[Originally posted by Dekard] Surface Marshal Dekard Jaxx peered through the tall grass with his monocular from his prone position. His camouflage scout ammo makes him invisible to all but the most trained eyes. Almost 2 kilometers outside the parameter of what had once been the Headquarters for the 47th Imperial Expeditionary Force, his 47th, he studies the ruins of his once home carefully. He could hardly believe his eyes at the sight of the IACC in such a ruined state. His sharp eyes caught the movement of first one, then a second, a third, and finally a fourth. He bit back the flash of anger welling inside him. The life experiences of his training from his father as a Nabooian Ranger up through all of his Imperial training and experiences kicked into gear. Scanning back and forth over the command pound, he studied the movements of the 4 intruders. Their lack of discipline showed. They wandered around without the least bit of concerned that someone may be watching them, sizing them up, and studying their patterns. After sitting almost motionless for 30 minutes, he had finished running the calculations in his head. He allowed for windage, distance, even the curve of the planet. His precision movements came with the practiced fluidity held only by a well-accomplished master of his trade. Before he became such a feared Imperial Commander, his reputation as an Imperial Scout Sniper struck fear into his enemies when he announced his presence by a near invisible headshot on a high value target. He cultivated that reputation, dealing out headshots exclusively instead of the standard torso shot of the other snipers. As his instincts took over, his breathing began to slow as his eyes narrowed. Any shaking in his hands disappeared as his hands moved with the exactness of a skilled surgeon. Then with a smooth squeeze of the trigger, the first target went down when his head seemed to almost explode in a fine red mist. Dekard quickly acquired the second, putting a shot through a wide eye. The third looked frantically around before crumpling to the ground with a smoking hole in his head. The fourth target, an officer, brings up his commlink making a desperate call for help, but a scarlet bolt blasts through the commlink still held in his hand and embeds itself in his shoulder. Dekard rises out from his position in the grass. He leaves his E-11 Sniper Rifle in the grass while he slings up his trademark customized Malice T-21. As he walked in his mind drifted slightly. It had been only a few months ago that he received his call from Coruscant to repeat to the Star Destroyer Hammerfist and taken to establish an Imperial Stronghold on the other side of the galaxy. While helping to fortify a the secret garrison in the Sartinaynian system, Rebel SpecForces under the command of Marshal Haras Jundop, somehow gained knowledge of the Imperial plans there. The Rebel attack was tipped off when news of Rebel force massing near Endor became known. Marshal Jundop and his command crew fled. Dekard lead the mission to pursue them to capture the Rebel Marshal. It wasn’t until he had return to the planet of Bastion in the Sartinaynian system that he learned of the Emperor’s death. He transferred to the star destroyer Stormbringer, sent by newly appointed Moff Panaka. On the flight back to Naboo, he learned that a Grand General Malcor Brashin had ordered the 47th IEF to Coruscant to help in its defense, which left Naboo wide open. Naboo fell quickly without the 47th there to defend it. The lack of a real Imperial presence allowed a few key high ranking officer of the RSF to be bought by the Rebellion, and they slaughtered the remaining company of Imperials spread across the planet. The thought of Naboo falling to the Rebel turned his stomach since it had never even been in question while the 47th had been stationed there. Nearing the remains of the parameter house, Dekard began to pick his way carefully through the destroyed buildings. Recognizing each and every structure. He remembering defending the IACC more times then he could count. He knew every slope of the land, break between a building, every bush, every tree, even which way the wind blew and sun shined. This was his home for 6 years. As he stepped over a young Rebel with a hole smoking in his head, Dekard thought to himself what fools these kids were to come to his home. His attention quickly snapped back to business hearing a somewhat quaking voice call out to him from cover. “You’re too late! I told them that you were here.” The hurt Rebel called out. The young Rebel lieutenant tried to give a air of confidence to his voice, as the pain of his shoulder and hand were on the verge of putting him in shock. “They will be here in a matter of minutes now. There is no more 47th here to help you. They deserted Naboo months ago. Not even Dekard Jaxx will be able to save you. The Rebel fleet caught and destroyed the Hammerfist.” The lieutenant reacts to a sound over his shoulder. He turns back to find the tall mencing figure of Dekard Jaxx glaring down at him without his helmet. “Boy, I am Dekard Jaxx, and this is my home.” The Rebel tries to draw his blaster only to have Dekard kick it away. He falls back feeling himself start to slip away. “It won’t matter…there will be a battalion here in a matter of minutes.” “I think they are going to be a little busy.” Explosions are heard in the distance. The sky toward Theed is lit up in green blaster fire from TIE Fighters. That would be Moff Panaka’s forces retaking the Theed. Your rebellion on my planet has come to an end.” The young man can do nothing but stare back up at Dekard. The life drains from his face as the does from his body. His eyes now staring up blankly at Dekard. A grey haired man seems to quietly appear out of nowhere, silent as a ghost. His looks are a dead giveaway that he is Dekard’s father, the retired First Royal Ranger of Naboo, Sebastian Jaxx. He kneels by the young Rebel and searches him for a pulse. “He’s dead son. You need to find what you came here for before the shuttle gets here.” Dekard moves through the ruins of the IACC. The Rebels made good on their opening with the 47th gone. Most of the buildings have less then two walls standing. Dekard picks his way to the HQ building. Sifting through the rubble, he finds the emergency access hatch. The two men make their way down the hatch. Trying to keep focused on the mission, he reaches his old office. Looks like the looters came through here with a vengeances. It didn’t take them long since partial battery power still lit the hallway. They even pried his desk his up and forced open his brief case safe, he noticed as he picked up the plate that once covered the safe. He slid up one end of the plate and out slid a chip into Dekard’s hand. He tucked the chip into his belt and went down the hall to the briefing rooms. Each one was a wreck. He could hear and see the ghost walking the halls of the now lifeless subbasement. He snapped back to reality hearing his father call from another room. Dekard appeared in the doorway to find his father kneeling on the floor. He looks back up at Dekard, “Where’s the switch to this? I think someone might be down here.” Dekard reaches out for the switch as his dad backs away for cover. The hatch opens with a hiss of stale air. Carefully the two men approach the now open hatch. Both are stone still and hold their breath. It seems a minute passes, as each looks at the other, unsure if they can hear anything in the shaft below. Pulling a grenade from his pack, Dekard pulls the pin and does a short count before dropping it in the hatch. The flash bang rings true to its name with a brilliant flash and a loud bang as both men turn their heads and hold their ears. They look back and listen at the hole. “They are either dead or very well trained.” Sebastian comments under his breath. Dekard moves to the opening. “This is your last chance to surrender or the next grenade will do more then just light and sound.” A female voice yells back. “Good then you won’t get Marshal Jaxx’s files either.” “Jen?” The older Jaxx questions. “Dad?” The voice answers back. Both men scramble down the shaft with a light. To their amazement, they find Jennings Jaxx. She is has somehow managed to construct a small fortification for herself. They both rush to her side. She has cuts and scrapes all over. They also find that she has broken her left leg and a dislocated shoulder. Huddling over her, they help her out of her protection. “How long have you been down here?” Her dad demands. Whencing in pain as she comes to her feet, “A week. After the Rebels bombed the IACC, I came out here to try to get the chip. I got caught in your office. I fought and killed two of them, but not before my leg got broken on Dek’s desk. I tried to set it, but I heard more coming, so I tried to take the escape hatch to the North Shore. I fell in and dislocated my shoulder. On top of that, the tunnel had collapsed, so I barricaded myself as best I could. And I’ve been down there ever since.” Helping her outside, they could see that the main fighting in Theed had already ended. Their shuttle could see their shuttle coming in for a landing. They quickly loaded up Jennings and a few other items. As the shuttle took off, Dekard took a last glance from the open bay. Despite having been through the ruins, it was really just now sinking in that the IACC was gone. All the blood that was spilled there, the homes that were built there, the good times had there, the memories all were now just another site of ruins on Naboo. Even though they were retaking Naboo, the Emperor was still dead. How could a farm boy lead a bunch of rabble and cause so much chaos? I guess the same way a ranger from the woods lead a sector force that destroyed 100’s of their bases and hideouts. With the number of messages from high ranking Imperials from all over the galaxy waiting for him, this war is long from over. Now to gather the 47th back up from the far reaches of the galaxy that High Command has scattered them.
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