Morning came with an early sunrise and R.K. awoke from his slumber with a start, memories of the night’s bombing run playing on his mind, the explosions ringing in his ears.
He shook his head then took a deep breath and stood up. He combed his hair with his hand and picked his helmet from its stand then opened the door and walked out into the corridor.
“Morning sir.” Falcon came up behind him and walked by his side as they headed for the bridge.
“Morning Flacon.” R.K. replied sleepily.
“Did you sleep well?”
“Alright I guess.” They rounded the corner and walked up the bridge corridor. “I’ve had better though.” He added as they walked through the door at the far end.
They crossed the walkway to where all of the other leaders were already waiting for them.
The companions shared greetings but the topic of conversation swiftly turned to that of the mater at hand.
“We have to go and check for any civilians.” Blast was saying.
“I must admit, I agree.” Falcon chimed in.
“I don’t see how anyone could have survived if I’m honest.” Slash looked to Padfoot for support.
“Neither do I. But there again, I suppose there’d be no harm in checking.”
“Right, then we set out immediately.” Blast put his helmet on and went to converse with a captain, informing him about what was to happen.
So just a short time later, Blast, Padfoot, Flare, Hess, Nightblaze, Falcon, Slash and Shock were traipsing across the barren, sandy landscape towards the town. The smoke from the fires could be seen still filling the sky, coming from somewhere up ahead.
They made good progress across the flat terrain, stopping only once for a brief rest and then proceeding again towards whatever waited for them where the town had lain the previous day.
It took them most of the day but eventually the overlooking outcrop appeared up ahead of them.
As they reached it, a gust of wind blew the smoke at them, temporarily blinding them and obscuring the town from their view.
Hess futilely waved his hand through the smoke in front of him, trying to clear his view but then the wind changed direction again and the smoke cleared revealing the destruction they had wreaked in all it’s glory.
Where the town had been just a day gone, was now in essence just one huge rubble pile. There was not a single building left standing in one piece. Across the area, the occasional part of a wall stood defiant among the wreckage of what it had once been joined to.
Fires flickered out from under piles of bricks and rocks that used to be homes, the chocking black smoke drifting high into the atmosphere.
Not a single word was said between the U.R.S. leaders as they looked on solemnly, scanning the remnants of the town.
After several minutes, Blast started making his way down into the gorge, Padfoot followed a few seconds after then the other leaders trickled down after.
Blast reached the ground and made his way around the edge of a destroyed house that stood out from the side of the cliff and found himself standing on a road that lead in both directions, left and right. The ground itself was torn up and nearly impossible to traverse in some places; huge craters, slabs of rock sticking vertically up into the air and lumps of buildings strewn everywhere.
Blood stained the floor and R.K. tried not to look at the body parts scattered all around.
The other leaders joined him on the road and Falcon reached to take his helmet off. Nightblaze put his hand on his arm though to stop him.
“I wouldn’t if I were you. The air could be filled with anything, especially in this smoke.”
Falcon lowered his arm and looked around.
The group slowly picked their way through the ruins further into the maze of wreckages towards the center.
They started to spread out and examine the destruction on their own.
Blast stood in the middle of a relatively flat piece of street and put his hands on his hips, looking all around, thoughts racing through his mind. He was pleased though that so far they’d found no civilian bodies, all of the dead were in armour. They had no need to check the bodies any closer.
However, then he noticed something odd about one corpse ahead in the middle of the road.
The body was in one piece laying on it’s front, although bent in very odd angles, but even though it was twisted and mangled, the soldier’s gun remained in his hand.
Surely thought Blast, the gun wouldn’t still be like that? He walked apprehensively towards it and took a closer look.
He crouched down next to the body and peered at the man’s hand, frowning to himself.
The gun appeared to be stuck to his hand.
How could that be? Why would he stick the gun into his own hand?
He stood up again and thought. He took his helmet off despite the earlier warnings
then knelt back down and rolled the body onto it’s back.
Definitely F.I.S. he thought as he looked at the armour.
He picked up the man’s hand in which the gun was stuck and examined his palm. The blaster had been stuck with some form of adhesive right to the man’s glove.
“Something’s not right.” Blast muttered to himself and dropped the arm, looking around, still crouched.
He made to get up then had second thoughts and turned back to the body. He leant over and with some difficulty, removed the helmet.
The U.R.S. leader fell onto his backside as he realized what had happened.
“CHECK THE BODIES!” He yelled, leaping up. “ALL OF THEM! REMOVE THE HELMETS!”
The body in the armour was not that of a clone; it was that of a Twi’lek, the native species of Ryloth.
BUT WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT? FIND OUT IN PART 3: PART 2! COMING FRIDAY 29TH MARCH!
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