sábado, 24 de janeiro de 2009

Star Wars Republic Commando Hard Contact - A Clone Wars Novel - Karen Traviss



Okay, this is how it happened.
It’s pitch black below and we’re fast-roping into the crevasse,too fast: I can feel the impact in my back teeth when I land. I’m first down and I flood the chamber with my helmet spot-lamp.
There’s a triple-sealed blast door between us and the Geonosians and I haven’t got time to calculate the charge needed to blow it. A lot, then.P for plenty, like I was taught. Stick the thermal tape around the edges and push in the detonator. Easier said than done: the alloy door’s covered with crud.

Delta Squad’s CO gets on the helmet comlink. “You having a party down there, Theta?”
“Can’t rush an artist. . .”
“You want to tell that to the spider droids?”
“Patience, Delta.”Come on, come on. Stick to the metal, will you? “Nearly there.”
“Alot of spider droids. . .”
“I hear you, Delta.”
“In your own time. No pressure. None at all. . .”
“Clear!”

We flatten ourselves against the cavern walls. It’s all white light and painful noise and flying dust for a fraction of a second. When we can see again, the doors are blown inward, ripped apart, billowing smoke.

"Delta Squads—clear to enter.Take take take.”
“I thought you’d never ask.” Delta Squad hits the ground and they’re straight in, firing, while we stand back and cover their six. It’s a warren of tunnels down here. If we’re not careful, something could jump us from any direction.

My helmet’s supposed to protect against high decibels, but war is noisy.Really noisy. I can’t hear my helmet comlink through theomph-omph-omph of the Geonosians’ sonic rounds and our own blasterfire. I can hear anti-armor going off, too.Fierfek, I can feel it through my boots.

Movement catches my eye up ahead, and then it’s gone. I’m looking up through the DC-17’s scope, checking that it was just my imagination, and Taler gestures toward another of the five tunnels facing us.

“Darman, take that E-Web and hold this position.” He beckons Vin and Jay and they move almost back-to-back toward the mouth of the tunnel, checking to all sides.
And then I look up, overhead.
There’s more Geonosians around than we thought. Alot more. I take down two above me and then more come out of the tunnel to the left so I open fire with the repeating blaster, nice and early, because if I let them get too close the blast will fry me as well.
Even so, it’s knocking me back like a trip-hammer.

“Taler, Darman here, over.” I can’t see him. I can’t see any of them, but I can hear rapid fire. “Taler, Darman here, you receiving me, over?”
Not so much silence as an absence of a familiar voice. Then a few fragmented, crackling shouts of “. . . down! Man down here!”

Who? Who’s down? “Taler? Vin? Jay? You receiving, over?”
I’ve lost contact with my squad. It’s the last time I see them.


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