Mandalore stood before the clan leaders and many clan members from each clan in the Mandalorian fortress-bunker. Talyc sat near Emerick and Lashika, dreading the war ahead.
‘Our first priority is to find Relsor’s flagship,’ said Mandalore. ‘Our second is to ensure the Jedi from Clan Kandera make it safely on board. They are the ones who can end this, and the fate of this galaxy rests in the hands of Jedi Fane.’ Talyc’s heart thumped at the mention. Mandalore continued. ‘Our third priority is to neutralise as many superlasers as we possibly can, from any of the True Sith’s ships. Once I give the signal, you will all be free to board the ship as you see fit, but know this: as we cannot predict the outcome, you will be boarding at great risk. We may all perish and die.’
Talyc closed his eyes, resolved to the fate he had chosen for himself.
‘Clan Leader Talyc Kandera will be leading the squad of fighters once we find Relsor’s ship,’ said Mandalore. ‘Those of you in freighters or other ships will need to dock them before taking your fighters to Relsor’s ship. Try not to take the best fighters; we may make it out alive, so we need to see some of those fighters again, especially if Agent Knarf successfully slices the superlasers to detonate in on themselves.’
Mandalore took a few steps forward. ‘We may be able to seize some of those superlasers for ourselves, but it will be risky and only if we absolutely can. Those of us boarding the flagship are there to ensure that the Jedi make it safely to the command chamber where I have been informed Relsor is most likely to be. That is where they will fight him, that is where the fate of the galaxy will be determined.’
He pointed at some of the others. ‘Another squad will be in charge of ensuring the safety of the Mandalorian ships from True Sith fighters. Nriwe will be coordinating those ships via holocall. She will defer to other squad leaders for practical purposes and will continue to coordinate all the squads once their leaders and several members have boarded the Chiss flagship. Mildred, you have the Maw.’
‘Yes!’ Mildred had a pleased look upon his face.
‘You will coordinate with the Fat Momma for assistance in leading your squad of larger ships. Emerick, I know you have been instructed to fly the Krayt Dragon in the Jedi’s absence. Brenum, Trylia, and Knarf have already left the planet with the Sphere to meet Shadie and Fane on Dromund Kaas, where they await the arrival of the anti-stealth prototypes. Once in their hands, they will secure several for Mandalore and the Republic. A coordinated meet-up will guarantee we have our own.’
Mandalore looked from one corner of the room to the other. ‘This war has been long-awaited. That Chiss took many Mandalorians, his True Sith killed even more. We owe it to all whom we’ve lost to enact justice. Take out as many True Sith as you can. Avenge the deaths of our clan brothers and sisters. The True Sith will not be allowed to take any more of us. Oya manda! For Mandalore!’
Everyone shouted out the war call, echoing the Mandalore’s final words. The com monitor chimed a few times. Mandalore walked behind the monitor desk.
‘I am receiving a call from Coruscant,’ he announced. He pressed a key and the holo form of the Grand Master of the Jedi Order appeared.
‘Grand Master Herl’unik, to what do I owe this pleasure?’
‘Mandalore!’ The Grand Master bowed. ‘As you know, the Republic will be protecting many of its worlds and scanning Republic space for Relsor’s armada. However, we Jedi have a personal vendetta with Haar’elso’rothmor. While many Jedi will be stationed at strategic areas, I, along with many from the Jedi Council, and many others, have put together a small fleet. We wish to join the Mandalorian armada, if you would have us.’
‘Grand Master,’ said Mandalore, ‘it would be an honour to have you fighting alongside us.’
‘Excellent! Expect us shortly.’
* * *
Vax entered the apartment; Lord Void was with him. Shadie looked up and acknowledged them.
‘The prototypes have arrived,’ said Lord Void. ‘I will be readying my ship shortly. I will go in search of Relsor’s fleet. I intend to board the flagship and fight alongside you.’