Shadie, Knarf and Fane flew in one of the Mandalorian ships, accompanying Kelbourn, Talyc and the team they had assembled, which comprised of Clan Kandera and a few other clans. Everyone had met up for the final preparations on Mandalore’s flagship before dispersing to their various ships.
Fane sat on some seats, while Shadie and Knarf stood. Mandalore was in his flagship, though his wife was with them. Brenum and Trylia had taken the Krayt Dragon, accompanied by Josur, Lian who had recovered from his previous injuries, and the other Jedi who had stayed on Mandalore. They would meet them on the surface.
‘I’m telling you,’ said Talyc, ‘the Fat Momma sure looks imposing out there.’ He looked out the viewport. ‘I can’t wait for us to get the command to go to hyperspace.’
‘Same here,’ said Kelbourn, his helmet on his head. ‘I’m itching to arrive at Coruscant.’
‘That makes two of us!’
Fane looked around. Many Mandalorians stood around, also waiting for the command. A Zabrak muttered something in Mando’a and put her helmet on. She placed her hands on her hips. She looked at Kelbourn inquisitively. Kelbourn shrugged and leaned back in his seat, leaning his head on the wall.
Fane watched as everyone shifted impatiently. He feared having another episode, being within Darth Gourd’s mind again. He hoped it didn’t happen while he was fighting. Shadie had assured him that he would be well looked after, with her and Knarf having his back. He sensed something else too, though he couldn’t place what. His shoulders drooped as he leaned his arms on his knees.
‘Hey, Fane, my man,’ said Talyc, sitting down next to him and placing a friendly arm over his shoulders. ‘Don’t look so grim.’
‘I’m just worried,’ replied Fane. ‘I fear for our lives. What if… I worry I will lose…my friends. I’m afraid someone will die.’
Talyc looked up towards Shadie. ‘Shadie’s got Knarf to look after her, and he’s got her to look after him. And I promise you, Fane, that I will stay alive.’
Fane smiled. ‘That reassures me. But if you die…’ He looked up at Talyc. He shook his head. ‘You mustn’t.’
‘Yes, sir, order received,’ laughed Talyc. ‘I’m a Mando. I’m a warrior. I stay alive, me. Ain’t that right, Kelbourn?’
‘What’s that?’ Kelbourn turned a helmeted head towards Talyc.
‘Seriously, you ask the guy a question… You look tense, my cousin. What’s up?’
‘Nothing,’ replied Kelbourn.
‘Kelbourn! I know you. You are acting out of sorts. Come on, what’s bothering you.’
Kelbourn clasped his hands together. ‘I share the same fear Fane does,’ he said.
‘Listen,’ said Knarf from where he stood. ‘It’s normal. We’ve been through a lot together, and these Sith are kriffing barvy, but so are we. And look at me, Mando trained, Jedi trained, Sith trained, one-legged slicer with a prosthetic, and now a Force-somewhat-user. You’ve got this in the bag, Kelbourn. You’ve never been one to shy away from a fight.’
‘We’ll soon be in it,’ said Shadie. ‘And fighting Darth Gourd.’
‘Oh, I can’t wait to see him die!’ exclaimed Kelbourn.
Excitement and glee permeated in the Force, and Fane could sense it came, not just from Kelbourn, but from many of the Mandos. They sure were bent on avenging themselves for what Gourd had done to their planet. Fane could understand why.
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