A while later and the sky around them suddenly turned from pitch black to a murky black with a huge glimmering white and silver ball looming in front of them. Hoth.
The Manipulator touched down behind a small rocky outcrop approximately 8 miles from the base and the ice crunched and crackled under the landing feet.
The boarding ramp opened and lowered to the ground. Blast stepped out onto the top of the ramp and shivered even though he was wearing his ice-armour. He walked down the ramp, frost already starting to coat the metal beneath his feat. He stopped at the bottom of the ramp and looked about into the white-darkness. Jelli and Padfoot joined him at peering into the gloom.
“Exiting.” Jelli commented with a smirk.
“We’ll need to set up a perimeter and scout the area for any immediate threats.” Blast said.
“I’ll go get a squad ready.” Padfoot turned to head back inside but Blast stopped him and said,
“No; Get Falcon, Slash and Nightblaze. They can go with you. We haven’t got enough troops left to send them out into a near-blizzard to look for threats we don’t even know exist.”
“Yes sir.” Padfoot went back inside then after a few more seconds so did R.K. and Jelli. Blast closed the ramp behind them then said,
“O.K. Jelli, I want to see you, Vasilious and Hess in my quarters in ten minutes.”
“Yes sir.” Jelli saluted and walked away.
Blast went up to his quarters, sat down at his desk and started studying the map. But soon after he realized that the more he thought about the map and its strange appearance, the less it all made sense. He was just about to put it to one side and read a book when there was a knock at he door and Jelli with the other requested leaders came in.
“Ah… thank you for coming. Please close the door behind you Hess. Where’s Vasilious?” Blast asked.
“He got caught up but he will be here shortly.” Hess answered.
“O.K. Thank you. Now; I wish to discuss with you the plan of action for attacking this base. We are fairly sure that we weren’t seen landing, so we can be fairly positive that they don’t know we are here.” Blast continued and so did the meeting. Vasilious arrived a few minutes later and then the four of them discussed plans for well over an hour but just as the snow started to bash once again against the window Jelli pointed out that the search team were not yet back.
“Hm… O.K. Lets go down to see if they just forgot to report back.” R.K. stood and led the way from the room. Just outside the door an engineer came up and said that Vasilious was urgently needed in the engine room and so he ran off as the others continued to their destination.
“Captain!” He shouted a few minutes later as they arrived in the corridor behind the boarding ramp.
“Have Padfoot and his team returned yet?”
“Nosir. Not that I am aware of.” The captain replied.
“O.K. Thank you.” R.K. turned his back to the Captain to face the other leaders and rolled his eyes mumbling, “Not that I’m aware of!” He imitated. “Well it’s going to be fairly bloody obvious if a group of snow-sodden men come traipsing though the door isn’t it!” he joked and everyone laughed as they walked back down the corridor but just then they heard the ramp swooshing open and felt the chill as the freezing air and snow howled in.
They turned round and walked back to the entrance but suddenly a new type of chill crept over Blast as he listened to shouting outside and a scraping noise as something was dragged up the ramp. Then three men appeared in the blizzard. Only three, but dragging what appeared to be a lump of debris, but as they got closer Blast realized that it was the fourth member of the search crew.
Blast dashed out and helped drag him inside. It was only once they were all in and the ramp closed that he got a chance to see who was on the floor. Jelli gasped.
Falcon lay bleeding, a huge gash in his right arm and his armour ripped across the chest. Everyone was bustling around him. Blast shouted “MEDIC!” and knelt down beside the groaning trooper.
“Falcon? Falcon can you hear me?” he asked. Falcon let out a painful grunt in response.
“Falcon?!” Jelli asked desperately.
“MEDIC!” Blast yelled again and this time a medic came running round the corner carrying a large case and with a stretcher under his arm and ran up the corridor towards them.
. He skidded to a halt and dropped all his equipment, then knelt down next to Blast and opened up his medical case. He stuffed a wad of material into the gash in Falcon’s arm then inspected the slashes on his chest.
“Is he all right?” Padfoot asked as he finished taking his snow-armour off.
“I don’t know yet.” The medic replied. “He’s not looking brilliant put it that way.”
“What did it?” inquired R.K.. “It clearly wasn’t human.”
“Wampa.” Slash answered. “Leapt clean out of the blizzard at us.”
“We’d been resting in a small cave. We didn’t have time to fight back. Nightblaze and myself dived to one side, while Slash dived the other way but Falcon didn’t jump in time and the creature slashed at him. That’s what those tears on his chest are.” Padfoot said and indicated down at the wounds.
“So what’s that gash on his arm from?” Jelli asked trying with great difficulty not to sound scared.
“The force of the blow too his chest knocked him flying and he crashed into a huge rock. He bashed his arm as he landed and as he struggled to get up, the Wampa grabbed him by the arm and sank one of its claws into it.” Nightblaze replied.
“Right, we’ll need to get him to the medical center.” The Medic said and started to slide the stretcher underneath him. Once it was fully under Blast held one end and the Medic got the other and together they lifted him up.
“Right.” Blast said and thought quickly. “Jelli, with me.” He knew she would want to be with Falcon. “The rest of you sort all this stuff out.” He indicated to all their dumped equipment. Then he and the medic along with Jelli transported Falcon towards the medical facility as fast as they could without dropping him.
BUT WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT? FIND OUT IN PART 3! COMING FRIDAY 23RD APRIL!