The Last Resort
Coruscant - 44 ABY
For the brothers, middle and little.
The four men, obviously the GAS unit dispatched to the incident, were moving efficiently towards the target. The two- man teams mirrored one another as each picked its way down opposite sides of the ped-way. They worked their way closer and closer to the target.
The setting Coruscant sun shone through a gap in the cityscape and lighted the area around a bulky, motionless transport speeder. It looked lifeless, abandoned. The reconstruction zone was empty of all work crews and civilians except for this lonely vehicle stopped at an odd angle, grounded, disabled.
One of the men, one with apparent rank over the others, raised his arm with a closed fist in a obvious manner for the rest to see. He held up two fingers and gestured down twice. Immediately the pace of others slowed to match his own. They each found an alcove to take cover in.
The two fingers pointed at the man's own face shield and then across at the two men under cover on the other side of the pedway. One of those men pulled a flat paneled device out from a holster. He aimed the aperture towards the vehicle and moved it in slow arcs to either side. After several moments, the operator signaled back to the leader with an empty handed and confused look. There was an immediate release of tension among the group, and a palpable disappointment.
While maintaining cover, the leader stood up and touched a spot on his helmet, as if communicating to someone. The others took a break from their gun sights to crane their necks and scan the area in hopes of finding danger in some other form. The conversation became more animated and the man became increasingly distracted.
One of their heads looked up, scanning the skies. There was a high-pitched whine that could be heard, increasing in volume. Something was approaching the area. The other three heads looked up and blaster rifles snapped up to join the search.
Then there was an audible crack, like two projectiles hitting metal. The next moment was filled with a buzzing electrical noise. The abandoned vehicle was cocooned in a blanket of electrical energy that lasted for several seconds.
Heads ducked and arms reflexively shot up to protect faces. Rifles tracked the area. There was a brief confusion, and then the focus and intensity returned to the four men. And then there was silence again.
From under the vehicle there was a pop and a hiss. Blankets of thick green smoke poured out from somewhere underneath. In moments the entire area was covered in thick, opaque smoke. The cloud grew and grew, filling up the block and heading towards the men like slow motion flood waters.
A flame of some type shot down from the sky, into the quagmire and then extinguishing itself.
A second scan was done with the hand held device. This time the operator waved a hand back across the pedway with a single finger raised. The man in charge touched his helmet, relayed a short message. He raised his hand, lifted four fingers and swung his arm in a circle in the air. The four men in near synchronicity made quick adjustments to their helmets, raised their rifles to eyelevel, left their cover and strode deftly into the cloud of smoke.
It took almost a minute for the smoke to clear. When visibility returned, there was a man wearing white and green armor. He was standing in front of and facing away from the transport. He was surrounded by the four men in black. Each had his rifle aimed at the armored man, two in front of the man and the others appearing from around the sides of the vehicle, flanking him. Blaster-mounted lights pointed white lines at the man and created a diffuse ambient glow in the receding fog.
Something like negotiations went on for a few moments. The armored man seemed relaxed, at ease. He slowly lifted his hands and turned around facing the vehicle. The four men by contrast, seemed more tense and on edge.
The leader stepped forward with binders dangling from his right hand. He reached up to bind the right arm of the armored man. But before he could complete the procedure, the armored man spun and seemed to tangle himself up together with the man in black.
Almost simultaneously there appeared to be a flame explosion. Fire shot out of the back of the man's armor, and as the two grappled and spun, the flames spread out to grab the surrounding soldiers. They hit the ground and rolled away from the attack keeping their arms over their faces.
In the next instant there was another explosion. The warrior in the white armor rose out of the confusion as if propelled by the shock wave. Then, in mid air, a tracer of flame spewed out of his back and he, like a missile, disappeared from view. As he escaped, blaster fire rained down on the squad causing desperate scrambling and leaps for cover.
Static flashed over the live feed. The image returned a few moments later.
There was small flames dancing on the hull of the transport. The leader was lying on his side holding the knee of one leg. Another was crawling over towards the injured man. Yet another soldier ran over to assist. He had one hand on the side of his helmet, obviously communicating with someone.
More static and pixelation clouded the image. A notification popped up on the screen. Losing connection in 5... 4... 3...
The last thing visible was three men huddled together in front of the charred vehicle. The fourth was not visible anymore. The observer tried to adjust the pitch of the drone. The controls were sluggish.
2... 1... Connection lost.
The image blinked out. The observer sat back and considered the scene.