How many times had they done this?

The places were blurring together. The sea of faces all seemed the same. Cities, towns, deserts, mountains, plains... it didn't make a difference anymore.

Oh, yeah. There was one more constant. One more thing that wasn't biased based on gender, species, or planet...

... the blood.

Regardless of the color or how hard it was to draw, war torn bodies all bled.

Oddly enough, it wasn't that thought going thru the Lieutenant's mind as shots rained down on her position. It was supposed to be an easy in and out. Little to know casualties on their side. But that wasn't how it went.

April shoved the Ensign beside her as another energy shot split through their position.

"Thanks," came a voice that seemed far steadier than she imagined hers would be if she had to speak. The Ensign gathered himself and went back to fighting.

The Imperial Storm Troopers were gunning the small Outer Rim Army down like children kicking their toys. Of the three squads that had landed here, her's was the only one left. And of the 12 in her squad, there were only six still fighting. She counted herself and the Admiral among the six. He had come along thinking to observe the easy victory. He was now crouched down, just a few yards away behind a crumbled wall, firing in the same direction the other five were.

A scream caught April's attention and she turned in time to see the Ensign she had just saved a moment ago, fall back dead from a shot through his chest.

Her mouth gaped as she glanced around to see the Troopers advancing and her own troops falling to them like toys.

5.... 4.... 3.... 2....

One by one, the number of survivors dwindled. The Lieutenant moved with enough speed that it momentarily made her question if she had a touch of The Force. She didn't, but her mind always had moments of hope. Skidding in the packed dirt, she glanced at the Commander with a dirt streaked face and smiled. "Sorry I messed up your uniform..."


..... Silence .....

April blinked. Blue... why was her vision blue? She tried to move her head and realized she was laying down on her back. The blue was the sky she was looking at. An energy shot crossed her vision and she flinched. It sailed, unimpeded, over her position. She tried to laugh. "They missed..." she thought. Suddenly another shot went overhead. This time it went in the other direction. "No one's left..." she mused as she wondered what was happening.

Her hearing came back with a soft pop. It was as muted as her vision was fuzzy. Republican uniforms appears on the edge of her sight line and she turned her head to the right to see a troop of uniforms moving forward with weapons shooting in such rapid succession that they appeared to be awkward looking light sabers with a single beam emitting from them. Rolling her head to the left, she watched someone kneel down over a nearby body. "Commaaaaannn..." she tried to lift her arm to reach towards her mentor and friend.

"Easy, Lieutenant. He's alive. Same as you." A voice, oddly calm and soothing was joined by a body that was soon kneeling beside her. "You two are very lucky. If that grenade had bounced over the wall instead of landing in front of it, you two would be dead instead of knocked out." The woman motioned to someone out of site and soon a stretcher and other Republican uniforms were swarming over her and the Commander.

"Don't leave... them... please..." she managed to say to the ones moving about her and him like ants with a purpose.

"It's all right. We'll take them all home." The woman added an iv to her arm and smiled. "Sleep now... you're gonna be just fine."

Soon a soft warm feeling began to fill her body. She fought to remain awake as voice muttered over her with volumes similar to that used around the invalid when you don't want them to know how bad it is.

"Can't believe they survived," said one.

"Heard the intel was bad. Was supposed to be a rogue smuggler hideout," came a different one.

"Yeah... Imperial ambush. They really don't want anyone else but them having an army, I guess," said the first voice.

As darkness swamped over her, she listened to the talk that the Outer Rim Army was being picked off at several other locations. False intel, probably planted by the Empire, so they believed.

Once more, the world went silent and dark.