For Death and Glory
The Planet Cathar, 3,973 BBY
The planet Cathar, home of the native Cathar species, had a grand history. Home of one of the greatest warrior species in the galaxy, the feline Cathar warred for many reasons; pride, honor, vengeance… but this time they were fighting for the survival of their very species. And they were losing. Badly.
The Mandalorians had attacked without warning, coming out of hyperspace upon their Basilisk War Droids and Teroch-class gunships and annihilating orbiting satellites and space stations within minutes of their arrival, effectively wiping out their subspace communications. Unable to call for help, or to even coordinate a defense of their entire planet, the Cathar nevertheless showed the Mandalorians why they were considered warriors. Disjointed and disorganized, individual Cathar armies nevertheless had fought back fiercely, but without communications or air superiority, the chances of victory were slim.
One Cathar in particular was battling 10 Mandalorians, keeping them at bay with a unique sword/blaster fighting style. Numerous Mandalorian corpses, clad in their trademark Neo-Crusader armor, already lay scattered on the ground, giving mute testimony to his prowess as a warrior. However, the Cathar would not be able to keep his dance going forever. His fur was dark with sweat, and his vibrosword showed notches in the blade where it had connected with the beskar'gam that the Mandalorians used for their armor. Finally, a blaster shot caught him in the leg, causing his knee to buckle and collapse under him. On his knees, the Cathar spat at his antagonists. Instead of shooting him where he knelt, however, the Mandalorians surrounded him. One of the Mandalorians approached him, drawing the Cathar's attention. The gold-clad Mandalorian, keeping his modified blaster pistol upon him, disarmed the Cathar and knelt in front of him so that he could confront him at eye level – or visor level, from the Cathar's point of view.
"You have fought well," said the Mandalorian in a gravelly voice. "A pity you were never Mando'a, you would have been a great warrior if your handiwork is any indication. Know this, General; you have brought glory to your people."
The Cathar General snarled at the blank visage of Cassus Fett's helmet. "You speak of glory, Mandalorian, but what glory is there in destroying a species?" Fett cocked his head to the side, and looked the Cathar in his golden eyes. "Oh, don't think I don't know what you have done, Mandalorian. I directed 10,000 warriors to fight you – don't you think I would know that you have been destroying the refugee transports fleeing this world?"
Cassus Fett's eyes hardened, although his helmet kept the Cathar from seeing his expression. In a harsh voice, made harder by his helmet's microphone, he chastised the Cathar. "Those who fled this battle were cowards! Had it been the Cathar who attacked Mandalore, you would never have seen our women and children fleeing the battle! They would have stood, and fought, and brought honor to their clans! Instead, you send your families to run the blockade we have placed around the planet, turning a possible death into a certain one."
The Cathar glared at Fett. "What good is there in honor," he asked, "if there are none left to remember it?"
Fett stood and drew his vibroblade. "Know this, Cathar. The humiliation of the Mandalore by your race twenty years ago has been avenged. Know this, and despair." Before the Cathar General could retort, Fett stepped forward and grasped the top of the Cathar's head. Before he could even scream, Fett yanked his head back and drew his blade across the Cathar's throat, slitting open his carotid arteries. He threw the Cathar to the ground, where his lifeblood drained onto the sandy soil of his native planet. With his dying breath, the Cathar thought of his brother's family. Farewell, little Juhani, he thought – and then he was gone.
Fett turned to his Neo-Crusaders, wiping the blood off his vibroblade. "Back to the Basilisks," he ordered. "We still have a job to do."
The Battle of Cathar was a massacre. Over 95% of the Cathar present on the planet were annihilated by the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders. Having taken them by surprise, there was little resistance, and what little there was was quickly crushed. Even those Cathar fleeing the battle had been shot down, with only a few transports escaping out of the dozens that had fled the doomed planet.
Back in space, Cassus Fett stood on the bridge of his flagship, the Kandosii-class dreadnaught Cuyan, watching the smoke rise from the surface of Cathar. Beside him stood Canderous Ordo, one of his bravest warriors and the chieftain of an entire sub sect of Clan Ordo. By this point, both of their helmets were off, and they could see each other's faces. Cassus Fett was of moderate height, with black hair and brown features. His most startling feature, however, were his eyes. Black as obsidian, it was said that looking into the eyes of an angry Cassus Fett was akin to staring into the depths of a black hole. As one of Mandalore's best strategists, he had fought in the Great Sith War, and now led the armadas of the Mandalore into battle, in addition to being the head of Clan Fett.
The Ordo chieftain looked nothing like Cassus Fett. Standing over two meters in height in his red armor, he was taller than Fett by a good handspan. His hair was black, with streaks of grey testifying to the hardship of his life. His eyes were a steel grey, with a hardness in them that bespoke his will and pride as a Mandalorian. Right now, however, those eyes were troubled. He spoke to Fett with a raspy baritone. "Was it necessary?"
Fett glanced at his subordinate. "What's wrong, Canderous? Going soft on me?"
"No, not the battle. I have no problems with fighting the Cathar. Slaughtering civilians for vengeance, though – that's another matter entirely."
Fett smirked. "Oh, you mean those Cathar that we drove into the ocean? You know better than most how important it is not to leave any loose ends. And as for that one Mandalorian who tried to stop us, you should remember how we Mando'a deal with cowardice and insubordination. If I recall correctly, your verd'goten involved executing a traitor to Mandalore."
Canderous hesitated. "I see your point, but I still don't like the idea of ravaging an entire planet for its' own sake."
Fett rounded upon Canderous, his eyes hardening. "As if the Cathar did any differently when Mandalore the Indomitable fought alongside Ulic Qel-Droma? Remember the Jedi Slylar, and how many members of the clans she killed? If nothing else, the honor of the Mandalorians demanded that we respond to the insults of the Cathar. And now," he gestured outside the viewport at the planet, "that honor has been appeased."
Canderous glanced out the viewport, then back at Fett. "I understand." He replaced his helmet, and turned to leave. As he started to leave the bridge, the blast doors leading onto the bridge opened to reveal a tall Mandalorian flanked by two Neo-Crusaders. All activity stopped upon the bridge, while Fett and Canderous instantly knelt and placed a fisted hand over their breastplates.
The Mandalorian who had entered the bridge was formidable, with an air of authority around him that demanded respect. Standing at 2.5 meters tall, his face was hidden behind a golden mask with a T-slit visor. His beskar'gam was colored steel-grey and made out of pure beskar, or Mandalorian Iron, with little in the way of adornment upon it. He had a tattered red cape slung over his shoulders. The handle of a vibrosword could be seen peeking over his right shoulder, while a heavy repeating blaster was slung over his left shoulder. A blaster pistol could be seen on his belt, and Canderous knew from experience that the armor had many different weapons built into it.
Mandalore the Ultimate looked at his men. Being one of the last of the Taung species, he had become Mandalore after finding the mask of Mandalore the Indomitable upon Dxun after the previous Mandalore's death. After the death of Exar Kun at the end of the Great Sith War 23 years earlier, he had been forced to rebuild the clans from scratch. While the dust was still settling from Exar Kun's war, he had sent out a call to the scattered clans. As only a few Taung, the original Mandalorian species, remained, he began to accept other species into the ranks of the Mandalorians. Due to the influx of new recruits, the term "Mandalorian" began to refer to a culture, rather than a single species. About ten years into his reign, an ambassador from the Unknown Regions had approached him with a challenge: To take on the greatest foe in the galaxy and win undying glory for his people, or die trying. Mandalore the Ultimate, never one to take a challenge lying down, had accepted the dare and set about preparing for war with the Galactic Republic. He had not kept his title of Mandalore by being a fool, however. Knowing firsthand the vast resources of the Republic, he knew that he would have to build up his forces to have even a chance of victory. To that end, Mandalore the Ultimate had been conquering planets throughout the Outer Rim and the Unknown Regions that were unaffiliated with the Republic, gaining resources and recruits to fuel his massive war machine.
Three years prior, Mandalore the Ultimate had launched an attack upon the world of Althir, in an attempt to gain control of the shipyards and factories that the world was host to. The man kneeling before him, Canderous Ordo, had won great honor and the leadership of part of his clan in a daring strike upon the flagship of the Althiri navy, winning the battle with 23% fewer Mandalorian casualties than had been projected in half the time. Canderous was a loyal soldier with an excellent record, but if what he had just heard was any indicator, that loyalty had just been shaken. A lesson was in store. He looked down at the man. "Rise, Canderous Ordo." Canderous rose at the sound of his Mandalore's bass voice, any expression unreadable behind his helmet. "Repeat to me what you just told Cassus Fett, here."
Canderous' heart plummeted into his stomach, but he did not let his fear show in his voice or his posture. "I asked General Fett if it was necessary to slaughter civilians, Mandalore." Mandalore sighed. "Follow me, Commander Ordo." He walked to the viewport, Canderous following close behind. "Look outside. What do you see?" Canderous turned to look, but saw nothing but a burning world and the shattered remains of refugee ships.
"I see what remains of a race of warriors – a burning planet and the corpses of ships."
Mandalore turned to look at Canderous. "Do you know what was aboard the ships, Captain?"
"Innocent women and children of the Cathar, fleeing the planet."
"No, Canderous." Mandalore's voice was soft. "Not innocents." A quiet skint was heard. Canderous stiffened at the noise, just before he felt a searing pain in his right side. He looked down to see blood dripping from a hole in his armor. He looked at Mandalore, who was wiping blood off of a blade that was protruding from his right gauntlet. "They were cowards. And cowards have no place in the galaxy that I am creating."
Canderous coughed. "There was no honor in killing them, Mandalore. They couldn't fi-"
Mandalore's stance stiffened. "Do not finish that sentence, Ordo," he growled. "If you cannot fight, you are weak. If you are weak, you deserve whatever it is that happens to you. I have neither time nor patience for cowards, Ordo." He leaned in, looking at Canderous's visor. "They deserve to be hunted down and slaughtered like the vermin they are."
Canderous pressed his hand to his side, while desperately trying to hide the agony that he was in. That blade was poisoned, he thought. Mandalore looked at Canderous with an appraising eye. "I know that you are no coward, Ordo. That is why I will let you live, this time. But remember this, Commander Ordo," he said, placing emphasis upon his title, "I will not be so lenient the next time I hear a Mandalorian questioning my commands."
Canderous knelt, not daring to look at Mandalore in the face. "I will not bring dishonor to my clan, nor to my Mandalore, my lord."
"See that you don't, Ordo. And remember this incident, the next time you are inclined to question my orders."
Canderous nodded, tasting blood in his mouth. Mandalore looked down at him. "Dismissed, Captain Ordo. And go get that injury looked at."
Canderous rose, and saluted his Mandalore. (Insert verbal salute here) He left the bridge, staggering slightly.
Fett watched him go with a raised eyebrow. "Will he live, milord?"
"If he is a true Mandalorian, he will survive. If he dies, the Mando'a will live on. Either way, this will be a lesson that he will remember for a long time."
Canderous made his way to the medical bay, biting his tongue to keep from screaming in agony. Kidney wounds always hurt, but that was not what was bothering him the most at the moment. He had questioned his Mandalore – to his face – and had brought dishonor upon his clan. What was worse, though, was that Mandalore had been right. Actually, Canderous didn't know what felt worse at the moment – his stab wound or his humiliation in front of the bridge crew. According to the code of the Mandalore, what had happened upon Cathar was perfectly acceptable. If an enemy was not capable of defending itself, its safety and security was forfeit to any enemy that was stronger. Perhaps I've been spending too much time with the new recruits, he thought. Their weakness and morals are beginning to affect my thinking. At the moment, though, he didn't care. He had to get medical attention before he passed out.
He stumbled into the med bay, barely seeing the doctor behind the desk through the blackness nibbling away at the edges of his vision. "Need… medical attention…" he gasped to the doctor, a Twi'lek. He hated showing weakness, but he did need help. The doctor approached him, but before he could reach him, Canderous' firm self-control slipped, and the pain overwhelmed him. He felt himself falling. Oh, that can't be good, he thought, before his helmet hit the floor and he blacked out.
Canderous awoke slowly, feeling as if he had just gone ten rounds with a Lagartoz War Dragon. As he began to recall what had happened, he frowned. No, he thought, I just went one round with Mandalore. Remind me never to anger him again. He opened his eyes, realizing that he was lying in a bed. The lightness of his body told him that he had been stripped of his armor while he had been unconscious. That in itself was disconcerting, as Mandalorians rarely took off their armor. He felt his side where Mandalore had stabbed him, feeling the characteristic rough feeling of stitches. I must have been hurt worse than I thought, he mused.
He raised his head – only to be met with the blank stare of Mandalore's helmet. Canderous jerked, startled, and, ignoring the searing pain in his side, sat up in bed and placed his fisted right hand over his heart in the traditional Mandalorian salute. "Mand'alor", Canderous managed between gritted teeth, "it is an honor."
Mandalore stood, looking down at Canderous. "You're stronger than I expected," he said. "I've killed Jedi with that attack, and yet you are standing in only a day." Canderous raised his head to look Mandalore in his visor. "It is nothing, my lord. What can your servant do for you?"
"Nothing," said Mandalore. "Save that you learn from this - incident, and become a better Mandalorian for it."
"I will, Mandalore" Canderous replied.
Mandalore abruptly turned around. "I will be leaving for Dxun soon. During my absence, I need you to take command of a battle group and prepare for the invasion of the Roche Asteroid field. They will be a valuable source of material for our factories, as well as help cement our hold of the Perlemian Trade Route."
As Mandalore left, the Twi'lek medic that Canderous had seen before he had passed out came in. "Well, Ordo, I must say it's a pleasure to see you up and about, after all the work I put in on you."
Canderous looked at him with annoyance. "Just tell me what you did, Ensign, so that I can get back in my armor."
"All right," the medic replied with just a trace of exasperation in his voice. "The wound itself was simple to repair. The real damage was caused by the poison on the blade."
"How bad was it?"
"Well, your right kidney was injured beyond repair, so I was forced to remove it. The poison also messed up your other kidney, impairing its' ability to remove toxins from your body. Had I done nothing, the toxins in your body would have gradually built up and caused renal failure. Instead, I placed an implant where your right kidney used to be that will take over your kidneys' functions. As a bonus, the implant has a side effect of enhancing your body's normal healing process, causing any injury you receive to heal in half the time it normally would, although an increased caloric consumption is required to fuel the increased metabolic demand."
Canderous leaned back, closing his eyes. So he was reduced to having to live with a machine to keep him alive now, was it? The weakness apparent in this was nigh intolerable to Canderous, but he would have to learn to live with it. And, as much as it grated to admit, he was grateful that the medic had saved his life. "What is your name, Ensign?"
The medic looked startled, as most people just ignored him. "My name, in the language of my people, is Conn'ustrell. But you may call me Connus."
Canderous stood up, and looked Connus in the eyes. "Conn'ustrell," he started, stumbling slightly over the break, "As a Mandalorian, I owe you my life. By the bones of the Taung, I swear that I will someday repay this debt."
Connus looked startled. "That is unnecessary, Commander Ordo. I was merely doing my duty." Canderous's eyes hardened. "I make this vow of my own free will, Ensign. I have suffered enough dishonor already – do not add to it by refusing my vow."
Connus had spent enough time around Mandalorians to know when it was prudent to back down on issues of honor. "Very well, Ordo. By the bones of the Taung, I accept this vow."
Canderous smiled for the first time since the beginning of the battle of Cathar. "Very well, Conn'ustrell. Now, where is my armor?"
An hour later, Canderous was in the hanger, wearing his crimson Neo-Crusader armor. Made from pure beskar, his red armor identified Canderous as a Rally Master, the equivalent of an officer in the Mandalorian army. Covering his entire body, the most distinctive aspect of the armor was the helmet. The helmet was an intricate piece of equipment, with many advanced features hidden within. In addition to protecting the head from blaster fire, it also contained a radio, a basic HUD, a gas mask, and an assortment of vision and auditory enhancers. More advanced helmets, such as the ones worn by Mandalore and his lieutenants, boasted such features as computer links, 360% vision, range finders, and even radar.
Facing Canderous were over 300 soldiers, most wearing the blue armor that signified the average Mandalorian NCO or private, but a few wore the red officer armor, and one squad even wore the unique Shock Trooper armor reserved for Mandalorian Special Forces. Not all of the soldiers present wore Mandalorian armor, however. Given the sheer size of Mandalore's army, and the relative scarcity of Mandalorian iron, armor made from beskar was reserved only for true Mandalorians; those who followed the Resol'Nare, or the Six Actions. To be considered a true Mandalorian, one had to wear the armor, speak Mando'a, defend themselves and their families, raise their children as Mandalorians, help their clan succeed and sustain itself, and when called to arms by the Mandalore to rally to his cause.
Canderous looked with pride upon his Neo-Crusaders, before turning his gaze to another group of soldiers who wore, not Neo-Crusader armor, but a hodgepodge of armor ranging from light combat suits to powered heavy armor. Some of the armor used by the dar'manda (non-Mandalorians) was old enough to have been used during the Great Sith War with Exar Kun.
These mercenaries will be the end of us, with their soft ways and dubious loyalty, Canderous thought with disgust. He had opposed the influx of mercenaries and non-Mando'a into the fleet, but Mandalore had insisted upon their presence. If nothing else, having extra soldiers like the ones Canderous looked upon with such disgust would free up more Mandalorians for command positions.
Canderous cleared his head of such thoughts, turning his focus to the upcoming campaign. Mandalore had given him command of five Jehavey'ir-class assault ships, 120 Basilisk War Droids, 200 Davaab-class starfighters, three Kyramud-class battleships, and two Q-class carriers to capture the Roche asterioids from the Verpine that lived there, and he was determined to make the most of it. A small fleet by most standards, he nevertheless knew that his Neo-Crusaders would be able to handle the Verpine fleet. Despite the Verpine reputation for producing cutting-edge weapons technology, he didn't think that they would be willing to fight after having a couple of their hive asteroids blown to dust. Not only that, but a victory here would go a long ways towards fixing Canderous' damaged honor.
As he walked, he felt his side. The stitches had been removed, courtesy of Connus, and the healing implant had lived up to Connus' claims – his wound was almost completely healed. I'll have to be careful, though. Don't want it to open up.
He finished his inspection of his troops, moving to the front where his men could see him. Climbing up a Basilisk, he turned to face his men – most of who were humans, but which also consisted of such alien species as Rodians, Twi'leks, Taung, and Togorians. Looking closely, he could even see a few Cathar mixed in the lot.
"Soldiers of Mandalore! Neo-Crusaders!" Canderous yelled. "Today, we leave to bring honor to our clans and to our Mandalore through battle!" A thunderous cheer rose up from the surrounding Neo-Crusaders. Canderous waited until the roar died down, then continued. "With this victory, we will be one step closer to bringing our crusade to the Republic! Fight your best, ner vods, and bring glory to Mandalore!" The Mandalorians began thumping their fists upon their chests, their version of applause.
Canderous grinned under his helmet. This was what he lived for; to fight alongside his brothers and sisters for the honor of the battle and the glory of victory. "To your stations, ner vods! For Mandalore!
The plan for the conquest of the Roche Asteroids was simple, in theory: The assault ships and battleships would enter first, destroying any asteroid-based weaponry with their heavy turbolasers. The Basilisks and Davaab-class starfighters would deploy from the ships and act as fighter screens, both for Verpine ships and for any dangerous debris. They were using the closed-cockpit variant of the Basilisk for this mission, as the open-top version left the pilot too vulnerable to micrometeorites. After any defenses were destroyed, the Q-class infantry transports would enter. When that happened, Canderous would issue an ultimatum to the Verpine hive queen: Surrender, or be destroyed. If they continued to resist, they would start destroying hive asteroids with nuclear warheads until the queen saw reason. The Mandalorians had a distinct advantage in this; a traitor within the hive had given Mandalore the asteroid drift charts and the asteroid weaponry emplacement locations. They also (theoretically) had the element of surprise on their side.
That was the plan, anyway. As any good soldier knew (and Canderous was one of the best), even the best-laid plans tend to go awry at some point during combat. The instant the Mandalorian fleet came out of hyperspace, that fact was made readily apparent with the presence of over two dozen mercenary corvettes bolstering the two battleships and 15 corvettes that made up the Verpine fleet.
"Sithspit!" exclaimed Canderous from his position on the bridge of his flagship, the Kyramud-class battleship Adenn. It was instantly apparent to him that one of two things must have happened. Either his scouts hadn't been as stealthy as they thought they had, or a traitor had revealed they were going to attack. It didn't really matter either way, as Canderous was confident that his men could handle the mercenaries, but it was still a complication that he really didn't need to have at the moment.
He felt the deck rumble under his feet, and knew that the heavy turbolasers were firing on the asteroid traps and weapon emplacements. From the disorganized manner in which the Verpine were responding to their attack, he knew they had been surprised. Either that, or the Verpine had hired some very undisciplined mercenaries. The Jehavey'ir-class assault ships surged ahead, their missile batteries cutting a swath through the asteroid traps and enemy fighters. As Canderous watched, one of the mercenary corvettes, either extraordinarily brave or incredibly foolish, moved into broadside range of one of the assault ships, only to be annihilated when a squadron of Basilisks fired a volley of shatter missiles into its stern.
It was at that moment that the Verpine unveiled their biggest surprise: an innocent-looking asteroid the size of a two-story building hovering two kilometers off the bow of the Adenn suddenly lurched forward, propelled by booster engines that had been installed into the side. Canderous looked up as the tactical display lit up, displaying this new threat. As the asteroid moved forward, Canderous wasted no time. "Fire one of the nukes! Blow that asteroid out of the sky!" Turning to one of the battle stations, he snapped "Adjust all excess power to bow partical shielding!" To himself, he muttered "This is going to be rough."
A nuclear warhead, designed to burrow into the surface of an asteroid before detonating, launched at this new threat. The asteroid had only managed to move a few hundred meters before impact. With a roar unheard in the vacuum of space, the asteroid blew into fragments. The blinding flash of light lit up that part of space, looking as if the sun had just gone nova. The explosion both helped and hurt the Mandalorian fleet: it saved the Adenn, as well as damaging several Verpine ships near it, but the resultant fragments of meteorite also shredded many of the Basilisks that were near it.
Thrown into confusion by the unexpected explosion, the Verpine fleet was easy pickings for the disciplined Neo-Crusaders. It was more apparent than ever to Canderous that the Verpine had never fought before. Remembering what Cassus Fett had told him just a few days before, he felt his lip curl into a sneer. Those who lack the strength and will to protect themselves deserve whatever happens to them. As he watched one of the Verpine battleships implode under the concentrated fire of 40 Basilisks and two assault ships, he decided that enough was enough. Turning to the communications officer, he ordered a channel to be opened to the hive queen – and to offer her a chance to surrender.
As he had predicted, the hive queen refused his offer. As the comm officer loosely translated, "If Mandalore wants our home so badly, he can come and get it himself!" Canderous sighed. "They always choose the hard way, don't they?" he commented to his first mate. Karta Skirata nodded. "Do you want me to show them the folly of their ways, Commander Ordo?"
Canderous nodded. "Please do, Captain Skirata."
Skirata turned to the weapons officer. "Target one of the smaller hive asteroids, Lieutenant." Lieutenant Vevut did as ordered, targeting the third smallest hive asteroid with a nuclear missile. "Fire!"
The missile streaked out toward the asteroid, leaving a blue cornea in its wake. Just before it reached the asteroid, one of the point-defense turrets that had been trying to shoot it down finally connected. The laser bolt clipped the tail of the missile, knocking it off course and causing it to hit the asteroid at an angle, instead of head-on. The missile detonated, but instead of simply shattering the asteroid, it sent it flying off at an angle – directly toward one of the largest asteroids in the belt and, incidentally, the one harboring the hive queen. Like a giant game of pool, the smaller asteroid flew toward Nickel Two, cracking it open as if it were an enormous egg. Canderous' jaw dropped at the sheer spectacle of the devastation, and then promptly shut it. With the trademark Mandalorian sense of humor, he commented, "Well, I guess that concludes negotiations."
The Battle of Roche was a complete victory for the Mandalorians. After the destruction of Nickel Two, Canderous Ordo quickly received the Verpine's unconditional surrender. Several of the mercenaries the Verpine had hired to protect their system attempted to flee, but were rapidly destroyed. Those that surrendered were taken as prisoners of war, relegated to spend the war in a Mandalorian armaments factory. Those who wished to join the Mandalorian army did so, only a few being accepted as True Mandalorians. The traitor who had tipped off the Verpine to the Mandalorian attack (not that it helped them much), a Neo-Crusader who had had family on Nickel One, was stripped of his armor and thrown out an airlock, being denied an honorable death in combat and instead given the honorless death of a traitor.
As Canderous looked out the viewport, he couldn't help but be proud of his men. They had performed admirably, bringing great honor upon themselves and their clans. Mandalore had been pleased with how Canderous had brought victory, despite having been betrayed, and had proclaimed him cleansed of the dishonor he had received earlier. That alone made Canderous' day. Under his helmet, Canderous Ordo smiled. With a few more victories like this, he thought, we could win this war, and rule the galaxy.