The Mandalorian Wars
One of the bloodiest conflicts of past decades, it wrought destruction and death on an unprecedented scale. Te Ani'la Mand'alor, better known as "Mandalore the Ultimate," was the mastermind of this massive conflict after being persuaded by the True Sith to attack the Republic.
Following 20 years of re-uniting and rebuilding the scattered Mandalorian Clans, Mandalore launched the renewed clans into the Outer Rim, in 3,976 BBY. This was a means to warm up his armies, for his forces were not strong enough – yet - to attack the Republic. As the Mandalorians carved out clan territories larger than the Hutt's, the Republic Senate, wary of conflict since the war with Exar Kun, decided not to aid the Outer Rim planets: Their only concern was the safety of the Republic itself, and the Mandalorians hadn't threatened them. The Republic stayed neutral for a whole decade as Mandalorian expansion in the Outer Rim continued, undefeated.
In 3,966, Mandalore provoked the Republic into action after converging on Taris and it's neighboring worlds of Vanquo, Tarnith, Suurja and Jebble. The Republic had a vested interest in these resource worlds, so it assembled a massive navy to protect them. The Mandalorians skirmished with the Republic forces in the sector, in a series of battles that ended in stalemate. Though Mandalore managed to take the minor planet of Flashpoint, the Mandalorians, to the Republic, seemed tired and weak after 10 years of war. Republic morale soared when it seemed their warlike foe had spent themselves. But it was a massive ruse that deceived the entire Republic command – Mandalore was merely preparing for a full-scale invasion behind the scenes, while gauging the Republic's strengths and weaknesses in proxy wars, skirmishes, and feigned retreats. The Republic had unwittingly thrown down their deck of cards and declared victory. Victory was far from over.
With his forces prepared for a massive three-pronged attack into the Republic, Mandalore invaded the Republic world of Onderon from their staging ground on Dxun. History echoed and reverberated…when once Onderon had fended off the Mandalorians leading to the death of Te Kandosii Mand'alor on Dxun, now the Mandalorians were striking back with a vengeance.
Under the Jedi Knights Revan and Malak, the Republic army began to fight back, slowly turning the Mandalorian offensive on the defensive. However, not all the battles the Republic fought were for its "Fight For Freedom." Some have remained curiously absent from the annals of history. Just as Revan and Malak shed away their Jedi titles and found their true selves, so did others fighting the Mandalorians.
Two Mandalorian Special Operations troopers, cut off from head quarters, slipped into the uncivilized systems to find a way around the revived Republic war machine.
This is that story.
Douglas Fett – Male Human Mandalorian; Legionnaire
Tairek MacBroek – Male Human Mandalorian; Training Sergeant
Conall MacBroek – Male Human Mandalorian; General
Gaiwan – Male Human Mandalorian; Trooper
Jan – Human female
Brog – Male Toydarian
Jaina – Human female
Evenia – Twilek female
Arku – Male Gungan
Strasser – Male Human; Republic Colonel
Witter – Male Human; Republic Captain
Author's note: This is the first flashback I've done in a while that is not a rewrite/retcon of a previous RP. I had begun writing this as early as November 2006, but it was not until this year that I put real effort into it. Enjoy.
Mid Rim - Chommell Sector
"Wow Tairek. Nothing out here. No starports, not even a space station." I said with shock. Tairek grumbled, as he piloted the Basilisk through the dead of space.
Things were bleak. Just a week and a half ago, Tairek and I were assisting Major Hargish by conducting standard recon of Tanaab in the Inner Rim. Tanaab's environment was standard, we had braved Dxun and the homeworld of Mandalore, so jungle terrain was nothing new to us. But we weren't the only ones there.
Ever since Mandalore began his three-sector offensive a year ago, we had heard continual reports of Revan and the Jedi being sighted. A few of them engaged us in battle, but we quickly overpowered them. They were a minor nuisance, nothing more. Soon enough, it was Jedi generals that Mandalore, Cassus, and everyone else began to face off against. Republic victories under the Jedi were rare, but they had slowly stepped up their efforts that they now behaved like guerillas.
However, we hadn't ever thought the Jedi had the guts to make an ambush on such a rough world. Probably because it wasn't any ordinary Jedi leading the attack. It first started off when Major Hargish sent one of his squads on ahead, while Tairek and I circled around up over a ridge. As we trudged up the muddy slope, the comm. chatter picked up as the squad was surrounded and slaughtered. The Major had us continue circling to get an eye on our attacker, but by the time we reached the top of the ridge, the comm. chatter picked up again as the base camp came under attack by an unseen foe.
We rushed back down, but we still had a card left up our sleeve. When we reached the base camp, we found not only the Major and all his men dead, but a whole company of Republic troops, led by none other than the Jedi Knight Revan. When Revan sent his platoon at us, Tairek and I played our last card, calling in the Basilisk via remote to make a bombing run. The base was obliterated, and before Revan and the survivors could recover and make chase, Tairek and I boarded our craft and got the hell out of there.
However, it wasn't over even then. As we came into space, we found the planet had been surrounded by a small fleet. Major Hargish never had a fleet, as his mission was purely covert – the contingency plan Mandalore established when the offensive began. So far, if it did have any positive results, it was in the Outer Rim territories that Mandalore had already annexed years ago. Any effort to create hidden bases across the galaxy had yielded few results, but even those turned sour after a time. Even General Hirohito, our old friend from Hoth, he was long gone. Dead, maybe, but most likely trying to survive on the fringes of the galaxy. It was a tragic irony, really. Mandalore had spent years fighting and conquering in the Outer Rim, then when we show up on the other side of the galaxy, which has no heart to fighting, we start to lose more than we gain. There was probably a lesson in those initial failures.
Anyway, the planet was surrounded, and there was no way get past the blockade to retreat to allied space. The only way out was to the frontier regions of the Republic. After evading the Republic capital ships, we blasted into hyperspace, and were traveling for a week and a half before arriving, here, in the middle of nowhere.
"Nothing much here except a million stars and a couple hundred shit kicking farmers lad." Tairek said.
We were casually floating through space, Tairek and I, observing the star systems around us from our forward viewport. I leaned back in my seat and sighed. We weren't entirely lost, but we were utterly cut off from our allies. Still…this is what Tairek and I were best at. It was our job to operate behind enemy lines. Except out here, we didn't know who our enemy was. I took to the Basilisk's sensor readings to see if I could find anything.
"We could always set down somewhere, try to establish a secure line to Dxun, unless Revan cracked the dadita, except – wait…what the?" I said with confusion. Tairek turned to look at me.
"What is it?"
"The sensors, they're picking up…dadita hail codes. From this sector."
"Unbelievable. How could…it's a trap. Revan. He must have cracked it. Fierfek."
"I see where you're going with this Tairek, but it'd seem unlikely Revan would send forces way out here just to kill two Mandalorians. And the Republic is more concerned with the main battle lines. There isn't anyone out here." I replied.
"Except whoever is sending that signal. It'll be a chance we have to take. Transmit the coordinates and let's check it out lad."
"Right. On it." I replied. After transmitting the dadita signal's coordinates, Tairek took control of the ship again, turned us around, and headed off for the signal's origins.
Mid Rim - Rori
Tairek and I descended through the planet's atmosphere, entering into a thick fog cover. We'd use till it ran out to cover our descent down. When we cleared the fog, we saw the planet beneath us. It looked lush, green, but not well inhabited. I checked the sensor readings.
"Not many inhabitants. A few major cities, a dozen and more villages." I said.
"Best to land in the outskirts and make our way in. Observe the locals, then make contact." Tairek said. I nodded. He took the ship in, this time through a thick mist, eventually descending to the planet's surface. We landed in some mountains, covered with trees. Gathering our weapons, Tairek and I went outside to investigate. We were set on soon enough.
"Halt! Who goes there?" A voice yelled from the forest around us. It had a peculiar accent, incredibly similar to Tairek's.
"I know that voice…I'm Tairek of clan MacBroek." Tairek yelled back. After a few moments our 'friends' came out of the forest. Tairek and I couldn't believe our eyes – fellow Mandalorians, a lot of them, all the way out here. Their commander, the voice from before, spoke.
"Tairek, old Tairek. What in the devil are you doing here?" The commander asked. He walked forward and gave Tairek a Keldabe hug. He turned to me.
"Conall, this is Douglas Fett. He's a sharp lad, great in a fight and can hold his liquor. Lad, this is my cousin, Conall MacBroek. We grew up in Caledonia together before joining Mandalore's crusade." Tairek said. I shook Conall's hand.
"We picked up your dadita signals. What are you guys doing out here?" I asked Conall.
"I asked you two the same question, but I'll guess and say your answer isn't as interesting as ours. Mandalore sent me here with an army to set up a hidden base. Part of his contingency plan." Conall said, turning and heading back into the forest. His men, which consisted of really about 300 troopers, went on ahead as we walked with Conall.
"We're well aware of the plan, vod. We've been helping a lot of our comrades with that plan for the last year. So far, it isn't working." Tairek said.
"It didn't work for us either. I used to have 5,000 men. When we arrived on this pit of a world, we conducted recon and found the locals had no standing army. But just as soon as we set up a base, the locals storm us. We had skirmished with them before hand and easily repelled them. Unorganized rabbles are all they were. But this attack…it was coordinated. It was the work of professionals, not farmers." Conall replied.
"How long have you been here?" I asked.
"A year. Year and a half. It's gotten blurry. Doesn't matter now. Nearly my entire force was destroyed the week we arrived. My men and I have been holding our own against those foolish enough to enter the mountains and forests. Occasionally, when the locals least expect it, we attack them. It's hit and miss." Conall said.
He seemed aloof and distraught. It was natural. Things were going poorly here. Conall led us to an encampment on the mountain, hidden within the forest. We sat down in front of a fire, while his men went about their guard patrols.
"Conall, my only guess is that perhaps the locals were trained, or they called in mercenaries." Tairek said. Conall sighed behind his helmet.
"Perhaps. For the moment, all we can do is play cat and mouse. Often we turn into the mouse. I lose at least 6 men in each engagement, more than necessary with how many I have left. It's a losing battle with no end in sight, except to throw ourselves at them and end it all in one fell swoop." Conall said.
He was exaggerating perhaps, but right to some degree – lose a few men with each battle, and eventually one's "safety cushion" would be depleted soon enough. For now though, his small force was stable. 300 was enough to hold their ground and ambush any attackers, and maybe even destroy a village, but to take the whole local army…guerilla raids were sufficient to inspire some amount of fear in the enemy.
"Well, we're in the same boat Conall. Tairek and I were assisting comrades with recon on Tanaab, and they were ambushed and defeated. We escaped, but couldn't return to Dxun because the Republic had surrounded the entire planet. The only way out was towards the frontier worlds." I said. Conall seemed to think on this a moment, then looked at us across the fire.
"Is that so? Then I think I might have a use for you two. My scouts have located a possible headquarters of our foe. It's outside the cities and villages, on the shores of a large lake to the North West. Anything you find there would be much appreciated." Conall said.
"We're on it vod. We'll leave at nightfall." Tairek said.
Tairek and I, geared up, left the mountains on foot an hour later, travelled across the grasslands, eventually reaching within a mile of the supposed camp. It was dark by the time we arrived. Perfect time to gather whatever information we could. Tairek and I pulled out macrobinoculars to spy on the camp. Lots and lots of tents…no fires going though. I put the binocs down and shook my head.
"Militia tucking themselves into bed this early? Not even toddlers have gone to sleep yet." I said.
"They must be out on a raid, or patrolling the countryside. Let's go in lad." Tairek said. We made our way in, covertly sneaking through the camp. Our helmet sensors were tuned up, to catch anyone who might be inside the tents. Tairek and I split up, so we could scan the whole camp. After sneaking through rows and rows of tents, it looked empty. Tairek and I regrouped.
"There's nothing Tairek." I said, a scowl on my face behind my helmet.
"We should snoop around some more, see if we can find anything out about it to give to Conall. Our comrade's lives depend on it. We-" Tairek was cut off as someone lunged at us from behind.
Tairek and I dodged to the side, and looked up to see our attacker. It was an alien, not one local to this planet. It was a Feeorin. He was armed with a wickedly curved sword, and grinned at us as he spun it in his hand. Tairek and I backed away, and as he charged at us we rolled out of the way. He turned towards Tairek, and began to slash away at him. Tairek managed to dodge each time, but it wouldn't last forever. I grabbed a large pole from a nearby tent, collapsing the tent as I charged at the Feeorin from behind.
I smashed it into his head as he brought his blade up to slash into Tairek, who was flat on his back on the ground. The Feeorin groaned, and quickly turned in my direction. Tairek backed up as I defended against the Feeorin's blade, and after a few moments the Feeorin seized up…and fell face first on the ground. Lodged in his back was a stun dart. Tairek put his arm down, and stood up. We stood over the alien's body, his curved blade still in his hand.
"Metal working on this planet? I have a hard time believing that." I said. Tairek nodded.
"I don't like this one bit. Let's take fish head here back to Conall." Tairek said.
After we tied the alien up, bound his arms and legs, we began to drag him back. It took a while, carrying and dragging, but eventually we made our way across the plain and up the mountains. When we reached Conall's hidden camp, we tossed the alien down and sat at the fire, tired as hell. Conall looked down at the alien's body, as his men began to tie him up to a tree.
"Good work. Find out anything?" Conall asked.
"Nothing, except this Feeorin here is good with a blade." I said. If we had been completely distracted, he probably would have taken both our heads off with one slice.
"Alright. I'll have my men question him immediately. Eat, we'll take care of it." Conall said.
As Tairek and I had ourselves a bowl of stew, a few of Conall's men tortured and interrogated the Feeorin. It seemed cruel and unusual to torture the guy I thought, he was only doing his job. But it's the price you pay when you sign up. I rationalized it as a job hazard. It was nothing personal. Just business. Maybe that was another thing my father Arminius tried to teach me when Darius and I left Dxun – emotional detachment not only to comrades, but to the enemy as well. If you let your conscious rule you, you'd lose sight of your objective, and that was to serve Mandalore, or die trying. When it seemed Conall's men had cracked the Feeorin, Tairek and I came over to watch the questioning. Conall approached the Feeorin, who was tied up to a tree. He was also incredibly bloody and battered, and missing a few tendrils from his head.
"You've nothing else to lose. Just lay it out, and we'll let you go." Conall said. Having never met Tairek's cousin before, I had no idea if he was lying or not. Something inside me said I'd lie one day. Maybe a lot.
"You damn Mandalorians…butchers…but maybe my employers…are worse." The Feeorin said.
"Really? Do tell. I'm up for a good story lad." Conall said.
"Our clan chieftain, Ryevjack…was contacted by someone in the Republic. Whoever they were…they hired us to come to Rori and train the locals…Gungans, Iridonians, Twileks, Humans…build them up into a militia force."
"And what did this 'someone' offer your clan in exchange?"
"A sum of credits…large land grants for our clan…when the Chommell sector becomes accepted into the Republic."
"When it becomes part of the Republic? Then your employer had to be the Senate, Revan, or the Jedi." Conall continued.
"No…no…someone else…not the Senate…or military…we never met any Jedi…"
"Then tell me something useful, or you lose another tendril." Conall promised. There's a saying in our culture: Mandalorians don't make threats. We make promises. This was one of those instances where threats were beneath us. Conall meant it if the Feeorin didn't talk.
"All I know is…they're based in the main city…north…in Gardoose. I never met them…I just trained the militia…with the rest of the clan." The Feeorin said.
Conall nodded. One of his men handed him the Feeorin's curved sword, and arcing back away, Conall turned around and swung, slicing the Feeorin's head off. The edge of the blade caught into the tree, though the head still managed to come off. Conall turned to us.
"Feeorin mercs hired by the Republic to train the locals into a military force. A bunch of damn Gungans, Iridonians, and Twileks defeated me, all as a means to nudge the entire sector into joining the Republic..Rat bastards. Tairek, Doug, I want you two to head to the city of Gardoose tomorrow, figure out who exactly hired them. You ever done undercover work before lad?" Conall asked, turning to me. I shook my head.
"That's alright, just follow Tairek's lead. You won't have your armour, just a disguise to blend into the crowds." Conall said. He turned to his men who interrogated the alien, and ordered them to take the body and head out of the camp. The night was over, and Tairek and I now had an important assignment to work on for Conall. For now though, it was time to sleep.