Writing project; The Hacht Chronicle.

Hacht

New Member
Jan 3, 2022
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Take this as you will, I just wrote these for fun.

Chapter 1.

The Dagger, in orbit of Volturn V.

The hallways lining the Acclamators interior felt endless as the 2nd Lieutenant marched along them, the constant hum of the wall and ceiling lights prickling at his ears. His posture was astute and his soul filled with curiosity and purpose. He didn't know why he was brought here from the Burstlink, only that someone had wanted to see him. He had come with no one else; not even the other 2nd Airborne troopers, Ecliptor, Danzig, or Brennus. Questions had began to circulate through his mind as to why he was summoned here, what mission he would have to undertake by the orders of some stuck up, fat cat of a captain. The amount of times he had to put up with commanders and captains who were more bark than bite, he  could no longer remember, but he had begun to grow tired of it. He had begun to grow tired of the war, of seeing his brothers run into battle and die day by day, he didn't care what happened after; he just wanted the war to end. Lost in his thoughts, he wandered by multiple astromech droids, cleaning the hallways and a few troopers in purple engravings.

The noise of the corridor seemed to fade, and he began to focus on one sound; the clanking of his prosthetic leg against the floor. Every time he thought about it, he could remember that day on Vardos with the Magna droid, when the bastard swiped his leg clean off. He couldn't feel it at the time, but a few hours later and it burnt like hell. His thoughts could've continued on forever, if not for a sudden feeling on his shoulder; the pressure of someone's hand. Hacht swivelled himself, surprised, coming face-to-face with another trooper in his 2nd Airborne attire. Hacht raised his hand and saluted the other trooper before addressing him, "2nd Lieutenant." The trooper waved his hand in front of him, dismissing his salute and responding in a casual tone, "You don't need to greet me by rank, Hacht. We talked about this the last time we met." Hacht relaxed his posture a bit, before straightening himself again and replying, "Sorry, Septimus, it's instinct at this point." The 1st Lieutenant put his arm along Hacht's shoulder, while with his other free hand, punched a code into the doorway he had brought him into. "Besides, it'll get confusing, considering we're both 2nd lieutenants now." Septimus gave Hacht a little jab on his left arm, and the two walked in to find the room dimly lit.

It was some sort of briefing room, with a large holo-table in the centre, emitting a gentle, cyan blue. Around the table were five other troopers, all donning the 2nd Airborne armour. Septimus strides up to the table, while Hacht approaches with more of a shuffle. Three of the troopers looking down at the table tilt their helmets up to glimpse at the 2nd lieutenant. Now that he is closer, he can make out more details on their armour: The painting is scuffed and visible dents are cratered all over. The trooper on the right of him scoffs, lifting his head up high as he addresses Hacht. "Septimus, what were you thinking bringing this...reject here? Isn't he from that, how do I put this, 'less than desirable' detachment?" Hacht's anger begins to flare up as he faces fiercely stares the trooper down, a fire burning in his eyes behind the cold visor. He clenches his fist and moves closer to the table before Septimus outstretches an arm to halt him. He speaks clearly and with a sudden sourness in his voice, "Hacht is one of us. As a trooper of the 2nd Airborne, he has as much right to be here as the rest of us. So I would consider keeping your mouth shut, Jackal." The trooper lifts his shoulders and also clenches his fist, but one of the 2nd Airborne still looking down at the holotable speaks up in a powerful voice, "9112, 2981, contain your anger until we have to face our enemy." He straightens himself, standing tall - almost appearing taller than the rest of the troopers, it seemed. He moved his hand toward a console on the holo-table, pressing one of it's many buttons, as what appeared to be some sort of ground map formed, with the Acclamator in orbit above it. He cleared his throat, placing his hands behind his back and began his briefing.

"Listen up, 2nd Airborne. You have all been called here for a particular purpose. Our scouts a while ago told us they believe that the planet below us, Volturn V, holds a secret Seperatist listening post. After making necessary sensor adjustments, we have determined this to be true. We have been able to decipher a fraction of the Seperatists' communication and have picked out a single word, 'Operation Headwater'." The 2nd Airborne troops stood at attention, listening to their commanding officer, taking in every excruciating detail as best they could. "Other than that codename, we have no clue what the Seperatists are planning, but they don't seem to realise we're here yet, but if they have, they may not realise we know that they're there. This will be a six-man mission; we believe the listening post to be lightly defended, but information is still scarce, so a grand invasion force will not be needed. However, the 187th are on standby to deploy if anything does indeed happen." The commander pressed another button, and the holo-table enhanced the generated terrain to show a canyon. At the end of the canyon was a steep turn into a valley, where the listening post was built into the side of the wall. "Since they'll see us coming from any other direction, a dropship will put you down at the mouth of the canyon, where it is then your job to travel through it, infiltrate the base and extract any information required. The journey through the canyon will take you a day, at least, so you must be quick and you must be careful. The terrain of Volturn V is incredibly unstable due to it's volcanic nature, but no geothermal activity has been detected near the listening post, as of yet. Are there any questions?" The room goes silent as all the troopers stand intently. One of the 2nd Airborne stands to attention, his armour more dented than the rest, and he speaks in a clear voice, "No sir. We have no questions." The commander addresses the trooper, "Good, Gabriel. I expect to have all of these men back safetly along with that intel. Your transport leaves in two hours." The holotable turns off with a buzz, as the troopers make their way into the corridor and march towards the hangar bay.

They arrive in the hangar bay, and Hacht sits down on a box, pondering to himself, hearing the other troopers arguing in the backround. He repeats the orders over and over, memorizing them. The rest of the 2nd Airborne troopers load up onto the LAAT, and Septimus beckons to Hacht, who rushes in. The LAAT doors close as it begins to shake and slowly lift itself out of the hangar, its engines roaring as it descends to the surface below. Hacht thinks to himself again, of everything he was told. A secret stealth operation through unstable enemy territory, with the amount of hostiles not calculable, with no backup guaranteed. He smiles to himself, before in his head thinking, "What could possibly go wrong?"

Chapter 2

Volturn V, surface

The LAAT began to shake as it breached through the dark, smoky atmosphere of Volturn V. As it hovered in the air, the doors shook open, revealing the halfway point of the canyon in front of the 2nd Airborne. One by one, they jumped out of the LAAT, and using their jetpacks, hopped on to a small rocky pathway. Hacht looks back to the transport as the last 2nd Airborne - and their leader for this operation - Gabriel, turns back and salutes the pilot as the transport flies back through the cloudy skies.

Hacht stared off into the distance out of the canyon, barely able to form the words to describe the sight. The fields that sat at the edge of the canyon seemed almost endless, covered in ash and glistening inky rocks. Scattered across the plains below were large tree-like structures; although they looked more like coral to Hacht, with bulbous, bioluminescent orbs hanging off of their ends. patches of bubbling molten rock were plentiful as far as he could see, shooting magma into the air at least a dozen meters. the sky was covered in an endless sea of clouds, each of them grey, completely blocking any light from Volturn's pale sun reaching the charred surface below. He heard a loud CLAP CLAP!  from behind him as Gabriel smacked his hands together, signalling for them all to gather for a re-briefing.

He put his hands on his sides and spoke, "Alright men, now that we're on the ground, things are going to be tricky. We'll have no communications to the ship while we're down here, so we're on our own for the moment. After calculating how fast we can move through the canyon and how long the canyon actually is, it'll take us at least a day and a half to reach the listening post. We'll have to be swift and silent, if we're caught before we reach our objective, the seps will no doubt call for help, and we'll all be in trouble. So keep your jetpacks fastened, your wits about you, and try not to look down." He turned around and squatted, then activating his jetpack to let him fly to a rock ledge at the other side of the canyon. The rest of the 2nd Airborne followed suit, with Septimus being the usual show-off, opting to to get a running start and twirl mid-air before activating his pack. Gabriel pressed the palm of his hand against his helmet as Septimus laughed off his concern.

An hour after they had landed, they continued to trudge precariously through the canyon, with still no sign of the CIS to be found. The six of them were beginning to grow tired of the endless ash covered walls, the dark skies and the rancid scent of something constantly burning. To Hacht, it had felt like he had walked into hell itself. They had come to rest on a larger ledge to scout out the remaining distance of the canyon. Hacht peered curiously at the wall behind them, as it had a gaping crack, big enough to fit a full grown man. He couldn't see inside of it that well, so he picked up a small stone and chucked it in, with a good 3 seconds before he can hear it hit the ground. Gabriel let out a large exhale as he stared down the canyon, concerned as a black fog seemed to drift in from it's gaping maw, concealing the rest of it from view. He moved over to Jackal, who was busy fiddling with his rifle. He placed his hand on his shoulder before pointing upwards, to the top of the canyon, "The fog is gonna block our view, I want you to go up there and see if you can spot the listening post from here." Jackal nodded, gripped his rifle tight, and soared through the air to the top of the canyon. Hacht sat down next to Septimus, who was holding one of the bioluminescent orbs taken from the local flora, cutting small bits off with his virbo-knife. Hacht was about to ask what he was doing, but Septimus had already acted.

Hacht watched in disgust as Septimus lifted up his helmet and placed the chunk he cut off into his mouth. Hacht felt like he was going to throw up as he heard Septimus make a loud gulp before he turned to him. "It's some sort of fruit", he said, "sweet, but rubbery." He pushed his helmet back down as Hacht, repulsed, sputtered a response, "And you ate it??" Septimus inhaled, then nervously spoke "Actually, I don't think We're alone in here. I found some other smashed fruits on the ground, they had large gaps in them, like something had bitten into them and torn them from the branches. We've gotta look out for anything crawling about, just in case." 

Just then, the troopers heard something from above them; Jackal was sliding back down the canyon wall, shouting and yelling. No one could hear what he was saying, as a louder noise seemed to drown him out. Hacht couldn't put his finger on it, but Gabriel seemed to figure it out before him, as he started shouting "COVER! HIDE! GET OUT OF VIEW!" Startled and confused, the troopers scrambled to look for somewhere to hide, before Hacht pointed out the crevice in the wall. The troops rushed in, with Jackal following behind as he made it in. Hacht stared out of the crack as two dark blue shadows zoomed past. When the noise had finally stopped, Jackal, with laboured breathing, spoke to Gabriel, "Tri fighters, two of them. They've been flying up and down the canyon for a while now. I don't think we were spotted." The group gave a unanimous sigh of relief as Gabriel helped Jackal to stand. "The listening post, did you see it?" Jackal looked up at him and shook his helmet, "No sir, but there's something else. Some sort of base. It looked like a large gate, in the bend of the canyon just ahead of us." Gabriel let out an annoyed sigh, palm against his visor. "So, what do we do then? If the CIS have a security checkpoint up ahead, we may never make it to the listening post. we're far too outnumbered, maybe now is the time to call for backup..." the troops began to sit and ponder, before one of the other 2nd Airborne, a trooper named Cicada, shone his flashlight onto a gap further into the cavern and gestured for Gabriel to come see. 

"Well, there no guarantee it'll get us beyond that checkpoint", Gabriel relayed to the group, "but, it's our best shot. We're yet to be discovered, so we still have the advantage. Come on now everyone." One by one, the troops climbed through the gap into an open cave system. Slowly, they began to advance through the dark, their flashlights cutting through the dark like a lightsaber through droids. Hacht continuously turned his head back, weary of what Septimus had said earlier. Maybe it was just the dark playing tricks on him, but Hacht could swear he saw something shuffle in the darkness behind them, as they continued through the caves.

PART 3 WILL COME WHEN I FEEL LIKE WRITING IT
 
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