Captain Gates

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Two minutes ago everything had been perfectly silent. Like the endless calm before the oncoming storm. It had seemed like nothing would ever come. Almost like they had been safe on that hill, camped out under the open sky with their blasters by their sides waiting for an enemy that seemed never to come. But that had been two minutes ago. 

Now everything was chaos. The enemy had come and the once peaceful hill was stained with the blood of the fallen and littered with bodies from both sides. And they had only just begun. 

"90, cover 95!" Gates yelled over his comms as he ducked under incoming fire and rose swiftly to his feet, putting a few blaster bolts through a droids head. He turned and the blue circle on his HUD display picked out the enemy, highlighting them red. He kept his feet planted as he snapped his left arm up to shoot down the droid that had just knocked 81 to the ground. 

The droid went down as Gates sprinted over to check on 81. The man was breathing and his vitals showed good on the HUD, but he was now sporting a bloody gash across his arm. Gates kept alert as he offered 81 a hand up and pulled the man to his feet.

"Throw some bacta on that wound and help Madden get the civilians out," he said, casting a glance down the hill to the small village they were supposed to be protecting. For now, the brunt of the fighting was still on the hill, but Gates imagined reinforcements wouldn't make to their position there before the droids breached their small number and started down towards the village.

81 pressed the bacta patch against his wounded arm and waited a second until it sealed over the wound, then he nodded.

"Copy that, sir," he said and started down the hill. Gates glanced after him before turning to look back over his shoulder, pausing as his HUD picked out the enemy again and gave him a quick report of who was still alive and who wasn't. He then raised his blaster and started back into the fray, picking off the smaller droids.

"Everyone, fall back to the city gates, defensive positions!" he called loudly over the comms, starting back himself as he kept a steady defense against the droids pushing forward. One of the dumb things tried to rush him but he caught it and snapped the flimsy neck before throwing it aside. He saw 90 and 95 start back along with 47 and Gage. 90 got caught in the crossfire though and didn't get out in time, falling. 95 faltered, starting after his brother but after a sharp work from Gage, he retreated as well. 

As one unit the remains of the 71st Company retreated to the city gates, keeping a defensive position. The droids seemed to have grown in number despite suffering more losses and Gates glanced worriedly to the grey-blue sky, hoping the reinforcements would get there in time. He then cast a glance behind himself and saw 81 and Madden evacuating the town's houses, helping people down the streets as they tried to clear the city. 

Gates then turned his attention back to the droids. A line of SBD's was following the B1's now, and he thought he could hear the dire sound of tanks behind that. He swallowed hard, facing again the reality that kept him up the night before. There was no chance they would make it out of this alive, but at least they'd be dying for the right cause. 

"95, 47, flank them on the right, try to draw their fire until the city is evacuated. Gage, you take the left," he ordered, his voice quieter with the solemn understanding that this would likely be their last set of orders.

They nodded but 95 glanced over. "Sir, what about you?" he asked.

Gates looked over at him, holding his pistol ready as he kept an eye on the approaching droids out of the corner of his eye. He tried to imagine the rookies gaze through the opaque black of his visor for a moment, knowing it was probably the last time he'd see any of them. Finally, he answered.

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