TAK base looked almost completely destroyed, a smoldering ruin of what was once there. It was a massacre, there are no rebels left here and I could smell the unmistakable stench of burning flesh. Whatever hit this place had hit it hard, harder than we’ve seen from the Empire. Jan reminded me that after big offensives the Empire gets sloppy and she was right, dropping me on the landing pad close to the command centre.
The base - or what was left of it at least - was dark: someone disabled the generators so all the doors and lights are locked down. I slipped past the main doors, looking for a more stealthy way in. I’m always up for thinning Empire forces, but this was a big attack and I am just one man, so a more cautious approach was required. There were a couple of Stormtroopers and an Officer with their backs turned, a mistake they’ll never make again, and an exceptionally convenient break in the wall that allowed me to climb up onto the top of the building.
Greeting me were three more troopers, this time very aware that I was there. I dashed behind a nearby wall, taking the closest troopers down as I went and dealing with his nearby friend. Catching my breath, the final trooper’s helmet hit the floor and I sprinted towards the edge of the rooftop. Looking down, the courtyard below was swarming in Empire soldiers, but I had the high ground. For the second time, TAK base experienced a massacre, the last body hitting the ground as I jumped off the roof.
I ran across the bridge in front of me, ducking to the right through a hole in the wall and diving into a bar. It was pitch black, but I could see the faint outline of Stormtroopers standing guard. I took three of them out before they could respond, but the remaining guards took some shots and my shields started to falter. I switched on my headlight, knocked the remaining troopers down and explored the bar. I resupplied and headed out the back, dropping out an open window that backed out onto an alleyway near a hydroelectric generator.
Reaching the generator, I tiptoed across a blade to the control computer and restarted the blades. As they resumed rotating and I dashed across to solid ground, climbing back through the window and exiting the bar. The whole base is powering back up, the lights in the bar are on and I saw the mess of bodies. A burnt corpse caught my eye, and I was brutally reminded of the Empire’s aggression. Steeling myself, I ran towards the central command room to achieve my secondary objective: finding out what caused this.
The way was blocked by a rotating platform and a water pit, and after killing the guards on both sides of the platform I turned to search for some controls. An adjacent room that two Officers had taken refuge in had the switch I was looking for and allowed me to restock my ammunition. I returned to the now accessible bridge and crossed the expanse, finding myself in a field. The amount of resistance from Empire forces is growing, and going straight forward through the large door in front of me felt like suicide.
That’s when the hole in the wall to my right caught my eye, and I sprint over towards it. Dropping into a sewer, I emerged from a tunnel into the side of a courtyard. The patrolling troopers dealt with, I noticed the main control room was swarming with officers. Fortunately, the courtyard was mostly empty, and the troopers patrolling hadn’t noticed me. I picked them off from my relatively hidden location and proceeded to the front entrance.
As the door slid upwards, I inhaled sharply: my instincts told me I wouldn’t be breathing again until my clip was empty. Four troopers on the ground floor. Three on the balcony with two more Officers. Easy pickings, I just needed to keep moving; they can’t hit a moving target. The four troopers on the ground were the first to react but my trigger finger was ready for them. With them down, I hit the wall underneath one part of the balcony which arched around the oval room. Two more troopers came down the staircase, but I was in their blind spot so I doubt they even saw me before their deaths.
I jumped over their bodies as I climbed the stairs they had descended, taking out the officer following the troopers. From the doorway back into the room where the staircase met the balcony I picked off the officers in the confusion. The door to the command room opened as I approached, and soon the floor was covered in imperial blood. Lying there, dropped by the last officer standing, was a rifle the likes of which I had never seen before. It looked incomplete, with uncovered components and loose cables, and it was huge; I could barely lift it, let alone aim using it.
I radioed Jan, telling her of my discovery, and we agreed to rendezvous at the landing pad. There were a few straggling imperial soldiers coming out of their patrols, but I ignored them as best I could. It wasn’t worth trying to clear out the base, we had conceded it to the Empire now I had this strange prototype weapon. As I approached the landing pad, the Crow swung into view and we were home free.