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Legacy of Destruction


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YoshiRaphElan
02.01.2013 , 11:36 PM | #31
Chapter 22

Hangar Bay 01-A
Keldabe, Mandalore
115 days ABDK


Backblast ran up the ramp into Dankin’s ship and entered the cargo hold, where his armor was stacked neatly against the wall. He picked up the plates and began strapping them on over his bodysuit.

When he had clipped on everything except his helmet, he clipped his assault cannon to his backpack and picked up the helmet, and then stormed back into the main hold.

He activated the holoterminal. As it powered up, he paced impatiently. This was bad.

“This is Republic Command, receiving,” a voice said.

“Republic Command, this is Colonel Backblast of Republic Special Forces,” he replied. “Mandalore is under attack by the Dread Masters. This is the perfect opportunity to get rid of them.”

“Understood, Colonel Backblast. I’ll relay the information to Supreme Commander Malcom, and we’ll get forces out ASAP.”

“Good. Colonel Backblast, out.”

Dankin ran into the room behind him and shoved him aside. Backblast, confused, started to ask what his brother was doing, when Dankin put a call in to his privateer fleet.

Backblast grinned. “The more the merrier,” he said.

He slammed his helmet on and sprinted out of the ship. The Dread Masters were beginning to land their forces now. As one of the landing ships came in over his head, he switched his cannon to grenade launcher configuration and fired straight up.

The mortar round slammed into the landing craft’s engines and it swiveled aside, smashing into the ground. Dankin ran out behind Backblast, pistols in hand.

“Well, brother,” he said, “looks like it’s finally time to fight side by side.”

Backblast nodded. “For our family, and for the Republic!”

He charged into the streets. A squad of the Dread Masters’ troops opened fire. Backblast spun sideways and let the bolts bounce off his heavy shoulder pads. Then he turned back, heaved his cannon, and swept the streets. The troops cried out and the front ranks fell.

Dankin rolled for cover beside a fallen speeder. He trained his blasters carefully on the next rank of troops and took precise potshots at their neck seals. The fabric incinerated and the blaster bolts sheared through their throats.

A Houk in Imperial armor leapt forward, spinning a large electrostaff. Backblast fired, but the Houk’s armor took most of the bolts. He slammed the staff into the side of Backblast’s head. He raised his staff to deliver the killing blow, and a sniper bolt sheared through his head.

Backblast looked back to see Risha standing there, biting her lower lip, left eye closed in concentration. The Houk fell back, dead. Backblast nodded thanks and stood.

A squad of Trandoshan berserkers charged in with vibroswords and blaster pistols. Backblast fired and found they were less armored than the Houk captain. He ripped through three of the Trandoshans. Dankin tossed a sabotage charge onto the hem of one’s pants. Backblast grinned and put a bolt through the charge. The Trando grunted as his leg was blown off.

Backblast heard footsteps behind him and turned around. Corso, Bowdaar, Akaavi, Guss, and Dinua came around the corner, weapons in hand. Akaavi and Bowdaar leapt in to attack as Corso took up a firing position with Risha and Guss and Dinua worked to set up a field triage.

Backblast returned his gaze to the battle as a Gand jumped on him. Firing his cannon point-blank, he blew a fist-sized cavity in the Gand’s chest. He took a breath of relief and stepped back to fire at the ranks again.

Mandalorians were now pouring out of every building en masse, blasters, vibroblades, and myriads of other weapons in hand.

Backblast grinned. He may have turned his back on his father’s people to serve the Republic, but he had never betrayed their memory. The Mandalorians were always ready to fight when it came down to it.

A Mandalorian in white and brown armor ducked down across the street from Dankin and began firing a snub rifle. Others charged in with pistols, blades, and their armor’s assorted tools like flamethrowers and wrist blades.

Backblast fired a mortar round into the center of the line of troops. Another two landing ships were coming down, dropping combat droids in addition to troops, now.

Backblast swept the line with his cannon, ripping through the droids’ casing and blowing holes in the troopers’ armor.

“So far so good!” Dankin called back, grinning.

“Shut up!” Backblast grumbled. “Never say it’s easy! Never!”

He hoped Dankin hadn’t just jinxed them.

A squad of Nikto Morgukai assassins charged in with the next team, and though they weren’t as large as the famed crime lord called the Mountain that Dankin was known to have helped take down, he knew they would be a challenge, because they were trained to kill Jedi.

He shot down the first Morgukai before it got into striking range. Two more went down thanks to Risha and Dankin, but three more got into close range. The first swept Backblast’s legs from under him. He lost his grip on his cannon. The other two began to slam their electrostaffs into him. He grunted as they hit him, but his armor blocked the blows successfully. He couldn’t last long, though.

Suddenly, one of the Morgukai grunted as a foot planted itself between his legs. Nikto puke splashed onto Backblast’s armor, but a moment later a surgical bolt sliced through the maimed Nikto’s chest. The other two glanced up, and Backblast took the chance to whip out his pistol and blast the other two.

“Come on,” Dankin said.

“Nice…kill,” Backblast said. “Not typical, but effective.”

“You do what you can in my line of work.”

Backblast reached down and wiped the gunk off his chestplate with a cleansing pad. There. Back to perfect.

“We can’t hold out like this for long, can we?” Dankin asked.

Backblast sat down behind the overturned speeder and looked around. Due to the strength and durability of Mandalorian iron, more of the Dread Masters’ troops had been killed than Mandos, though Dinua and Guss had begun patching up half a dozen men, and two Mandalorians lay dead in the street.

“Not forever,” Backblast replied. “But a while. Maybe long enough for reinforcements…maybe.”

Republic attack fleet
115 days ABDK


On the deck of the Telos, Prudii looked out at the blue swirls of hyperspace and tried not to worry. For all he knew, his brother Dha was on Mandalore, and could be in big trouble.

Vik and Elara were loading the BT-7 Thunderclap with combat and medical supplies. The Jedi had sent a strike team to assist the Republic–several of them, which Prudii had worked for.

Jasin and Gareb commanded the team, with Degan and a few Knights serving as division commanders. A junior Knight named Ylenia and a senior Knight named Chance–strangely, he was a Sith Pureblood–were assigned with Havoc Squad.

Across the hangar, Jorgan was supervising the separation of troops. A major named Rakiya was in command of guarding Keldabe’s left flank, and a small Mirialan captain who had the affectionate nickname of Squirt had the right flank.

[Sir,] Yuun said. [Supreme Commander Malcom has requested your presence on the command deck.]

“On my way, Yuun,” he replied. “Thanks.”

Prudii tucked his helmet under his arm and took off toward the command deck. He found Commander Malcom standing at the center of the room, looking at the tactical screen that took up one wall.

“There are a lot of forces over Mandalore,” he said quietly. “And more arriving by the minute.”

“Shab,” Prudii grated. “Level with me, sir. Is there any chance of winning?”

“Slim,” Malcom replied honestly. “But it would get bigger if the Imperials would fight alongside us, and what are the odds of that.”

“Better than you think,” Prudii replied. “Before we got Colonel Backblast’s transmission, we got a similar message from Agent Merok, who said he was sending a copy to the Empire under the alias Cipher Nine.”

“Then there’s hope,” Malcom said. “Good. We can’t afford to be defeated here.”

“We won’t be, sir. I’ll ensure victory or die trying. That’s a promise.”

“That’s what worries me, Major. Dismissed.”

Prudii saluted, turned, and then rushed back to the hangar to meet with his squad before they reached Mandalore.

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YoshiRaphElan
02.06.2013 , 10:19 AM | #32
Sorry for the delay, but my new computer doesn't have Microsoft Word installed yet, so I can't access my story. It will resume shortly.

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YoshiRaphElan
02.11.2013 , 10:43 AM | #33
Still working on getting Word installed. It will come, loyal followers, I promise!

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YoshiRaphElan
02.14.2013 , 11:19 AM | #34
I can't find the disc I need to install Word, but I promise...it's still coming! I'm sorry.

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YoshiRaphElan
02.22.2013 , 03:56 PM | #35
Found the disc but apparently it doesn't want to work with my computer! Gah! Delay after delay!

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YoshiRaphElan
02.25.2013 , 04:44 PM | #36
Chapter 23

Imperial attack fleet
115 days ABDK


Methic jogged up the ramp of his Fury as the ships came out of hyperspace. So far he’d been able to avoid the amnesiac Nox and his crew, but he knew it wouldn’t last forever. He figured he’d have to deal with it soon after the battle.

“Quinn!” he called. “Fire her up!”

Jaesa walked straight up to him and grabbed his bicep. She dragged him aside and shoved him into the wall.

“I need you to promise me something,” she said.

“What?” he asked.

“No matter how much you use the dark side, no matter what you have to do to win this battle…you still want to make the Empire a better place, right?”

“Of course I do.”

“Good. Then just remember that, okay?”

“I promise, Jaesa.”

“Thank you.”

She walked away. Methic rubbed his bicep, awed by her strength. Vette walked up, looked at him and then Jaesa, quirked an eyebrow, and then leaned up on her tiptoes to kiss his cheek.

“We’re going to get out of this all right, aren’t we?” she asked.

Methic nodded. “We will.”

“I hope you’re right, Lord Methic. I really do.”

He leaned down and kissed her full on the lips. She let the kiss linger for a full ten seconds before she pushed him gently away.

“Let’s not get too distracted,” she said with a grin. “We’ve still got a battle to win.”

Defender-class light corvette
Mandalore orbit
115 days ABDK


Jasin ran down to the foot of the ramp, waiting for Doc’s signal that they were in atmosphere. Kira and Scourge came down behind him, and Rusk loaded his repeating blaster.

“Let’s finish the Dread Masters here,” Kira said.

“Agreed,” Scourge said. “We need to be able to lower our defenses on at least one front to be able to concentrate on the Emperor.”

“We’ll do what we can,” Jasin agreed.

“We’re in orbit!” Doc said. “Ready?”

Jasin palmed the hatch control. “Ready!”

As the ramp opened, Doc swept low. Kira leaned over, kissed Jasin on the cheek, and then as one the three Force sensitive warriors leapt to the ground and ignited their lightsabers.

At a hundred meters in the air, hitting the ground would’ve been quite painful. But Jasin slowed his descent, hit the ground in a crouch, and sent out a blast of Force energy.

A squad of enemy troops was flattened by the wave, clearing a spot for Doc to land the ship. A moment later, he, Rusk, and T7 emerged from the ramp and opened fire.

“Hey, Jedi!” a voice called.

Jasin glanced up. A Mandalorian warrior in blue and white armor waved him over. Cautiously, Jasin nodded and complied.

“Any of you medically trained?” the Mando asked him.

“Doc is,” Jasin replied.

“Good.” The Mandalorian pointed. “They’ve set up a medical triage a few streets down. They’ve only got one warrior and some Mon Cal manning it right now. They need all the help they can get.”

“Will do.”

“Jurkadir jate, jetii,” the Mandalorian said.

Though Jasin wasn’t sure what he’d said, he just nodded.

“And may the Force be with you, Mandalorian.”

He ignited his lightsaber and leapt in. He began to fight his way over toward Doc. The other man had his blaster at eye level, cutting down troops with lethal precision.

“Doc!” Jasin said. “Mandos want you at their medical triage, two streets down! Look for a Mon Calamari!”

“Got it,” Doc replied.

He motioned for Rusk to cover him. The Chagrian nodded, leapt out into the middle of the street, and laid down a spread of fire. Doc waited for a count of five and then sprinted in the direction Jasin had told him.

“Gareb’s coming in for a landing!” Rusk said. Jasin had ordered him to monitor all comms. “He’s sending Tharan to help Doc!”

Jasin nodded. “Fight well, Rusk. For the Jedi!”

He leapt in beside Kira and Scourge, cutting down enemies and deflecting their bolts back. A Weequay pulled out a force pike and lunged at Jasin. With a quick flick of his wrist, Jasin cut the pike in half and then spun and decapitated the warrior.

“A team needs backup a few streets down!” Rusk called.

“Got it,” Jasin replied. “T7! Get aboard the ship and find it a safe place to land.”

T7 beeped in compliance and rolled off. Jasin motioned for Kira and Scourge to follow him and sprinted down the street, following Rusk.

Choke point, Keldabe, Mandalore
115 days ABDK


Dha knelt beside Merok and covered him as he set up a trap. The enemy troops were starting to get too numerous to hold off much longer. Dha stood, took another shot, and then knelt again.

“Just a moment more,” Merok said.

He connected a wire between two improvised bombs and nodded. Dha held up three fingers. Merok pulled his rifle from its sling, tightened his stealth belt, and stood to take a shot at the advancing troops.

As Merok knelt, Dha lowered one finger, and then another. When he formed a fist, the two of them stood as one, opened fire, and dashed out of the alley. Merok began counting in his head. He estimated five seconds before they were on the improvised trap…

Crack.

Okay, maybe he’d miscalculated. He put a finger to his ear.

“Kaliyo, Raina, do you read?”

“I read, Merok,” Raina replied.

“Start the counterattack, now!”

“Roger that.”

Merok sprinted around the next corner and ducked as a trio of blaster bolts went over his head. Dha just took the shots on his armor, raised his pistol, and returned fire.

The Dread Forces on the other side of the street went down at Dha’s hail of bolts. Another squad of enemy troops rounded the corner and raised their rifles, but Scorpio leapt off the roof of a nearby building and cut two down with her staff.

Raina, standing atop the same building, opened fire with her twin pistols, cutting down the remnant of the squad. Merok nodded up at her.

“Nice work,” Dha said.

“Thanks,” Merok replied. “We need to get some kind of order running here. If we just keep dividing up into defense cells across the city, we’ll never win. We have to do something.”

“Don’t worry,” Dha replied. “Mandalore just transmitted on all channels; Republic, Imperial, and Mandalorian. He said he’s rallying his troops in the town square, and for everyone who was able to join them.”

“Will you be going?” Merok asked.

“I am a Mandalorian,” Dha said. “I will rally with my people.”

“Where is your crew?”

Merok couldn’t tell, but he thought Dha grimaced under his helmet. “They made it in from our property, but I’m not sure where. They will rally if possible.”

“Then we’ll hope for the best. I’ll call my allies and tell them to meet in Town Square, too.”

“Fight well, Agent Merok.”

“And you, Dha.”

As the Mandalorian ran off, Merok tapped a coded signal through his comm, ordering his crew to meet at Town Square. Raina glanced at her comm for a moment, looked at him, and nodded.

“To the town square, then,” he said to himself.

Medical triage, Keldabe, Mandalore
115 days ABDK


Doc winced at a near-miss explosion. He was in the middle of splinting a broken leg on a Trandoshan in Mandalorian armor, and he couldn’t spare a moment to look up to see what the explosion had been.

“Dinua,” he said, “check on that, eh?”

The Mandalorian woman glanced up, pulled her pistol from its holster, and shot a bolt two feet over Doc’s head into something behind him. He was so busy fixing the Trandoshan that he didn’t flinch.

He heard the hum of a few lightsabers, and knew instinctively that Jasin and his allies had arrived. He still didn’t look up. He finished tying the splint and gently patted the Trandoshan’s arm.

“All fixed,” he said. “Get moving, I’ve got more patients to work with.”

The Trandoshan growled his thanks. As he picked up his fallen rifle and moved to rejoin a fight, Doc took a moment to wipe sweat from his forehead and sit back on his haunches. He’d already patched up over a dozen injured Mandalorians, and they just kept coming.

“This is taking forever,” muttered the Mon Cal, who had introduced himself as Guss Tuno.

“It’s a battle,” Doc snapped. “Get used to it.”

The next patient, a dark-skinned human female, had shrapnel buried in her gut. Dinua reached over and quickly took off her armor plates and sliced a neat tear in her bodysuit.

“Go,” she said.

Doc nodded and began removing the shrapnel. Suddenly there was another explosion, and Doc lost track of all thought–he just worked.

BT-7 Thunderclap
115 days ABDK


As the Thunderclap swooped over Keldabe, Prudii looked down on it with a mild sense of nostalgia. He had visited the capital city of Mandalore a few times in his pre-Republic days, and he had fairly fond memories of the place. To see it torn to rubble…

“All right,” he said. “Land us on the outskirts, there. Backblast is transmitting from that street, and from the look of it he and the Mandalorians are badly outnumbered.”

Jorgan, who was currently flying, spun the ship in an evasive maneuver as one of the Dreadnaughts’ turbolasers opened fire on the Thunderclap. The ship rocked, but Jorgan held her steady and landed where he had been directed.

“Let’s go,” Prudii said.

He ran into the main hold, Jorgan at his heels. Dorne, Forex, Vik, and Yuun were checking their various weapons, while HK-51 ran a diagnostic on all his new attachments.

“Statement: I am battle-ready, Major,” he said.

“Good. Havoc Squad–move!”

Prudii hit the ground in a somersault. He fired from a kneeling position, taking out a combat droid nearby. He ejected his gauntlet vibroblade and drove it through an Anomid soldier and then turned and shot a flamethrower trooper in his fuel pack, causing him to burst into flames.

Dorne charged ahead to a nearby medical triage to assist in the surgery, and Yuun went along to stand guard. Forex and Vik, being Forex and Vik, charged straight into the midst of the enemies and dismantled the enemies from close range. HK and Jorgan stood back near the Thunderclap and took out their targets with lethal efficiency.

“Nice of you to show up!” Backblast said from nearby.

Prudii glanced up. Backblast was standing in the middle of the street, farther back, mowing down the enemies even as they advanced. Judging by the piles of bodies, he’d been there for quite some time.

Several dozen Mandalorians and other combatants stood behind him, firing at whatever they could hit. A Wookiee and several other Mandalorians had waded in with Forex and Vik, electrostaffs and vibroswords humming. With a start, Prudii recognized some of them as Dankin’s crew. And Dankin was…there, behind a speeder.

“What are the odds?” Prudii muttered.

Then he returned to the battle, burying his gauntlet blade in a soldier’s throat and shooting his rifle one-handed as he struggled to tear the blade free. When it came free, he pulled a cryo grenade from his belt and threw it at a large Nikto.

“Transmission on all channels!” Jorgan called. “Apparently the Mandalorians are regrouping in the town square!”

“Fall back there!” Prudii ordered. “Help move the injured! Forex, Vik, and I will hold them here for as long as we can–go!”

Jorgan hesitated, and then nodded and ran over to the triage. Slowly, Backblast, Dankin, and his crew began to do the same.

“Forex,” Prudii called. “Missile blast. I want a crater between us and them!”

“Yes, sir.”

Forex tilted his cannons downward and blew a massive hole in the road. The foremost of the Dread Troopers were disintegrated, and the next few ranks had their bones shattered.

“Pull back!” Prudii said. “Go!”

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YoshiRaphElan
02.25.2013 , 05:05 PM | #37
Chapter 24

Fury-class interceptor
Mandalore atmosphere
115 days ABDK


Methic held on as Quinn piloted the ship down to the town square of Keldabe, where Mandalore had called all available forces to rally against the Dread Masters. Pierce and Broonmark gathered their heavy weapons in a portable package, while Jaesa tried to meditate and Vette attempted to look bored.

Despite the fact that they were about to go into battle, Methic couldn’t stop worrying about Nox. The Sith Lord would remember eventually; considering he had lost his memory with a hit on the head, he was probably going to get it back the same way–all the more likely since he was going into battle with no memory of combat training.

Maybe that would be the solution. Maybe Nox would be so badly impaired by his memory loss that he would be killed in battle. Maybe.

As the ship landed, Methic hopped out. Across the square, Jasin looked up and saw Methic. Methic gave him a crisp nod and then turned to the city square, where Mandalore stood on a shattered fountain, giving orders to his rallied troops.

Across the square, Gareb and his crew ran in from a side street. The lieutenant and the Twi’lek fired back the way they had come while Gareb and the other three met up with Jasin’s group.

Methic caught Gareb’s eye, but all he got in return was a mistrustful gaze. Clearly, Gareb was not about to let the issue from the Revanite camp drop. That would, likely, get him killed.

“Jaesa,” Methic said. “Tell Quinn to get out here. We’ll need everyone.”

Medical triage, Keldabe, Mandalore
115 days ABDK


Dinua grunted as another explosion sounded nearby. Several Republic troops had come to help move the injured, and Doc and Guss had gone with them. Only she remained with the most injured patients, along with her sons, a Zabrak, and a war droid.

“Where’s your crew, Dankin?” she asked.

“Already at Town Square,” Dankin replied. “They are helping Doc and Guss find a mostly-intact place to put the patients.”

“This one’s done,” she said. “Go.”

Dankin grabbed the patient in a rescue grip and hauled away. Backblast knelt beside her while the Zabrak and the war droid continued covering them.

“Son,” she said to Backblast. “Your father is still in the hospital. Surely the doctors will have the place defended, but he needs to be brought out. He’s well enough to join the fight. Go get him.”

Backblast nodded. “Yes, ma’am.”

He took off, leaving her to finish the last three patients. The Zabrak took a couple of shots and then sat down behind the speeder beside her.

“Don’t believe we’ve met, ma’am,” he said. “But for some reason, you’re very familiar.”

She smiled, finished up the next patient–a Gand in Mandalorian armor with a bad stab wound in his gut–and removed her helmet. The Zabrak ran his eyes over her face, examining her short black hair, brown eyes, fair skin, and black tattoo running across her nose.

“I do remember you!” he said. “From the first year in the Republic Academy!”

She smiled. “Yes. I was a medical instructor.”

“So how’d you–” he took a shot, “–end up with a Mandalorian?”

“Don’t approve of the culture?”

“On the contrary, ma’am. I’m an ex-Mando, as a matter of fact.”

She chuckled. “You don’t stop being a Mando.”

“Guess you’re right.” He fired again. “But you weren’t Mandalorian originally, but Dinua is a word of the Mando’a dialect.”

“I changed my name,” she said. “Cut ties to my past. When I met my husband, my squad had been wiped out in the war. So, I left that life behind. The only thing I kept was…this.” She tapped her armored chestplate. “The rest of the armor is Mando, but my chestplate…I just couldn’t leave it behind.”

He nodded. “Name’s Prudii, by the way.”

“Good to meet you. Now–” she finished clipping the Gand’s armor back on, “–take this patient and get to Town Square.”

“What about you, ma’am?”

“Your war droid can provide plenty of cover. And these two won’t take too long. Go!”

She smiled as, with military efficiency, he hauled the patient over his shoulders and shot across the street toward the town square.

“Just you and me, droid!” she said.

“Then I will protect you to my last spark,” the droid replied.

Keldabe hospital, Mandalore
115 days ABDK


Chernan sat up as he felt the explosion. Where was he? Oh, yes. The injury. Keldabe hospital. Then, was Mandalore under attack?

He stood up and began clipping on his armor. He smiled fondly at the white chestplate with its tan and brown stripes. This armor had gotten him through so much. Now, he hoped, it would get him through this, whatever it was.

He was just about to put his helmet on when the door slid open. He dropped his helmet and whipped up one of his blasters. He aimed it straight at the big figure in the door.

“Dad! It’s me.”

Chernan lowered his blaster as Backblast walked into the room. His son had only gotten bigger since he’d last seen him, and that was saying a lot. He was nearly a head taller than Chernan, and his muscled figure was so bulky he had trouble getting in the door with his armor on.

“Backblast,” he said. “How’s it going?”

“The Dread Masters are attacking Mandalore,” he said. “They’re really giving it to us, but the Republic and Empire showed up to help.”

“Well, that’s good.”

Chernan knelt and picked up his helmet.

“What do you say then?” he asked. “Shall we fight the Dread Masters?”

Backblast nodded. “Let’s do it.”

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YoshiRaphElan
02.26.2013 , 09:22 PM | #38
Chapter 25

Rally point, Keldabe, Mandalore
115 days ABDK


Tran’thar still did not remember much of anything, but he did know, from somewhere deep down, that the Dread Masters were trouble, whoever they were. He was more than willing to help fight them, even if he did not remember how.

“Just stick close to me, little Sith,” Khem said. “I will ensure you live to get your memory back.”

He nodded. “Thank you, Khem.”

Mandalore, gold-armored and wielding a blaster rifle, stood in the middle of Town Square atop a fountain, yelling orders. The Mandalorians split into squads and other formations, while others began to give advice to those who had never faced the Dread Masters’ forces.

Tran’thar spotted Methic, and for some reason he felt a flash of anger. Was it because Darth Marr had accused this man of causing him to lose his memory? Or was it something else?

As he looked around the square, he also caught sight of several Jedi. He tensed, as did Khem, but Ashara put her hand on the Dashade’s chest.

“Relax,” she said. “They’re here to help.”

* * *

Prudii huffed for breath as he set the injured Gand down in a tapcaf at the edge of the square. He could see many beings gathering around Mandalore, and he decided to get over there as soon as he could.

“Where’s Dinua?” Doc asked.

Prudii helped him get the Gand on a makeshift bed. “She’s fixing up a few more patients. Forex is guarding her.”

Doc nodded. “All right. The Dread Forces will be here soon, so I imagine the fighting will be starting and we’ll be needed again.”

“I’m sure you will,” Prudii said. “Good luck.”

Doc nodded. “Thanks.”

Prudii ran out into the square and stopped near the water fountain. A hand slammed into his back and he turned around.

“Prudii!” a familiar voice said.

“Dha!”

They pulled off their helmets and hugged fiercely. Prudii hadn’t seen his brother in months–maybe even longer.

“Where’s your crew?” Prudii asked.

“On their way,” Dha replied. “They got cut off on the outskirts, but at last report they were pushing on. By the way, you’re going to be an uncle.”

Prudii paused, and then grinned. “Congratulations. I’m sure she’ll be fine.”

Dha nodded. “She will. Mako’s the smartest of them all, and Torian would die before he lets anyone touch his nephew-or-niece-to-be.”

“We’d better see what Mandalore wants us to do,” he said. “This is going to be a long fight.”

Mid-town, Keldabe, Mandalore
115 days ABDK


Torian gasped out another breath as he cut down the Dread Forces in their way. Gault and Blizz were guarding Mako right now, while Skadge punched and smashed a path through the enemies.

“Clear!” Skadge said.

Torian nodded and turned to the others. “On three! One, two…three!”

They leapt from their position and charged down the street. As they ran, Torian sheathed his staff and pulled his pistol, firing back at the enemies behind them. Just a few more streets until the square…

He stumbled as he slammed into a white-and-tan armored Mandalorian. He held up his hands in an apology even as the other Mandalorian pulled out a pistol.

“Oh,” the Mando said. “Sorry, ner vod. You just startled me.”

A Republic trooper exited the building behind the Mandalorian, a repeating blaster cannon in his huge hands.

“I’m Chernan,” the Mandalorian said. “This is my son, Backblast.”

“I’m Torian Cadera. This is Mako, Gault, Blizz, and Skadge. You know about Mandalore’s rally?”

Chernan nodded.

“Good. Then we’ll go together.” He looked back and saw the Dread Forces catching up. “Let’s move!”

Chernan and Backblast fell in behind them, firing back to cover their rear.

Medical triage, Keldabe, Mandalore
115 days ABDK


Dinua finished up her last patient. She pulled out her blaster, stood, fired, and ducked back down to pick up the patient.

“Forex!” he said. “Can you carry two?”

The droid turned. “Of course, ma’am!”

“Good.”

She lifted one of the patients, slung him over her shoulder, and then did the same with the second. She stood, fired again, and motioned for him to run. As he did, she began backing up behind him, firing as she went.

Suddenly her helmet’s proximity sensor blared, and she whirled to grab a vibroknife from the grip of a cloaked Anomid assassin. She ripped the blade from his hand and stabbed him with it.

Forex was across the street now, running down the road to the town square. She took a few more shots and ran to catch up with Forex. She wondered how her husband and sons were doing.

Rally point, Keldabe, Mandalore
115 days ABDK


“They’re only two blocks down!” a sentry said.

“Everyone ready!” Mandalore said. “Get into position!”

The Mandalorian soldiers spread out, pulling their blasters and bladed weapons. Merok sighted up his carbine and prepared to fire when a small group of people ran into the square behind him.

“You’re Dha’s people,” Merok said. “Well, most of you.”

The Republic trooper and the white-and-tan Mando moved off, apparently to find someone. The Devaronian from Dha’s crew glanced at Merok.

“Where’s Dha?” he asked.

Merok pointed down the street, where Dha was helping situate Havoc Squad. Merok saw Havoc’s war droid and a female in hybrid Mando/Republic armor running in from a side street and ran over to intercept them.

“Patients in there,” he said, pointing at a tapcaf. “Hurry.”

The Mandalorian woman nodded and directed the war droid to carry the two patients inside. Then she ran up to the white-and-tan armored Mandalorian and hugged him.

Several Jedi were situating themselves on top of buildings where they could leap down on the Dread Forces, while the two Sith Lords ducked into the buildings on either side of the street the enemy would be coming from.

“This is it,” Merok said.

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YoshiRaphElan
02.27.2013 , 03:55 PM | #39
Chapter 26

Ambush point, Keldabe, Mandalore
115 days ABDK


Jedi Master Degan held her double-bladed lightsaber close to her waist, ready to leap down onto the street below. She reached out with the Force and realized that several of the Dread Masters’ Sith forces had joined the advancing army.

As the first line passed below, Degan gripped her lightsaber more tightly. She was not afraid–the Force was with her. On the building across the street, Gareb nodded to her. She ignited her double-bladed saber and leapt down.

She jabbed the first blade into a trooper’s gut and twirled to decapitate another enemy. Gareb and Jasin leapt off their own buildings and began swinging their lightsabers. In seconds, the first platoon had been decimated.

A member of the Dread Guard ignited a red saber and leapt at Degan. She blocked his attack, redirected it, and jabbed him in the gut with her rear blade. She spun in a circle and cut him across the waist.

Three more Dread Guards leapt from the attackers and pushed the Jedi back. Degan winced as one of them began smashing his lightsaber down on hers.

“Fall back into the square!” Jasin said.

Abandoned building, Keldabe, Mandalore
115 days ABDK


Methic saw the Dread Masters’ forces pushing the three Jedi back. He pulled his lightsabers off his belt and prepared to leap out and join them. Pierce and Broonmark sat under the window, ready to leap out.

“So, Emperor’s Wrath,” a voice breathed behind Methic. “We get to fight together, this time.”

Methic turned and saw Lord Scourge standing behind him, a small smile crossing his face. Methic nodded.

“It will be an honor, Lord Scourge.”

“The same, Lord Methic.”

Jasin and the others crossed in front of Methic’s view. With a flick of his wrists, Methic ignited his blades and smashed the window. As one, he and Scourge leapt out and attacked. Methic decapitated one of the Dread Guards instantly, while Scourge rammed his blade through another.

Across the street, Khem Val and Xalek leapt out of their building, blades spinning. Tran’thar seemed to hesitate for a moment, and then jumped out to join them.

Methic wondered silently how he would fare.

Town Square, Keldabe, Mandalore
115 days ABDK


Prudii knelt behind the fountain with Mandalore, and felt a little bit awed at the fact that he was going to fight side-by-side with the leader of his people.

“You are my Champion’s brother,” Mandalore noted.

Prudii nodded. “Yes, sir.”

“Then it’s an honor.” He stood. “For Mandalore!”

Prudii stood beside him. “For the Republic!”

Throughout the square, fifty-plus Mandalorians, Republic, and Imperial troops stood and fired as one. The front rows of Dread Forces fell instantly, with the ones behind them only getting down in time to avoid the volley and leaving the third rank to be hit, as well.

Prudii charged in.

He rammed his vibroblade through one trooper’s gut, whirled, blasted another, and the bashed a third against the head with his rifle. A pair of droids tried to catch him in their crossfire, but he ducked and let Mandalore blast both of them apart.

“Thanks!” he said.

He ducked behind a speeder, raised his rifle to eye level, and swept it back and forth, tearing through the troops. He took a moment to glance across the square and frowned.

The Dread Forces were being decimated. This made no sense. The Dread Masters never would’ve attacked if they didn’t have a trick up their sleeves. He voiced his worry to Mandalore.

The leader frowned. “You’re right. They must have has a special reason for attacking Mandalore.” He froze. “The beskar mines.”

“Shab, you’re right,” Prudii snarled. “This is just a distraction! They’re going to steal our iron!”

“All forces!” Mandalore said. “Fall back to the beskar mines!”

“Negative, sir!” Dha called. “They’re pushing us too hard!”

Mandalore snarled. “We have to do something.”

Prudii got an idea. He activated his helmet comm. “Seetoo Entoo, give me access to the Thunderclap’s controls via my HUD.”

“Yes, sir.”

A moment later, Prudii was piloting his ship with blinks and eye movement. The Thunderclap swept over a moment later, dropping bombs and torpedoes on the Dread Forces.

“We’re clear!” Dha said.

“Everyone,” Mandalore said, “go!”

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YoshiRaphElan
02.27.2013 , 03:57 PM | #40
Chapter 27

Keldabe, Mandalore
115 days ABDK


Dha activated his jetpack and shot across the sky toward the beskar mines, Torian flanking him on the left, Chernan on the right.

“Mako,” Dha said over his helmet comlink. “Head for the mines on foot, but make sure you have Gault and Corridan with you at all times. I don’t want you taking any risks.”

“Relax,” she replied. “I’m pregnant, I know better than to get myself killed.”

Despite the fact that she couldn’t see it, he nodded to himself. He knew she would be safe, but his head told him to put extra guard around her. He diverted his attention back to the battle. Mandalore was on all channels, giving orders.

“…Emperor’s Wrath, I want you and one of the Jedi to go in the rear of the mines,” he said. “You need to make sure the Dread Masters’ forces don’t escape through there with any beskar.”

“Roger,” Methic replied.

“Havoc Squad, I want you and Darth Nox–”

“Tran’thar,” the Twi’lek interrupted.

“–Tran’thar to go in the front. The rest of us will go in the side entrances.”

There was a chorus of acceptance. Dha shot ahead for combat.

Beskar mine, Mandalore
115 days ABDK


Methic kept one lightsaber clipped to his belt, and the other in-hand, using it to light the tunnel. The sun was nearly set now, and inside the mines it would be pitch black. Quinn and Pierce went in first, blasters at the ready. Behind Methic came Jaesa and Vette, and Broonmark stayed behind with Gareb’s Trandoshan to guard the exit.

Gareb worked his way up beside Methic. Silently, Methic prayed that Gareb would not choose now to confront him about his use of the dark side.

“I understand,” was all Gareb said. “I won’t hold you to anything. It was just…how you were raised.”

Methic nodded slowly. “Yes, I suppose it was.”

Gareb’s Twi’lek and Republic soldier went ahead of them, catching up to Quinn and Pierce. Methic was glad that he hadn’t been paired with Nox; he didn’t want to guard his back against the Dashade the entire time he was fighting.

“Just ahead,” Pierce called back. “One Dread Guard and three troopers. They’re standing next to a handful of slaves working the mines.”

“Don’t hit the slaves,” Gareb ordered.

“Has it occurred to you,” Quinn asked peevishly, “that the Dread Guard may just kill the prisoners?”

“I won’t let him,” Methic replied. “Go!”

He pulled his second blade off his belt, ignited it, and leapt at the Dread Guard. The other Sith pulled his own lightsaber to his hand, but with a few quick strokes, Methic decapitated him. Pierce and Quinn opened fire and put a swift end to the three troops.

Methic activated his comlink. “We’re in,” he said. “Clear on this end.”

“Roger,” Mandalore replied.

Methic glanced up and saw Gareb freeing the slaves from their shock collars. Vette glanced at Methic, who nodded. She ran over to help the slaves. Methic saw why–she’d been a slave, too.

“My lord,” Quinn said. “We should proceed with haste.”

Methic nodded. “Let’s go.”

With Quinn, Pierce, and Gareb’s team on point again, the small group proceeded down the mines. There was a small humming as jetpacks turned off, and a squad of Mandalorians entered behind them.

“We’re with you,” one said.

Methic nodded and then motioned down the tunnel. They could hear the subtle clinking of tools against rock as the Dread Masters’ slaves mined the beskar.

“We have to stop them,” Quinn said. “Beskar is one of the few metals that is nearly impenetrable, even to lightsabers. If the Dread Masters got it, we would be demolished, here and in the larger galaxy.”

“That’s not going to happen,” Gareb’s Twi’lek said.