WAR

The Jedi heroes of the Mandalorian Wars – Revan and Malak, and all their forces arrayed under them – have returned to the galaxy, as Sith. Their reason for going into the Unknown Regions - to hunt down cells of remaining Mandalorians - an obvious con, the two new Sith Lords have begun forming a new Sith Empire in the Outer Rim. After building up their strength and biding their time, the two former Jedi have invaded the Republic at long last.

Whilst the Republic and Sith battle it out for domination of the galaxy, their former Mandalorian foes, on the verge of extinction, struggle to survive on worlds they had once conquered. As the Jedi Civil War heats up, and the old bounty on Mandalorians grows cold, many Mandalore Warriours have become mercenaries throughout the galaxy's criminal underworld. Others try and relive the glory days and have become bandits, murderers, outlaws and the like. One Mandalorian, not content to stay anywhere too long, finds himself on the run…but may have found his calling at long last.

This is that story.

Dramatis Personae

Douglas Fett – Male Human Mandalorian
Tavish – Male Human
Orwin Tavish – Male Human
Melzer Tavish – Male Human
Dervnik – Male Besalisk
Josephine Wood – Female Human

Author's Note: This is a rewrite/retcon of a story I had posted years ago here on TG, back when I was n00b. It retains certain plot and story elements from the original, but is otherwise an entirely new story. As always, if you're a film buff, you'll catch on easily enough. The title is taken from a similarly named Boba Fett short story, which is coincidentally where I had borrowed the story idea from when I had written the original RP. Enjoy.

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3,958

The Outer Rim – Concord Dawn

Well. Its home. Almost. I thought dryly to myself. Concord Dawn was located in Mandalorian Space, and while not Manda'yaim, it was as good as I was going to get. For some reason, I didn't want to return there…not yet at least. I pondered why as I exited the Basilisk, into the docking bay where I had landed. Specifically, I was in the city of Lexington, in the planet's northern quadrant. Armed and armoured, I locked up the ship and walked out into the street.

If the dusty main street was replaced with sand, and the old wooden buildings lining the street were built out of stucco and cement instead, then it could easily pass as a small town in the deserts of, say, Tatooine. Instead, the 'charm' of Concord Dawn was farming, the harvesting of staple crops – corn, beans, etc - and the like. On arid planets like Tatooine, moisture farming was the norm. Not so much here.

For two years now, I had been exploring the galaxy that my people had once tried to conquer. I had been befriended, hunted, hated, and loved by various characters I had met along the way. In some ways, I was not the same Mandalorian I used to be. I had picked up on aruetiise customs. Was I dar'manda, or was I evolving in order to survive, following the core tenets of Mandalorian culture? The debate inside my head continued as I looked about the town. It was a 'main' street sort of town…the main businesses in town – a saloon, a blacksmith, a general store, a theater, a barbershop, a hotel, a way station for travelers, a brothel, among others. Not a bad little place I thought to myself, oddly optimistic. I mosied down the dusty street towards the saloon as somebody called me.

"You. Mandalorian." A man called out. I turned and looked to my left. There was a man in a suit, with a duster and a ten gallon hat standing on the front porch of a building I had missed – the lawman's headquarters. I noted the tin star pinned to his duster. He looked to be an older fella, maybe about his 50s. I looked up at him.

"Something I can do for ya stranger?" I replied, subtly reaching for my pistol. The old guy shook his head and revealed the shotgun in his hands.

"Settle down son, I'm not taking you in." He answered, setting the shotgun back inside his duster as he walked down the porch steps towards me. "Name is Tavish. I'm the law in town." Tavish said. As he approached, I took a closer look at his tin star. The words on it weren't inscribed in Aurabesh – they were in Mando'a, and it read Journeyman Protector. Around his waist was a brown sash. There was no doubting it. This guy was the real deal. He came forward and offered his hand. I shook it.

"Fett. Douglas Fett."

"Haven't seen too many of you boys in town. Most Mandalorians that come here stop in for a drink, refuel, and leave. Not surprising. I don't imagine you lads have any interest in settling down ever." Tavish said, as we began walking towards the saloon.

"Can't keep a good warriour down." I replied.

"Indeed sonny, indeed. Let's have a drink and get acquainted." Tavish said.

"Sure." I replied. With no immediate goal in mind, I decided fuck it and went along. Tavish and I pushed past the swinging double doors of the saloon and sat down at the bar. Several locals were at the bar and at tables across the room, while a Bith in the corner played the piano. The bartender, a bald gent with a gray mustache, walked over.

"What'll it be gentlemen?"

"I'm still on duty, cranberry juice for me." Tavish said.

"How about you young fella?"

"Whisky. Neat." I replied. The bartender nodded and went about with the drinks. After hearing the bartender speak, and listening to the other locals, I noticed a distinct accent among the locals, a "Concordian inflection" that Tavish lacked. "I take it you're not from around here." I said to Tavish. As the old lawman settled down and removed his hat, he shot me a mildly surprised look.

"Whatever gave you that idea?"

"You don't talk like the rest of these guys." I replied. Tavish raised his brow and eyed the other patrons. He grinned, impressed, and turned back towards me.

"Very observant Fett. You're right, I'm not. But I was born here."

"Explain."

"Parents were poor farmers. Used all their money to send me to Coruscant. I enlisted with the Republic Military. The war with your Mandalorians happened. I retired from the military, came back home." Tavish replied. Very interesting…the people of Concord Dawn, despite being in Mandalorian Space, are not warriours like the Mandalorians. But they share similar family values, and apparently the language as well…I was inclined to hear more. The bartender gave us our drinks and left.

"Oh yah? What branch?"

"ERCS, my friend. Elite-"

"-Republic Commando Squad. I'm familiar with their work." I replied dryly. I kept staring straight ahead, and removed my helmet so I could take a sip of Whisky. Tavish eyed me, curious.

"I can tell. Not holding a grudge, are ya?" Tavish asked.

"Can't say I am. The better question is, are you holding a grudge?"

"Answer is the same as yours, friend. Does that surprise you?"

"You could say that." I replied. Tavish shrugged and took a sip of the juice.

"I admire the Mandalorians. The Republic Army has its faults, but they adopted me, just as you Mandalorians do. In fact…" Tavish paused as he turned to eye two characters who just walked in. Guys about my age, also with tin stars pinned to their jackets. "I adopted some lads of my own when I arrived here." Tavish said. The two guys walked over. "Fett, meet my two sons. Orwin and Melzer." Tavish said. I stood up to shake their hands. Orwin was a ginger kid with a full beard, while Melzer was blonde and clean shaven. Up close, they looked younger. "The lads here are my deputies. Anything I should know about?" Tavish asked.

"Nothing, father." Melzer replied.

"Good. You two can go back to your shifts, I'll see you both later." Tavish said. The two boys left, and we sat back down.

"Nice kids." I said, honestly. I took another sip of the drink as Tavish continued.

"They're good lads. Mother and father were more inclined to fight than raise them. Don't know which side they joined, the Republic's or the Mandalorians. Probably never will know. Doesn't matter now. So tell me, what's a young Mandalorian like you doin' on Concord Dawn?" Melzer asked. The question sent my mind into a spiral, as I not only questioned if I could trust this old guy, but also, simply…what was I doing here? After two years, I still don't have a purpose.

"…No reason." I replied, after several moments of mentally debating with myself. Tavish took a sip of the Cranberry juice before speaking.

"Gotta be young and clueless once. I wouldn't trade places with a fella your age for all the ale in Corellia. You'll find something to do soon enough I'm sure. You aware of what's goin' on around these parts?" Tavish asked.

I shook my head. "No."

Tavish looked down at the tin star on his duster's lapel. "Some alien and his gang showed up around these parts in the last year of the war, when the 'Mandalorian authority' here was just a paper tiger. Usurped power pretty quickly. The alien, a Besalisk named Dervnik, has been running this quadrant of the planet ever since." Tavish explained. I took a sip of Whisky and furrowed my brow. Something didn't add up.

"If he's running the show, how are you a Journeyman Protector?" I asked.

"You're a quick thinker Fett. It's a compromise, if you will. I can settle business Dervnik has no hand in, but his boys are untouchable."

"What?!" I said, suddenly annoyed. I caught the bartender's attention. The look in his eyes showed me even he understood the situation. It was a look of…feeling powerless. Of 'being taken for a ride.' The people of Lexington were buying "protection" from Dervnik and his gang, and if anybody didn't pay, they were 'dealt with.' It was an extortion racket, no doubt about it. Tavish looked at me. "That's horseshit! Why don't you stand up to them? You're a Journeyman Protector for fuck's sake!"

"It's the name of the game, I'm afraid." Tavish replied. I scoffed in disgust, shot the rest of the Whisky, put my helmet back on, and walked out. The sun still bore down on the dusty street, as people carried on about their business. Annoyed, I scanned the rest of the main street for another saloon. Just down the street I saw another one. I walked down, past several groups of civilians, pushed past the double doors, and headed inside. The place was oddly empty, save for the bartender and a table of card players. One among them was loud and obnoxious, jeering and bullying the other players. I raised my brow at this odd scene and walked over to the bar. A male Wroonian bartender greeted me.

"What'll it be stranger?" He asked. I eyed the group of card players from behind my visor before looking the bartender.

"Information. What do you know about this 'Dervnik'?" I asked. The Wroonian cautiously eyed the card players, before nodding down the bar to get out of earshot with them. I moved down the bar with him.

"Nasty guy. Has Lexington by the throat. Who hired you to kill him?" He asked, hushed.

"I'm no bounty hunter." I replied.

"Pity. Just be careful. Some of his goons frequent this place. See the loud mouthed character there?" He asked, nodding to one of the card players. It was an alien, an Esoomian who whas badgering the other players, whether he lost a round or not. "That sonofabitch has been coming in every day and night, driving out my regulars. He's bad for business I tell ya." The Khormai dealer and the other players looked powerless to do anything about it. Moments like this had happened to me before…I had come across plights everywhere, took a chance to fight against the oppressors…was I suicidal, or just a romantic? Was this my purpose? To come back to Mandalorian space, and fight against scum who didn't belong? Maybe.

"Be right back." I muttered to the bartender, before walking over to the table of card players. I stood behind Dervnik's thug. The other players stopped playing, as they looked up at me. The Esoomian grunted.

"What's the matter with you morons? Want me to space ya?!" He growled before recognizing their distraction. He turned around to look at me. "The fuck you want?"

"You work for Dervnik?"

"What's it to you fuckstick?!"

Without an answer I grabbed the guy by his collar, lifted him out of the chair and threw him against the bar. He crashed and landed to the floor, and before he could recover I was on him, curb stomping his skull. The other patrons watched in confusion as I proceeded to beat the pulp out of the guy. I crouched, grabbed him by the collar again and proceeded to punch away at his face. With a second wind, he shoved me back with his legs, and I staggered backwards. He quickly stood up, and in a rage charged me. I braced for impact, and as he neared, I ducked, grabbing him by the legs and chucking him out the glass window behind me. The glass shattered, and I hopped through the now open window to find he had landed against a wooden railing on the porch. As he recovered, I delivered a kick straight into his chest, and he crashed through the railing, breaking it and landing on the dusty street. I jumped down next to him, but the thug had an ace up his sleeve, as he performed a sweep-kick. I was knocked to the ground, and he stood up, towering over me. Esoomians were built like damn tanks, and this one was no different. He grabbed me, and before I could counter, threw me across the street. I bounced and rolled across the street, landing next to some horses that were hitched to a post.

"Picked the wrong guy to mess with, Mandalorian shithead!" He barked. I pulled myself together, and slowly stood back up as the guy approached. Locals stared at the scene in surprise. I stood next to a white horse, as he came within range. "Time to die asshole!" Before he could make good on the threat, I slapped the horse's hind leg. The horse panicked and kicked backwards, catching the guy square in the upper chest. He flew backwards, landing on his back. He was just about out cold. I walked over, grabbed him by the collar, and dragged him over to the horse's trough. I dunked his head in, and as he began to squirm, I pulled him out. "What the hell man?!"

"I want you to tell Dervnik and all your friends about me. Tell them if they push these people around anymore, they're going to answer to me." I replied. I dunked his head back in the murky water, and after a few minutes chucked him aside. I watched as he stood up to face me. I pulled my blaster pistol on him. "Take a hike bucko. Remember what I told you?"

"Yah…I remember…"

"Good. Now get going or I finish the job." I shot back. The thug threw his arms up in resignation, and began walking. I turned around, spotting the glances of shocked civilians. I walked back into the saloon to survey the damage. The bartender looked at me in surprise.

"Jeez kid, can't say I'm happy about the property damage, but you sure showed him!" The bartender said. Some of his crew were already cleaning up the mess. "Drink on the house?" He asked. I looked at him and shook my head.

"Nah. I'm looking to settle down. All I want is a place to stay and a little bit of income. 15%, and I'll keep watch over the place, in case they want reprisal." I replied. The bartender considered this for a few moments.

"Sure stranger. There's vacant rooms upstairs, take any one you want." He replied. I nodded 'thanks' to him, and then spotted Tavish and his two sons outside. I tapped the bar counter and walked out.

"Do you know what you just did Fett?" Tavish asked, terse.

"Yah. Your job."

"They're gonna come lookin' for ya, you know."

"Let 'em. I don't give a damn." I replied quickly. Tavish shook his head, while his two sons looked on.

"Can only be young and dumb once. You sure you up for a war?"

"Always." I replied. Tavish shook his head again and looked down the street. Something caught his eye. I looked as well…and spotted a gorgeous brunette. Tavish noted the brunette's attention towards me, and lit up a cigarette. His two sons meanwhile walked off.

"Interestin' scene."

"New face in town?" I asked, staring back at her.

"Suppose so."