressed a button and skimmed the preflight checklist, another button was pressed and the craft dropped from between the massive AT-AT’s legs, the engines engaging and speeding him toward the valley wall.
He had no sooner wrested control from the autopilot when a pair of T-47 snowspeeders dropped in behind him sending several blasts across his nose. Jerking the controls up he abruptly climbed and spun the craft into an evasive maneuver that only one of the speeders kept up with. Trusting the deflector shields to the rear of his craft for a moment or two he came around in a wide arc behind his shaken pursuer. The craft seemed to flinch as no doubt the rebel busying himself with firing into Vaders rear informed his comrades that their small craft was now a target. Too late: The single blaster cannon fired twice rocking the airspeeder and then igniting it’s foils. Smoking and burning it plunged nose first into the snowy valley floor and exploded. Lord Vader’s mask showed none of the elation he felt at watching the pair of rebels die again and again in his minds eye.
His INT’s deflector shields shaking the small craft woke him from his revelry and spurned him into another mad maneuver that the pitiful little T-47, a cargo vessel by design, couldn’t keep up with. Taking his time and feeling the fear emanating from the pilot, through the force, The dark lord fired once, and then again and again. The pilot died while transmitting incoherent, sobbing messages, his craft disintegrating around him.
After the pair of speeders were no more than smoking debris the Sith aimed his craft at the massive shield generators in the distance, dodging the occasional blaster shot in his direction he arrived in short order and began strafing runs on the Atgar P-Towers the rebels seemed to think would protect their shield generator. Lord Vader had no fear that this ancient artillery piece would actually turn the tide for the rebellion instead he relished the fact that each gun required a crew of four men to be standing in the cold waiting for his blaster cannon to send them flying. After a run or two his precision with the INT’s poor weapon increased and he was managing to kill the entire crew with a single shot. He tried to avoid damaging the tower so more rebel scum would come and attempt to man it.
With three towers to a battery and three batteries on each side of the massive shield generator Vader was thoroughly enjoying himself before the recklessness of systematically running strafing runs across each battery of P-Towers caught the attention of the onboard targeting computers of a small group of MLC-3 unmanned laser cannons, within another half dozen passes they had fixed on Vaders trajectory and crippled his light starfighter. As his INT-4 fell burning from the sky the Sith kept his calm and opened the hatch using his command of the force to propel him up and out of the craft just before impact he landed with a heavy thud, not even breathing hard.
Willing the signature weapon of the Sith to hand he ignited the red beam of his lightsaber and began his march through the icy valley towards the shield generator and P-Towers that had now retrained what remained of their armaments on him. The signature hum and barking report of the towers were ample warning for him to deflect the bolts back to their origin. He couldn’t help but think that a Jedi Padawan could have deflected them with such a signature warning. Allowing his mind to wander, he marched, deflecting bolts and blasts with deadly accuracy.
A riderless Tauntaun crossed his path ahead intercepting a bolt from the last of the P-Towers. The charred and smoldering beast flew towards him but his command of the force warned him. He reached out with the force and intercepted the screaming animal, mid flight, and threw it at the tower the blast had come from. The tower erupted in a satisfying gout of flame. Lord Vader extinguished his glowing blade and altered his course for the mouth of the icy cave several hundred meters to his right. The now defenseless shield generator was quickly destroyed by the herd of AT-AT’s behind their dark lord.
“My Lord…” General Veers’ voice came over the communications array aboard the Executor.
“We’ve lost two AT-AT’s and a number of the smaller AT configurations, a significant number of Thermal Detonator Troopers, SnowTroopers and most of our Z-74’s. Their forces are in disarray and are in open flight without their shield generator. Permission to begin bombardment?”
“You may commence. Contact Admiral Ozzel and tell him that if any of the Rebels escape his blockade I shall be severely displeased.”
“It will be done, my lord…”
The dark lord stopped marching and turned to witness the death throes of the Rebel Alliance. The AT-AT’s marched and fired their heavy laser cannons, their medium blasters harrying those of the Rebel Alliance that attempted to fight as they fled as well as repel those T-47’s that hadn’t stopped trying to tie cable around the massive walkers legs. Eventually nearly all of the AT-AT’s had come to a halt and trained their weapons on the mountain under which the rebels base was being crushed. The Dark Lord of the Sith watched as a severely damaged T-47 steered the terminally injured craft right into the cockpit of Blizzard One.
Static greeted Lord Vader.
The Sith turned back to the ice cavern just as the hanger door finished collapsing. The bombardment continued long after that.