This one is one I wrote several months ago, and was really popular...
“Tell me a bedtime story, Dad!”
“Okay, son. How about one from when I was a kid?”
“Okay, so, there I was, I was just born, on Kamino…”
“Welcome, little one. This is your first day. Your designation will be RS-1875. We expect great things from you. You have been born into dangerous times…”
What? Who am I? Where am I? Why am I here?
I looked around the transparisteel cage I called home, staring at the Kaminoan in front of me. Taun We continued talking, and I looked to the sides, seeing thousands of tanks like mine in row after row.
0000 days before Geonosis
I stood with my squad in the mess hall, laughing as RC-1000, Tripzer, made an obscene joke. Another commando, RC-2212, or Mirdan, stood up and yelled,
“Vode An, anybody?”
Various shouts fill the giant room, and a company of clones, 100 men, stand up, and begin singing the epic Mandalorian song their heritage, Jango Fett, had taught them.
Kandosii sa ka'rta, Vode an.
Coruscanta a'den mhi, Vode an.
Bal kote, darasuum kote,
Jorso'ran kando a tome.
Sa kyr'am nau tracyn kad, Vode an…”
The one hundred baritone voices rang out, but they were interrupted by a Kaminoan.
“Beta Company, your training is now complete. You will be sent to Geonosis, to save the Jedi. You will go behind enemy lines, and take out targets imperative to the success of your brothers. Should you fail, you will probably die. Now, move to your rooms, prepare your armor, and report to the Laat/i gunships.”
0000 days before Geonosis
“Alright, move it, help your brothers in, close the doors, off ya go!”
The doors close, and the gunship descends, out of the Star Destroyer. Black changes to reddish-brown, and a hologram appears.
--“Victory Squad, this is CC-1205. Your mission is to infiltrate a Geonosian spire containing a massive AA battery, which is raining haran on our forces. I trust your grey behinds, so move out. CC-1205, out.--
“You heard the man, let’s go. Objective has been loaded into your HUDs.”
The pilot, CT-0424, calls from the cockpit,
“Five minutes until we’re at the LZ.”
Five minutes later…
“Landing! Thank you for riding Larty Starlines, we hope your flight with us was satisfactory. Please, ride with us again.”
“Oh, shove it.”
My squad and I jump out of the Larty, only to have a Hailfire Droid fire on it, the Larty disappearing in a ball of flame.
“Shab, everyone okay?”
“Fine as a knife blade.”
“Let’s move then.”
I direct my squad toward the door to the spire, and motion for RC-1876, Sixer, to blow the door.
“My pleasure, sir.”
The door explodes, and we burst into the spire, mowing down everything in our path.
“Daddy? What happens next?”
“I’ll tell you, ad’ika.”
“The lift is this way. Come on.”
“I see Geonosians coming toward us.”
“I know, Tripzer.”
“Tripzer! Uno, get him revived!”
Replies RC-1001, Tripzer’s pod brother.
“Shab, c’mon! Move into the elevator, bring Tripzer. We’ll work on him as we go!”
We drag the body into the elevator, close the door, and frantically begin pumping the chest of our fallen comrade.
When we reached the floor of the AA battery, Tripzer had died.
“Grab something as a memorial from his armor. I’ll get his helmet for records sake. Gentlemen, this commando is the first ground casualty of the Grand Army of the Republic’s Special Operations. Honor him well.”
As I finish my speech, the lift doors open, and we begin firing, and laying cover for Sixer as he places his payload, a gigantic bomb, on the ground in the center of the AA platform.
“We got one minute, 30 seconds until this puppy blows.”
We step into the lift, and will the elevator to descend faster. Uno begins ranting wildly, crazed by the loss of Tripzer. I try to calm him down, but he just pushes me away. The doors open, and we run toward a little outcropping, which should protect us from the spire’s destruction.
We hear a low rumble, which transforms into a gigantic ball of flame, consuming the spire, and all of its inhabitants, including Tripzer’s corpse. Our mission complete, we turn, where a Larty lands, and opens its doors.
“All aboard! Wait, aren’t there supposed to be four of you?”
“It’s a…touchy subject.”
“I’m SO sorry. Now, do you mind shifting your behinds? I have a schedule to keep.”
We step into the gunship, and stare out the slits in the window, the Geonosian atmosphere disappearing as we head toward the Star Destroyer, a respectful and mournful silence filling the air.
“Alright! Shift it, people! Head toward CT-0352, and prepare to be processed!”
We funnel out, and a clone with a scanner scans my squad.
“You’re missing RC-1000. Why?”
“Thank you. Sorry for your loss. Move along.”
We report to our rooms, and I begin to sob, breaking into full tears.
30 minutes later…
The door opens, and a clone stands in the door frame.
“RC-2312, Rancor, SIR! I lost my squad in the battle, and have been reassigned to your squad, SIR!”
“Welcome to the squad. Let me get the rest of the squad in here.”
I say, pulling my comlink out, and wiping the tears away.
--“Uno, Sixer? Come to my room, our replacement’s here.”--
They funnel into the room, and smile at Rancor, greeting him in the Mando fashion.
“Great to meet you, ner vod.”
“Thank you, Sarge.”
We welcome him into the fold by going to the mess hall, and partying the night away. Satisfied, we stumble back to our rooms, and fall asleep.
The next morning…
“Victory Squad, your next mission is to travel to Rhen Var. I'm sending 4 other squads in with you to destroy a supply depot.”
One month later…
“Victory Squad, this is Beta Troop: Hound Squad, Alpha Squad, Kal Squad, and Omega Squad. Feel free to introduce yourselves, and good luck.”
Said the holo of General Zey, finally disappearing. The troop bay of the Laat/I, an ordinary one piloted by one of the most daring pilots in the Army, CT-0424, or Flyboy as he wanted to be known, became filled with an awkward silence. Flyboy had flown Victory in on Geonosis, and gotten his Larty blown out from under him. After barely surviving, Flyboy was given another Laat/i.
“Shall we introduce ourselves?” RC-1309, Niner, says, breaking the silence.
“Well, this is Victory Squad, I’m RC-1875, Ky’ram, that’s RC-2312, Rancor, he’s RC-1001, Uno, and that goofball over there is RC-1876, Sixer.
“We’re Hound Squad, I’m RC-1137, Pikt, he’s RC-1751, Fringe, that guerfel is RC-1380, Jeboe, and he’s RC-1909, Nomad.
“Alpha Squad, I’m RC-4223, or Top, that mir’shebse is RC-2319, or Breeze, he’s RC-2501, or Diver, and that’s RC-3629, or Mack.”
“You guys know us, we’re Omega Squad.”
“We’re Kal Squad, I’m RC-1990, Ram’ser, he’s the wise-crack, RC-1737, Ve’vut, that’s RC-1985, Slice, that’s RC-1987, or Fixer.”
“Well, great to meet you all.”
“Two minutes until drop. And by drop, I mean a HARD drop.”
The plan was to free fall out of the Larty, and use a wingpack to glide into position. As I look out of the window, feeling the cold, Slice, Diver, Jeboe, Atin, and Uno gather into a group and begin talking about how to hack through a Holonet circuit. Fixer, Breeze, Fringe, Darman, and Sixer talk about jury-rigging the device they are going to use to blow up the supply depot.
“Okay, boys, drop time!”
The back hatch of the Larty opens, and the biting wind of 14,000 feet above the snowy surface fills the troop bay.
“Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”
Hound Squad jumps, then Alpha, then Kal, the Omega, and finally Victory jump, the door shutting behind them.
Wings sprout from the backpacks of 20 clones, and the commandos face toward the ground, rapidly approaching the ground.
“Move into gliding formation…now.”
The troop changes position, and begin a slow descent toward the ground.
When we reach the ground, we spread out into an arrow formation.
“Alright, there’s the depot. Dar, Fixer, Breeze, Fringe, Sixer, begin jury-rigging. I’ll contact the man in charge.”
I key in the comm code for GM-0352, recently promoted to commander of the Galactic Marines, immediately under Bacara.
“Kerbs, this is Ky’ram, we’re beginning jury-rigging sequence.”
“Beta Troop, nice to speak to you again. Okay, we’re moving into formation to attack the base. When you blow the base, we’ll begin our attack while they’re confused.”
“Got it, sir.”
“And it’s warm out there. A nice and cozy negative 30 degrees.”
“Hah hah, thankfully, we have temp controlled suits.”
“See you soon.”
I close the comm, and check on the men working on the bomb.
“We’re good sir. Might wanna back up, though.”
Sixer says, tossing me a detonator.
“Agreed. Let’s move back.”
We move several hundred feet back, and I press the det. A flash morphs into a rumble, and the depot explodes. Several minor explosions occur as tanks, fuel trucks, and ammo carts explode.
“Let’s take that base.”
We run toward the base, passing flaming wreckage.
“There are the droids! Take ‘em out!”
Pikt yells, placing the anti-armor attachment onto his DC-17m.
I yell, almost in synch with Niner, Top, and Ram’ser.
The snipers of Beta Troop open up with their sniper rifle attachments, as the demolition experts begin pounding the droids with shells. The sergeants and the hackers open up in eight bursts of blaster bolts, providing cover for the rest. A Galactic Marine trots up to me, and greets me, Mando style, and says:
“Good to see you, Ky’ram. It’s me, Kerbs, and we’re breaking through the droid defenses. We can take it from here. I’m sending in a Larty to pick you up.”
“Please tell me it’s not that nut job Flyboy.”
“No. It’s a guy named Hush, a new pilot. He’s bringing in some ARCs, and picking you up.”
“Huh. Interesting. Okay, well, we’ll keep it up until he gets here.”
Several minutes later, the wonderful sound of a Larty pierces the barricade of noise we built up.
“Alright, you di’kute, I’m here, now hoist your shebse up, and I’ll take you to HQ.”
“You must be Hush.”
I say, motioning for the troop to stop firing.
“Yes, that’s right.”
We step into the troop bay as a squad of ARCs, led by a yellow trimmed ARC and a silver and blue camo ARC, step out.
Beta Company Barracks, Centax 2
Commander Ahsoka Tano steps into the room where my squad is sitting, waiting for our briefing. Null-7, or Mereel, stands up, and offers Tano his seat.
“Victory Squad, your next mission is to recon for the invasion we will commence. We will be attacking Teth, in search of Rotta the Hutt. Your Jedi for this mission will be Master Tisha Santorini. That is all you need to know. Go gear up, and good luck.”
I say, saluting as I stand. We move into our rooms, and begin to gather our gear for the journey to Teth.
“Why do we need a Jedi? We’re perfectly capable of doing recon ourselves.”
“That’s the way they want it, we’ll have to put up with it.”
We finish gearing up, and walk into the hangar, where CT-0424, Flyboy, helmet off, is polishing his “baby”. His face is scarred and rough from Geonosis, and his eyes show a burning hatred for anything Separatist. He wears a flame across his chest, a battle droid burning in the midst.
“So, I’m stuck with you again, I guess.” He says, not turning.
“Yeah, this time it’s Teth.”
“Okay, hop in. Just let me get in.”
We step into the troop bay and Flyboy fires up the engines. We lift off, and ascend to the ship above us.
One day later…
“Alright, guys, out ya go. Don’t forget to wipe your feet when you come back.”
We jog toward the RV zone, where General Santorini landed.
“General. We are ready to begin recon.”
“Very good, Seven-Five. Follow me.”
I switch to squad comm.
“Don’t get your shebse in a bind, ner vod. Generals do it all the time.”
I switch out of comm, and watch as General Santorini leaps up a stone wall, and looks over the ridge.
“Here is a perfect spot to recon. You can see for miles up here.”
We attach our cable launchers to our Deeces, and lean back. Four cables propel from four launchers, and hook onto the ledge.
The cables pull tight, and four commandos speed up the wall.
“Alright, let’s get shelters set up. Grab the tents from your backpacks, and Uno, grab the extra one they gave you.”
In ten minutes, five tents are set up, and a fire illuminating the ridge.
“General, permission to begin recon?”
I pull my binoculars from my belt, and begin probing the area.
“Squad, I’m not alone, grab your binocs and start observing.”
“Aw…come on, Sarge.”
My squad joins me on the ridge, and begins to scan the landscape.
“Sir, I got something.”
“A monastery, over there. And there’s a ship landing.”
“Looks like a…solar sailor…Dooku!”
“Let’s take him out!”
Tisha says, igniting her lightsaber.
“General, we’re only here on recon. Not to kill anyone, only if they attack us.”
“I…I guess you are right.”
“Let’s contact Centax Base.”
---“Centax Base, this is RC-1875. We have Dooku here. Begin invasion.”---
---“What of the recon?”---
---“Received. Sending a Laat/i. Coordinates.”---
---“Received. RC-1875 out.”---
A Larty lands at the ridge, and we step in.
“What happened next, Buir?”
“Well, ad’ika, after that, we went on many more missions. But they’re boring. Let’s skip to the near end of the war.”
“General Skywalker would like to speak to you now.”
General Skywalker walks toward us, and I catch a gleam in his eye that is very different from what I’m used to seeing.
“Gentlemen, Operation Nightfall is in effect. Order 66 has been issued. Before you try, I’m not a Jedi any longer.”
“What of your Padawan, Ahsoka?”
“She’s joined me. Now, we’re attacking the Jedi Temple, and executing the traitorous Jedi.”
“And our job is?”
“Take as much data from the data center as you can, and change a code signal to what Appo will send you.”
“And if we encounter any Jedi?”
“Take them out.”
We jog toward a speeder, and a clone looks back, waving.
“I’m taking you guys to your position!”
“Very good. Squad, let’s hop in.”
My squad sits in the speeder, and the drives accelerate. As we approach the Temple, a high-pitched whine resonates in between the buildings.
“Sixer, that you whining again?”
“Sir, missile dropping, right on top of us.”
We jump out of the moving speeder as it explodes, but Rancor slows in getting up.
“I’m fine sir.”
“You better be. We’ll set up a sniping post for you on the balcony, a demolitions post for Sixer, and Uno will be hacking. I’ll be defending the door.”
We kick down the door, an old, shabby, wooden one, and move into the data center.
“Uno, go. Sixer, use that side of the balcony as a demo post. Rancor, use the other side as a sniper position. I’ll get here. Our strategy will be, if we see any Jedi moving toward us, Rancor begins sniping, I’ll start firing, and if that doesn’t stop them, Sixer will fire an AA round, hopefully killing them. If not, vibroblade them.”
They move to their positions, and wait for Jedi to find us. One Jedi looks over, and spots Uno.
“Stop! That is a restricted area! Even to clones!”
Sniper and blaster rounds fling themselves toward the Jedi, only to be deflected by the Jedi’s lightsaber.
A chunck is heard, and an explosion envelopes the Jedi.
“Taken care of. Uno, update?”
“75% done, sir.”
“Alright. Stay alert.”
Uno finishes hacking the data, and we rush out of the Temple, just as a massive explosion tears through the massive structure.
“Alright, then, let’s bang out.”
A Larty lands, the one piloted by CT-0424 Flyboy.
As we step in, I switch to squad comm, and announce to my men that we are headed to Mandalore.
“Just drop us off at barracks, Flyboy.”
“You got it. And I got a question for you. Why did the Jedi turn on the Republic?”
“I don’t know. It doesn’t concern me, so I don’t worry about it.”
As we arrive at the barracks, I say,
“Let’s find an empty Larty.”
“Found one, sir.”
I send Uno into the cockpit, and the rest of us step into the troop bay.
I comm Ky’ram, and ask him,
---“Can you meet us at Centax 3? We’re deserting.”---
“Alright. Uno, take us to Centax 3.”
“You got it, sir.”
“What happens next, Daddy?”
“I’ll tell you tomorrow night. It’s past your bedtime.”
“There’s his ship. Let’s load in.”
“Sir? There’s a Republic Larty headed toward us.”
“Prep your weapons.”
The Larty lands in front of us, and clone troopers with 501st markings step out, aiming their weapons as their commander moves to the front of the group.
“Deserters, surrender now, or we will be forced to take you down with…well…force!”
“You’re not funny. Now THIS is funny.”
Sixer says, shooting the commander in the middle of the visor, in between the eyes. The troops fire, and our squad scurries into Ky’ram’s YT-1930, Victory’s Revenge.
*Somewhere in the Kuat system…*
“We’ll stop for fuel here.”
Ky’ram says, pulling a lever that slows the ship into real-time.
“Wait, that’s…no…yeah…that’s a Jedi Interceptor! It’s damaged…better check it out.”
Ky’ram steps into the hangar, seals his helmet, and steps out, jetpack activated. He maneuvers over to the damaged ship, and looks inside.
Meanwhile, our squad watches as the camera feed from his helmet shows a female Jedi slumped over in the cockpit, but still breathing.
“That’s General Santorini! Buir, I’ll maneuver the ship closer to you, and you can pull her ship into the hangar. We’ll get her into the medbay.”
--“You got it, ad’ika.”--
The Jedi Interceptor lands in the hangar, and Uno opens the cockpit, picks up the petite female, and carries her into the medbay, and places her on a bed. I summon the meddroid over.
“She’s been out for several hours. It looks like all she got was a contusion, and shrapnel in her left thigh.”
--“I will begin operating, Master Ky’ram.”--
“Wha…who are you? Wait a parsec, you’re those clones I led on Teth! Where am I?”
“The medbay of our father, Ky’ram Parjai’Kote.”
“He is. Don’t worry, he doesn’t hate Jedi. Much. He hates them only because they used us as infantry on Geonosis. But now that they’re mainly dead, any anger is probably gone.”
“I’m sorry for being such a jerk on Teth, I felt so puffed up because I was recently promoted to Master. I lost that feeling when the clones turned. Seeing your comrades go down deflates your ego, doesn’t it?”
“Now you know how we felt after Geonosis. The meddroid says you’re completely healed. Do you want to stay, or do you want us to fix up your ship so you can go?”
“I think I’ll stay. Your clone DNA is too much to get around. I sorta like you.”
“…So do I…sorta…”
We share a laugh, and walk out of the medbay, into the cockpit. Ky’ram turns, and an expression of mixed animosity and confusion graces his face.
“You’re a Jedi?”
“Yes. Former Jedi Master Tisha Santorini. You are?”
“Ky’ram Parjai’Kote, father and mentor to these boys. But I sort of like you. I’ll let you stay.”
Ky’ram gets up, and leads Tisha to her room to recover.
*Several hours later, Parjai’Kote homestead*
I wake up, the smell of grilled nerf overwhelming my senses.
I walk into the kitchen where Ky’ram is standing, staring out the window at the Mandalore landscape before him.
“Buir, you know Tisha?”
“Well, I…like her, so does she, we talked last night, could we…?”
“To answer your question, yes. I’ll get it arranged with Venku.”
“You mean Venku Ordo? Shab, yeah!”
“You breakfast is on the table. But call your brothers and fiancé.”
“Vode, Tisha, food!”
Three clones careen into the dining room, and collide with their breakfast at the table. Tisha walks in, and shyly sits down next to me. I begin eating my food, and look over to see Tisha’s plate completely empty.
“Hey! Not fair! You used the Force!”
I look down to see my food gone, and I hear a burp from Tisha.
She says, laughing. I smile, and begin to laugh. We move out onto the patio, and stare at the rising Mandalore sun.
“So THAT’S how you and mom met!”
“Yeah, but it’s time for bed for you. Good night, Kom’rk.”
“Good night, Buir!”
*Plains of Enceri, Mandalore*
The bes’bev begins playing a soft tune, a rejoicing tune; as if the tune knew that the woman who was descending down the path made by the chairs that the attendees sat in was the bride-to-be. The player of the bes’bev, Jai’galaar Bralor, nods at the officiator, Venku Ordo. He gestures, and everyone else in attendance, including Adenn Ordo and his brother, Burun Ordo, the ARC I knew, Ky’ram Parjai’Kote II--a title I share--Streak Ordo, Venku’s son, A’den Parjai’Kote, Adenn Parjai’Kote, Bralor Parjai’Kote, and Jag Parjai’Kote, stands.
Tisha, clad in her new set of Mandalorian armor, which featured white plates with a pink stripe running down on a grey flightsuit, steps up to the platform, where the officiating crew, Venku Ordo, Ky’ram Parjai’Kote, Jai’galaar Bralor, and the rest of Victory Squad, clad in their new Mandalorian armor, stands. The ceremony rituals commence, and soon end, climaxing in the moment when we kiss. We do, and turn to face the audience. They stand, and clap, cheering wildly. We step off of the platform, and walk down the path, beaming. We step into a speeder, and fly off into the setting Mandalore sun.
*Two mornings later*
“I’ve gotta go. It’s urgent. The planet Cerezio is undergoing a major revolution, and I’ve been hired by the rioting faction’s leader to assassinate the prime minister.”
“We got married two days ago, and you’re running off on a mission?”
“The pay is 500,000 credits either way, an extra million if I succeed.”
“Wow. I still don’t like it how you’re risking your life this early into our marriage!”
“I’ll be fine. If I do get hurt, I have my vode to take care of me.”
“It means brothers in Mando’a.”
“One of these days, you’ll have to teach me this…Man-dough-ah.”
“I will cyar’ika.”
“I think I know what that means…sweetheart?”
“Well, I assume you need to leave…cyar’ika.”
“You’ve got it!”
The ship lands, and Sixer steps out, clad in his Mandalorian armor that bears the same paint style as his Katarn armor.
*Several days later, Cerezio system*
I set my scope, and place the bipod of the Verpine Sniper Rifle on the edge of the building. I pull the trigger, and a round forces its way into the prime minister of Cerezio’s head. He falls, and I walk into the ship, and we take off, headed back to Mandalore.
“Cyar’ika? I’m back! Cyar’ika? Cyar’ika! Where are you?!”
“Cyar’ika, I’m here!”
“Good, I thought—“
“Cyar’ika, I—I’m pregnant.”
*9 months later*
I walk into the crude hospital room where Tisha holds a newborn baby boy. She notices my presence, and holds out the boy. I take him, and I sit down, gazing at the newborn. He puzzles me, looking so much like me, yet so much like Tisha. Brown hair with a shock of black on top, and eyes as brown as chocolate uj’aylaj. He smiles, and grabs my nose.
“Hah, he takes after you, Tisha.”
He laughs, and then burps, laughing afterward.
“He takes after you, Ky.”
“Ha ha, very funny.”
I hand him back to her, and walk out of the room, where Ky’ram, Venku, Adenn, and the rest of Victory are sitting.
“He looks like me, yet so much like Tisha. It’s weird.”
“That’s how babies are, ner vod.”
Ky’ram says, putting his hand on my shoulder.
“What are you going to name him?”
“That’s a perfect name.”
Sixer comments, walking into the room to hold Kom’rk.
I sit down, thinking. My mind wanders from the joyous thoughts of our marriage and the birth of Kom’rk to the sad thought of the death of Tripzer. As I reflect, a high-pitched whine radiates through the home. I snap out of my thoughts, and run to my room to grab my sniper rifle. I run out, and aim at the ship that is hovering over. I recognize the sound as the sound my squad craved many times in the heat of battle: a Laat/i gunship. The gunship lands, and a man in clone pilot armor steps out of the cockpit, opening the troop bay.
“It’s me, and I’ve brought some visitors along, if you’re up for them.”
“Sure, who are they?”
“A Mandalorian captured by the Empire, Mia Getal’mesh, the pilot Hush, and Kerbs.”
“I also brought in Xan, the Mandalorian mercenary.”
“They want to use your homestead as a base of operations, due to its tactical value.”
“I’m sure Ky’ram won’t mind.”
“I trust you’re staying?”
“Of course, I can’t resist ferrying you lot around. Too much fun.”
“Ha, well, make yourselves at home, the condos are that way.”
I say, pointing to the east.
Flyboy follows me into the main house, and is greeted by Ky’ram and the crew. The other visitors make their way in, and are also greeted.
As everyone sits down by the fire, each talks of their background, Mia of her bounty hunting and capture, Xan of his fame as a bounty hunter, and how he was on the hunt of Darth Vader, an incident stemming into his childhood, when Count Dooku had led Separatist troops against his homeworld of Vletania. Dooku had killed his mother and father personally, and had ordered his troops to fire on Xan, nearly killing him. The reason he was on the hunt was that Xan was very close to killing Dooku, and Vader, then Anakin, had killed Dooku.
Kerbs talks of how he had been with Bacara when Order 66 had been issued, and feigned death by jumping off of the bridge. He had been spared when a stray ARC-170 was lifting off. He had killed the pilot, and taken off for Mandalore.
Victory Squad walks into the living room, and greets each of the new arrivals.
Burun Ordo returns from a trip to Kyrimorut, hardly waiting to tell the assembled men of the recent Imperial garrison sent to Mandalore.
“Frak. Well, this isn’t going to end well. There’s going to be a fight, and it’s obvious. It will be soon, so we better be reinforcing our armories and making a bunker of this place.”
Ky’ram says, standing and leaning on the stone fireplace.
*1 month later*
--“Tensions are growing as Imperial troops pour onto the planet, gearing up for an attack on Mandalore. Manda’lor Fenn Shysa said in an official statement: ‘We, as Mandalorians, must band together and defeat the Imperial troops on our soil. We must unite under the banner of the Manda’lor, and tear down the Imperial banner old Palps is trying to force up our sheb’se. That is all.’ The Manda’lor is gathering troops at Keldabe. This has been Mandalore Holonet Station, oya, vode.”—
“Well, as the Resol’nare says, “Heed the call of the Manda’lor”. Let’s go visit our good old Manda’lor.”
The Star Destroyer lands and a battalion of stormtroopers marches down the ramp, reinforcing the Imperial position outside Keldabe. The Mandalorians had put up stiff resistance, wiping out three battalions in one day. They were well-supplied, motivated, and had better armor than the Imperial infantry. The only thing not on the Mandalorian side was men. The Mandalorian forces number 2,500 independent mercenaries. The Empire: 100,000, with a massive fleet of twenty five Star Destroyers in orbit. The motivation for the Imperial takeover of Mandalore was the deposits of beskar, which the Emperor planned on using to make new armor for his troops. It was rumored that Darth Vader himself would lead his troops.
Fenn Shysa stepped in front of the 2,500 assembled Mandalorians at midnight, and began talking.
“Good morning, vode. As you know, the Empire is after our beskar. We will drive them away. We have chosen the battleground. We have set up so the Imperial scum will have to funnel through a mountain pass. We have crippled their starfighters under cover of night. This will strictly be a land battle. We have left our ships at home. They will come to us.”
The Imperials had struck first, sending in a massive wave of stormtroopers through the narrow pass known as Manda’lor’s Mouth. They had been beaten back, however, by the impressive work of the elite Wampa Squad, which had set up in the mountains surrounding the pass. Another key group was Falco Clan, which had been the first line of defense. Clan Murraan, led by Spanner Murraan, had been key in sabotaging the Imperial ships under night’s cover. But the mastermind behind this had been Novall Talon, who had been hired by Fenn Shysa as General. Novall had met with the leader of each clan, assigning duties to each man.
The death tally for day one had been substantial losses, 5,000, for the Empire, and only minor wounded for Mandalorians. Day two, however, would be vastly different.
I lie with Victory Squad on the ridge immediately to the right of the command center. Tisha, fresh from rehab, joins us on the ridge, missile launcher over her shoulder. We look through our macrobinocs at the Imperial movements. It was six o’clock in the morning, and they were already attacking. The tired Mandalorians were retreating, a devilish trap in mind. The women of Mandalore were lined up along the ridges, lining up giant rocks on the edge. Novall gives the signal as the last Mandalorian passes through a gate, and the women push the boulders off of the ridge, and send them tumbling into the unaware stormtroopers below. The men turn back, and slaughter the remaining troops. The battle rages for several hours, the most climactic point being when Lord Vader had tired of his troops being slaughtered, and went in himself, flanked by Imperial Commandos. He cut down several front line troops, and moved on. A lone figure with a jetpack jets down in front of Vader, bes’kad drawn. The figure transpires to be Xan, eager to strike the Sith Lord down, even at the cost of his own life. Vader attacked first, his lightsaber glancing off of the double-reinforced beskar. Xan had prepared for this encounter by taking his ancient bes’kad, layering it with three extra layers of beskar, and weaving beskar fibers into his flightsuit. It made him twice as heavy, but he didn’t care. He jetted up to the top of one mountain, Vader on his heels.
The day ended on a low note for both sides. The Mandalorians lost a total of 100 men, but was overshadowed by the Imperial loss of 25,000 men.
The next day, we attack first, sending the Imps reeling. Ky’ram runs to Novall with an update from Firaxan Squad.
--“We’re detecting a fleet exiting hyperspace. It’s not Imperial, it’s…Rebellion! Let’s let them attack.”--
“Very good, Ky’ram. We’ll retreat into the city.”
Ky’ram says, trotting to his position. He motions, and his entourage follows him to a waiting speeder. The remaining 2,400 Mandalorians retreat into a heavily transformed Keldabe. Beskar sheets cover windows, and a barricade blocks the main entrance. The Mandalorians split into two groups, one moves to the tops of buildings, armed with sniper rifles. The rest get into a position to eliminate both forces.
Rebel cruisers enter the atmosphere, and fire at the Star Destroyers resting outside Mand’alor’s Mouth. They explode, and X-Wings begin tearing through the Imperial ranks. At the same time, the Mandalorians open up, slaughtering the remaining 50,000 troops. Small forces of the remaining 2,000 stormtroopers attack the city from all sides. Three forces break through the initial lines, and begin trying to plant charges in the city. They are stopped by the snipers, however, and the battle abruptly ends, with the Mandalorians losing a total of 250 men, and the Empire losing all 100,000 troops. Darth Vader had withdrawn, and no beskar had been extracted.
2,250 voices ring out in the Mandalorian victory song of Vode An, marveling at the impossible victory they had just accomplished. It came at an expensive price, however: 250 men lost. The remaining troops pile the bodies onto a massive funeral pyre, and watch as Manda’lor Fenn Shysa steps up to it, pulling his tibanna lighter, and lighting the pyre. The Mandalore night sky is lit up with the flame.
I had written an Epilogue...but it's gone...
Hope you enjoyed (this is all eight chapters strung together...composing 5,636 words!)!