In the odd peace following the end of the Mandalorian Wars, the Republic struggles to rebuild. The victor of the wars, the Jedi Revan, has left the known galaxy with all his forces, leaving the Republic and its people to fend for themselves. Many of those displaced by the war - refugees, soldiers, and mercenaries, live on to find their niche in the galaxy, finding solace – or despair – in every corner of the galaxy.

The Mandalorian Clans, disarmed, disorganized, and defeated following the final battle of the wars, pose no great threat to the Republic as a whole. Some have returned to the Mandalorian homeworld, many others have become mercenaries, and a small few have endured to try to relive the old days by becoming bandits. The few who find themselves armoured and on the run risk being captured – or killed – for a bounty posed by the Jedi Revan, who decreed that any Mandalorian who didn't surrender to him would find a bounty on their head.

One Mandalore warriour, foregoing all of these options, travels armed and armoured to the Galactic Core – Coruscant, his foe's lions nest – to find answers.

This is that story.

Dramatis Personae

Douglas Fett – Male Human Mandalorian; ex-Legionnaire
Mawbo – Male Shawda Ubb; Hangar owner
Camille Mannix – Human female; M.G. Mannix's wife
Maxwell-Geoffrey Mannix – Human male; club owner and crimelord

Author's note: An entirely new RP, the plot for this came from something I cooked up back in 2006. Like all my flashbacks, these are all several years old, back when I was brainstorming adventures for Fett to get involved in. It wasn't until I upgraded from "n00b" did I think of how Fett, as a person, would be developed internally.

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3,960

Outer Rim – Sevarcos II

Orange beams of light shot in through the cantina's roof sky lights, casting a warm glow on the rough interior. It was pretty quiet. A few spacers had sat down at the bar, stopping for a bite to eat while their ships fueled. Some smugglers, because they couldn't be anything else with the way they talked, sat a few booths down from me. The bartender, some local Sevari with an impressive beer belly, served patrons their drinks, and in amateur fashion, scrubbed down the bar while pretending not to sneak wary glances at me.*

Same old same old I thought dryly to myself. This was the fourth Outer Rim planet I had stopped in at after that final battle. In truth, I had no idea what I was doing. There was no Mandalore. No clan leader. No mentor. No one to say ner vod to. No one to watch my back and vice versa. Life had become…pointless. For weeks, I tried not to think about it. Focused on…anything else. But everything else was…stupid. Holo vids with "heroes" played by girly little panzies, people getting fired from their mind-numbing office jobs, wives cheating on their husbands. If Revan had indeed achieved victory, it sure didn't help the galaxy become interesting. Though occasionally I picked up good tips on accident. Like now. I used my helmet sensors to overhear the smugglers, a Devaronian and a Talz, discuss some matter which required them to whisper.

"So listen. Coruscant customs are tough, but we can get in." The Devaronian whispered.

"But how boss? They've had added security for the last five years. The last time we could get in was for that Sriluurian job." The Talz replied.

"Ssh, keep your voice down! Listen, this what we do. We go through Industrial District. Coruscant cops so busy with traffic they don't check shipping lanes. It's a sure thing. Trust me."

"If you say so boss." The Talz said with a shrug. I pondered the captain's idea for a few moments before a conversation sparked elsewhere.

"So where you headed?" One of the human patrons at the bar asked of another spacer. The latter, a Rodian, sipped down the rest of his drink, while I watched from the far corner of the cantina.

"Taris. Supplies, food stuffs, bacta, the usual shipments. They were hit pretty hard by the Mandalorians. It'll take them a while to rebuild." The Rodian replied. The human shook his head, while the bartender stood by listening.

"Blasted Mandalorians. They attacked the Republic, and for what? To get slaughtered at the end? I tell you what, their end wasn't pretty, but you know, those bastards had it coming." The human ranted. The bartender's eyes grew wide, and he nodded to behind the human. The human blinked and turned around, coming face to face with my helmed visage.

"You were saying?" I asked.

"I, uh, didn't say anything." The human replied. I glared down at him from behind my visor, before turning to head back to my drink. As I turned, the human muttered something insulting, thinking I wouldn't hear him. The Rodian and bartender laughed. I heard him. I turned back around, and before the human could face me, I kicked the stool out from under him, causing him to fall against the bar. I grabbed the back of his head, smashed his face onto the bar counter multiple times, grabbed him by the shoulders, slammed my armoured knee up into his stomach, before chucking him against the cantina wall behind me. He collapsed to the ground in a broken heap. The two smugglers looked in my direction warily. Satisfied, I turned to face the bartender and Rodian.

"Anybody else want to make a joke?" Both shook their head nervously. I tossed some credits onto the bar counter for the 'tender. "Sorry about the mess." I said dryly, before turning and heading outside, passing by my pal on the ground.

I headed outside to the refueling station, just a short distance away from the cantina and the local Inn. All three were one entity, owned by that fat bartender. There was no village – this was just a waypoint for local miners, spacers and the like. The other spacer's ships were parked outside too. As I walked across the brown sand of the planet back to my Basilisk, the wind picked up. It was quite common, sandstorms, on Sevarcos II. If you didn't have proper gear, like my own armour or heavy shawls, you were in for a beating. I returned to my ship, and found the refueling was finished. The amount of credits it took to refill a ship was quite high, but years ago when Mandalore first began conquering, we had begun collecting loot, including credits. The credits were reserved for special operations like Tairek and I conducted, that usually involved undercover work. Access to these funds had become a moot point after Malachor, but I still had a sizable fund when I had set out on my own. Now I was running low. I shook my head. Is this what 'normal' people had to worry about, having enough cash to buy the next meal or trip off world? It was ridiculous. At the peak of the war, we didn't have to worry about such silly material needs. How foolish. Now I was falling into the trap of becoming just like every other sentient in the galaxy, broke and hungry. It had crossed my mind to simply murder people for cash, but that seemed…dishonourable.

As I began to head inside my Basilisk, my helmet sensors alerted me to a small cadre of individuals happening upon the refueling station. No one from the cantina, nor Inn. No, these individuals were coming from…the desert. I could make out the details of a ship, parked, some distance away. Why didn't they just park at the refueling station? As the figures approached, I could make out six men, wearing…suits and sunglasses? Obviously no one local. Yuppies, with enough credits stashed up their tight asses to buy loud suits like those. Probably have to buy more, what with the sandstorm and all. I shook my head.

Dar'manda, fucking idiots I thought to myself cynically. Before I headed inside, one of them yelled out to me.

"Mandalorian!" The lead yelled. I got a bad feeling just then, and subtly checked my holstered pistol. My rifle was in the cockpit. I turned to face them. They all had blasters in their hands, though they weren't aiming them at me. "You'll come with us. Now." The lead yelled at me across the roar of the sand. I shook my helmeted head, and activated several weapons systems on my armour with voice commands.

Bounty hunters. Looking for "easy credits."

"You can come with us quietly and we won't hurt you. Your kind is a rare breed nowadays, and your worth a lot of credits." The lead said. I remained silent, still delivering voice commands my "friends" couldn't hear. "Come now, you won't get killed. Someone may simply want to hire you as a bodyguard. Quite a few of your kind are mercenaries nowadays, and there's nothing wrong with that." The lead said. I was ready.

My helmet sensors alerted me to the spacers from inside leaving. The thugs kept their attention on me however, fervently gripping their pistols in anticipation. The spacers, seeing what was about to happen, fled to their ships. As they fled, the lead grinned.

"Get this guy." He ordered. His men raised their pistols and began firing, as I strafed towards the cantina, my voice commands from earlier now activating various weapons. Knee rocket darts fired out as I ran, homing in on two of the thugs. While I fired my blaster with my left hand, I used my right to fire my gauntlet wrist lasers and rocket darts with voice commands. Two of the thugs went down dead, a third wounded, the other three managing to get to cover in time behind the corner of the cantina, while I found cover within the small entrance leading inside the cantina. "Nice trick Mandalorian, but you won't escape us." The lead yelled.

Whatever I thought, annoyed. My helmet alerted me to two of the thugs coming around the corner. I edged to the corner, and waited. As the first approached, I brought my right arm up in a 90 degree angle, bashing the man's face with a back fist. He fell to the ground, holding his face, while I came around the corner to shoot at his surprised comrade. He managed to get a bolt off, which pegged into my chest armour. I gritted my teeth, slightly pained, and killed him with multiple blasts to the upper chest. As the lead ducked around the corner to shoot at me, I grabbed the man's whose face I rearranged, pulled him around the corner, stood him up in front of me, facing forward, and fashioned him as a body shield. One arm around his neck, the other, blaster pointed to his head.

"Hopefully your buddy is a good shot." I said to my personal meat shield.

"Fuck…oh fuck!" He cried, as I came out of cover. The lead peeked around, spotted us, and ducked back.

"You don't have to kill him!" The lead yelled out.

"That remains to be seen." I replied. As I walked forward, meat shield in tow, the latter tried to play the hero and counter attacked me. He threw my arms away, and began to run back to cover. At the same time, his friend ducked around the cover to shoot me. Blaster raised, I shot my meat shield in the back before he could escape. I continued forward, running over dead meat, and catching the lead as he poked around cover again. Before he could fire off a shot, I kicked his hand, sending his blaster flying. I leveled my blaster at his head.

"Well played Mandalorian."

"I'm not finished yet." I replied, noting the one I had wounded earlier with a rocket. His life signs, according to my helmet readings, were failing rapidly. I paid him no heed. "I want answers. Who sent you?"

"What are you talking about? We're mercenaries, nothing more!" He replied. Angered, I reached down and pulled him up, shoving him against the cantina's exterior wall. I used my weapon hand to pistol whip him, bashing aside his sunglasses. "Ah, damn its bright!"

"Answer me!"

"I said it already, we're freelance mercenaries, we knew there was one of you in the area so we investigated!" He replied. Bullshit. I had played interrogator enough over the past years to know when someone was lying. I pulled the blaster away from his head, and shot his forearm point blank. He cried out in pain, loudly.

"Are you going to tell me now?" I asked, blaster again at his temple.

"Let me go if I talk?"

"If you leave the planet." I said, lying. If there was one thing I had learned from covert operations, it was this. Dead men tell no tales.

"Fine, fine. We work for a guy named M.G. Mannix, on Coruscant." He said, panting, reeling from the pain.

"Tell me about him."

"Runs a club, The Blue Barracle. Fancy gig. The club is just a front. He's into vice, narcotics, makes loads off of it."

"Into hunting my kind too?" I pressed, pushing the blaster more into his temple.

"Its just a recent thing! Business is good but extra profits are always a plus! Don't take it personally! It's just business!" He pleaded. I snorted.

"Business, sure, sure. And who talked?"

"What?"

"Who told your boss I was here?"

"Please, no! Just leave the guy alone!"

"Your not making my day any better." I replied, ejecting my gauntlet's vibroblade.

"Alright, alright! The owner of the cantina! He runs this whole station!"

"Thanks." I replied, throwing the thug to the ground. I aimed my pistol at his head.

"But you said you'd let me go!"

"Its just business." I replied. I fired a single bolt, killing him instantly. His buddy, wounded from earlier, had ceased to exist just seconds prior. I walked back to the cantina entrance, but before I could enter, the wooden doors shattered before me. Inside, the bartender was aiming his shotgun at me. I dodged out of the way as he fired a second volley.

"Get out of here Mandalorian, get out!" The bartender shouted. I had taken cover beside the entrance, and held position as the bartender wildly fired off his remaining cartridges. After a few 'clicks,' I peeked around the corner and saw the bartender frantically trying to reload. I came out of cover, and shot the gun out of his hand. He dropped behind the bar as I rounded the counter, beating him to the exit. I kicked through the small door, confronting the bartender as he struggled to flee. He reeled backwards as I walked forward behind the counter. "Please, don't hurt me!"

"You talked." I said, still stalking him as he backpedaled.

"What? Oh, come on man, I need the credits! You think its easy keeping a place like this going!"

"Credits. Is that all you di'kutla ever think about?"

"Easy for you to say! You Mandalorians kill and murder and rape, and take anything you want!" The bartender shot back. I gritted my teeth, annoyed. I aimed my pistol at him. "Please, no!"

"Its just business." I replied coldly. I shot him in the head. He went down quick.

Spotting the cash register, I broke it open with a good punch, and found several stacks of credits. I didn't like what I was doing. I hated "credits," money. It was evil, a vice, something created by dar'manda to fuel their pitiful little reality. Yet, now…it was a necessary evil. I couldn't live without it. Stealing? Sure, if I wanted attention. And with the recent bounty posted for Mandalorians on the run, I didn't need attention. I shook my head and looted all the credits from the register and the bartender, and stashed it in a bag. I took note that I was in a bar, and there was plenty of alcohol to be had. I shrugged, snagged a few bottles of whiskey, and left back to my ship.

I didn't like any of it. Meeting with all these Republic types…thugs, working class heroes, smugglers, spacers, all these scum I had used as tools in the past, but now I was interacting with them on a regular basis. I was slowly adopting their customs, and for that, I despised them. Once back inside the Basilisk, I took off into space, leaving Sevarcos II behind me. As I sat in thought, wondering where to go, I thought of the smugglers, and their "fool-proof" plan for getting into Coruscant. Then there was the fact this Mannix character was on Coruscant…after pondering an idea for several moments, I sucked it up, and input hyperspace coordinates for the world my foes called home.