Smurths and Smithies Chapter 19 Based on a true story.
Geonosis, as I’ve said before, is one of my least favorite planets. The surface is barren, and the sprawling subterranean caverns stink of the Geonosian insectoids.
Despite Greene’s warning about attempting to rescue Crow and Shaw, Brandon Roth was now creeping through the Geonosian catacombs.
What has to be understood about Brandon is that he was Mandalorian, a race of people who much prefer firepower over brainpower. The amount of heavy ordinance Brandon regularly carried was enough to equip a full squad. Going now, on his own, he carried enough to wage a short war.
With a scanner he had located what he hoped were Crow and Shawn’s bio-signs. After laying out various mines and explosive devices at a cave entrance he entered the catacombs by another route.
Carrying his preferred weapon, an LS-150 Heavy Accelerated Charged Particle Repeater Gun (Heavy ACP Repeater), a large air-cooled repeater with disintegrating plasma cartridges, he let the Force guide him in the winding tunnels. Several times he concealed himself to allow groups of Geonosians, and once a Smurth, to pass. If it had been an object he was trying to retrieve rather than live prisoners he would have fought his way in and out. But retrieving hostages worked better when they were alive and he feared the Smurths would terminate the captive Smithies rather than allow them to escape.
Brandon very nearly made it all the way to the cave dungeon without detection, but he rounded the last corner a moment too soon after letting two Smurths, Sara Lynde and Nakayla, pass. Nakayla saw him out of the corner of her eye and turned, shouting at him to lay down his weapon.
Thinking to himself that it would take an incredibly long time to lay down all his weapons, Brandon instead laid down a hail of bullets from his chain-gun.
The two Smurths had no chance to take cover. Nakayla stepped in front of Sara, shielding her from the repeater fire. The force of the plasma rounds’ impact threw Nakayla back onto Sara and they both crashed to the floor.
Brandon, knowing a horde of Smurths and insectoids would quickly converge on him, ran down the passage away from the Smurths, made one more turn and then entered the room where Crow and Shawn were held captive.
Restrained in ion streams the two were suspended upright and spun slowly depending on their movements. Crow was facing the doorway.
“I thought I heard gunfire,” he said, grinning, “Get us loose, huh?”
Crow’s spinning turned him away from Brandon as Shawn spun to face him.
“Howdy, you here to bust us out?”
“If you’re Crow and Shawn, yes.”
Back out in the passageway, Sara pulled herself out from under Nakayla. Struggling to breathe, Nakayla grabbed Sara’s hand.
“That one… is not of Smith House.”
“Then what’s he doing here?!” Sara cried, knowing Nakayla had little time left.
“Making everything… everything more complicated. They will blame my death on the Smithies… but he… is not…” A shuddering sigh left her lips, and then she breathed no more. Sara’s eyes burned with anger as she flipped on her com-link.
“Victoria, someone is trying to free Shawn and Crow. He’s not a Smithy, and he… he killed Nakayla. Send A-Ndr3a to deal with this. It’s time she tested her new components.”
Meanwhile, Brandon had freed the Smith House president and the treasurer from the ion streams. Both Crow and Shawn had insisted on looking for their lightsabers, and about three minutes passed while the Smithies retrieved their lightsaber from a nearby storeroom.
“I told you they wouldn’t be far,” Crow asserted as they returned.
Brandon was watching door when they got back. “I was about to leave you,” he stated.
“You’re not a Smithy,” Shawn observed.
Brandon shook his head and checked the passage outside, “Nope. Just a mercenary. We should get going.”
With that he flipped the switch on a detonator, setting off the explosives he had placed earlier. He smiled at the distant echo. “Let’s go!”
Brandon led them back the way he had come. The explosives had not been as much of a diversion as he hoped they would be. Hordes of Geonosians blocked their progress, but Brandon’s repeater cut a path through the crunchy buggers. Smurths came at them from behind only to find themselves blocked by a portable particle shield generator that Brandon deployed.
Emerging from the tunnels into the open air at a spring, the three men made for Brandon’s starship. Shawn and Crow made it to the ship and halfway up the gangplank before they realized Brandon was no longer with them.
Ten yards from the tunnel exit Brandon had been struck in the shoulder by a small harpoon and jerked off his feet by the attached cable. The other end of the cable attached, quite literally, to the arm of A-Ndr3a.
“That’s new,” Crow said.
Brandon struggled to his feet and faced the android, drawing his lightsaber. He struck the harpoon cable and was rewarded only with a crackle as the blade bounced off.
“Reinforced cortosis!” Crow was amazed. “Where do the Smurths get this stuff! That cable probably costs as much as a starship.”
“That’s why we can’t have nice things,” Shawn replied.
* * *
“I’m gonna go get Tyrel and Tony.”
“Give them more time.” Seth said. He was fine tuning a targeting component he had taken out of his ship’s weapon systems.
I snorted. “It’s been eighteen hours. They’ve obviously hit a snag.”
“Gah!” I threw my hands in the air and walked into the other room where Jordan sat, idly reading up on the recent Naboo news.
“Jordan, how long are we safe here?”
He looked up from his reading, “My sister is stalling for us, and I had a friend send in a report that we left the planet. The Naboo are a very calm people.”
“I noticed,” I said, frowning at him.
Seth followed me into the room, “I’m gonna go get Tyrel and Tony.”
“Were you even listening to me a moment ago?!” I said. He looked back at me blankly.
I turned back to Jordan. “We’re going after Tyrel and Tony.”
He set down the datapad. “I know better than to tell you no. Can we at least do it my way?”
Seth made a face and I chuckled. “It probably won’t involve nearly the violence we would like, but sure, we can try your way.”
* * *
Brandon grabbed the wire just as A-Ndr3a jerked it and it began to reel in. He used the force of her pull to close the gap between them and he hurtled through the air at her. A retractable vibroblade hidden in Brandon’s gauntlet sprang out and he slammed it into A-Ndr3a’s shoulder as they collided. She absorbed the blow without apparent injury. With a snick a similar vibroblade slid out of A-Ndr3a’s wrist and she rammed it through Brandon’s forehead. Brandon crumpled to the ground.
Crow nudged Shawn. “We should go.”
“I think so.”
Brandon was in Smith House for only one semester, thus his sudden appearance and demise.
I am a big fan of the LS-150 Heavy Accelerated Charged Particle Repeater Gun (Heavy ACP Repeater).