Admiral Ozzel is as clumsy as he is stupid. His poor tactical decision to bring the Imperial fleet in right on top of Hoth has left it vulnerable to the Rebellion’s ion cannon, which succeeded in disabling an Interdictor Cruiser.
But no matter—the Empire’s might is insuppressible. Already, a strike team of the finest snowtroopers has disabled the Alliance’s ion cannon. Meanwhile, General Veers leads the frontal assault on the Rebel base. This is the Empire at its finest: not seeking the element of surprise, but moving purposefully and unleashing its full might upon those that seek to resist against it. Blunders such as Ozzel’s can only delay the inevitable triumph of the Empire over any that seek to oppose it.
Using advice from Sortha and encouragement from Rokarillo, IG-79 worked quickly to disable the bomb. Unfortunately, even his droid brain was outsmarted by the latest in Imperial technology, as he succeeded only in slowing the countdown.
The team quickly boarded the Mynock and took off, circling around the northern edge of Echo Base, away from the southern defensive. Sortha alerted the three that General Jan Dodonna was fleeing toward North Deck 3, so Roke steered the Mynock in that direction in hopes of providing escort to Dodonna’s transport.
Meanwhile, Sortha powered down the command center with the last of the Rebel officials manning it and left for North Deck 3 herself. Just as she left, she heard an ominous broadcast from the front lines:
“Imperial troops have entered the base. Imperial troops have ent—”
Fleeing the command center toward the northern hangars, Sortha saw the broadcast confirmed as snowtroopers made their way down the hallway in her direction. They fired upon her and the other officials with stun blasts—far scarier than if they had been shooting blaster bolts, as the stun blasts foreshadowed the pain of Imperial interrogation that awaited any captured Rebel of importance.
A stun blast struck Sortha with a glancing blow, forcing her to the ground—but as she lay prone, she saw the other Rebels around her hit dead-on with stun blasts, knocking many of them unconscious. Spotting one who carried a piece of the Alliance’s computer core in a backpack, Sortha thought quickly, darting from her hidden position and jerking the backpack off his paralyzed form and racing into an adjoining hallway.
Sortha then clambored into the air ducts with the backpack in tow, crawling on all fours toward North Deck 3.
Upon reaching North Deck 3, Sortha attempted to silently remove the grate and wait for the Mynock, which she hoped was incoming. Unfortunately, her stealth failed her as she sent the grate crashing to the ground, drawing the attention of the Imperial troops on the deck.
Fortunately for Sortha, as the snowtroopers prepared to fire, Roke brought the Mynock screaming into the hangar, with the ramp dropping. Gaar roared, drawing the attention of the troopers as he and Iggy scrambled down to rescue their companion.
In a fit of Wookiee rage, Gaar tore up a lower-deck access panel, bracing it with his back to cover his friends and the Mynock as the troopers switched their blaster rifles from stun to kill. Iggy returned fire until Dodonna’s transport was away, and then the droid and Sortha scrambled up the closing ramp into the Mynock.
Once everyone was aboard, and with his improvised shield slagged to molten metal around him, Gaar made a desperate lunge for the Mynock. Yet while he managed to barely scramble into the ship, he took a devastating blaster shot in the back.
Sortha and Iggy dragged the nearly unconscious Wookiee into a harness while Roke took evasive maneuvers to get the Mynock out of atmosphere. Trailing Dodonna’s ship into space, the rebels thought the worst was over until Roke’s readouts reported that Dodonna’s transport was caught in the tractor beam of an Imperial Star Destroyer….