Talyc awoke feeling heavy, his head spun. He looked about the room, gathering his bearings, remembering where he was and that he was safe. Fane was at a console and turned around smiling.
‘Looks like he’s awake, you can tell him yourself.’ Fane stood and motioned the monitor. ‘Mandalore’s on the holocall.’
Talyc nodded and got himself out of bed. When he sat down in front of the monitor, he saw that Mandalore was accompanied by his wife. Their holoforms smiled at him.
‘Mandalore, Co… I mean, Mrs. Mandalore, it’s good to see you,’ said Talyc.
‘Talyc,’ said Mandalore, ‘I’m glad to see you are safe. You’ve looked better, but I trust you are in good hands and will be back to duty soon enough.’
‘I feel rather weak, but I’ve been worse. Those Sith did a good number on me.’
‘Fane was telling us,’ said Mrs. Mandalore. ‘He’s been keeping us appraised of everything.’
‘Yeah, I kept making calls every day while you were out,’ said Fane. ‘I feel like I’ve really grown closer to our Mandalorian leaders, Mandalore and his proxy, who happens to be his wife, and yet she still won’t tell me her name!’ Fane feigned dejection.
‘That’s because only clan leaders and their seconds know her true name,’ laughed Talyc. ‘And I’m not about to get on her bad side and tell you.’
‘Smart man,’ said Mrs. Mandalore with a laugh. She winked. There was a short pause.
Mandalore’s face grew stern. ‘I hear that Darth Perce probed your mind.’ Talyc nodded, knowing this was ill news for his leader. ‘What did he gather from it?’
Talyc closed his eyes and sighed. ‘The codes embedded in my images; some of them were Mandalorian secrets.’ Talyc paused. ‘I’m sorry. If you need to demote me…’
‘Nonsense, you are a fine clan leader.’ Mandalore’s face remained stern, but his tone conveyed conviction. ‘It isn’t your fault that these Sith are fixated on us and the company we keep. But I have to ask, in those secrets, was there information about our planetary defences?’
‘Only the main bits, nothing major, no weapons descriptions, no beskar armour tricks or secrets, but there was information that may lead him to figure out how to get through the shields and bypass the blockade.’
‘Then I will readjust the blockade,’ said Mandalore. ‘Was there anything regarding the secret bunker, the hidden fortress-bunker that houses much of our weapons that we are to use if we are attacked on planet?’
‘No. Given you’ve told me very little about its lower levels, and that we’ve not had a need for it yet, it was not on my mind, so I doubt he caught on to that and no information regarding that was on my datapad. If they attack Mandalore and we must gather our people, the secret fortress-bunker is secure and our safe haven.’
‘Good. That place is as big as it is ancient. It hides more armour, weapons and beskar than its worth in credits could be held in a bank. It houses many of our finest ships and fighters.’
‘I assure you, Mandalore, it is all secure.’ Talyc stared intently at Mandalore, who nodded, his expression softening. ‘How is the rest of Clan Kandera?’
‘I’ll let them tell you themselves, which reminds me, I have an appointment to keep. We’ll speak soon.’
‘Take care of yourself, Talyc,’ said Mrs. Mandalore. Mandalore chimed out.
‘What does he mean by that?’ Talyc looked up at Fane; his man smiled.
‘He means that they are all coming here,’ said Fane, beaming. Talyc took that in; it would be good to see the others of his clan. There was a strange chime. Fane walked to the table and took the data-com. ‘It’s the coordinates to Shadie’s mystery friend.’
‘You’re not going to go, are you?’
‘I have to, she’s asked me to, but it can wait. We’ve got a clan to catch up with.’
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