8/11 3644 BBY
0700 hours; Fort Garnik mess hall
A Republic Captain, a mirialan named Romido Crowe, walks into the room. He makes his way over to a table occupied by a squad of five Republic Troopers, consisting of Staff Sergeant Allana Roshishi, Sergeant Domavn Thane, Corporal Gabriel Thorne, Private Shane Dyrson, and a newcomer Private Erryen, who are presently wearing their casual clothes, and eating their breakfast. As soon as he stops at their table, the squad immediately gets up and salutes the mirialan Captain. The captain salutes back "As you were, Echo Squad," The Mirialan looks between the group as they take their seats, "Sergeant Roshishi, I want you and your squad in the briefing room and ready to sortie in a couple of hours." The young Twi'lek nods as the Captain leaves the table.
Gabriel lights up a cigarette and sighs as the others finish their breakfast and begin to take their trays away "I thought today was going to be our day off..." The Twi'lek smirks at him "Were you planning on doing something else today, Corporal?" Gabriel looks at her and takes a drag from his cigarette "I was going to go do some repairs on my speeder bike, maybe visit the cantina..."
She smiles at him and places her hand on his "Gabriel, You can do that whenever you want. Besides, we've got a couple of hours to kill before the captain needs us. I was thinking...maybe we could spend some time together?" He takes a another drag from his cigarette and smiles back at her before putting out his cigarette. "You have something in mind, Allana?" She nods at him and then looks down at his hand "There's an unguarded APC around the corner...I don't think anyone will mind if we occupy it for a bit." He squeezes her hand and then kisses it "Lead the way." She gets out of her seat and pulls Gabriel behind her as they make their way around the corner to the APC.
0830 hours, the back of the APC
Gabriel and Allana are lying next to each other on the floor of the APC, this song playing lowly on a radio in the background. The two of them have a tarp covering them from the chest down. Gabriel has his arm wrapped around her stomach. "When this is all over...I was thinking maybe we could settle down somewhere nice. Maybe Dantooine." Allana chuckles as she places her hand on his "As long as we're together, Gabriel, I couldn't care less where we end up..." He smiles and runs his hand along her stomach, "But...we should start getting dressed...The briefing's gonna start soon." she says, "Just a little bit longer, Allana..."
Five minutes later, the two of the two of them are getting dressed. Allana looks over toward Gabriel as he presses a couple of buttons on the door "Gabriel..." she says as the back of the APC opens, "We need to talk after the briefing." He turns his head to his right side and looks back at her. "You don't wanna talk here? I can shut the door." She shakes her head at him "I... don't think you'd want to hear this in the back of a dirty Manka walker." He turns around and smirks at her "As opposed to the rest of the base?" She looks down at the metal floor of the APC "Gabriel...I'm pregnant." Gabriel looks at her for a moment with an expression of shock mixed in with a bit of anxiety and maybe a tiny bit of fear "Are...Are you sure?" She nods and looks up at him. "How long have you known?" He takes a seat next to her in one of the built in seats of the APC and wraps his arm around her blue shoulder "Since yesterday. Gabriel, Look...I don't want to get shipped back home yet, so... you can't tell anyone." He hugs her tightly as the two of them talk "Are you sure? What if you get hurt? What about the kid?" She nods at him again, "I'll be fine. Besides, I want to see this war through to the end." He lets out a sigh and kisses her forehead "God, you're stubborn...You know that, right?"
0900 hours, briefing room
The Sergeant and the Corporal make their way into the briefing room, where the rest of the squad plus another squad are neatly gathered around a holotable projecting the mission area. Each member is fully geared up in their armor with the exception of their helmets. The captain goes over the objective for the two squads, the smell of cigarette smoke from an ash tray filling the room as he talks. "Alright, we intercepted transmissions from the separatists, thanks to some of our SIS friends, it seems they're expecting a shipment of weapons and at least one walker to be delivered to this compound." The holotable shows an image of a separatist compound. Gabriel looks up from the holotable at Allana, her focus on the holotable. He turns his attention back towards the holotable.
"The SIS, posing as arms dealers, set up a trade with them. That's where Delta and Echo squads come in. Our 'arms dealers' are going to 'deliver' the walker, mocked up to look like a seppie walker, but instead of weapons, the enemy will find both squads with weapons ready. You're going to go through the compound and retake it from those seppie bastards." The squads respond with an affirmative shout of "Yes sir" before being dismissed. "One more thing. We have reason to believe the Imperials might be helping out the Separatists. Specifically, you're looking for this man, Boruru Sudesol." He brings up an image of a dark haired chiss, no more than thirty, wearing a black suit and a ponytail. "Take him alive. If we can do that, it might bring us closer to winning this war. Other than that, you're dismissed." The squads sound off with another "Yes, sir" and make their way to the walker.
Gabriel stops Allana outside of the briefing room, "Allana...You know I love you, right?" She nods, "You're not going to try to talk me out of this, are you?" He shakes his head and looks down at the ground and back to her "Allana...Marry me." Her eyes widen and a tear rolls down her face and she runs her hand down her armored stomach "When...When we get back, I'll marry you, Gabriel." She looks up at him, hugging him tightly as the two of them share a deep, passionate kiss before pulling away and making their way towards the APC with the rest of the squad.
1100 hours, Manka class walker en route to the separatist compound, Avilitan badlands
The radio plays a song lowly in the background while Gabriel loads a fragmentation grenade into the underslung grenade launcher on his slughtrower rifle. Shane is fiddling around on his datapad, Sergeant Domavyn and Private Erryan are talking about their respective homeworlds, Allana's listening to the two with a smile on her face and the other squad's talking amongst themselves as well. Allana glances towards Gabriel and gives her fiance a smile, she keeps one of her hands on her rifle and the other on her stomach. Gabriel smiles back at her as he rests his rifle on his lap, leaning forward, the two of them across from one another. He begins to daydream about their life together, they live on a farm on Dantooine. Gabriel's harvesting some crops as a little girl no more than four, runs up to him and tugs on his clothes, he picks her up and she wraps her arms around his neck "Mommy says dinner's ready." He smiles and carries her back into their home, making their way to the dining room. He helps her into a booster seat as Allana gets the dining table ready. He walks over to her hugs her from behind, then he turns her around and kisses her forehead before taking a seat across from her at the table and begins scarfing down his food.
In an instant, he's awakened from his daydream by an explosion caused by a rocket launcher. The front of the walker is obliterated, killing the SIS agent and co-pilot within the cockpit. Fortunately, both squads were protected by the door separating the cockpit from the hold. "It's an ambush!", "How the hell did they know we were coming?!", "Allana, are you alright?!", "Gabriel, get that door open!" (cue) Gabriel gets out of his seat and busts the panel on the side of the door open with the stock of his rifle, and he begins to hotwire the door open. Once the door opens, the squads make their way out of the transport using the surrounding rocks, debris and even the transport itself as cover. From the cover of a large rock, Gabriel looks for which ever separatist just blew up the transport. Once he sees the separatist reloading his rocket, he fires his rifle at the separatist. The bullet goes through through the separatists' eye socket, causing his body to go limp as he's in the middle of pulling the trigger on the rocket launcher, causing it to fire at the ground, killing him and three other separatists in a fiery explosion.
(Cue) The squads continue fighting for what feels like forever. By now, it's been an hour and thirty minutes in to the battle and the teams are whittled down to four people. The entirety of Delta squad has been eliminated, with the remaining members of the strike team consisting of Sergeant Allana Roshishi, Corporal Gabriel Thorne, Private Shane Dyrson, and Private Erryen. "Sergeant Roshishi, we need an extraction!", "Don't you think, I know that, Private?! I'm trying to get them on the comm! Just keep firing back!", "Yes Sergea-!" just then Private Erryen is shot through the head by a sniper, his body losing all motor function as he falls backwards, his blood splattering all over Allana. Gabriel picks up a piece of debris and uses it as a shield as he makes his way towards Allanna. "I'm running low on ammo, Allana, we can't keep this up!" (Cue) Just then, the fire ceases as Shane lifts up his hand in a closed fist. Allana and Gabriel turn to him, "Shane, Are you nuts?! Get the fuck down!" He then turns toward the two, and turns his rifle towards them. Gabriel aims his rifle at Shane, "You better have a good fucking reason for pointing your weapon at us, private." He says with an inflection of pure rage and hatred in his voice. The surviving separatists that ambushed the strike team start to make their way down towards the two surviving Republic soldiers.
"All we ever wanted...was independence from the corrupt Republic, Gabriel. This war, the death, the destruction...None of it would have happened if your Republic had just allowed us to be free...My family would still be here if it weren't for you people!" Gabriel in a fit of rage fires his rifle at the man, only for the rifle to make an audible click. Shane places his rifle in its sling and pulls out his pistol, shooting Gabriel in the shoulder. Gabriel screams out in pain and falls backwards, dropping his rifle and holding his shoulder. Allana moves over to him and covers his body with hers as Shane begins to aim at the two of them. Just then, the chiss, Boruru Sudesol, places his hand on shane's shoulder and begins speaking in an imperial accent. "Don't kill them. They'll make great prisoners." Shane looks at the chiss "But major...They're only grunts." Allanna takes off her helmet as she gives some medical attention to Gabe's shoulder. "It doesn't matter. We'll use them as messages to the Republic and your corrupt government." The chiss turns towards the rest of his subordinates, "Take them to the stronghold and toss them in the smallest cell we have.", "Yes, sir." The separatists force Gabriel and Allana to their feet as they take them to their stronghold.
1430 hours, Separatist stronghold
Gabriel and Allana are thrown into a prison cell within the stronghold. Gabriel lands on his shoulder causing him to shout in pain. He rolls over, keeping his hand on the part of his arm just under his shoulder as Allana cleans his wound "Allana...I'm going to get us out of here." he grits his teeth as she places a kolto patch on his wound. "Not with that arm, you aren't." She smiles at him "How can you smile at a time like this, Allana?" He lets go of his shoulder and sits himself up. "We need to...we need to break out of here and fight our way back to the fort!" She places her head on his chest and wraps her arms around him "We'll need a better plan than just shooting our way out of here, Gabe." "Well, what do you have in mind?" "We bide our time. Wait for an opportunity to get out. Maybe we can even negotiate given my condition..." Gabriel looks down on her and wraps his uninjured arm around her "Have you thought of a name yet?" She looks up at him and holds him tightly "Only two...How do you like Kira or Owen?" He rubs her shoulder, thinking a bit about the names "They both sound good, actually..." She smiles and puts her head on his chest.
End Part I