War on Christophsis:
Separatist Forces continue to batter against the beleaguered Republic Army trapped on the ruins of Christophsis.
Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi is fighting a desperate battle to protect both himself and his scattered Clone forces from the oncoming Separatist Droid Army. Meanwhile communications with Jedi General Anakin Skywalker continue to be jammed.
"Put some fire on that flank!" Cody yelled into the COMM lines. All around him were two hundred of what was left of the 212th detachment on the planet of Christophsis. All the other elements of the Battalion was either missing or completely wiped out from bombardment.
His men were holding position behind a scattered line of metal barricades salvaged from the rubble and ruin of the Christophsis cities. If they needed to, the bodies of fallen brothers and comrades were also used to add height to the barricade.
It was messy business, but it was needed business. The 212th was nearly on their last legs. Half of the remaining force were on their last plasma cartridges, while others were using pilfered Christophsis single shot blaster rifles or Droid weaponry. At this rate, the Clone would run out of weapons to fight with before being utterly crushed and destroyed.
"Mortars!" The cry rang out a beat too late to make a difference. The telltale sound of falling ordnance shrieked into Cody's ears and the western flank of the encampment came apart in a bright blaze of fire. Bodies of his brothers flew in the air as the barricade was breached by the well aimed, deliberate artillery fire.
From the smoke and fog cast by the explosion, Cody could see a gaping hole in their defences, and beyond it, his HUD picked EMF signatured consisted to Super Battle Droid makeup. "They're pushing the breach; get some fire on that point!" Cody ordered.
His Clones scrambled, tripping over themselves in trying to stem the approach of the enemy into their safe den. But as they readied to start their volley of fire as they were trained on Kamino, three white blurs jumped out of the fog and smoke and landed in the center of the formation.
"W-what the!" A Clone yelled, frantically stepping away from the NS5 Commando droid that loomed over him.
If it was something that Cody had learned very quickly since he was deployed, these droids knew no concept of mercy. It reached forward and grabbed the trooper by his neck, and without missing a beat, it had crushed his windpipe like it was a plushy.
The Clones turned, diverting their attention away from the breach to deal with the threat. The NS5 droids reveled in that attention, Cody soon realised, as while they slaughtered his men Super Battle Droids poured in from breach and began to dismantle the defence.
Cody felt his pulse quicken. The air was thick with hot air and the smell of ionized flesh. The smell of his men dead on the ground. He pulled his blaster pistols and opened fire at the Super Battle Droids. His aim was true, as he felled two of the dangerous walking tanks, and then he dove for cover as a pair of them turned their blaster wrists towards him.
He rolled when thermal detonations bloomed behind him. A squad of his unit turned from the central final defense line and began opening fire on the Battle Droids. Their azure beams of plasma cut through the fog to catch glancing shots on half a dozen Battle Droids. But they failed to connect and the enemy continued to push forward into their defensive position.
Cody knew their defense was shattered. Azure beams darted back and forth from the barricade and inside their perimeter. At this rate the entire network would fall apart.
"Blast it," Cody cursed. He had no choice, he had to pull his men back from the barricade and hope the tunnels were still clear enough to keep his men alive. "All troopers, stand to! We are falling back! I repeat we are falling back!"
The COMM line was filled with the desperate voices of his men, their screams and demands of reinforcement. Cody gritted his teeth and filtered the information in his head as he popped out of cover and fired at the Super Battle Droids. The Battle Droids were holding position by the breach, providing cover for the clankers to move on through.
Pretty soon the inner perimeter would be filled with Separatist forces, and Cody couldn't do a damn thing to stop it. Damn it! Where was the General!
A fist came flying towards his left face, and Cody more felt than realise his helmet cracking underneath the pressure of the strike. He flew two feet from his last position and crashed on the ground, his back plate armor almost jostling loose from the impact.
Instinct drove his motion now, and the Commander flipped himself to his feet when his speed slowed and fired a random salvo of blaster fire. In front of him, a white NS5 dodged his attack with equal parts swiftness and equal parts predatory movement.
The droid lurched forward and wrenched his pistol in the air. Cody, knowing that he could very well lose his wrist in the droids grasp, kneed the droid in the chest. It loosened its grip, miraculously, and Cody threw a right hook.
He could feel his knuckles shatter as he met metal, but the Clone ignored it. His genetic engineering made it possible for him to ignore pain in extreme duress, and the Clone was not going to pass up that one small, clinical, gift from the Kaminoans.
The Commander swung his spare pistol up and fired a shot into the droids face. It reeled back, it's face armor apparently capable of holding from a point blank blaster shot. The Commander adjusted his aim and hit the exposed neck wiring. The NS5 sputtered as its limbs lost control, and Cody felt a brief exhilaration of satisfaction at seeing the seemingly invincible droid fall to the ground writhing.
His celebration was short lived as a second NS5 tackled him to the ground. The white droid sent a powerful strike to his abdomen, nearly crumpling the plastoid shell, and Cody let out a gurgling cry. He felt like heaving, but still, like his progenitor, Cody would rather die fighting than squirming on the ground begging for another inch of life.
Cody wrapped his arm around the NS5's neck, ignoring the protests from his muscles, and tossed the droid over his head. The droid tumbled, but it's flexibility made it so that it was on its legs in the blink of an eye.
Cody was sure he was going to die, sure as he ever was of anything in his life - and as a Clone that was a scant few things. Weaponless, bloodied, and broken, there was no way he could last long against his opponent.
But the next thing he knew an azure blade, the colour of his Jedi General, sprawn from the distance and sliced the droid from its hip. The thing seemed surprised, evident from its surprisingly human face. Cody stepped back, just as his General - the bloody 212th's General! - came barreling down the hill, his blade flashing in iridescent glory as he deflected the blaster bolts and force pushed the Battle Droids up against the barricades.
The 212th had only known Kenobi for all but a few months - Cody knew the General personally for less that time. But Clones were soldiers trained to take every opportunity to win a fight, and not looking a gift horse in the mouth, they trained their rifles on the Battle Droids and fired.
They fell to the strikes, and Kenobi let go, then the General looked to Cody. Despite the despairing situation, there was a calm on the General's face. And assured determination, not fury or anger, but an orderly and passionate expression. The look of an aloof protector, as Cody would later coin.
"Cody," the General began - he always addressed him by name. "Get something to cover up that breach."
Like a flip of the switch, all of Cody's doubts disappeared. His General was here, his orders were clear, his place in the cog of this dreadful battle was now firmly emplaced. He was the Commander of the 212th, he had a responsibility to his men, a responsibility to his General - no other thoughts were allowed to be in his head!
"I need ordnance here on the double!" Cody ordered. The General continued to swing his blade, catching dozens of droids with a single deflected bolt. The Clones on the wall that had retreated now gathered around their General, firing off salvo after salvo under the cover of his lightsaber.
"Cody, the enemy is amassing by our eastern flank while we parlay with our unwelcome guests here," Kenobi informed him. "Our position is compromised! Take what's left of our unit and retreat back into the tunnels."
"We just got out of those tunnels," Boil groused as he ejected a plasma cartridge. A blaster bolt came close to landing in the center of his helmet.
"A reckoning for war is a failure of itself Boil. Have the men ready and secured; live to fight another day!" Kenobi advised.
"Of course General," Boil muttered, sheepish at almost having his life snuffed out.
A pair of troopers lugging RPGs took a stance by the formation. The Clones, as they were trained, quickly moved to provide cover, and Cody reached forward, gripping his General's shoulder to ward him away from the blast.
The explosion split the metal of the barricades, sending shrapnel and dirt into the air as the barricade fell and collapsed over the breach.
General Kenobi retreated, his lightsaber dissipating with a hiss. "Commander Cody have we reestablished communications with Anakin and his troops?"
"Not yet Sir," Cody said. His voice was dry and scraggly after hours of yelling and screaming, but Cody still managed something of his usual clipped and serious tone. "I've had the men on it for hours, but we believe that our comms are being jammed."
"We'll have to leave the jamming signal's range if we want to communicate with the 501st and Anakin," Kenobi stated. There was ash clinging on his face, and his eyes were grim as he rubbed a hand over his beard.
"Not possible. Dugout and Shellshock tells me that the signal is too expansive. The Separatists would have our heads if we trek that far." The Clone Commander stepped close to his General and pulled out a hologram projector. A small section of the city, with a particular skyscraper outlined, appeared in front of them. "They've traced the signal back here, Sir. If we act now, we can destroy the jammer and send out a call for reinforcements."
"That area has little to no Separatist presence. Why would they establish a jamming unit out in the open like that?"
"Could be a trap, Sir. They might be trying to draw us out and catch us by surprise," Cody cautioned. He shrugged his shoulders. "Either way it doesn't change the fact that we need to hit that jamming signal."
"Very well, Commander. Assemble a small strike force and prepare to head out into the tunnels. Meanwhile, have the surviving members of the 212th return to checkpoint Baker. Resurfacing had cost us far too many men; we don't have the manpower for another open pitched battle."
"Yes, sir!" Cody said and relayed the information out to the rest of the 212th. Under his direction, the Clones on the surface packed their gear and trashed whatever they needed to and began retreating into the underground.
Mines were dropped on the perimeter to hopefully slow down the advance, and by the strike of half an hour, the Clone Troopers were almost gone from the area.
Meanwhile, Cody assigned Boil, Waxer, Flash, and Sharpeye to the team that was going on the trip to deal with the jammer. General Kenobi would be personally leading the strike team, and when the last of the 212th disappeared into the dark tunnels, Cody turned on his helmet's floodlights as he and the strike team made their way to the building.
"Where are the Republic reinforcements? I figured they would have sent someone to help us by now," Waxer said, his head bent low as the rubble shook above them. Waxer felt the rattle in his bones as distant artillery fire shook the ground.
"The Republic are stretched thin as they are. Not to discard this new enemy that appeared on the outskirts of known space," General Kenobi said.
"The Imperials," Boil began, distaste in his voice. "Should have stayed in their corner of the galaxy long enough for us to destroy the Sepies. Then we'd swing around to seal with them."
"What are they though? What's Republic Intelligence got on them," Waxer asked.
"Let's focus on the mission, boys."
When they reached their destination, Obi-Wan used his lightsaber to cut a hole for them to climb onto the surface through. "Watch the towers. You wouldn't want to be caught by those NS5s."
"Damn them. They're more of a pain than those Commando droids," Boil said as he pointed his weapon to the skies. The Clone Troopers spread out around their General, their fingers steady and disciplined, reflecting their General in his own temperament and battle readiness.
"Take it easy Boil," Waxer warned. "You're just asking for a jinx."
"Well, let's just hope they're polite enough to send us a notice before they try anything," Obi-Wan said dryly. He gestured for his men to begin breaching the building. Efficiently, they kicked down the doors and began fanning out around the room. It was stripped down and completely, save for a few Christophsians.
Kenobi moved in, his lightsaber off and loose in his grasp. He checked the corners, he checked the men, and if Cody could say anything, it was that his General was a lot more cautious than Skywalker. Capable and focused. The General made a gesture in his hands, not something flash trained to the Clones mind, but something they understood all the same. The General had made sure to develop his own 'language' with his men. It created a greater sense of cohesion.
The squad slowly pushed up the stairs, their footsteps as quiet as they could make it. Cody followed next to his General. He remembered the days when the 212th was simple an airborne Platoon, simpler times, but now it was an entire Battalion, full of Clones. One of the largest in the GAR. Cody remembered how Kenobi had worked with the Muunilinst 10 before taking command of the 212th. The General must have felt at home sneaking and working in silence like this.
They breached the third floor, after clearing out the second as fast as they could, and Cody swept his Blaster from left to right. He'd be damned if he were outdone from some overbred special ops guy.
"General," Sharpeye whispered and the squad reoriented. Boil and Waxer watched their backs, while Flash took up a corner in the room. Cody moved with his General to where Sharpeye was pointing.
A large jammer was spotted at the corner of the room, by the window, with an antenna pointed outwards. Kenobi narrowed his eyes and lifted his saber up in a ready position. Cody glanced at his General, pleased to see that his General could see the suspicious atmosphere in the air.
They advanced slowly, Cody keeping his Blaster pointed anywhere but the jammer, while Kenobi risked stepping close to it. He pressed a button on the interface and frowned as he saw some unknown script flash across the screen. He narrowed his eyes then glanced to his Commander with a grim expression.
"It's not Separatist, it's Imperial," he stated casually. Something dropped into the room, and the General ignited his lightsaber. Cody sprang around, firing his Blaster as a black blur jumped from left to right. He stepped back his sight disappeared as something collided with the front of his helmet.
He heard a clash of sparks and metal next to him, and the Commander rolled back onto his feet, dazed and disorientated. Outside he could hear the sounds of Blaster fire.
"Imperials! Take cover!" Sharpeye shouted. The Clone Trooper ran into the room, no doubt to warn both Cody and General Kenobi, but the Clone was instead scythed across his abdomen by a blade wielding woman.
The would-be assassin hunched close to the ground and spun her twin swords in her hands.
General Kenobi stepped forward while Cody scrambled to pull out his side blaster. ""Who are you? Identify yourself," General Kenobi stated. His blue lightsaber burned with a calm intensity as he shifted his stance to a defensive one.
The assassin glanced at the other room, watching as four Imperial Knights engaged and delayed the Clones outside, before casually sheathing her swords. "General Kenobi. I've heard a lot about you."
"You've caught me at my weakest it seems. For I've never heard of you," Kenobi said dryly.
"Why General Kenobi, I don't doubt you feel greatly at ease with that. For if you did know me, then you would surely be running," the girl said haughtily. But Cody had the feeling that it was fake haughtiness. Even now, she was readying herself to attack again with the least amount of effort as possible.
"Of course," the General said dryly. Cody inched forward, his Blaster aimed for the woman's chin.
"Hmm, so what brings you here?" She asked. Cody glanced at his General, wondering if he would give up vital intel to the enemy, but the Jedi General shook his head.
"I have no need to divulge that information. I can only say that that jammer has been something of a hindrance to us for a while now."
"Oh, I don't doubt it. It's fine, anyway, you can destroy it." The woman said casually. Cody recoiled in surprise, and was about to fire his Blaster when Waxer, Boil, and Flash was tossed into the room, their weapons gone and two Imperial Knights aiming their weapons to their backs.
"Highly generous of you," Kenobi answered as he thumbed the activation switch on his lightsaber.
"My mission was to delay the Third Systems Army for as long as possible. But letting the Separatist win Christophsis was out of the question. As far as I'm concerned your colleague in the South has dealt with most of his opposition, and the rest is up to you," the woman said.
"Anakin?" Kenobi muttered. "Why are you telling me this? Aren't you afraid I'll bring this knowledge back to the Republic?"
"And do what? What I gave you answered surface questions, but inevitably you will ask deeper questions that you won't have me to answer for," she said. She glanced over her shoulder at Kenobi. "And call me interested, but I wanted a few moments to myself with the Jedi that caught the Lord Inquisitor's eye. A fine specimen, both as a warrior and as an intellectual. You should be proud of your own upbringing."
"Pride leads to downfall," Kenobi warned.
"Hmm, humility doesn't suit you." And just like that, she and her Knights disappeared in shimmer. Kenobi glanced around the room, and the Clones quickly jumped to their feet searching for them. Cody dropped his Blaster arm and glanced at Kenobi.
"Do you trust what she said was the truth?" Kenobi asked.
Cody shook his head. "I don't know, Sir. But it's a good idea to note it down." Kenobi nodded his head and ignited his saber inside the jammer. After carving out a hole on it, the jammer sputtered out with a flurry of sparks.
Cody immediately tried the COMM. Lines. The voice of his long time friend came back. "Cody? That you?! Thought you were dead brother."
"Not anytime soon, ner vod. The 212th has taken a punch we're unsure if we can come back from. Do you have any units to spare?"
"I got Torrent Company on the way to your location as we speak. General Skywalker will also be looking forward to reestablishing contact with General Kenobi."
"Of course," Cody said and dropped his arm. He turned to Kenobi, who was staring out into the Christophsis skyline with a inquisitive gaze. "Sir, we have reinforcements on the way."
"Cause for celebration, but why do I feel like we've lost the battle already.?"
Cody had nothing to say that.