The Secrets of Hoth

The Secrets of Hoth 1

Once a month we will be publishing a Star Wars: Legion fan fiction with an accompanying list. These tales will take you deeper into the world of Legion on your table and give you some insight into your forces and their motivations. We hope you enjoy these Tales on the Table.

– Jay

The alarm rang through the snow-packed walls of a military bunker, filling the soldiers inside them with a sense of dread. The Empire had found the Alliance’s secret base on Hoth, and had come to wipe them off the face of the planet. The Rebellion would need to act fast if they were going to stop the Empire from annihilating all they had worked for.

After finally getting the rest of his kit together, Adan Quix began jogging through the hall, hoping he could still arrive at his station before the battle started. They had hours to prepare, but command kept making last minute changes, and Adan was subject to one of them.

Adan was used to sudden changes by now. He was originally stationed on a planet he thought was too hot, and like a sick joke, he and his men were reassigned to Hoth. He even started to grow out his auburn moustache to help keep his face warmer.

Wanting to be as timely as possible, Adan reached for his belt and took his communicator off to turn it on.

“Vinn, this is Adan,” He said into the device, not breaking in his pace. “Where are you?”

A door just a few feet in front of Adan slid open, and a darker-skinned human soldier stepped out, fiddling with his gloves. He met Adan’s pace, rushing alongside him in the same direction.

“Right here,” Vinn replied, finally getting his gloves on. He took a deep breath and sighed while the two of them jogged through the halls.

“I thought you weren’t hearing my calls from the alarm,” Adan said, focused more on his navigating and keeping his head forward.

“I almost didn’t,” Vinn chuckled. “Now I know why it’s called Echo base.” He gave his joke a moment to see if it was worth any reaction from his friend, but it didn’t seem to be as effective as he’d hoped. “Any idea where we’re moving now?”

“Nope, I just got told to ask General Organa,” Adan replied. “I’m sure she’s got the time to tell two schmucks like us where we’re supposed to go.”

“Oh boy,” Vinn replied and chuckled again. “Let’s hope whoever told you that wasn’t wrong. Get chewed out by our guys before the Empire’s guys start firing at us.”

“You seem like you’re in good spirits for someone about to be shot at.”

“Well, I was supposed to be on a tauntaun for this mess,” Vinn replied. “Getting told we were reassigned was good news to me. Maybe we’re just staying inside.”

“I seriously doubt it,” Adan said back, pointing out the door they were reporting to. “But cross your fingers, buddy.”

The pair walked inside and were greeted by a busy room lit up by tactical boards that gave the room a faint blue glow. Across the room was General Leia Organa, frantically jumping from station to station and gauging the situation each person was in charge of. Adan and Vinn began walking over toward her before a man wearing an officer’s uniform with a datapad cut them off.

“General Organa is very busy, can I help you two?” He asked, giving them a curious look.

The Secrets of Hoth 2

“We were told to ask the General about our new orders,” Adan replied.

“Names?”

“Sergeant Adan Quix and Corporal Vinn Rholar,” Adan said, steadily losing what little patience he had for the situation. The officer repeated their names into a headset he was wearing and tapped his datapad a few times. After a moment, he seemed to find what he was looking for.

“Here we are,” He said. “You’re both taking FD Laser Cannon 8. Report to Captain Shuchi, set your frequencies, hop to it.” He finished his statement and turned to walk away, leaving the two of them behind without so much as a second thought. Adan turned and started back out the door they just came in, Vinn right behind him.

“Oh man, we’re on a dish turret!” Vinn laughed, grinning as both of them began their jogging paces when they reached the hallway again. “That’s way better than a nasty, smelly tauntaun. You ever smell those things?”

“Focus, Vinn,” Adan replied. “Change your frequency.” They both grabbed their communicators to set the proper frequency for command.

“You ever meet this Captain Shuchi?” Vinn asked.

“Yeah, actually, I have,” Adan replied. “She just arrived recently. Seemed pretty good when I talked to her. Right here,” he said, pointing to the next turn they had to make to get where they were going, Vinn trailing behind him.

“Well I think we’re safer behind a dish turret than on the front lines with smelly furbags,” Vinn said. “Which is important; I got a bet going with Biz and Melko, and I won. So I’ve got about two-hundred credits to collect if we all make it.” He laughed and rubbed his hands. Adan stopped and put a hand on his shoulder.

“Vinn,” Adan said in a disappointed tone.  “Will you please pretend like the lives of our troops and friends are worth more than collecting a few credits?”

“Y-yeah, man!” Vinn said, reassuring him. Adan turned and began fast walking towards the next turn. “Man, you act like we aren’t gonna blast the Empire to shreds today!”

“We’ve just been losing bases more and more frequently recently,” Adan replied, keeping his focus forward once again. “This damn war should’ve been over already, and somehow I feel like it’s just getting worse.”

“Relax, man,” Vinn said. “You know what will make you feel better?”

“A warm drink and a buy-in for sabaac tonight?” Adan asked sarcastically.

“Wow, that’s what I was gonna say!” Vinn laughed and clapped him on the shoulder while Adan rolled his eyes.

A soldier was coming back in from an outside door, with a pair of electrobinoculars in his hand. Adan opened his hand towards him, implying for him to pass them off, to which the soldier nodded and did so as he passed going to other way. Adan used his other hand to put his communicator up to his mouth.

“Captain Shuchi, this is Sergeant Quix,” Adan said as the two of them walked out the door into the snowy wasteland before them. Snow stretched out as far as the eye could see, forming flat sheets and blanketing tall, rocky mountain ranges. The cold air bit Adan’s face as he reported in to his comm. Vinn gave a remark that indicated to Adan that the cold had reached him as well.

“Sergeat Quix,” A thick Pantoran accent replied through his communicator. “Go ahead.”

“Corporal Rholar and I are reporting to FD Turret 8,” Adan spoke clearly into the comm. “We should be there in a moment.”

“Excellent,” She replied. “I’ll apologize now, sergeant, if my orders seem strict today. There’s just a lot on the line.”

“I completely understand, ma’am,” Adan said. “Just give me the word and it’ll be done.”

“I appreciate that, sergeant,” She replied. “I’m going to need you to keep your comm line open so you have a direct line to HQ. I’m doing the same for our tauntaun riders and T-47s.”

“Understood,” Adan said. The two of them continued marching through the snow while they spoke. Adan spotted the turret they were supposed to report to and pointed it out to Vinn. Vinn squinted, then nodded in acknowledgement. “Do you have anything else for us, Captain?”

“Not yet,” Shuchi replied. “But I feel the first shots are going to be fired soon. May the Force be with you.”

“Acknowledged,” Adan replied, then slid the communicator back on his belt. Still marching towards their spot, Vinn decided to speak up.

“So…” he started, like he wasn’t sure where it was going at first. “Lovely weather, huh?”

“Wonderful,” Adan replied sarcastically. “At least it isn’t a snowstorm.”

“Like over there?” Vinn pointed off in the distance. The wind was much more active far in the distance, and it was easy to see a wall of snowflakes whipping around, obscuring the view behind it. Adan peered through his electrobinoculars to see if there were anything else of note, but didn’t find anything.

“Vinn, you’re a betting man,” Adan said, handing him the electrobinoculars. “How much would you bet that’s where the Empire is coming from?” Vinn looked through the device as well. For a moment, he just stared at it, but finally handed them back to Adan and turned to continue walking.

“I’d say that’s a safe bet,” He replied. Adan nodded and continued walking.

“Let’s keep our eyes on that spot then.”

The 1.4 FD Laser Cannon was nothing to underestimate. They certainly weren’t the newest, most cutting edge technology, but FDs were an inexpensive yet fairly reliable emplacement. Most importantly, it packed a serious punch. Some serious defenses were going to be needed if the Empire sent any heavy armor to destroy the base’s power generator.

As Adan and Vinn finally reached their assigned turret, Adan checked the snowstorm once again, still seeing nothing.

“Vinn, man the gun. See what state we’re in.” As instructed, Vinn eyed the state of the turret and did a lap around it, making sure there weren’t any problems. After a short moment, he gave Adan a thumbs up and hopped on the gun himself.

Adan glanced around at their immediate surroundings rather than the distance. He saw a few snow banks and a small hill on one of their flanks. Might be a nice way to retreat should things get too dangerous. He also had to think of which way they were going to go to retreat to a transport, assuming they were going to get to one.

A little ways in front of them was a gun line of soldiers, veterans that had been in this war since it began. After a quick count, Adan figured there were probably three squads of them prepping themselves. The veterans seemed prepared, some armed with CM-O/93 rifles, which could lay down a good amount of fire on some critical targets. Others were helping set up a couple Mark II Medium Blasters, which excelled at laying down supporting fire for other squads.

In a moment, all of the men Adan saw in the trench suddenly turned towards the storm on the ridge and pressed themselves against the outer trench wall, weapons raised. Adan looked up quickly to see what they were aimed at, only to see a few specs in the distance. A quick check of his binocs revealed them to be AT-AT walkers. The Empire was here. While he looked through his electrobinoculars, Adan’s comm rang out with Captain Shuchi’s voice.

“Walkers have been spotted on the ridge! Ready yourselves!” Just as fast as they were spotted, the walkers began to open fire. Soldiers began scrambling even faster than before, trying to avoid certain death while attempting to return fire. “T-47 support coming in now!”

“Vinn!” Adan yelled out. “Light them up!”

“On it!” Vinn shouted back. Adan glanced back and sure enough, T-47s were flying past to take on the walkers. The T-47 airspeeders were always reliable when put in the right hands. Adan heard the technicians had to put in some crazy work to adapt them to Hoth’s cold environment, but he didn’t know all the details. Another voice came over the comm.

“Engaging the enemy, Captain,” A man’s voice said through Adan’s comm. “Can’t wait to see what this baby can do.”

“Just follow the attack patterns you’re given,” Shuchi replied. “Last thing we need is some laser-brained outer rim jockey getting himself blasted apart.”

“Ready to fire!” Vinn shouted. Adan spun around to see the shot. A brilliant yellow-green flash lit up the front of the dish when the shot fired. The blast soared through the air and nailed a walker in the leg, but to their disappointment, didn’t seem to do much of anything.

“Negative damage, Vinn,” Adan reported. He paused a moment then turned and looked at him. “Did that seem like a full-powered blast to you?”

“No, I don’t think it was,” Vinn replied. “But I’ve gotta keep trying!” After a charge, another shot sailed out and hit the walker again, but to no new result.

Adan zoomed in with his binocs to see if maybe the Empire had new armor or shields on their walkers to protect them. As he did, he noticed tauntaun cavaliers charging near the front of the walkers. The soldiers riding them took no time at all sprinting across the battlefield and ramming into troopers and walkers alike, doing their best to disrupt the enemy. It was usually an insanely helpful tactic, Adan noted.

Looking around, Adan also noticed smaller AT-ST walkers approaching from the same direction. He quickly dropped his binocs and pointed at them.

“Vinn!” he shouted. “AT-STs! If we can’t damage the big ones, surely we can take the small ones out!”

“Copy,” Vinn replied, twisting the dish in a new orientation. “I see ’em.” A charge later, the dish launched a bolt at its new target, landing a solid hit. The walker stumbled but continued on its path. “Hang on…hang on…” Another shot fired, nailing the walker in the leg and sending it crashing into the snow. Adan put his binocs down and turned to Vinn.

“Target down,” He glanced at the turret. “Something’s wrong. Check everything again and see what’s causing our shots to be so weak.” Vinn promptly nodded and hopped off the turret, browsing the different parts to find their problem.

The Secrets of Hoth 3
Adan looked back out at the walkers, only to see maybe the craziest thing he had seen all day. A T-47 had wrapped up one of the AT-ATs with its tow cable, and was making laps around it. As it pulled away, the walker tripped over itself and collapsed straight down into the snow with great force.

“We’ve got a walker down!” The airspeeder pilot said over Adan’s comm.

“Take the shot!” Shuchi replied right away. “Finish it off!” The T-47 lined itself up and fired a volley of shots at the walker before flying past. After only a few shots, the entire walker was consumed in a roaring explosion. The men in front of Adan cheered at the sight.

“Walker destroyed!” The pilot laughed. “One down!” Adan put his binocs down once more, and at the same time, Vinn popped his head from around the turret, looking back at Adan.

“I figured it out!” He said. “There’s a problem with our generator!”

“What is it?” Adan asked.

“We have no generator!” Vinn replied. Adan’s eyes widened. He quickly came over to Vinn who was pointing at the ground where a wire had been damaged. “I didn’t notice it before but these wires are busted. The dish is just firing on low power.”

“Blast!” Adan swore. “We’re hardly going to be any help without a generator!” Adan knew of course that a 1.4 FD was still very helpful as a turret without a generator, but it was always nicer to make shots count just that much more.

“I’ll see what I can do!” Vinn said, pulling a tool from his back and falling to his knees to work on the wire. Adan touched his comm.

“Captain Shuchi,” He said. “Our FD Cannon has no generator, we’re not doing much out here!”

“Well, figure it out, Sergeant!” Shuchi called back through the comm. Suddenly Adan heard a blaster bolt fly near him, followed by a horrible scream and a thud. He spun around again and saw Vinn collapsed face-down in the snow in front of him.

“VINN!” He shouted. He spun around to find the source of the shot. Sure enough, a small squad of Imperial snowtroopers were marching toward them from over the hill on their flank. More blaster bolts flew by, aiming for Adan.

He had almost reached for his blaster but stopped and instead jumped onto the FD Cannon. Quickly spinning the dish around, Adan began charging a shot, the dish front slowly building a dim, yellow glow. Without another moment, he fired and wiped out half of the incoming snowtroopers with a single shot.

The snowtroopers took no break in their charge, relentlessly attacking while they moved forward. After another charged shot, Adan had fired once more and took out a few more snowtroopers, including one that looked to be carrying a flamethrower.

One trooper did make it past Adan’s effective firing angle and began shooting at him. Quickly, Adan drew and fired his rifle just as fast, quickly ending the last trooper. He holstered his rifle again and ran over to Vinn.

“Vinn!” Adan tried to call to him, falling on his knees next to his friend. “Speak to me!” He flipped him over and checked his vitals. He was breathing, but it didn’t look good.

“Sergeant Quix!” Captain Shuchi’s voice said through the comms. “We’re being overrun! Get the men back to base and onto a transport! Repeat, full retreat!”

“Corporal Rholar is down!” Adan replied. “I can’t just leave him here!”

“Well the transport will leave either way, I’m just telling you!” She said back. “I’m sorry, sergeant. I wish there was more I could do, but we have to go.”

“I understand,” Adan sighed. The men in the trenches out in front of him had begun evacuating and running back towards the base. “I’ll be there when I get Rholar back up!”

Adan looked out at the horizon, watching the advancing walkers and the battle still unfolding. One of the walkers suddenly lit up with green light, as if it exploded from the inside and pieces collapsed over. The outer rim pilot in their airspeeder looked to be making a pass on another walker, but was shot and destroyed in a single blow. The tauntaun cavalry wasn’t even noticable anymore, probably collapsed dead in the snow with the others.

A roaring explosion shook the ground and Adan turned to see Echo base’s power generator engulfed in an enormous explosion. The situation rapidly decayed into the worst scenario. They had failed. Now the Empire was marching forward to finish the job.

Vinn began to stir, groaning and trying to move but not able to do much. Adan quickly looked back down and grabbed his shoulders.

“Vinn, stay with me buddy!” Adan said, lightly picking his head up. “We have to get to the transports!” Vinn coughed and slowly opened his eyes, looking at Adan with regret.

“I’m not gonna make it to the transport, man,” Vinn groaned, and coughed again. Adan clenched his teeth, unable to leave Vinn’s side. “You have to go. The Rebellion needs you.”

“We need you too, Vinn!” Adan said, trying and failing to pick him up. He stopped when Vinn winced in pain and eventually just stopped to hold him for a moment. Vinn coughed, but faded into laughter.

“Hey, Adan,” Vinn said. “Can you do something for me? Will you go collect from Biz and Melko in my place? That’d give me a good laugh.” Adan fought back the tears and just gave him a tight smile. He knew Vinn wasn’t going to make it, but it didn’t make leaving him any easier.

“Sure, buddy,” Adan replied. “They’ll pay up.” After a short laugh they both shared together, Rholar’s chest finally stopped raising. Adan lowered his friend back down in the snow and exhaled hard, still fighting back tears.

Adan stood back up and took another look out at the walkers, noticing just how close they had become. With another spin, he began his long run back to Echo base, hoping to reach the transports in time. The Empire was going to pay for what they had done to him. To Vinn. To everyone in the galaxy. He was going to see to it personally.

The Secrets of Hoth 4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *