The metal I recovered from Fest is known as phrik, a rare mineral Jan was able to trace to the Gromas system. Alliance intel suggested that one of the moons was rich in the mineral, and an Empire mining base was likely to be hidden there. Jan and I set off for the Gromas system, and came up with our plan of action. We agreed that we couldn’t hope to steal enough of the mineral for Alliance uses, and destroying the mine would be our best course of action. I took a sequencer charge with me, with the aim of destroying the main power generator.
The crimson rocky moon was a welcome change after the icy caves of Fest, and we spotted an Imperial base on our approach. This was a major facility, with a big reactor; we would need to leave very quickly when I set that charge. Jan dropped me off nearby, in a secluded section of canyon to the west of the imperial base. I stuck to the walls and snuck around to bring the mine into view, taking out a couple patrolling Stormtroopers.
This attracted the attention of basically every patrol outside, though a few thermal detonators and a handful of power cells got me underneath the mine. Nobody had raised the alarm, so I took my time clearing out all the patrols: I needed as little resistance as possible once that charge was set. Eventually, I made it through to the entrance: a small elevator against the eastern wall.
Ahead of me were stairs climbing further into the mining base, with Commandos guarding the way. Their helmets made a nice dull thud as they hit the ground, and one was holding a fusion cutter which added nicely to my little armory. I steeled myself for the gauntlet ahead: these mining bases are all similar, and I was on the opposite side to the reactor. Behind the door in front of me would be a long corridor of connected drilling platforms, in each an assortment of Stormtroopers, Officers and Commandos.
The door opened, and my reflexes kicked in, killing the unsuspecting Officer walking through. There was no more time to waste, and I cleared the room. The next room was a connecting corridor that had a lower section which made it easier to avoid the blaster fire from the troopers down there: it is little known that the Stormtrooper armour makes it difficult to aim upwards.
The next drilling platform was lower than the last one, but connected like it wasn’t. Empire cutbacks can’t afford stairs, I guess. I dropped down on top of a Stormtrooper, knocking him out. I rotated around to the right of the drill, killing an Officer who was inspecting some barrels. I heard two more Stormtroopers in the room coming to investigate, so I looped around to get them from behind. One was crouching over the Officer’s dead body, the other observing. I shot the one crouching and punched the other one as he turned. He stumbled backwards into the drill and was crushed into the ground.
I moved through the next corridor, which snaked around for some reason. There was a checkpoint at the end, but a well placed thermal detonator killed the three guards. The next drilling room had a drill moving up and down through a molten rock pool. There was no other way out of this room, so I looked over the edge of the drill and saw an opening near the bottom. I jumped onto the top of it, riding the moving platform down and leaping across.
The opening led to the sewage system, which brought back harsh memories of Anoat city. I moved around the snaking tunnels, dodging the waste compactors and silencing the strangely high number of patrols down there. I reached a large room that stretched from the top to the bottom of the complex, and I suspect it was a pressure outlet. The way forward was across the room, a small metal grate all that would be there to catch me. I had no choice but to jump, grabbing onto the grating and pulling myself up.
Ahead of me was another of the compactors, and a lip upward with a patrol of Stormtroopers aiming their blasters at me. I threw a thermal detonator at them as the compactor came down, shielding me from the blast and offering them nowhere to escape. Climbing up the ledge as the compactor raised, I followed that tunnel to another tall room.
Across from me were two corridors, but I couldn’t jump that far. I peered over the edge and saw a small platform below me. I dropped onto it, and noticed a jump I could make now: a compressor blocked it half the time but an entrance was nearby. I timed the jump carefully and propelled myself into corridor, rolling against the wall in the sewage filth. Dusting myself off, I proceeded forwards.
The end of the corridor led conveniently to my target: the power generator. I strapped the sequencer charge to the side, and must have tripped some kind of alarm because the generator started retreating into the ceiling. A large metal hand reached out from the space left, and climbed out of the hole. I backed against a wall, fear chilling me to the bone and rooting me to the spot.
It stood at two and a half meters, black and skeletal, with cables and circuitry visible. It held a large shield in one hand, the other was replaced by a long blade glowing with energy. It’s head twitched slightly, then the glowing eyes locked onto me. Instinct kicked in; I searched the room for an exit but saw nothing, so scampered back away from the droid. It moved slowly, only able to walk it seems. This was a Dark Trooper, one of the terrible things that left the TAK base at Talay burning. And now one had its cold, droid eyes set squarely on me.
I fired my blaster rifle at it, but it deflected the shot with the shield. I shot again, closer to its chest and watched as it staggered slightly. I was still damaging it, I just needed something a bit more explosive. I holstered the rifle and grabbed a few thermal detonators - I only had a few so I would needed to have good aim. Luckily it was a big target and I have great aim. The first hit made the droid trooper stagger backwards, the second hit just as hard. It deflected the next few, but was still caught in the blast. It took a few more blasts, but the droid finally collapsed and hit the floor with a metallic clang.
I radioed Jan, telling her what I had just killed and told her to be ready to leave quickly. I’d wasted a lot of the getaway time I’d planned for fighting the Dark Trooper, so I had to get out of this mine quickly. Fortunately, one of the thermal detonators that got deflected blasted open a door, and the elevator inside took me back into the room with the drill platform moving up and down. The previously closed door was now open, and a lever was on the wall. I pulled it and sprinted down the corridor to the outside, past some very confused Stormtroopers heading in the other direction. Some shots flew past my head, but I was already halfway back to the Crow. Jan opened the cargo doors for me to jump on, and we were heading towards the atmosphere as the explosion shook the moon.