The hiss of a lightsaber drew the attention of the Collective band outside the AI control room. Creon drew their blaster fire to the left as Dral, Terry, and the others fired from the right. Before their attention could be turned away from the Jedi, the impact of a proton discharge erupted in the room behind them. Their attention turned to the blast door they were guarding, and each one slowly retreated into the AI room.
“They’re going to flank our flank. Push up!” Creon said as he charged forward towards the retreating outside team.
Inside the AI core, blaster fire was exchanged after the team found cover amongst the server panels. Len overheard a Collective troop get yelled at to avoid hitting the panels after a bolt hit his cover. The value of the panels, it seemed, made taking cover behind them even easier. The Chiss looked over to Len who was across a few other panels.
“Do your thing,” Len called to him. Jetsam nodded with understanding and began to shift around the various panels of cover.
“Reinforcements coming your way!” Sting’s voice came into the comlink. Len scanned to see that troops from the front door had made their way inside, and had a relatively clear line of sight at Len and the others. He brought up his rifle to fire, but felt himself be yanked away from his post. The Chiss slid across the ground until he was behind a different panel, one where Tarvitz was posted nearby.
“Apologies, I didn’t want to risk them hitting you first,” The Jedi apologized.
“No no, it’s fine. Just a head of warning next time,” Len replied as he looked for a way to regain a good aiming spot.
“Priority is the team retreating into the server room,” Creon’s voice called over the intercom, “They’re going to try and lock us out.”
Tarvitz drew out his lightsaber and ran in a zig-zag pattern with enhanced speed of the force, all the while waving his lighstaber to gain attention. He released a large flash of light at the incoming reinforcements that were bundled together, and worked on deflecting blows from the other enemy team.
Len took advantage of the moment where all fire was focused on Tarvitz and took out troops on from both enemy teams. He stopped firing near the entrance team when he saw Creon’s saber glow tear through the soldiers that were still recovering from Tarvitz’ blinding flash.
Once the remaining troops were dealt with, Creon called for a sit-rep on everyone’s health and status, then the team proceeded to the main console HUD of the AI core. Jetsam broke from his cover, dropping a denton charge or two along the way, and hooked up his probe to the computer terminal. Ratchet and Tenny joined him at the terminals, each in their own individual ports.
“Defensive positions, expect the AI to alert anyone nearby,” Creon called.
“Sithspit,” Walsh cursed as he looked over the various software programs on his datapad.
“How long will it take?” Creon asked.
“Longer than I had hoped. The droids are already trying to break down the AI’s administrative control, but it has previous versions already backed up as well as alternative software. Meaning it can stay in control by just switching the kind of program it uses. Clever girl.”
“Then we aught to expect resistance. The AI is in survival mode. If we can’t get the life cycle restarted and the prison doors open-”
“I’ll get it. Just… give me time,” Walsh growled.
10 Minutes Later
Dral and Sting took another peer down the entrance door they came in from. The hallway was still clean. Len was posted up behind an elevated server panel that gave him a rough oversight of the majority of the core room. He couldn’t see any enemy movement. Tarvitz guarded the wall that had been breached with half of the prisoners that stayed. The remaining half were with Creon on the starboard side blast door of the control room. The door was closed, but they were stacked to ambush in case it were to open.
“Aaaaaaand,” Walsh said with a single key stroke, “Done!”
Sir, droid movement coming from the starboard side.
Len looked up from his comlink and posted his rifle to where Creon and a few of the prisoners were posted up. “Look alive,” he called, “Incoming to starboard.”
The blast door opened up, followed quickly by a flash grenade. Both Creon and the troop with him staggered back from the grenade’s impact. Droids began filing into the room, only to be met with Len’s blaster fire. Security Droids turned to fire at the starboard group, but their bolts came into contact with a barrier produced by Creon when he threw up both hands. The barrier extended to cover each of them, but was beginning to crumble underneath the growth of enemy fire as more droids continued to flood the control room.
The entire O.T.F. team, aside from Walsh, made their way to the assault. Blaster fire turned the attention of the security droids to scatter their aim, and the prisoners who were with Creon fled for cover. Once they had been secured, Creon took up his saber and took to the closest droids. When a droid would turn its attention to Creon, its fire was either deflected by his saber, or it was either taken down by Len’s sniping. The Chiss focused solely on the droids that turned their attention to Creon and nearby vulnerable members. The droids who’s attention was scattered was addressed by Creon, and eventually Tarvitz who joined in the melee, as well as the cover fire placed by the rest of the O.T.F. and their allied prisoners.
A stir in the Force brought Creon’s attention to his backside, but it did him little good. An HK-Series droid winded his arms to redirect Creon’s twirl and snapped his wrist to disarm the lightsaber. Creon winced at the sudden shock, but pressed down his elbow hard at the droid’s arm to disarm it of his wrist. The impact would have worked on normal biological targets, but the HK droid didn’t budge. Instead Creon’s helmet was smashed off his head from a direct blow from a metallic arm.
“Rutgar-4,” Len hissed to himself as he focused to take aim from the nearby security droids to the HK.
Tarvitz dashed into the remaining droid group to support Creon. He weaved and tore through the droids in his way to get to the middle, then met Rutgar-4 with a thrust aimed at the chest cavity without the blade meeting with Creon. The droid twisted it’s torso in a way no biological creature could, and drew a vibro-arbir blade to slice at Tarvitz. He was lucky he listened to the Force as the end of the blade grazed the tip of his neck. He took a few steps back from the droid’s spinning of the blade through it’s rotating hands. It could move and fight in such a way that organics couldn’t, and lacked the pressure points that they were trained to manage in hand-to-hand combat.
Two blaster shots connected to the HK that caused it to stumble backwards. Creon acknowledged the opportunity and drew his lightsaber to his uninjured hand. Tarvitz followed suit with Creon looking to him in a knowing nod. The two rushed to the HK droid and exchanged places, leaving a horizontal slice across Rutgar-4s torso. The droid split apart and fell on the ground. The rest of the security droids that remained were followed up on in the crossfire. After the engagement was over, Tarvitz resealed the blaster door with the Force.
“How much longer?” Creon asked while inspecting his wrist.
“Oh, I’m good mate. Prisons are open,” Jetsam said as he started to toss around denton charges.
“What are you doing, then?” Len asked as he approached from his post.
“Oh it won’t last long unless I blow this place up. Once we get clear, that is.”
“Call in for extraction, team,” Creon said, “Let’s get out of here.”