All around him, fierce battle cries reverberated from within the twisted darkness of the forest, twisted screams piercing his helmets sound amplifiers and sending shivers down his spine. Steam hazily rose from the surface of the dank pond, hindering his field of vision. The Transport lay half submerged in the center of the water, a thick scum lapping against the pilots window, broken plastisteel floating on the surface.
"Tk294, take up skirmish positions and cover our flank!" The platoon leader called over the comlink, waving frantically towards a rotten tree stump that decorated the otherwise sparse slope that descended into the lake. He shoved a dead stormtrooper down the slope will his foot, swallowing uneasily as he rolled lifelessly into the water, disappearing under the dirty surface before bobbing back up, floating face down. He crouched down behind the stump, nervously peering over into the opposite lake shore. There was nothing but darkness, and the twinkle of creatures flying by, the dying sun reflected in their oily scales. The battle cries faded, and there was nothing but silence. The raised his blaster expectedly, looking around hesitantly. The other troopers had their blasters trained expertly on the opposite shore, unwavering. He felt naked, isolated. He was here, and they were over there, a sturdy fire center in their fortress of rustic rock and upended tree roots. He turned back around his took careful aim. He could feel the sweat gathering on his brow, about to spill over into his eyes. He blinked, then squeezed his eyes shut. Still nothing.
"For the Empire!" The platoon leader suddenly screamed, as the forest suddenly began to heave, as if the entire line of trees was lurching forward. It was them, and they began to swarm out of the treeline, hundreds of them, sharp teeth slicing the air as they lurched forward in their droves to cross the river. The whole bank eruptted in blaster fire. It cleaved through the dense, heaving mass on the oppiste shore, and within seconds the air was thick with the sickening smell of charred flesh. But still they came, angry teeth chattering as they waded across the lake, pouring over the bodies of their fallen brethren that were piling up by the dozen. Tk294 fired indiscriminately, every discharge of his weapon scoring a hit despite his poor accuracy. They were falling by the hundreds now, the bodies forming an obscene and bloody barricade. Yet still more poured over them, continuing to advance towards the isolated Stormtrooper detachment, trashing wildly in the water.
They were getting very close. Too close. Tk294 dared not stop firing, even though his blaster was becoming unbearably hot in his hands. There seemed to be millions of them, litte red midget beasts with teeth sharp enough to tear through metal, carpeting the entire area with their weighty numbers, turning the lake into a sea of red. "Keep firing, keep firing!" The platoon leader screamed once more. They were now only a few meters away, and Tk194 could see the angry yellow glint of their narrow eyes, the filed points of their abnormally long, grinding teeth as they began to clamber towards him, clawing at the muddy banks wildly as they surged forward.
The planet reports had stated them as plant eating creatures.
He scrambled backwards, fired a few final shots, and ran for the safety of the rest of the platoon. He took up position behind a crumbling rock and began firing wildly again, watching with fear as the creatures swarmed over the area he has occupied several seconds previously.
"Fight or die, troopers! Fight or die!" The Lieutenant screamed once more from the center of their mini bastion, urging his men on. The creatures were only at best a dozen metres away, but for the current moment they could not close that distance in the face of concentrated blaster fire. It was a massacre, bodies littering the barren landscape as rain does an open plain, piling up in front of their postions like a crude barricade of heaving, convulsing flesh.
Tk294 staggered backwards as he felt his rifle suddenly twitch and give a dying whine. He shook it in fear, pulled the trigger to no avail and tossed it to one side. He scrambled backwards on his hands, using his feet to push himself across the muddy ground. The stormtrooper in front of him flung his blaster into the center of the creatures, screaming in rage. "I'm out! I'm out of ammo!"
Tk294 began to suddenly feel very afraid as he huddled against a rock, frozen in fear. All around his comrades fought valiently to hold them off, pouring blaster fire into the hastily advancing enemy, the firepower available slowly dwindling as one by one, the troopers ran out of ammunition and began scouring their backpacks for more, frantically tossing food packs and medical kits aside.
There was a crackling of wood behind him, and he turned around. They were everywhere. In the hills, crawling up the slope, climbing across the trees. He choked, wanting to warn the rest of the Platoon, warning them that they had been out flanked by these savage primitives. For a brief second, he thought he saw one of the creatures studying him from afar, atop a distant rock. Yet is was bizarre, he appeared to be wearing some sort of clothes, and his skin was of a green tint, not red.
His head suddenly jerked, and he felt a thought forcing its way into his hand, raping his mind. For the first time, he noticed the blaster fire behind him has dwindled to a trickle. "Commander!" another trooper screamed from behind him, "Commander, we're trapped!"
Yet he could not turn around, he was captivated, his mind was closed, oppressed. Do not come to Dagobah, the voice inside him said, as the creatures lumbered towards him, their teeth crashing together, the sound imitating that of two solid metal pieces smashing together.
"We won't return." he heard himself whisper, as he was overrun by the swarm.