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Mandalore the Risen


I nod. “Good idea. We don’t want him ruining things at the last minute. Have your team deal with the killer as quickly as possible, then get back here. I need you rested for when we finally launch our assault on Presidential Palace.” I take a deep breath, turning once again to the map. “And I want Cosen Greshh at my side when I finally bring Sucal to his knees.”

END OF SCENE
Mandalore the Risen


“A D-type Nubian yacht. One of those favored by the decadent Republic Senate. It carried the proper codes, so our ships cleared it to land, but lost track of it shortly after.”
Mandalore the Risen


“Jerus Je’and. HJ’s father. Perfect.” I say the last part sarcastically. “I’ll have the security watch keep an eye for them. We are all friends, but I don’t want them bursting in and trying to take control. They have a habit of forcing their ‘family values’ into every situation.” I turn away from the map. “It disturbs me that HJ would give out my pass phrase so easily. I told him I didn’t want to be disturbed during this op, yet I’ve received no less than three different reports of ships passing the blockade using that code. I’ll need to make a list of who each of these interlopers is.”
Mandalore the Risen


I bristle at the mention of HJ. Taking on an all business attitude once again, I turn towards the holo display. “As always, I thank you for your wise council, Temari. I’ll keep what you have said in mind as I get ready for the final assault on the Senate District.” I pretend to study the map more. “Before I arrived, I heard several reports that more ‘allies’ have arrived on the planet, using the pass phrase I gave the Twilights. Do you know anything about this?”
Mandalore the Risen


I face Temari, trying not to let my self doubt show. It was still odd seeing these older warriors that I once looked up to now taking orders from me. “Why is that, Temari?”
Cragdor

______________________________________________________________

Cragdor was one of those chosen to bunk with the enlisted troops. It wasn’t much, but it was at least better than the cargo bay. He was used to sleeping in less than ideal places; throughout most of the Galaxy, Trandoshans were not often looked upon favorably by other species. Maybe it was their reptilian appearance that caused people, Humans especially, to feel a sense of fear and discomfort. Maybe it was their reputation for ruthlessness when it came to hunting and killing. Or maybe it was the smell; Cragdor had been told before that his people carried a distinctive odor, though that might just have been an attempt at insult rather than stated fact.

No matter the reason, Cragdor had found himself more often than not spending the greater part of most starship journeys in the cargo hold. This place was little different, though at least in this case, it was not done with malicious intent. There was simply more bodies than there were beds, which from a certain point of view was a good thing. At least the Scarlet Moons tribe was growing.

Cragdor had taken no offense. There had certainly been worse places he’d slept over the years. At least the cargo bay was dry, and there weren’t any tiny creatures waiting in the darkness to eat his flesh after he’d fallen asleep (at least none that he’d noticed). He had a blanket and a pillow too, which was always a bonus. Above all, he had the protection and favor of the Scorekeeper to keep him warm at night... at least, he hoped he did.

Cragdor watched as the NED lead the other soldiers out of the crew bunks, and a prickle of annoyance ran up his spine. A soulless machine masquerading as flesh and blood didn’t sit right with him. The Scorekeeper rarely cast her eyes towards droids, reserving her favor for the living beings. Droids that tried to act as a mockery of living beings always disturbed Cragdor on some spiritual level.

Despite his biases, Cragdor listened to what the droid had to say. Major Thiena seemed to trust the machine enough to make it a Lieutenant, and seeing as how Cragdor himself was only a Sergeant, he really had no choice but to follow it’s orders. He was not so foolish as to break the chain of command.

Once everything had settle back to normalcy, Cragdor returned to his ritualistic grooming. As part of his daily routine, he periodically took a knife to his dead flesh, scrapping away the flaking scales on his arms and legs. A nasty process, one that the rest of the crew no doubt hated, but a necessary one in order to achieve peak combat efficiency. Left unattended, the scale rot would begin to itch terribly, and he would not risk that distraction during a crucial mission.
Mandalore the Risen


I momentarily grit my teeth. “I chose her because she is the last link to Greshh. Because she is the one that the Revolution will follow, and the Revolution are the ones that can turn people to our side. The fact that I have a past with her is coincidental... though I’ll admit, I enjoy seeing her pay for her crimes against us.” I pause, trying to hide the conflict on my face. Perhaps part of using Cosen was personal, but so what? My first priority was the battle. Revenge was just a bonus.
Mandalore the Risen


I give Temari a tired smile. “Physically, I am at the peak efficiency. I’ve been doing extra training drills every morning to prepare for this fight.” My smile falters. “But mentally... I am drained. I’ve never commanded this many people before, and they all look to me as the ultimate authority. Every action I take will have consequences that effect everyone around me, and every mistake is likely to get a lot of good people killed.” I cross my arms and lean against the holo table. “I know some of the Clan Chiefs talk about me behind my back. They think I’m too inexperienced to lead. I only became Mand’alor because I beat Mandalore the Punisher in combat. I’m sure many of the older warriors are upset they now have to take orders from someone a third their age, and has friends outside the clans. So, it has become my responsibility to not only prove I am a capable leader, but that I can put my ‘other relationships’ aside for the betterment of my people.”
Mandalore the Risen


I shake my head. “I still don’t trust that girl. She’s a liar and a thief. A manipulative Sith spawn. Let her believe we trust her, but never take your eyes off of her. As soon as you do, she’ll plant her blade in your back. I just know it.” I lean over the holomap. “In any case, I’ll need time to look over these plans. You have all done well so far, but the battle is far from over. You are all dismissed for the night.... except you, Temari. I need a word with you in private.” I remain my stern self right up until all the chiefs have left. Once they are gone, I exhale heavily and noticeably relax. “Alright, What is it you need, Ba’buir?”
Mandalore the Risen


I nod. "That is good news. I knew recruiting these people would pay off. What strange times we live in that the people of Coruscant view Mandalorians as their saviors."

Zarka Saxon


"It was the only smart choice they had. When we crush the Republic and take Coruscant for ourselves, they will be forced to submit to our leadership... right?"

Mandalore the Risen


I hesitate for a fraction of a moment before replying. "Of course. Those who accepted us and lent us aid will be rewarded, and those we oppose us will be dealt with." Eager to guide the topic back in the proper direction, I ask, "Where are the Greshh twins now? Have they been cooperating? Cosen especially I am interested to hear about."
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