|Holding the Line
Author: Darth Garak PM
The Mandalorian Wars are raging with all their fury. One Republic soldier is about to discover that there is more to them than it seems at first.Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi/Adventure - Canderous O. - Words: 5,625 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 1 - Published: 12-01-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3267443
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Holding the Line
As the first lightning bolt lit the night sky, the rain began to fall on the already muddy ground. With a roar of anger and despair the Republic soldiers clambered over the lip of their trench in their red and black armor with yellow trimming and charged up the hill toward the waiting enemy. They ran in ankle deep mud, knowing that death was waiting for them, yet they knew their loved ones depended on them. As they charged up the hill, blaster fire erupted from the entrenched enemy, cutting through their ranks, maiming and killing indiscriminately. Corporal Cheng ducked as a blaster bolt grazed his helmet and he heard a gurgling scream from behind but he didn't turn to look. Crawling through the mud, he fired wildly toward his enemy, hoping that his shots would kill at least one of the animals. He wanted them dead. Wanted it badly for it was his only reason to live. The animals had killed his family on Serreco and it seemed unfair to him that the Republic could do nothing to stop them. In front of him a few soldiers stopped, fired a few blasts and, when return fire killed three of them, turned and ran.
Shouts followed them from the enemy position, calling them "Viinir gar hut'uune!" (Run you cowards!) and "Sooran, shab!" (Suck on that, chum!)
Behind the T-shaped visor of his helmet, Sol grinned and pressed the trigger of his tripod mounted heavy repeater blaster. The weapon poured a continuous stream of bolts that mowed down soldier after soldier, sometimes cutting them in half and sometimes leaving gaping holes in them. On his right stood his al'verde (Commander), Canderous of Clan Ordo. Canderous had a fatherly attitude toward young Sol and the warrior returned the feeling. When he was a slave, it was Canderous who thought that he might have the makings of a Mando (Mandalorian) and adopted him into the clan. The man had been a tough but fair taskmaster and soon the young slave boy could speak fluent Mandalorian and fight like one of the best. When Mand'alore had ordered the assembly of the clans, Canderous had not hesitated to take the 18 year old Sol with him. During the invasion of Onderon, while Sol followed Kelborn in taking the palace, Canderous was riding his basilisk against the Beast Riders. During that engagement Canderous had slain ten Beast Riders in single combat, thus keeping the Riders from harassing the ground forces.
Now the big man was standing with one foot on the lip of the trench, as if preparing to assault the Republic soldiers. He was holding his heavy assault rifle in two hands, a weapon overpowered for it's size, and firing on the enemy, rain splashing against his T-shaped visor; the lightning making him stand out in his golden armor, with a red cape over one shoulder and a jet pack on his back, twin blaster pistols in their holsters hanging low on his hips, a dagger in each boot, a vibrosword slung across one shoulder, a wrist mounted flamethrower on his left and a wrist mounted blaster on his right. To Sol, he looked like a god of war that had descended among his people.
Canderous aimed and fired at the officer who was trying to regroup his men and turned toward Sol.
"Iba' vaabir gar mirdir, atin ra di'kutla?" (What do you think, stubborn or idiots?)
Sol laughed and responded "Di'kutla."
"Yeah. Val ne ker'taylir tion'tuur val broker." (They don't know when they're beaten.) Even as he said that, Canderous put two shots in a soldier, the first one punching him in the chest and the second one burning his face off. With a laugh Canderous took one of the grenades that was lying next to his feet and threw it. The plasma grenade instantly turned the kyrbei (battlefield) into a living hell for those soldiers to close to it.
"Motir ca'tra nau tracinya" (Those who stand before us light the night sky in flame), said Canderous, his voice grim. Sol agreed with him and continued spraying the Rep hut'uune. He knew how brutal Canderous could be in a fight and he respected that in the man, he knew not to push his patience but apparently these Republic hut'uune didn't know that. Canderous was getting angry because of this show of utter idiocy and Sol knew that what would follow would not be pleasant. Just as he can be kind and generous with his family, Canderous could be brutal and merciless with his enemy. Especially those enemies he despised.
Corporal Cheng couldn't take his eyes off the burning soldiers who ran around screaming like mad while the flames consumed them despite the rain. Burning to death like that was…was…it was inhuman. But then, he thought, these Mandalorians aren't human, they're animals. And they deserved to die like animals. Sergeant Keller, a veteran from the Sith war, crouched behind a rock and fired a few shots while shouting into the comlink. "We need armored support NOW! The attack has stalled! I repeat the attack has stalled!"
Cheng knew that was right, he was lying in the mud, hiding behind a blaster chewed corpse. In normal times he would have been sick just at thought of it but now…now it was different. He looked over the corpse toward the Mandalorian trenches and saw a Mandalorian in a golden armor with a red cape over a shoulder. That must the commander, the most brutal of the lot. Cheng aimed at the figure and fired but saw his bolts splatter harmlessly against the armor. Before he could fire again, the figure unleashed a firestorm of blaster bolts toward his position and Cheng had to bury his face in the mud to avoid having it blasted of. He almost yelled when a couple of bolts blew his left leg off at the knee. He turned around and saw a singed stump where his knee should have been and finally he did scream. But his screams were lost amid those of other wounded and the roar of blasters.
Padawan Jarek Denell half ran, half stumbled in the deep mud toward the Mandalorian trenches. He knew his Masters would disapprove of his actions but a part of him just couldn't let these soldiers die just like that. How many worlds have fallen and how many could have resisted if only the Jedi had aided the Republic? Jarek didn't know but, as he drew his lightsaber, he swore he would do what he could to aid the Republic. After all he had sworn and oath to protect it hadn't he?
Sol didn't even have time to say something when he noticed the Jedi, which Canderous used his jump pack to speed toward. Sol desperately wanted to see the fight but he was forced to turn his attention back to the battle as a squad of Republic soldiers was creeping up on his position. He fired a short burst that blew off the head of the Lieutenant leading them and forced the others to duck. Grinning, Sol shot three more while they were on the ground and the other seven got up and charged him. Aiming at the nearest soldier, he fired again, blasting a hole the size of his head in the man's chest. Three more fell when two Mandalorians caught them in a cross fire and the other three jumped in the trench.
Abandoning the gun, Sol kicked one soldier in the jaw and punched another in the wind pipe, just like Canderous taught him. Before the other one could attack him, he fell dead as another Mandalorian shot him in the back. Sol killed the one he had hit in the jaw and turned toward the Mandalorian who helped him. While he couldn't see her face, he knew it was Mira and that stirred mixed feelings in him. On the one hand he was glad she helped him, it meant she was keeping an eye on him, but on the other hand, he wanted to show her that he could handle himself in battle.
"Vor'e ner vod!" (Thanks my sister.)
She nodded and Sol turned back to the battle. One of these days he planned to marry Mira, maybe when the Crusade was over.
Jarek didn't see the Mandalorian until he crashed into him, sending him sprawling to the ground. Spitting mud out of his mouth, Jarek picked up his lightsaber and turned toward his attacker. The Mandalorian officer, for that is what he must be, turned toward him slowly, almost deliberately. Jarek gazed into the T-shaped visor and felt a shiver run down his spine. The cold visor of his helmet was so grim and forbidding, unyielding like the man behind it, unemotional and invulnerable. It seemed to Jarek, that to look into that visor was to look at Death. He could see his reflection in it and somehow he seemed fragile and insignificant next to the being in the golden armor.
As the officer advanced on him, Jarek noticed a few soldiers charging him from behind, vibroblades raised for the killing blow. It seemed to him that the officer was dead but he suddenly turned and flames burst from his left wrist, completely engulfing the soldiers and turning them into human torches. Jarek was so amazed by the display that he did not notice when the officer turned and punched him in the jaw so hard he was lifted off his feet. He fell on his back in the mud and rolled to the right as the officer brought his foot down on the spot where his neck had been but a few moments ago. Quickly rolling to his knees the Jedi Force pushed the officer away from him. The Mandalorian fell into a group of soldiers and before they could react, he crushed the neck of one and, grabbing him by the now broken neck and groin, threw him into his comrades. As they tried to get the dead man off them, the Mandalorian used a wrist mounted blaster to quickly and efficiently kill them with a single head shot. Jarek raised his green saber and charged. As he got close he swung with the saber but the officer ducked and punched him in the stomach. Gasping for air, Jarek couldn't avoid the blow to the head and once again he found himself in the mud.
The officer shook his head and said something. Whatever it was the disgust in his tone said everything Jarek needed to know. He took a swipe at the officer's legs with his left leg but it was like hitting a tree. Cringing from the pain, he tried to concentrate enough to use the Force when the officer aimed the wrist blaster at him and, saying something that sounded oddly sad, he fired. There is no Death, the is only the Force, was Jarek's last thought as the blaster bolt blew his head away and he became one with the Force.
Sergeant Keller looked with horror as the Jedi died. He couldn't believe that a JEDI, of all people, could be killed so easily. It seemed to him like the Mandalorian was toying with the Jedi. That had not been a fight; it was more like watching a child try to fight a master of the combat arts. Pretty much the way this whole war was going, thought Keller.
Drawing his vibrosword Keller got up and, along with others, charged the lone Mandalorian. A spectator would say that the Mandalorian, while brave and skilled, did not stand a flame's chance on Hoth. But the Mandalorian calmly, almost as if he was bored, drew his vibrosword and one of his blasters and waited. As the soldiers descended on him he sprung into a whirlwind of movement, his sword cutting and stabbing and the blaster in his hand and the one on his wrist firing like mad. As soldiers fell, the Mandalorian punched one in the jaw while shooting another behind him. Keller ducked a swipe of his sword and lunged, only to have his blade slide of the thigh armor. He quickly rolled and barely avoided a blow to the head. Rising he parried a strike and swung toward his opponent's neck. The Mandalorian blocked and kicked Keller in the stomach. Pain blossomed there and the Sergeant noticed the two short spikes on the Mandalorian's armored boot. As he struggled to stand up, afraid he might lose his head, Keller felt his knees go weak and he collapsed.
As he laid there, his lungs struggling to get air inside them, he understood that the Mandalorian had poison on those spikes. He would have cursed if he were able as it dawned on him that the Republic could not fight against an opponent as ruthless as the Mandalorians and win. Slowly, he died of lack of oxygen, not seeing the Mandalorian's counterattack that drove back the Republic soldiers, though most died on the slopes of that muddy hill.
Sol stood quietly as Canderous grabbed a Republic soldier by the neck and lifted him. Looking at the snarling soldier, Canderous laughed and said in Basic "This one will do."
He handed the soldier to another Mandalorian and turned toward Sol. "What are our casualties?"
"Six lightly wounded and one dead," he answered in Basic. "The attack was rather pathetic, with no air or armored support." Almost as an afterthought he said. "Not that the basilisks would have any trouble wiping out a bunch of ships or tanks." He took some pleasure when he saw the Republic soldier's face go pale. Obviously they weren't aware of the basilisks that were on the other side of the hill.
The prisoner was taken away and Sol looked around him. The muddy hill was soaked in blood and the smell of death was so strong he could taste it. Ignoring the cries of the wounded he turned back to Canderous.
"Iba' be haar kadala? (What of the wounded?)
"If any of them get up," replied Canderous in basic, "shoot them without mercy. Those who crawl back to their lines will be spared."
Sol nodded as he recognized that Canderous wanted to shame the Republic soldiers. He wondered if they would even notice or care about how pathetic they were.
Private Derek felt the air explode out of his lungs as the Mandalorian punched him in the stomach. As he tried to ignore the pain and breathe, Derek considered that the punch felt as if the fist that hit him was made out of durasteel.
"You will show respect to your betters, hut'uune," said the Mandalorian who punched him. He drew a heavy blaster and pointed the muzzle at Derek's left eye. "This blaster can disable a starship; just imagine what it can do to your head." The Republic soldier knew that the Mandalorian was overstating things, that blaster couldn't even punch through the shields of a ship, but for safety's sake he decided to just smile and nod. The Mandalorian chuckled and turned around, saying something to their commander.
Derek didn't understand a word of it so he looked around at the bunker. Built in the middle of the trench line on the hill and dominating the landscape around it, the bunker was made out of solid durasteel while the outside was covered in reinforced ferrocrete. The bunker had withstood several artillery bombardments and strafing runs and Derek was amazed to see that it wasn't even cracked. It was, instead, very crowded with one turbolaser cannon and the cables connecting it to its generator occupying most of the space, two tripod mounted heavy repeater blasters and a wall full of computers handling everything from communications to tactical analysis occupying the remainder.
His attention was drawn back to the commander when he said something and all the Mandalorians began removing their helmets. Derek expected to see non-humans, and there were a few, but for the most part he saw humans. He couldn't believe that the Mandalorian butchers were actually humans. The commander, whose scarred face looked like it was sculpted to represent an ancient hero, approached him.
"What are you gawking at?" he asked Derek "Never seen one of your kind or what?"
For a moment Derek couldn't find any words but then he said.
"You traitors…how could you betray your Republic…" He stopped when he saw the Mandalorian shake his head.
"We're not part of YOUR Republic. We are the Mando'ade…the Sons and Daughters of Mand'alore." Lowering himself so he could be at eye level with Derek, the Mandalorian continued. "Never call us traitors you di'kut. You are an aruetii, an outsider, and you will never understand us."
As the Mandalorian rose, Derek found himself saying "What is there to understand? You attacked us and you are slaughtering all who stand before you. There is nothing to understand."
The Mandalorian looked weary as he turned to the others and said "Ba'slanar." (Depart.) Then he punched Derek in the face so hard that the soldier's nose broke with an audible crack. Derek fell to his knees on the floor and his hands went to his broken nose. The pain was unspeakable, like someone had driven a dagger up his nose and twisted it. The Mandalorian crouched next to him and, grabbing him by the shoulders, righted him. Brushing away Derek's hands, the Mandalorian grabbed his nose and twisted it, sending up another spike of pain but it passed quickly. When he could speak again, Derek said. "What was that for?"
"That was for calling us traitors… now take a seat and shut up." The Mandalorian turned and grabbed a chair, which he put in front of Derek's. Spinning the chair so it was backwards, the Mandalorian sat resting his arms on the back of the chair. He looked Derek in the eye and the soldier found that it took all his will to meet the Mandalorian's gaze. There was a hardness there, a cold, efficient brutality that sent shivers up his spine.
"Why do you think we started this war?" asked the commander.
"How should I know?" replied Derek "Maybe you just wanted to kill people or take slaves….how the frigging hell should I know?"
The Mandalorian looked at him as if he was studying something critical then he said "What's you name?"
Derek was completely surprised by this change of subject. "Derek," he mumbled.
"My name is Canderous of the Mandalorian Clan Ordo," said the commander. "You may call me Ordo as only my brothers and sisters may call me Canderous."
"Now then," Ordo leaned forward and lowered his voice. "Would you like to find out why we are waging this war?" When Derek nodded, Odro continued. "We desired a challenge. We wanted to prove to the galaxy that we were the best. We needed a worthy foe, a foe that could possibly crush us. So we chose your Republic, we threw ourselves at your ships and defenses without fear of death. For you survival means everything but we hold nothing back when we fight. Only by risking everything do we gain honor, a battle is meaningless if you know that whatever the outcome you will still be there." He chuckled when he saw the horrified look on Derek's face. "But it appears that our way of approaching war is too much for you Republic types to handle."
"But if you want a worthy foe…why did you turn the cities on Serreco to glass craters?"
Ordo's face darkened as he said "We didn't destroy Serreco. Your precious Republic destroyed Serreco the second they set up military bases in the cities.
"Those bases were put there to protect the civilians," said Derek, feeling his face turn red with fury.
"If you wanted to protect the non-combatants then don't put soldiers among them. Those troops thought that we wouldn't attack them if they were in a city, that we wouldn't spill any innocent blood….well guess what, we took the city from under their feet."
"You NUKED those cities!" yelled Derek. He instantly regretted it as Ordo punched him in the jaw. Before he could recover, Ordo picked him up and was almost nose to nose with him.
"Listen here you little boy. We have fought with and against a thousand armies on a thousand worlds. We learned to speak as many languages and have absorbed weapons technology and tactics from every war. And despite the overwhelming influence of alien cultures, and the absence of a true home world and even species, our own language not only survived but changed little, our way of life and our philosophy remained untouched, and our ideals and sense of family, of identity of nation were only strengthened. Armor is not what makes a Mandalorian. Armor is simply the manifestation of an impenetrable, unassailable heart." Dumping Derek on the floor, he continued. "But your Republic has no identity. You all think either of your species or your world. You don't care about your family, only your own success. If you truly cared about the Republic or your homes, you would be fighting like demons. You would be fighting to the death and not have taken one step back."
Lying on the floor and rubbing his sore jaw, Derek looked up at the Mandalorian. "What do you want from me?" he asked.
"Want from you?" asked Ordo. "I don't want anything from you." He seemed to be thinking about something. "Maybe I'm getting soft but I'll allow you to accompany me."
"Wherever I go. Maybe I'll manage to open your eyes to what it means to be a Mandalorian."
Sol didn't know what Canderous was thinking when he decided to keep the republic soldier around as his….prisoner…slave…what? Whatever it was it amused Sol how out of place and totally disoriented the soldier was.
Putting the soldier out of his mind, he turned back to the other warriors around the table.
"Mand'alor sent a transmission that the Republic fleet has been routed. We can have fighter support any time we need it," reported Mira.
Some of the Mandalorians laughed at that. "We will beat them without support," said one.
"Tomorrow we will launch a full scale attack on their lines and we won't stop until we crushed them all," said Canderous. He pointed to a Mandalorian in red armor and said, "Kelborn, you and the basilisks will open the way for us."
The warrior smiled and said, "It will be my honour."
"We will attack at first light, when the sentries are the most tired." The others nodded in agreement. "Tomorrow we fight and die but tonight" said Canderous, grinning "we eat and drink."
The others shouted their support for this decision.
As the Mandalorians set about some task or another, Ordo approached Derek and, grabbing him the arm, pulled him aside.
"Tonight we eat and you will eat with us at our table." When Derek didn't react in any way, Ordo continued. "Just so you know, that is a great honor. Since I don't want a fight to break out I'm gonna give you a little advice. First thing: if someone looks you in the eye, you look back. Don't waver or you get a beating. Second thing: whatever food we put in front your nose, you eat."
"What if I'm full?" interrupted Derek.
"Well then you would be insulting us. And you don't want to do that, now do you?"
Derek silently nodded.
"Good. The third thing to remember is to never make a pass at a Mandalorian woman…unless you plan to join the clan." As Derek stood there, looking shocked, Ordo left laughing.
Derek sat next to Ordo during the feast, as he came to think of it. The Mandalorians were sitting in a little circle on the floor, the food on a small wooden table in the middle. Derek had no idea where the Mandalorians had kept all this food or when they found the time to cook it but he was grateful they did. As he was chewing some Krakana filets, said to come from a Krakana on Mon Calamari, Derek was amazed by these people. He couldn't understand a word of what they said but they all seemed at ease. They were talking and laughing like any normal person, not like the bloodthirsty murderers they were supposed to be.
Ordo turned toward him and said. "Try the Roba steak," indicating the particular food.
Derek reached for it but one of the other Mandalorians grabbed it and put it on his plate. "Uh, thanks," said Derek, not knowing what else to say. He bit into the meat and was surprised to discover it was spicy. Very spicy in fact and his face must have turned red because the Mandalorians laughed.
"Surprised you too, didn't it?" said Ordo, taking a sip from a mug full of stimcaf. "Sol always makes the Roba steak really spicy." He indicated the Mandalorian in question, who raised his cup of stim tea. "I don't know why he makes the meat so spicy," he said loud enough that Sol could hear. "It losses its entire flavor."
Sol laughed and said "It's not my fault you can't take it. Face it Canderous, you're getting old."
At those words Ordo shook his head, grabbed a piece of Loop pastry and threw it toward Sol. The pastry hit his armor and left a smudge. The Mandalorians all started laughing and returned to their conversions.
The door to the bunker opened and another Mandalorian entered, carrying some data disks. It was the beautiful red-headed woman, which drew Derek's attention often during the day. Ordo lightly elbowed him in the ribs and whispered.
"Don't stare, it's not polite. Besides everyone knows that Sol is crazy about Mira, so don't even think about it." He grinned and said, "Unless you want him to challenge you." Derek paled and Ordo chuckled. "I'm just joking kid. You need to lighten up."
Mira sat down next to Sol and began passing the data disks around.
"Mail from home?" asked someone.
The Mandalorians quickly began reading the mail they had received and one of them snorted.
"What is it?" asked Ordo.
The Mandalorian took a bite from the Karkan ribenes with tomo-spice that were on his plate and said, "Fett's son is trying to get my daughter's interest."
"Fett has a son?" asked Sol, his surprise evident.
The other nodded, "At least the kid is helping my daughter with the crops."
"And who's taking care of his farm?" asked Mira.
"Who cares? His farm, his business."
"You're a farmer?" Derek had the words out of his mouth before he could stop himself. It seemed hard to believe that the most terrifying warriors in the galaxy were farmers.
The Mandalorians looked at him in silence and he was afraid he had offended them when they burst out in roaring laughter.
"Of course I'm a farmer," responded the Mandalorian he had asked. "We're all farmers, fishermen, law enforcement officers and other simple workers."
"We don't have a standing army like your Republic. We gather only when Mand'alor calls us."
"What did you do before the war?" asked Sol.
"I've been in the Army since finishing school."
Someone groaned and said, "Great, we got a carrier soldier among us."
"And you parents?"
Derek shrugged and said, "They're farmers."
"Now that is an occupation I can understand," said one of them and the others agreed. The rest of the meal went by talking about the farms. When it was almost over, and Derek was finishing a nerfburger with some Neonan red cheese, a Mandalorian entered the bunker bearing a tray upon which was a flat, dense cake. As he set the tray down, Derek noticed the other Mandalorians appeared eager.
"What's that?" he asked the Mandalorian on his left, since Ordo was busy talking to someone else.
"That" responded the man "is Uj'alayi, or uj cake in basic. It's a flat, dense cake made of ground and crushed nuts, pureed dried fruit, uj'jayl syrup, and spices. It's extremely sweet."
As the cake was being cut and pieces handed to everyone, Derek had to admit to himself that there was a lot more to the Mandalorians than it seemed at first. He found himself beginning to like these people. And he wondered how a bunch of farmers could become the greatest and most unstoppable warriors in the galaxy.
At dawn, when the Republic sentries waited to be relieved, the Mandalorians climbed out of their trenches. Carrying only swords, assault rifles and grenades they formed a line that began a slow, steady advance toward the enemy.
As they were noticed, the Republic trenches exploded into a frenzy of activity. Soldiers hurried to don armor, grab a weapon or man the heavy guns. They took the Mandalorians into their sights and waited for the order to fire. That's when they heard the drums. Low at first, but growing in volume, a song began to reach the ears of the defenders. It was a grim song and even though they couldn't understand a word of it, the song sent chills down their spines.
"Kandosii sa kyr'am ast,
Troan teroch Mando a'den,
Duraan vi at ara'nov.
Vode an, ka'rta Tor."
(As ruthless as Death itself,
The pitiless face of the Mandalorian's wrath,
Let us look down on all who come before us.
Brothers all, one heart of justice.)
And then they heard the whine of repulsorlifts. From behind the hill, basilisk war droids rose into the air. They looked like large, eyeless bugs with front and hind legs, a stinger-like tail, and propulsion units on either side of the fuselage reminiscent of wings. More than one soldier went pale and dropped his gun at the sight of them.
The drums began to beat faster and the song changed and the basilisks charged. They fired their missiles which destroyed the big guns and most of the bunkers, sending great fireballs to the sky. Men screamed and ran to get away from the inferno and smell of burning flesh. But the basilisks flew low, strafing the trenches and killing dozens which each blast. Soldiers were turned into piles of unrecognizable burnt flesh or scattered all over the trench. The trenches were ruined, filled with blood and smoke, the bodies of the fallen and the smell of burnt meat. Their moral already low, the Republic soldiers ran for their lives. A few brave souls remained to defend their position but they knew that only death awaited them. The basilisks ignored them and chased after the runners, mowing them down without mercy or diving and using their heavy brawling claws to turn groups of soldiers into piles of gore.
The remaining soldiers felt fear as the Mandalorians approached. They could only hope for a quick death for none of them believed they would survive. The Mandalorian chant unnerved them as they waited for death to claim them.
"Taungsarang broka Mando ka'rta.
Dha Werda Verda a'den tratu,
Mand'alor kandosii adu.
Duum motir ca'tra nau tracinya.
Gra'tua cuun hett su dralshy'a."
(The ash of the Taung beats strong within the Mandalorian heart.
We are the rage of The Warriors of the Shadow,
The first noble sons of Mand'alore.
Let all those who stand before us light the night sky in flame.
Our vengeance burns bright still.)
They opened fire but there were not enough of them to stop the Mandalorian charge. The Mandalorians put down suppression fire on the trenches and reached them with little losses. They shot soldiers at point blank range, burning off faces or heads and sending charred corpses to the muddy ground. They used vibroswords to hack their way through resistance and blood ran free as the soldiers died. Those that hid in bunkers were killed by plasma grenades or burned to death by flame throwers.
"Kom'rk tsad Mando troch nyn ures adenn.
Dha Werda Verda a'den tratu,
Manda'lor kandosii adu.
Duum motir ca'tra nau tracinya.
Gra'tua cuun hett su dralshy'a."
(The gauntlet of the Mandalorian strikes without mercy.
We are the rage of The Warriors of the Shadow,
The first noble sons of Mand'alore.
Let all those who stand before us light the night sky in flame.
Our vengeance burns bright still.)
As the Republic line collapsed, the entire army was routed. They raced toward the capital only to find that the Mandalorians under Fett had captured it. They were trapped between two Mandalorian armies while starfighters and basilisks pounded them continuously.
In the end they were forced to surrender as the Mandalorians conquered Balmorra. As the Republic recoiled from this blow, the Mandalorian clans turned their grim visored gaze toward Commenor. The Great Crusade went on like a firestorm, burning and destroying all before it.