Follow Shadow Squad through the years leading up to the Battle of Scarif
| Scarif, 15 B.B.Y.
With the support of Governor Tarkin, the Death Trooper Program on Scarif grew significantly over the next three years. The success of the program made it possible for multiple squads to be trained together at Scarif Base, under the watchful gaze of Ghost Squad, and my team. After training several new squads of Death Troopers for the program, the original members of Ghost Squad eventually went on to lead squads of their own.
As the months progressed, the growth acceleration process that the Kaminoans had embedded into our genetic code at birth, had become more apparent in my brothers and I. The subtle salt and pepper characteristics that had once been present in the Commander's hair had now become fully grey. Even my younger brothers were beginning to resemble humanoid males in their early-forties.
Despite our age, my brothers and I went on to successfully train three more squads of Death Troopers for the Empire after training Ghost Squad. Unfortunately, no amount of success could change the undeniable fact that we were getting older.
"Why don't you take a break, Commander. I can lead the recruits back to the barracks for you." Said Gloom to the winded clone commander, while the rest of Shadow Squad led their new squad of recruits on a routine training drill across one of Scarif's many beaches.
Commander Shadow shook his head. "I won't stand by while someone else leads my squad for me." He said, still panting. "I'm more than capable of keeping up with my own recruits."
The Commander's really been pushing himself to keep up with the new recruits these past few weeks, Gloom thought to himself. He's getting older and its starting to show. It doesn't help that the Empire has ordered us to condense a year's worth of training into a six-month program in an attempt to increase the rate of troop production; Sacrificing quality for quantity.
During the duration of the drill, Gloom kept a close eye on the Commander. For a while, the Commander was able maintain a steady pace with the young recruits; only to fall behind again a few minutes later, despite his best efforts. This time however, Shadow was clutching his chest; a pained expression covered his sweat-drenched face as he attempted to continue running; He staggered for a moment; then collapsed onto the sandy beach.
"COMMANDER!" Shouted Gloom; quickly rushing over to his fallen commanding officer.
Suddenly alerted to the Commander's dire predicament, the rest of Shadow Squad and their recruits came to a halt.
"OFFICER DOWN!" Shouted Spooks, "WE NEED A MEDIC OVER HERE! OFFICER DOWN!"
A moment later, Spooks and the other clones were beside the Captain.
Umbra quickly took Shadow's vitals. I'm not getting a pulse." He said we need to get the Commander to the Med-Bay!"
Spooks slung Shadows body over his shoulder and sprinted towards the Security Complex with the other clones. The cadets followed their commanding officers closely.
The following night, my brothers and I paid our last respects to Commander Shadow.
The "funeral" had been nothing more than a KX droid pushing the Commander's body into the base's large trash incinerator, while the four of us stood by and watched; A TRASH INCINERATOR!; As if the Commander had been nothing more than another load of expendable waste that the Empire wanted gone to make room for more expendable waste to take its place. Shadow deserved better than this.
We watched as the Commander's body vanished in a flash of light; leaving nothing behind once the smoke had cleared.
Scarif 14 B.B.Y.
"With all due respect, General; What do you mean Shadow Squad has been reassigned?" Gloom asked.
General Sotorus Ramda, sat behind the large desk in his office on one of the upper levels of Citadel Tower and stared at the aging Clone officer standing before him. To his right stood, Semaj Scull, who was dressed in his DeathTrooper Armor.
"Precisely how it sounds, Captain." The General replied. "You and your team are being transferred to work in the Maintenance Division of this outpost and your shuttle will be confiscated."
"THE MAINTENANCE DIVISION?!" Shouted Gloom, clearly outraged by the General's decision. "My men are soldiers! SOLDIERS! And you expect us to clean floors!"
"There is no reason for the Galactic Empire to continue using aging clones, who are liable to keel over at any moment." Said Scull.
"I'm afraid I agree with Lieutenant Scull." Agreed the General. "Your training methods have become outdated. Due to the nature of the rapid age-progression you and the other clone members of Shadow Squad are exhibiting as a byproduct of the old Kaminoan cloning program, and given what happened to Commander Shadow... Perhaps it would be best if future Death Troopers were trained by younger Imperial Officers.
"In fact, I have been told that Imperial forces throughout the galaxy have already begun retiring the aging clone veterans polluting their ranks and reassigned their jobs to soldiers who are better suited to carry out their duties in a prompt and effective manner. That is why I am placing Lieutenant Scull in charge of training future Death Troopers on Scarif, as of this moment."
The General turned his attention back to Gloom. "I'm afraid the Empire no longer has any need of your military services."
"I'm old. Not obsolete!" Spat Gloom, angrily.
"Indeed." Replied the General. "That is why, I'm certain this facility will continue to benefit from the services you and your men will be providing from your new station. You are dismissed."
For the next twelve years, my men and I, reluctantly preformed our janitorial duties and maintained the many facilities of Scarif Base.
My brothers did not take to their new post very well. Depression had begun to set in. The work the Empire was giving us to do was not soldier's work. We spent our days cleaning the floors, repairing broken equipment, cataloging the many shipments sent to and from Scarif, and many other non-combatant jobs a civilian could perform. We had gone from respected war heroes to a crew of lowly janitors.
Although our lives on Scarif were uneventful, the same could not be said for the rest of the galaxy.
As we went about out duties over the years, we'd overhear officers talking to each other about what was happening in the galaxy as they'd pass by. On several occasions, we heard the name "Saw Gerrera" and the word "Partisans" mentioned regarding unusually violent rebel attacks.
For the past five years, the Comms Channels have been buzzing with reports of rebel activity on the planet, Lothal. Some reports even claimed that there were Jedi survivors involved in several of the assaults; but I think that's just rebel propaganda talking.
Two years ago, we learned that an Imperial agent stationed on Lothal, had been leaking classified Imperial information to the Rebellion, shortly before defecting from the Empire entirely. What had started off as a small rebel cell had grown into a large rebel fleet that was becoming a problem for Imperial forces throughout the galaxy. Despite all the precautions the Empire took to discourage any future attacks on Lothal, the Rebels continued to achieve victory.
I won't lie; My brothers and I got some small satisfaction from hearing that the Rebels were making Imperial forces look like unorganized children (though, we would never admit it out loud). Heck; We'd have a better chance fighting for the Rebellion than rejoining the Imperial ranks. Based on our treatment these past twelve years, we were beginning to have little love for the Empire.
A few days ago, we heard that a large mining accident on Jedha had resulted in the destruction of Jedha City as well as a large portion of the planet. Once again, Imperials rushing to meet their quota; more concerned with their own greed, than the safety of their workers. 'Shame that Jedha had to pay for it.
As the squad and I wasted away, preforming our endless duties; we began to wonder if there was any hope of escaping our mundane existence on Scarif.
The aging members of Shadow Squad remained in surprisingly good physical shape and retained their keen eyes and sharp wit over the years.
Gloom received a transmission from Major Fias Varsin on his Imperial commlink.
"CT-2187, Where have you and your squad been?" The angry Major asked over the commlink. "I've been trying to reach you for THE PAST THIRTY MINUTES!"
"Sorry, Sir." Gloom apologized. "We were finishing up in the Med-bay on one of the upper levels. The medical equipment must have interfering with our comm-signals."
"I don't want excuses, You Stupid Clone. I want--"
The Major was suddenly interrupted by the sound of multiple explosions coming from outside the massive Imperial complex; the force of which, had caused the walls of the base to rumble for a brief second.
"What was that?" Asked Spooks looking around nervously.
The emergency alarms loudly reverberated through the many halls of the Military Complex.
"Attention. Attention. We are under attack. This is not a drill. Rebels forces are attacking Scarif Base. Deploy the Garrison. All available troops proceed to the beach. I repeat; All available troops proceed to the beach."
"You heard the man. Suit up!" Said Gloom. "Sorry, Major. We'll have to call you back."
"Don't you -- *Click*--" The Captain turned off his commlink before the Major could get in another word.
As soon as they had made it back to their living-quarters, the members of Shadow Squad changed into their old black Covert Phase II Clone Armor. Within minutes of entering their living-quarters, they were exiting in full Clone Shadow Trooper Armor, with their helmets under their arms. Unfortunately, Major Varsin was waiting for them with a very displeased expression on his face.
"What do you think you're doing, Trooper?" Growled the Major; His nostrils flared in annoyance. "Who gave you permission to wear that armor?"
"It's our armor, Sir." Said Gloom. "Command ordered all available troopers to the beach to engage the enemy. My men and I are ready for battle."
"You?" The Major asked, unable to contain his laughter. "You must be joking. Take off that ridiculous armor and return to your duties."
"My men and I are able to fight. This is what we were bred for. We've proven our worth when we fought in the Clone Wars. We'll prove our worth fighting in the next!" Said Gloom standing his ground.
"I think not." Said the Major, sourly. "The Empire does not use washed-out soldiers in its ranks. You are an embarrassment; A relic of the Clone Wars; You are filth; No more valuable than dust on the very floors you sweep! I don't see soldiers; No; I see useless janitors; nothing more."
In a flash, Gloom drew one his twin DC-17 pistols from his holster, and shot the Major in the chest. The Major stood with a stunned expression on his face.
Gloom leaned in closer; now face-to-face with the dying Major. "We were soldiers first."
The Major's lifeless body, crumbled backwards and hit the floor with a loud thud.
The other clones stood in silence for a moment.
"I'm not cleaning that mess up." Said Shade.
"I don't know about you guys..." Said Spooks. "but I'm joining the Rebels."
"Sounds like a plan." Said Gloom, smiling for the first time in ages, before sliding his clone helmet over his head. "Umbra, if I can get you to a holotransmitter can you contact the Rebel forces on the ground?"
Umbra nodded. "Just point me in the right direction."
Once the clones had arrived at one of the Complex's holotransmitter stations, Umbra plugged his data-splicer into the dataport and tapped into the entire communication grid on Scarif.
"The base is in lockdown." He said. "They've locked all Rebel frequencies. There's no way to send any transmissions off-planet. Even I can't get a message out until the master power switch for the signal disruptor has been turned off."
"Can you connect to the Rebel frequencies on-planet?" Asked Gloom.
"Well...Yes." Said Umbra.
"Good. Patch us through. We need to contact whoever's in charge of the Rebels."
As the Clone Tech. Specialist scanned the frequencies, a voice on the radio was becoming easier to understand.
"This is Sergeant Melshi of the Rebel Alliance."
"We're through." Said Umbra triumphantly.
"Who is this? How did you get access to this channel?"
Captain Gloom picked up the comm-headset and spoke into the microphone. "This is Captain Gloom of Shadow Squad. My team and I are veteran clones defecting from the Empire. We're willing to offer our services against the Empire. Over."
"Clones? On Scarif?" Said the Rebel Sergeant confused. "Under normal circumstances, I'd tell you to "get lost", but right now we'll take all the help we can get. How many of there are you? Over."
"There's four of us. I can assure you that we have no love for the Empire."
"That's good to hear. Welcome to the Rebellion, Shadow Squad. If you boys are ready to see some action, I have some men of the beach that could use some assistance. Over."
"We'll help out where we can. Just let your forces know that we're friendlies. Over."
"Copy that, Shadow Leader. Describe notable markings to help my men identify you and your team. Over."
"Four clones, wearing Black Phase II clone armor from the end of the Clone Wars. Over."
"Copy that. Keep all communication through this channel. See you on the beach. Melshi, Out."
Gloom turned to his men. "You heard him. The Rebels need our help. Now let's cut the chatter. The Rebels need us on the beach."
The U-wing that had accompanied Blue Squadron through the Shield Gate, finally landed on the beach.
"Troop reinforcements. Here we go." Shouted Laren Joma to the Rebel troops from the ship's cockpit, while her copilot, Taslet Colb, steadied the ship for the drop-off. Once the ship was steady, Laren quickly pressed a button above her.
A moment later, the loading doors on the U-wing slid open, as its forces exited the ship.
"FOR JEDHA!" Shouted Corporal Jolla Ivris as he exited the ship.
Sergeant Doja Kassel; a human female in her late twenties; quickly exited the ship soon after. She, and the rest of her squad, knew how personal this was for Corporal Ivris; whose family had been killed when the Empire destroyed Jedha City while testing their new superweapon a few days ago. A lot of lives had been lost that day and Ivris had been eager to take the fight to the Empire since then.
Good, she thought. We can use that passion that against the Empire.
Sergeant Melshi's voice came over the radio. "Be on alert. I'm sending friendlies wearing black armor to your position. Proceed to your objective, Kyber Squad. Cause enough chaos to keep the Imps occupied at Pad-14 until Sergeant Erso and her team get the plans. Melshi, out."
"You heard the man!" Shouted Sergeant Kassal. "MOVE! MOVE! MOVE!"
A few minutes later, Kyber Squad had reached Pad-14; from a safe distance they learned that an entire squad of Shoretroopers was occupying the landing pad. The squad's leader was manning an E-Web Heavy repeating blaster mounted on a tripod in the middle of the pad, while the other troops set up a defensive perimeter. The Squad Leader suddenly was alerted to the Rebel's presence.
"Rebels! Blast 'em!" The trooper said, pointing the squad out to his men as he and his men fired.
"FIND COVER!" Kassal shouted, as she and her men dived for behind a stack of nearby crates. Although two of her men had been killed during the approach, the rest of Kyber Squad had found cover.
"WE NEED TO TAKE OUT THAT GUNNER!" Corporal Ivris shouted over the blaster-fire.
"IT'S TOO HOT! HOLD POSITION!" Ordered Kassal.
Blaster-fire whizzed past the Rebel's preventing any further movement.
"WE'RE PINNED DOWN!" Shouted Private Var Teeb. "WHERE ARE THOSE REINFORCMENTS SERGENT MELSHI PROMISED!"
Suddenly the Heavy blaster stopped firing.
As Sergeant Kassal peeked over the crates, she noticed that the Shoretrooper manning the Heavy blaster appeared as if he had suddenly been grabbed by an invisible attacker. He let out a sharp groan; his arms dropped lifelessly to his sides, despite the fact that he was still standing on his feet; the same happened to three other Shoretroopers a moment later.
Kyber Squad watched in confusion as Four New Troops wearing black Clone Wars-Era Clone armor, suddenly appeared out of thin air behind the Imperials.
The Clones withdrew their vibo-knives from the lifeless Imperial troops; letting the bodies drop to the ground.
The one remaining Shoretrooper turned in confusion towards his squad's attackers; only to be gunned down by Gloom, who had shot the young Shoretrooper without even looking at him.
The Rebel Marines quickly raised their weapons and pointed them at the clones standing on the landing pad.
"Hold your fire." Ordered Sergeant Kassal, still pointing her own weapon at the clones. "Identify yourselves."
"We're friendlies. Sergeant Melshi sent us." Said Gloom. "This is Shadow Squad. I'm Clone Captain Gloom. This is Spooks, Umbra, and Shade. We're Imperial defectors."
Sergeant Kassal and the rest of the Rebel Marines slowly lowered their weapons; stunned that there were clones standing in front of them.
"Th...Thanks for the assist." Kassal said still shocked by the presence of the veteran-clones in front of her. "I thought the Empire put you all out of commission years ago?"
"They did." Said Gloom. "We're old; Not obsolete."
Feeling much more confident that the Clones were on their side, the young Sergeant lowered her guard.
"We'll put you to good use then. I'm Sergeant Kassal; this is Corporal Ivris; that's Private Teeb; and the blue Twi'lek carrying the radio on his back is, Lee Sarr; and the rest of the Marines behind us are what's left of Kyber Squad. As you can see, we're a little short-handed. We lost a few of our men on the way here. The other half of our squad are still in space."
"My team and I will help where we can." Said Gloom. "We've been stationed here for the past seventeen years. We know this place like the back of our hands."
"That'll come in handy." Kassal said with a smile. "The Rebel Alliance will take advantage of any support you can give us."
"When can we expect the next wave of reinforcements." Asked Shade.
Kassal and Ivris looked at each other nervously, then looked back at the clone.
"We are the reinforcements." Said Corporal Ivris.
"The Empire closed the Shield Gate before Blue Squadron was able to get all its ships though. As of this moment, twelve X-wings and that U-wing are the only air support covering the ground forces, until the fleet brings down the Shield Gate.
"Hang on..." Lee Sarr said, pressing the earpiece of the radio's headset to his pointed ear. "Melshi wants us to engage the Imperial forces on the beach with Shadow Squad; while he and his men move to the bunker complex at the base of Citadel Tower to turn off the master switch to the signal disrupter."
Kassal turned to the clones. "Looks like you're the ranking officer here, Captain. We're going to need your tactical experience. Any assistance you and your men could offer us on the beach would be greatly appreciated. That armor of yours might come in handy again."
"I'm afraid, we won't be able to do that trick again." Said Umbra. "It's been a long time since we used this armor. We short-circuited our cloaking devices with that last use. We won't be cloaking any time soon."
"Looks like we'll have to do this the old-fashioned way." Said Gloom. He then drew a small map of the beach in the sand. "If we move along the tree-line to the north side of the beach and put a sniper here to provide suppressive fire, we might be able to sneak around the Imperial Infantry on the beach and attack them from behind, catching them off-guard."
Shade stepped forward. "I'd like to volunteer to be sniper on this one, Sir. I may be old, but I'm still the best shot between the four of us."
Gloom nodded, then turned back to Kassal. "Sergeant Kassal, you and the rest of Kyber Squad follow us."
A moment later, both squads were on the move again.
The Imperial forces on the beach were beginning to overwhelm the small band of Rebel troops already on the beach. After learning of the Rebel presence on the beach, the Empire had deployed an entire platoon composed of Shoretroopers and Stormtroopers to the beach, in the hopes of overwhelming Rebel forces with their sheer numbers.
To the Empire's surprise, the Rebel forces had been able to hold off Imperial forces on the beach through the use of Guerrilla warfare. Before the Imperial had known what had happened, the Rebels were on the move again. Eventually, the rebels on the beach had no choice but to fall back as the Imperial platoon continued pressing their attack until the rebels were pinned down on the beach.
Hiding in the tree-line, Shadow and Kyber Squads waited in the bushes while the large Imperial platoon marched past them.
"Hold your fire. Let them pass." Whispered Gloom, to both squads. "Wait until the entire platoon passes."
A few minutes later, the end of the platoon had passed them by.
Without warning, Shadow and Kyber Squads emerged from the tree-line and fired at the Imperial platoon from behind; causing chaos and confusion in ranks of the Imperial forces.
"They're behind us!" shouted a stormtrooper, pointing at the Rebels.
Immediately, the Imperials in the back of the platoon, turned around and returned fire.
Reacting quickly, Gloom and the other rebels ducked behind anything nearby that they could use for cover.
From the cover of the tree-line, Shade began picking off Imperial's one-by-one with his old DC-19 Stealth carbine pistol, before switching to the Late-Commander Shadow's old WESTAR-M5 blaster rifle (set in its sniper configuration) once his pistol had run out of ammo.
The Imperials on the beach were getting attacked from three different sides. The Rebel forces were gaining the upper hand.
The ground suddenly shook.
An All-Terrain Armored Cargo Transport (or AT-ACT) Walker suddenly appeared on the far end of the beach as it emerged from the thick smoke. Its drivers had noticed the Clone sniper attacking its forces from the tree-line and had moved to assist the Imperials on the beach. Turning its head slightly towards Shade's position, the massive Walker aimed its twin MS-2 heavy laser cannons toward the tree-line.
Gloom suddenly realized what the Walkers next target was.
"WALKERS!!! SHADE, LOOK OUT!!!"
Before Shade could react, the Walker fired; obliterating the section of the tree-line where Shade had been hiding. The Clone Sniper was killed in the powerful explosion of cannon-fire.
"SHADE!!!" Gloom and the other clones shouted.
But it was too late; Shade was gone.
After quickly reigning in his emotions, Gloom realized there was nothing more he could do for Shade. There was a battle still going on and his troops needed him to be completely focused. There would be a time to grieve later. Now was not the time for sentiment.
"Keep pressing forward!" Ordered Gloom. "Focus on the troopers! Don't worry about the Walker! Keep up the attack!"
Taslet Colb and Laren Joma swung the U-wing around for another pass. Just as its door gunner, Corporal Bistan, prepared to fire his mounted M-45 repeating ion blaster at another imperial walker on the beach; A TIE Striker flew behind the ship and fired at it repeatedly until it finally landed a hit on the lower left Fusial Thrust engine of the Rebel craft. The engine smoked as the U-wing rapidly lost altitude.
"We're hit!" Exclaimed Laren, as she and Taslet frantically tried in vain to correct the ship's rapid decent.
The flaming U-wing plummeted onto the beach; crashing into a dozen Imperial troops fighting on the beach, before finally exploding.
From the beach, Sergeant Kassal witnessing the destruction of the U-Wing and its crew; friends she had served with on several previous missions for the Rebel Alliance; Friends whose lives had been snuffed before her very eyes.
Blinded her current state of grief, the young Sergeant sprinted towards the U-Wing's burning wreckage.
"Laren! Taslet! Bistan!" She cried; desperately trying to reach the ruined shuttle.
A stray blast caught her in the back; killing her instantly.
Frost it! Gloom cursed to himself. We can't keep losing men like this. He turned to Lee Sarr.
"Get me a line to Sergeant Melshi." He ordered. "Tell him we've lost Sergeant Kassal and need assistance on the beach."
After a few minutes of trying to reach Sergeant Melshi on the radio, the Twi'lek turned back to the Captain.
"He's not responding, Sir."
There a was a massive explosion a few kilometers from their position at the base of Citadel Tower.
That explosion came from the bunker complex, thought Gloom. No one could have survived that.
The Blue Twi'lek turned to the Captain.
"Their line just went dead..."
"I'm sure Melshi's team got to the master switch before that thing exploded." Said Umbra optimistically.
"What are your orders, Captain?" Asked Corporal Ivris.
At that moment, a single X-wing starfighter flew over the beach and launched two proton torpedoes at the AT-ACT; hitting it at the neck-joint.
The massive Walker exploded as the rest of its metal body collapsed beneath it onto the beach; the top half of its massive smoking body had landed at the edge of the shallow water, while its long legs spread across the sandy shore.
After losing their massive walker, the remaining members of the Imperial platoon turned and began to retreat.
Gloom smiled to himself; there was still hope. The Imperials just lost their advantage, he thought. We've just leveled the playing field.
"We still have a job to do. Take out those Imperials! Don't let them escape!"
With a newfound sense of confidence, the Rebels chased after the fleeing stormtroopers; killing them before they even made it to the jungle's tree-line.
Although pleased with this small victory, Gloom knew the battle was not over yet.
As if reading the Captain's mind, Spooks stepped forward.
"SHUT IT!" He bellowed.
The Rebels went silent.
"'Fight's not over yet, Boys." Spooks turned back to Gloom. "What are your orders, Captain?"
"We'll need cover." Gloom said. "We can use the U-wing wreckage as cover. Umbra, put out those flames around the shuttle; Kyber Squad, I need you to move all the crates scattered along the beach and stack them as close to the shuttle's position as you can them. We'll use them to make a wall around the wreckage; the rest of you, check the bodies. Grab whatever weapons you can carry and bring them here. We're going to need all the firepower we can find. Now move!"
As the men hurried along the beach, Gloom turned to Spooks.
"Not you, Spooks." He said. "I want landmines placed in the bushes along the jungle paths leading to the beach."
"How many do you need?" Asked the Clone Demolition Expert.
"How many do you have?"
Spooks started laughing after hearing this; these orders had clearly brightened his day.
"Enough." He laughed, before hurrying into the jungle.
A short while later, the Rebels had successfully converted the ruined U-wing into a small make-shift fort that suited their position's defensive needs. Although it was a tight fit, the small fort provided plenty of cover for the Rebels on the beach. The men crouched down silently; waiting for their next orders.
In the back of his mind, Gloom began to wonder if the men in front of him were now the last of the Rebel ground forces on Scarif. Had the mission failed? Had all of this been for nothing? He shook his head. Stop thinking that way, Gloom; He thought to himself. These men are looking for hope. Give them some.
"Easy, Men." Said Gloom in a low tone. "It's only a matter of time before the Fleet gets through the Shield Gate and sends reinforcements. No matter what happens stay in formation. If any of you break ranks, I'll shoot you myself."
Suddenly, the sound of a distant explosion a few klicks from their position confirmed that the Imperial reinforcements were approaching. One of the Stormtroopers had stepped on one of Spook's landmines. Gloom's fears were coming true; the Empire had sent its remaining forces to the beach to finish off the rebels.
"Spooks." Said Gloom. "Get into position."
Spooks nodded, then made his way into the crashed U-wing and peered through the bent loading door on the starboard side of the ship; facing toward the jungle.
"Wait for them to get closer..." Whispered Gloom.
The Imperial forces continued approaching the beach; the troops taking better care to watch where they stepped.
The troops were now meters from the beach.
The approaching stormtroopers were suddenly mowed down by rapid fire.
Wave-upon-wave of Stormtroopers charged toward the beach; only to get shot by the defending Rebels and their clone allies. For every Rebel Marine that the Empire had managed to kill; the Rebels managed to take three more Stormtroopers with them.
Even after losing several of the Rebel Marines; including Jolla Ivris; Gloom commanded his men with authority as tough as durasteel; not one of them broke rank.
He began to notice fewer and fewer X-wings in the sky. I don't know how much longer we can keep this up without air support, he though, but if the Empire thinks we're going to go quietly, we're going to make as much noise as we can before silence falls.
As the battle continued, Gloom drew his twin DC-17 hand blasters and fought alongside his men against the charging Imperial forces.
A stray blaster-bolt grazed the Captain's left arm, causing the clone to drop one of his hand blasters and grab his wounded arm.
Two of his men moved to help him, but Gloom waved them off.
"I'm fine." He said. "Focus of the enemy."
Suddenly, the Imperials stopped firing and looked up.
"Look!" Shouted Umbra, pointing up at the sky. "The rebel fleet has taken out a Star Destroyer!"
Even from the ground, the large wreckage of an Imperial Star Destroyer being pushed towards the Shield Gate by one of the Rebellion's Hammerhead Corvette starfighters. Within seconds, the wreckage collided with the Shield Gate smashing the Wheel-shaped space station to pieces and deactivating the planet-wide deflector shield.
Back on Scarif, Lee Sarr's radio sprang to life with chatter. The Twi'lek turned to the Captain.
"Captain, there's an incoming transmission from the Rebel Fleet!"
"Patch it through." Ordered Gloom.
The Twi'lek tapped a button and activated the radio's external speaker.
"To all Rebel forces. This is Admiral Raddus of the Rebel Alliance. We have received the plans to the Death Star; I repeat; we have the plans to the Death Star,"
The rebels cheered.
The Rebels chased after the retreating Imperials; only the remaining members of Shadow Squad had stayed behind to secure the beach for the Rebel reinforcements to land. Unfortunately, none would come.
A moment later, something massive exited hyperspace above the planet.
"The moon's never out this early." Said Umbra, looking up at sky in confusion.
Gloom agreed, at first glance the massive sphere-like object did resemble a moon, but there was something about the object that made the Clone Captain uneasy.
"That's not the moon..." Said Gloom in sudden realization. "...It's a space station."
Umbra checked his data-pad. Its scanners were going off the chart.
"Sir, there's a massive energy surge coming from that station." Said Umbra nervously keeping an eye on the massive station floating above the planet.
It's going to fire on the planet, Thought Gloom. There's no way anyone's going to get off this planet before that thing fires its weapon.
Gloom turned to his brothers.
"If you leave now, you might be able to get off the planet before that thing's weapons finish charging." He lied.
"We're old; not stupid." Said Umbra. "There's no escaping that thing."
The Clone Tech specialist tossed his data-pad aside.
"We're staying, Sir." Said Spooks.
Gloom removed his helmet and let it land on the sandy shore; then turned back to his clone brothers, who had done the same.
"It's been an honor serving you both, Brothers"
The Death Star fired its super-laser.
As the massive laser enter the atmosphere, it vaporized the top-third of Citadel Tower and impacted several kilometers off shore.
I've played my part in two wars now; 'done many things I regret in both of them. I've blindly followed orders without even stopping to think if they were right. I've seen good men serving in both wars die fighting for a cause they believed in. My part in this last war was brief; but this is only the beginning of for the Rebels; They'll have to win this war without us.
As I watched the impending doom approach; there was a moment of peace. My brothers and I had known a lifetime of war; trained for it; even bred for it... but in the next few seconds our fight would be over.
The last thing I remember was a flash of white, engulfing the horizon as it came closer and closer; an intense burning sensation; then nothing...