Just A Chance

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Kamino: Training Room Seven

"There's too many droids!"

88 turned as the man to his left was shot down by a trio of droids advancing his direction.

"We can hold them! We have to protect the cadets!" He yelled back over comma, shifting back a step protectively as he cast a glance over his shoulder at the eight remaining cadets huddled in the middle of a circle of troopers.

The cadets weren't too much younger than 88 himself, only separates by about four standard years, but by a clones measurement that was eight years.

88 felt a blaster bolt clip his shoulder and he stiffened, his HUD highlighting the offending droid target as he raised his left arm and put two bolts through the clankers head. Another droid quickly filled the fallen droids spot, though, and ring of droids advanced again, pressing the thin circle of troopers back even further.

Behind him, 88 heard one of the cadets whimper softly and after shooting down another droid he risked a glance back. He caught sight of the kid, curled into a tight ball his his head tucked under his arms. He looked a little younger, maybe six or seven. He didn't have a training helmet like the rest, and his fatigues were a different colour.

A late night explorer? 88 wondered, watching the terrified cadet for a moment before a blast suddenly caught his side and knocked him back. He yelled, collapsing back among the group of cadets and hissing loudly in sudden pain. The cadets, startled, jumped up and backed off from him. 88 quickly got back onto his feet.

"Get back together and stay down," he barked, unintentionally harsh as he gritted his teeth against the pain. He clutched his injured side but raised his blaster, paying better attention to the grid of blaster bolts flying around him.

He heard a scream over the comms and faintly saw another trooper fall. He ducked in a sharp pained breath and focused harder, picking off the droids with as much precision and speed as he could, but they still kept coming. He could feel blood oozing through his bodysuit and he could hear several of the cadets start whining and crying. They were scared, he was scared. He didn't know how they'd make it out of this alive.

"SBD's!" someone yelled behind him, a note of terror in the man's voice. 88 started, his HUD almost instantly notifying him of the same despairing fact as it highlighted the hefty newcomers in red. He felt his throat go dry and struggled to keep focused for a moment. The enemy seemed to know they were wearing thin, and bow they'd sent in the big guns to finish them off.

"Keep...strong..." he ordered, setting his jaw. He was the same rank as the other men by his side, but he felt an odd sense of protective obligation to hold out and ensure the others did the same. They had to protect Kamino, and they had to protect the cadets.

There were a few screams as the circle of men shrank in size, theSBD's roughly shoving their way into the fight. 88 struggled to keep out of their line of fire, while picking off as many little droids as he could. It was a hopeless cause, but he held his ground. Another blaster bolt seared his leg armour and his HUD flared red.

"Armour compromised. Integrity at 23%," a light voice warbled over the sound of blaster fire and screaming men.

"I know," 88 snapped at the display, ignoring the flashing red and focusing his fire on one of the damaged SBD's. Another bolt glanced off his shoulder.

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