The four officers grossed over the map. Their lack of faith could be read from their troubled faces. ‘If we can come in quick from the south position and use it as a diversion, we can draw their attention from guarding the north towers.’
‘And funnel our troops into a choke. That’s the the most ridiculous idea I’ve heard all day, captain. Our forces are limited. We cannot take the spaceport this way. We need some support to break their line.’
‘I have not heard a proper suggestion from your side, lieutenant! We agreed this discussion to be open since we have, as you rightly mention, limited forces.’
‘And I assume I do not need to remind you gentlemen who’s fault that is.’ Sergeant Dono looked at his superiors one by one. ‘I’ll have a look with sergeant Rust if our scouts have returned.’
He turns to find a man dressed in a dark cloak entered the command tent.
‘If I may give you a suggestion, officers?’
Rust pulled his blaster our and aimed it at the stranger: ‘How did you enter here, civilian? Where are the guards?’
The stanger smiled: ‘Your guards are on guard duty, as they should be.’
‘Sergeant Rust, stand down!’ Lieutenant Miguel walked towards the man and examined him top to bottom: ‘I don’t know who you are and why your here, but unless you have useful information I suggest you leave. Guards!’
Two guards entered the tent and stood in front of the man who simply smiled again and said: ‘There is no need for you to be here, you will return to your post.’ To the astonishment of the officers both guards replied simply: ‘there is no need for us to be here. We will return to our post.’
After they left the man looked at the officers: ‘now, where were we?’
The lieutenant unhostered his blaster and held it point blank at the man: ‘there is no we, stranger. We take our orders from Supreme Leader Snoke directly. We have been given the special….hgurh..’
Miguel’s free hand went to his throat as he tried to fight of the invisible hand that was choking him.
‘One would think a simple mind trick would give an officer the necessary hints. Apparently you are a tough learner.’ He disarmed the lieutenant and forced the man on his knees. ‘Since we’ve just met, consider this a warning and a test of faith that you’ve earned your rank for a reason.’ He released the lieutenant who collapsed on the floor, gasping for air.
‘Listen, Snoke is dead! Whatever your mission was, it is meaningless now. You are outmanned and outgunned. I don’t know if you value the lives of your men, but you will need them all to get off this planet alive.’
‘There is no force present here that can defeat us. We are the First Order. The enemy has a good defensive position, but we will overrun them.’
‘If that is what you think, then why have you not taken this outpost earlier. With Snoke dead and the First Order leadership temporarily shattered, it’s enemies will take the chance to strike swift and hard where they can. And you happen to be alone on a remote planet.’
Sergeant Rust looked at the man: ‘if we are a big target here, who dares to come for us? The rebels have no such force.’
‘Your rebels do not concern me. I have been to many planets in the Outer Rim since the fall of the Empire, and many organisations are eager to gain ground the moment the Order is weakened.’
Lieutenant Miguel, who had gained his composure asked: ‘And do you have any proof for your statements?’
The stranger shot a dangerous glance at him, to which Miguel flinched into a defensive stance. When nothing happened he carefully joined the others at the table.
‘The evidence will show itself, lieutenant. However. You must prepare your retreat first. We will talk after.’
A soldier entered the tent: ‘Sir, a message from high command.’ He handed the datapad to captain Rust, who was closest to him.
Rust grossed over is before reading it for the others: ‘By orders of Kylo Ren: All First Order troops are to abort their current mission and rendezvouz at target coordinates.’
Sergeant Dono looked at the stanger: ‘How did you know?’
‘I have sensed it, the balance of power is changing.’
Lieutenant Miguel looked at his men: ‘Sergeant Rust and Dono, retrieve your scouts and prepare retreat. We leave in two hours. Captain, find me a safe extraction point.’
Both sergeants saluted and left the tent while the captain went to work.
Miguel approached the stranger: ‘before you leave, what else do you know, stanger? I’d like to bring back some intel for high command.’
‘Not here, not now. I will be in the desert town you passed through in three days.’
‘How can we find you?’
‘That’s simple, lieutenant. Ask for Jaden.’