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For too long, it had been thought that the spark of the Mandalorians had been extinguished throughout the galaxy. Ever since the genocide that nearly destroyed their people, all the Mando'ade had known had been fractures and failures.
But they had been stuck in the past. It was time to let old wounds fall off for new growth to begin. It was time for Mandalorians to once more declare their place in the galaxy. On the world of Kestri, the Mandalorian Enclave had gathered and waxed strong. The chains of the past cut off, it was time to truly expand into the galaxy once more; for in the recesses of Wild Space, crime, tyranny and exploitation festered. The same sort that had nearly driven the Mando'ade to extinction. If this slice of the galaxy were to truly become a home for the wayward sons and daughters of Mandalore, then it would have to be made stable and civilized -- at least, to the extent of what Mandalorians defined as civil.
The world of Kaddak was the backwater of backwaters, on the edge of known space and frequented by criminal gangs, spicers, smugglers, and their ilk. If Kaddak could be subdued, its criminal infestation stamped out and turned into a somewhat decent world, then perhaps there was hope for its galactic neighbors as well. There would be two aspects to the operation, both centered around the main settlement on the world: a city built up around a giant crystal spire named the Sliver. While the more diplomatic of the Enclave's entourage would try to appeal to the Spiremasters to align themselves with the Enclave's goals, the rest of the city would be forcibly cleaned up. Criminal gangs, pirate scum, and the like would not find safe harbor at Kaddak any longer.
The era of lawlessness in Wild Space was drawing to a close. The Iron Dawn had finally arrived.
If you predict that you're of more use wielding words than a blaster or beskad, your voice is needed to help convince the Spiremasters to willingly enter into the protection of the Enclave. It also may be necessary to defend them, should the resident criminal gangs become resentful towards their former hosts. . .
The streets and lower levels of the Splinter are infested with vermin; specifically, the pirate and criminal kind. Root them out -- whether their sentence is a blaster bolt in their skull or an ice cell on Kestri is your call.
Have other stories you want to tell? The world of Kaddak is yours to explore!
< < Hey, be mindful. Folks aren't very pleasant in these parts you know. > > Griz spoke over the groups commlink system as Sikkol and Aani marched on through the streets.
Sikkol was beside her rather than following in her wake, the silver and gold of his paints shining in the sun with a warmth that belied the purpose behind their visit. Aani's colors shone as those a bird of paradise had descended in to the fray, her visor not betraying the wandering eyes she gave the street before her.
< < Well aware. Don't get a cold nose while you are sitting on your hands. > > Aani hissed, Sikkol glancing her way as an exasperated sound came back.
< < Miss you already, but flying the same vector. > > Griz replied with a sigh.
< < 'Ey harpy, catch me a baddie while you out eh? > > An unexpected voice popped through the line as a grunt of irritation came from Aani. Troka was apparently on one today as he cackled through the commlink. Griz could be heard howling with joy as Luno popped on the line.
< < When you reach the office, let us know. We will keep radio silence until then. > > Luno informed them as the line Troka had opened shut off, he and Griz suddenly quiet as Luno's line shut off shortly after.
<"Don't. We aren't even five mikes in."> Sikkol spoke sternly, Aani snapping her head towards him.
<"If he weren't useful the moof-milker might have already taken a space walk."> Aani snapped at him, there walking never ceasing as she became more driven with anger.
<"We'll set the crates out and let you two have at it when we get back."> Sikkol snapped back, their path clearing only moments before they passed through as people noted the aggressive pace the green armor was setting for the pair.
<"Keep it up, and I'll drag you in too."> Aani hissed back. They drew closer to the place they had asked about, still a ways out as the crowd seemed to thin along the way. Eyes watched them, their own gaze never settling on one spot behind the visor as they passed by bodies in doorways or alleyways.
Vren was hanging in the doorway to the cockpit of the Mother Abbess, glaring at Tawnita Wren
that was flying like a two-year old on a joystick. He had forgotten how atrocious it was. Nigh on 20 years have not improved her piloting skills any. He was beginning to think she had crashed his shuttle rather than sell it like she said.
They were on their way to Kaddak on some more Karjr business on behalf of the Enclave, doing what they all do best - silence the criminal underworld, one step at a time. Vren had been pretty impressed by the tech the Shistavanen Clan Krayt alor Shai Krayt
had brought along on this expedition. But being stuck on a ship with two mouthy women had Vren's ears ringing.
At least the trip to Kaddak was not exceptionally lengthy and before long, the planet loomed into view as they emerged from Hyperspace with a jostling buck. "You did that on purpose, didn't you, Wren?" he said, slightly annoyed, before he turned to his fellow Mando'ade. "Does that Chicken have enough ammo within to clear out a few scumbag holdings?" he asked Shai. He did like shiny new toys from time to time and if they made big booms, all the better.
As Tee descended them into the atmosphere, Vren turned back to her. "You coming with us or remaining with the ship?" he asked her. For all their bickering, he still valued her skill. She was one of very few that he would have at his back, even after she had disappeared like a ghost in the night and only reappeared 15 years later.
Finishing up with loading some rations, extra ammo and a few other effects into the Walker with her crew, Shai turned to glance at her companions for the day. The one seemed rather sensitive, but at least he had good style so that was alright. The others were an unknown quantity to her. She reassured herself that these people knew what they were doing... and would hopefully cover her in the Walker with her crew. She was dying to do a proper field test with her own design.
Soon they dropped out of hyperspace and Vren turned his attention back to Shai. "Well unless we're going up against the kriffing Bryn, I'd say we're good. This thing is gonna be a blast." The excitement in her voice was crystal clear, despite her calm tone. The vehicle was still folded up and lowered, allowing its crew to easily get in through the rear hatch. The driver and gunner got into their seats without a word, not looking very excited about the mission ahead. She had a feeling they just weren't used to having a super awesome commander to report to. She entered as well and got comfortable in the commander's seat. The cupola opened and she checked the repeater connected to it, making sure it was ready to rock at a moment's notice. "We're all set! You dudes riding with us or are you going boots on the ground?" She called out to the others as she draped her arms over the repeater. Clad in her armour, loaded up with a plethora of weapons, and sitting in the command seat of her own design, she was anxious to get started.
:: This is Wardog, checking in. Testing, one two... :: She spoke over the comms, making sure that the channels were clear. The Walker started up with a loud whine as exhaust blew out the back vents. A maniacal grin was hidden underneath her helmet as she looked around and closed the back hatch. The machine groaned as it rose in the freighter's cargo hold and turned towards the exit. For one last touch, Shai strapped a wireless speaker onto the roof as she dribbled her hands on the armour. "Hell yeah, let's do this!" She howled as she looked around.
The thought of choking Vren Rook to death had kept her mind busy on numerous occasions. There was a time on Tatooine where he had inadvertently gotten them accosted by a local Confederate troops for carrying contraband through a civilian spaceport. There was another time on Nar Shaddaa that he had gotten them into a holding cell at the pleasure of a seriously disgruntled Hutt crimelord. There was another time when...
"I'm sorry about him, Shai. Vren has this...ability that isn't common to...most humans. Its this... weird yet continuous ability to... annoy me to the point of ...extreme rage on an hourly basis." Her sentence was broken up by the rocking of the ship as it lurched into the atmosphere.
The ship lurched, hitting a patch of Hoth-knows-what kind of atmospheric pressure. Various systems had discrete pockets of gas clouds that made flying even more difficult than usual. Vren had never appreciated her flying; he had always arrived in one piece after all. Today was no different. She wouldn't give him the satisfaction. That smug, snide kissable grin that he'd pull? She wanted to squeeze the life out of him with her gloved hands.
She flipped various levers and buttons, engaging the systems that began the gradual descent of the Mother Abbess.
"Will baby miss me if I don't hold your hand when the bad men go pew pew?" she mocked in a child-like voice that she knew would instantly wind him up. She eyed Shai.
"I don't think Shai needs me to come along as a handler for you, Vren. She's woman enough for all of us." Tee winked, her helmet still sat in its armour casing in the side living quarter. She watched as Shai made her way to the cargo hold to deal with...the beast she had brought with her. Tee engaged the landing mechanism, finding a landing pad large enough on which to land the gunship.
She turned from the chair, stretching her neck and arms. She lent back against the console, perching.
"Seriously though. I'll stay here, monitor comms. If any of our team needs air assistance or a quick-out, I'll make a plot to assist from the sky. If you need me, you know where I am and I'll bring the cavalry." She gestured to the large crate of armament behind them.
It had been some time since Faison had visited Kaddak. To say it was a home of the dregs of galactic society would be an insult to other armpit-like planets, like Nal Hutta, Tatooine, Nar Shaddaa...
At least they had the Hutts to being some level of class to them. The Kaddak Faison knew was different from what others probably knew. In fact, few others really knew much about his past life aside from Vren Rook
. While much of that could be attributed to Faison's general quiet demeanor, he also wasn't exactly proud of who he was in the not-too-distant past. Ever since the Solstice on Kestri, and the events that followed his chance meeting with the Karjr, something had awoken within him. Although he did return to leading a life of... questionable morals, to say the least (questionable probably understating the severity of crimes such as heists, off-book bounties, and general mercenary work that raised the eyebrow of the general public), ever since that singular, impactful day where he partook of the festivities of the planet's liberation and met the likes of Tawnita Wren
, Thonn Rokkal
, & Kale Onara
, something inside of him stirred. He never considered himself a good Mandalorian, at least in the strictest sense of the word. He was one through and through, but he didn't take himself as seriously as others seemed to do when it came to who they were.
Some Mando'ade liked to tell you who they were. He showed people who he was. And while it was undoubted that he was Mandalorian, ever since his discharge at Cor-Sec, he was also a few other things. Mercenary, criminal, a drunk... He wasn't proud of that list, and that distaste began there on Kestri. It took a very questionable mission to a research facility that didn't exist to eliminate threats that didn't get experimented on for an employer who didn't know him for him to see that he was headed down a very dark path with a very bad ending. He didn't know why he chose to confide in Vren after that schat-show of a mission, nor why he confided into him to the depth that he did. Well, Faison knew why - he just didn't like that he still had the vice of overindulgence to still deal with. But whether Faison liked it or not, Vren was the first person he had given voice to ever since... well, ever since he buried the events that happened in his life almost 15 years ago.
Perhaps it was providential that Faison did that. Vren had helped him to appreciate, at least to some faint degree, that it was worth believing in something again; worth fighting for something greater than oneself again rather than simply fighting for credits. Despite the fact that Vren was probably the closest thing to a friend that Faison had in recent months, he didn't tell the Karjr that he'd be here on Kaddak. No, he was here for an entirely different reason. While it was adjacent to the Enclave's goals here, it was likely not among their overall goals in securing this world. Faison was here to see an old... contact - Gaddamoku.
Gaddamoku was a Quarren 'businessman' that had frequently hired Faison's services during the Mandalorian's period wherein he hadn;t exactly cared from whence the credits flowed. While Faison had decided to leave a portion of that life behind him, he didn't exactly want this particular portion to remain free to try and leverage him into doing things he didn't want to do again. Gaddamoku had many forms of leverage to hold over the Mandalorian, and given the fact the Enclave was moving in to clense the world anyway, why not make sure the Quarren didn't have the opportunity to slip away and make Faison's life uncomfortable as he tried to rebuild his network?
Although it was altogether likely that Faison's newfound contacts within the Enclave would be willing to help him in this endeavor, he felt that this was his mission to put to bed. In some ways, it felt like a symbolic means of rebirth for him - to wash himself clean of his life of petty (and not so petty) crime. He couldn't give back all the credits he had stolen and lives he had taken, but if he could purge the galaxy of men like Gaddamoku, then that was a pretty strong start. In the panic that began to grip the lower levels of the Sliver, where all manner of thugs and gangsters began running around to prepare for the inevitable storm that came their way, Faison clung to the shadows - sticking to the back alleys as he made his way down to level 60, which Gaddamoku basically owned at this point. If he could remain largely unseen up until the last moment, it would make his life a whole lot easier.
When this was all done, maybe he would tell Vren. And maybe - just maybe, he would actually officially go on his first assignment for the Enclave rather than skulking about behind the scenes. Life was full of maybes.
There were some who referred to it as the 'Call of Kestri' or in other cases the 'Iron Invitation'. Regardless of what it was called it had summoned many Mandalorians from all corners of the galaxy. The Warrior had heard it on Mandalore and it had drawn him away from the homeworld. From Mandalore he had traveled to Kestri and from there he had made his way to the world of Kaddak.
The Outer Rim suited Garrus, the lawless of it was somewhat nostalgic to him. It reminded him of old times. At some point he lamented the idea of leaving Mandalore behind, the Warrior had not actually set foot off Mandalore in what must have been nearly a decade. He'd lived through the constant rape of natural resources that befell his planet and the strip mining occupying governments had engaged in. A part of that would always live with him but it had been replaced by the anticpation of new conquests and new battles, the thrill of a 'New Mandalore' invigorated Garrus to his very bones.
Irony abounded though.
The Warrior sat at a small table occupying the patio of a cantina, around him the bodies of several dead or incapacitated criminals, enforcers and miscreants. They'd mistaken the old man for someone they could intimidate and paid for it. Now Garrus was enjoying a drink, he raised a nickel plated cup to his mouth and let the burn of the local swill cut a path down his throat. As the cup lowered he'd turn his head and look around himself, there seemed to be an unusual calm hanging in the air.
By now many of the locals had recognized the Beskar'gam he wore under the woolen cloak overlaid upon it and his Buy'ce lay on the table, set carefully so that it was within easy reach if he required it. A Blaster Rifle, something generic and not overly important was leaned against the table too. Undoubtedly one of the most notable things on Garrus person was the Beskad that was worn on his back, the hilt extending up over his right shoulder.
A Waiter, huddled in the back of the cantina would poke his head out and look at the Warrior who waved him forward from his table. He'd pour Garrus another drink before retreating again and so it went.
A Flash of the Blade and another Thug hit the ground, clutching his abdomen as the light armor he'd dressed himself in and the flesh beneath it was torn asunder with relative ease. The Dark Horse stood with several incapacitated or prone Gangers surrounding him, most of them still on the ground but some writhing in pain. Andras deactivated the Mando'ade Phase Blade he carried and stowed on his belt again before approaching one of the incapacitated men.
When he'd left the planet 244Core he'd had a lot to think about, Silhana Lolaes'ra
had made a compelling argument during the meeting between himself and other Mando'ade and it didn't hurt that he enjoyed looking at the Twi'lek. On that note Andras remained unsure of living in unity with the Eternal Empire, offering his services to them in return for territory within their protectorate. He had always been a hardliner for Mandalorian independence.
When the call went out that Mandalorians were gathering in the Outer Rim, on the world of Kestri it was only natural for the Dark Horse to investigate. He learned he was not alone among those of Clan Garon who were interested as well. It wasn't Mandalore but it was Mandalorian, it was a new union and Andras was sold on that.
He lamented not being able to join with the Twi'lek and the Mandalorians she represented who sought a compact with the Eternal Empire. Maybe one day they would meet again, Andras hoped it was not on the opposing sides of a battlefield.
As his mind snapped back to the present Andras crouched over one of the bodies of his attackers, resting a forearm on one thigh while searching the deceased with his hand. Most of his assailants had been armed with Vibroblades, when he'd activated his Phase-Blade many of them hadn't understood what it was they were facing. It had been a lethal mistake.
Andras scrounged a few credits from the deceased but couldn't find anything of real importance. He rose under the cover of his Neo Crusader Armor, the HUD in his Buy'ce identifying potential threats via its integrated Friend/Foe Designator. One thing Kaddak didn't lack was any number of enemies, men and women willing to slit your throat or unleash a blaster into your back at a moments notice...
Sasha kept her pace quick, VAARS rifle loaded for bare with a fifty round magazine of armor piercing slugs. keeping two separate magazines across her chest in the case she needed to use what ammunition she had. She shouldn't have had to use all of it, but... Well, she had run into unforeseen circumstance in the past. She was indeed a short Mandalorian, but it didn't seem to affect how she was perceived. The seas parted for her, and her LK-[Pred X tracking droid. It walked beside her; feeding her helmet HUD. She had learned this long ago. It wasn't her, but her Beskar'Gam. It didn't help it was a bright, and vibrant mixture of purple, white, and the telltale glint of Mando iron.
Out of everything she owned, her Beskar'Gam was her most prized possession. She had brought it with her when she joined the Enclave; and while she hadn't been able to add anything else to it, it was only important that she maintained the armor, and wore it.
As she walked through the town, she ignored the stares and whispers, the gaze hidden behind her helmet moving upwards to spot Garrus Garon
on the patio of some Cantina. While they had all gotten here at the same time, Sasha had decided to go off by herself for a few days. Sleeping rough for sport, and for the sights. Now however, she returned to them to assist The Enclave in whatever it was they needed done. She expected it to be harder to find the Field Marshal, but was relieved when he seemed to be right out in the open.
"Temya'r narir pe'nr"
She mumbled, shifting that rifle so that it laid over her right shoulder, as she pushed the swinging door to the Cantina open with her left hand. Once through, she laid it back across her chest, interlacing her arms and sort of hugging the rifle against her bosom. She looked left, and right; again aware of the eyes that shifted away to avoid making eye contact. This was a little more severe than usual. She couldn't help but wonder what had them so spooked.
Though when she got up to the second floor where Garruss was, and neared his side of the building, she saw it then. Littered around the doorway you needed to exit to get to his patio.
"Oh..." She mumbled aloud, voice modulated by her helmet. Gaining an electronic baritone, but still sounding like her all the same. She took a few careful steps over the corpses, bending the corner and almost terrified the waiter than had just poured Garrus his drink.
'There's two o-... Ugh, I mean... Welcome... Can I get you anythin-'
He would've been walked past, only given a single up and down look as she stepped past him. Clear out on the patio and checking the area around them. As if she was expecting someone to try to get the jump on them or something. When she was satisfied, she pulled a chair and finally relented her grip on her weapon. resting the large rifle on the table gently and nodding to Garrus.
In fact it would have been something of a surprise to Garrus when one of the Mando'ade approached him seeking an order, a command. It had been a long time since Garrus had served actively in the military, the last time had been during the time of Manda'lor the Infernal and the Mandalorian Empire. When Sasha Kryze
emerged out onto the patio where the Old Warrior sat he looked up her, regarding her silently before lifting the drink he'd been poured and taking a sip. Whatever they served on Kaddak burned the entire way down.
As Garrus lowered his cup he let his gaze shift from Sasha to the rifle she let rest on the table, it was far more advanced than the Blaster Rifle he'd left leaning against the side of the table. As he let his eyes set on her again Garrus would have finally said...
...a gesture inviting her to seat herself across from him and to rest and relax. Indeed, it appeared that Garrus himself was quite at ease out in the open. Kaddak agreed with him and he hadn't much fear of the local scum that infested it.
While Garrus watched her he was also inspecting the Beskar'gam that she wore, noting the symbols of the Clan she belonged to. Clan Kryze. Very good. Other things he noted was her height and how she carried herself, he made an educated guess as to her physicality beneath the armor she wore.
"Remove your Buy'ce."
...he'd have said eventually, he disliked the metallic overtone that comms gave a persons voice unless he was also wearing his Helm he found...
"Tell me, what have you learned of Kaddak during your time on it? I assume you have completed reconnaissance on targets in the vicinity that will need to be cleared."
...strictly speaking Garrus was a known Field Marshall during the days of the Mandalorian Empire, he had commanded men, starships, etc but in the Mandalorian Enclave much of his rank may have been merely honorific. He waited for her report.
She settled herself in, feeling comfortable around the other. She had already begun bringing up some information on her wrist pad to show the Elder. It was then he spoke his welcome, to which she replied without a glance.
Sasha brought up a a holo map, turning to them and resting her wrist on the table as she worked. For two days, the amount of ground and locations she had marked was astonishing. A testament to her dedication to the Enclave. All in all, within two days she had covered a little over seventy miles on foot. However, as she began to put her words together for her report; his command came. Her helmet rose to level on his face, noting he as well was not wearing his helmet.
She had been raised by a group of Mandalorians that had given her the impression the helmet went on, and didn't come off for much, and yet... She knew of Garrus by word of mouth. His words were to be heeded, treated with respect. It also struck her that he had never really seen her face before... None of them had.
All the same, although there was clear hesitation, she offered a slow nod, fingers cupping the lid of it and tugged lightly. Raven locks falling about her face as the woman revealed herself to the other, a permanent scowl visible as she maintained eye contact with him briefly before resting her helmet on the table, looking at it then for a moment before resting her wrist back down.
"The wilds are biayida va... But fruitful. Fish in abundance if you know where to look. Fruits, wild game... I even uncovered fresh water... Here"
She pressed a button, zooming on a portion of the map, and pointed her gloved index at it.
"Right here... It runs along the ground, whatever minerals it passes over purifies it. Its clean, fresh... Only a few predators, even a foundling could dispatch them easily enough however."
She scrolled over a bit then, to an area that was only a few kilometers from their position.
"Right here, is a location that demands interest. Foot Traffic, Air Traffic.... Unmarked containers, around the clock. Heavy Security detail... And..."
She inhaled slightly then...
"Peyn... At least one, but the operations on this planet are no doubt influenced, or perhaps even run by him.; while normally I wouldn't care about a slug... There's something more"
She then tapped into the memory core of the Tracking Droid outside, it jerked slightly from the remote connection, swiping through its memories over the last forty-eight hours, but bringing up something she had clipped for later viewing.
"Sushir, gar malyasa'yr copaanir at susulur ibic."
She said in a light, but stern Mando'a tongue.
The Droid was hiding, peeking around a stone view-port at some outpost out in the woods. The inside of it heavily furnished. Many heads inside, many armed to the teeth. One Hutt lazily lolling about in his slimy bath water.
'Zuga, their are Mandalorians here... We thought it was just one or two passing through, there could be... Seven, or more... Maybe even an entire Clan. What should we do?'
The Hutt tensed up, his bathwater bubbling slightly as he expelled some gas. Before growling back in his baritone. The person standing by him out of the water listening and translating what was said.
"We do nothing, we wait... They will leave soon enough; The honorable Zuga does not believe they know about the Beskar"
She paused that, rewinded it lightly, and let it play again.
Location: Kaddak, City Slums, Abandoned Apartment Complex, 104th Floor
Local Time: 11:20
Date: -DATA CORRUPTED-
Primary Objective: Eliminate Criminal HVT’s
Secondary Objective: N/A
Equipment: Loadout 2 (No Medical Backpack)
Tags: Shai Krayt
| Tawnita Wren
| Vren Rook
| Open to Others!
The giant Ori’ramikad had covertly infiltrated the city two weeks prior to the operation. He was tasked with finding, identifying and gathering information about the various crime syndicates Kaddak hosted. The crime syndicates on the planet couldn’t hold a candle to those that operated in the bowels of Coruscant and Nar Shaddaa, but the criminal activity was enough to warrant the operation to begin with.
The dim, white fluorescent lights lit up the interior of the improvised safe house; There were several small to large sized crates scattered around what used to be the living room of the flat. A neatly packed sleeping bag rested against a clump of rubble in the corner; black, heavy curtains covered the broken windows of the apartment to reduce any visibility or the possibility of light escaping through the windows for any overly curious onlookers. The sky was mostly sullen, with a light drizzle raining down. But the dark clouds haven’t blotted the sky entirely just yet. Rays of warm sunlight penetrated the heavy clouds overhead and shone down on various parts of the city. Distant blaster fire, and the agonized screams that shortly accompanied the former, echoed in the slums once in a while.
A giant, clad in jet black beskar’gam moved towards one of the windows and gently drew aside the black curtain to look outside. With his helmet mounted macrobinoculars lowered, Kranak peered out at a gigantic, abandoned factory complex beyond the rows of derelict buildings in heavy disrepair, several miles away from the safe house he had set up shop. <”Magnify.”> said the giant. His voice was contained inside his helmet, as his helmet’s annunciator was turned off. Receiving the voice command at an instant, his interactive heads-up display increased the magnification of his macrobinoculars, laying out the massive factory complex in detail. At first, to the naked and untrained eye, the massive factory complex remained dormant. But to a careful observer, one could catch glimpses of movement at the corner of their eye.
With the movement of his eyes, the giant turned on his helmet mounted macrobinocular’s built in thermal vision, using his interactive heads-up display’s pre-recorded eye movement for the gadget. His enhanced vision, coupled with his helmet’s built-in MFTAS revealed around forty gun-men dotted only at the exterior of the large facility. He could catch glimpses of faint thermal traces coming from inside the building here and there, but he couldn’t exactly tell if they belonged to a thug or not.
It was safe to assume it did. The large, abandoned facility was used as both a staging area, as well as a supply depot for the Spice Devils. It was one of the many structures the Devils used as a base of operations. They had a few more dotted in various parts of the city of Kaddak.
There was going to be an arms deal with one of the larger crime syndicates in Kaddak at that factory complex in the next thirty minutes, namely with the Spice Devils. The Devils had begun the preparations for the security detail of the factory complex a few hours ago, where the meeting would be taking place soon.
According to what the giant had gathered over the past two weeks -among other things- their leader, a tall, muscular Devronian named Vrekh D’rind was going to be present at the sales. He was after him, several of his lieutenants and the arms dealer Daromant Lugroris, that would also be present during the transaction with the Spice Devils. Daromant was responsible for supplying the Devils and other crime syndicates and smaller gangs with firepower. Drawing their power from the quality weapons they got from the arms dealer, Vrekh and his crime syndicate had mainly dabbled in dealing illegal spice, organ harvesting, smuggling of illegal contraband, and gang war waged against other crime syndicates for control of larger parts of the city, among other detestable, inhumane crimes. It was only but one of the larger crime syndicates the planet hosted that needed to be eradicated from the face of the planet.
The giant turned off his thermal vision and lifted his macrobinoculars with his left hand after he was done taking a peak at the facility. The Ori’ramikad glanced at the upper right corner of his heads-up display to check the local time. It showed 11:25. <”Splendid.”> Kranak muttered to himself while he pulled back the heavy curtain to cover the gap he peeked out from and walked towards the middle of the room as he reached for his custom datapad from his right field butt pack on his war belt. Turning on the datapad after pulling it out, the giant started to relay the information he had gathered in the past two weeks on the most noteworthy crime syndicates and their leaders -like Vrekh of the Spice Devils- operating in the planet to the Enclave personnel that was dispatched to the operation, using a secure channel.
The detailed, summarized reconnaissance report noted down several other large crime syndicates, and dozens upon dozens of smaller, more localized gangs that had their fair share on the crime statistics of the planet. Additionally, he had noted down all noteworthy hotspots of civilian activity in order to completely avoid or substantially minimize collateral damage that could result from the operation. Extreme caution was advised when operating on said hotspots in his report, due to the high civilian activity in those areas.
He knew they wouldn’t be able to get rid of all of the scum in just a day or two, but it would be useful to the Karjr that would continue to operate on the planet after the operation. The giant was certain, however, that they would be culling a good number of them today, and sending a message to the criminal populace that resided in the city.
The giant gave a curt nod and put back his custom datapad into his right field butt pack after he completed the encrypted data transmission to his fellow vode. Kranak then swiftly made his way to grab his Paranaor and Verpine Shatter Battle Rifle leaned against the wall to his right. The giant slung the Verpine Battle Rifle on his back and tightened the sling to make sure it wouldn’t loosely dangle when he was on the move. The Ori’ramikad slung the large blaster rifle, his primary, over his left shoulder; above his pauldron. The big rifle rested on his chest plate, above his grenade bandolier. He moved towards the balcony door behind him as he tightened his blaster rifle’s sling. The door gently swiveled to the right after the giant pushed it open. Kranak moved a few steps into the balcony, not too far away from the waist high metal railing. He crouched down, and began a quick equipment check, making sure his utility, gear and magazines were all tightly packed.
The giant stood up with a short, satisfied nod. He was ready. The giant paused for a short moment as he assumed a sprinting stance; his feet were staggered -his left foot on the fore- and placed slightly wider than his hips. His back was straightened, but slightly leaning forwards; the giant’s arms and legs slightly bent in a thirty degrees angle as the giant quickly measured the distance between him and the railing, and broke into a sprint. Upon swiftly nearing the metal railing, the giant vaulted over it with his left hand and started his descent onto the street below.
He kept his posture during the fall; he seemed as if he crouched mid air. He was descending rapidly to the empty street below. His long black kama flailed violently as the giant plunged down. He could see his rapidly deteriorating altitude in his heads-up display. Three hundred meters quickly turned into two hundred. The giant activated his rocket boots to swiftly slow down his descent when he had less than a hundred meters altitude left. Bellowing a muffled roar, the rocket boots sparkled into life and slowed down Kranak’s calculated descent.
A few seconds after jumping down from the apartment complex that pierced the skies above, the Ori’ramikad successfully landed on his feet. Clutching the rifle, the giant raised his Paranaor blaster rifle from his chest and kept it in a low ready stance as he sprinted down an empty alleyway towards his objective, the massive abandoned factory complex. He had no time to waste, as he had considerable distance to cover on foot. The others were on their way towards their own objectives, as the operation’s time table suggested. Small water puddles splashed underneath the giant’s feet as he ran past shops long closed, abandoned air speeders and the likes.
It was not uncommon for there to be Mandalorians who were adverse to removing their Buy'ce. When she removed hers Garrus would note first the scowl that appeared on her features but also the reservation she had shown, he made a point not to inquire further as he had already hypothesized her reasoning. Personally the Warrior had a preference for looking those he was dealing with in the eye and his face was known to many, he had fought in the Great Arena on Mandalore at one time or another.
As Sasha Kryze
gave her report Garrus would lean closer to take a look at the Holo Map she had produced, nodding his head as she went on to explain what she had discovered before replying...
"Fresh water is important and valuable. An excellent find."
...however his interest was soon shifting as she highlighted the area near their position. Foot Traffic. Air Traffic. Heavy Security. All of that told Garrus there was something of value. When Sasha went on to provide the feed she had clipped with her droid Garrus became more interested. Normally Garrus didn't concern himsefl with local criminal elements unless they put themselves in his path however the mention of beskar had his attention prompting his jaw to set before he stated...
"Since Mandalore was all but strip mined the Iron has spread out across the galaxy to such an extent that even the lowliest slug may have access to it. You may have afforded us the opportunity to reclaim some of it."
...Garrus raised his cup, finishing his drink with a quick pull after setting it to his lips then reached out to lay a hand over the crown of his helm. Nodding his head once he would have continued...
"If Clan Kryze has the mettle, we will take back what is ours today."
...there was some word play used but then Garrus was on his feet, standing at his full height while waiting to see if she was prepared to act on the intelligence that she had delivered to him. It occurred to Garrus too that he did not know her name only her clan, it was enough.
She listened intently to the Elder, nodding at his words where applicable. Oddly enough, Garrus may have know more about her clan than she did. She knew bits and pieces, but felt outcast in her own Clan. She knew nothing... All the same, it was her legacy to make. Now, as far as she was concerned, she carried the honor of her clan, and she would make sure their name was to be respected. She would live up to the name that predated her. The name that made others look to her with respect, although they had no idea who she was.
Her face softened, warmth seeming to flood her chest, and heart. The words simple as they were? Were riveting. Lighting an invisible fire behinds those eyes that peered up at him. She would stand, looking up at him with a curt nod.
"The mettle, and the will Ner Vod"
She regarded her wrist, shutting off the holo-display, and reached for her helmet again, feeling... Naked, somehow, without it covering her head. She put it back on, her features again disappearing into anonymity. She picked up the VAARS, and began holding it just as she had done before, hugged across her chest, readily available, but not to the point of causing panic.
With that said, she began to move. Stepping around the corpses carefully, and making her way out with the exact path she had taken in. Again, sweeping her gaze left to right, rifle again moved briefly to one shoulder to push outwards, and back out into the sun.
This time however, she loosed a low whistle, modulated by the mask. The mechanical pupper that had been sitting stoically the entire time immediately moving to follow her.
"I don't have a speeder, are you prepared for the walk?"
Wanderlust Wares. Near or far, we're where you are.
A stage-in-a-box was set up on one of the lower levels in what might pass as a town square of some kind -- large enough open area for a large group to congregate anyway. Stairs led up to the elevated platform one either side, and a tall backing helped people in the back see whoever was on stage. In this case, it was a slender, silver figure made of metal whose arms were in the air as peoples' attention were drawn by the announced company slogan.
"Goood afternoon, Kaddakis. I'm so glad you all could make it,"the synth voice called out over the speakers suspended overhead. Flyers had been passed out for the last week announcing some sort of traveling merchant was coming to, er, Sliver. "I promise you won't be disappointed. But before we get to the free goods there's just one, small detail we have to cover. Won't take long."
"You've set up homes out here on the rim. Found gainful employment -- whether people agree with it or not -- and have a stable community. Friends. Family. People you've come to rely upon because you know out here surviving all on your own is hard. We all want it, but monsters and criminals lurk around every corner. Governments bent on galactic domination pass through now and then. Leaves good, solid people like yourselves wondering who you can trust." Alora slowly moved from one side of the stage to the other as she spoke.
"You there, sir," a gloved hand shot out over the crowd to a a pair about to slink away. "Yes, I mean you in particular, kind sir. You've heard this before? Maybe you don't believe you need what I'm selling because you have 'family' that provide food, drink, shelter, and stability. Probably at the expense of others, but it's a hard life, am I right? Well you haven't heard my pitch yet, and I think you'll find it pressing."
Alora's visor swung back out to the rest of the crowd. "You see, fair folk, crime pays. You know this because you've lived it. Whether you were stolen from or did the stealing, credits were exchanged. It's worked. It's familiar. But that's all it's done -- worked, because it doesn't pay well. It's allowed you to survive, but ask yourselves is surviving all you desire? Is toiling every day just to have a roof over your head all you dream of because it's all that can ever be out here? And what if that changed overnight? What if you had a chance to be showered in credits for less work? To build a home, raise a family, heal the infirm, set off to see wonders that sound like children's stories... That is what I am peddling to you all today. Not a product, but a dream."
The HUD in her helmet fed data back to the Gambit loitering on the other side of the Sliver. Faces and dispositions of those in the crowd. Body language that shifted and changed as the young Mandalorian woman spoke.
"It will take time to make that dream a reality, but it starts today -- with you. To those eager to take hold of their new future, and claim their stake in a brighter tomorrow, come forward. Come! I must leave to aid in bringing about that dream, but I leave two terminals here,"Alora's hand swept toward the base of the stage, "for you to make known your desires. And for the criminals among you most know you have the most to gain; seize a chance to make credits without being pursued by the Authorities, because they are closer than you know." Everyone was so fixated on ending crime that the logistics hadn't quite fit to the plans. So, they cleaned up the streets and convinced the mucky mucks to join up, and then...? Well they needed people for what happened next. People that knew Kaddak and the Sliver. Knew who to speak to, where the supplies were, what the terrain was like. Enclave resources with local knowledge and they'd get the engine of progress revving in no time -- or at least a lot sooner than flailing their arms around would.
"And to those that register, three meal packs a piece!" That was the carrot alluded to in the flyer; and they covered more than merely three meals. There'd be plenty of stick by the end of the day. Alora hoped enough of the criminals had been lured here for 'free handouts' to make the stick less bloody. Even if only a few accepted the offer.
Alora stepped over to the side where a rape dangled from the Gambit now overhead. She gave the crowd a wave before the line drew her up into the air. The stage would stay behind, at least for now.
As the airlock on the bottom of the ship sealed with Alora inside, the Mandalorian asked aloud, "So?"
"What?" A synthetic, masculine voice rung out in the machine bay.
Alora rolled her eyes as the prickly response. "Is everyone else in position yet?"
"I detect multiple pockets of beskar moving in the surrounding region," the Gambt replied. "And one M.I. Mandalorian Assault Walker."
"We have one of those?"Alora tipped her head a bit to the side. "Well let's get a move on then. Sounds like they're going to be getting into a trouble."
"I am not a combat vessel."
One hand waved in the air to acknowledge the obvious. Alora had built it after all. Well, severely modified it; practically built it. Just hadn't welded the actual frame together. "I don't need you to assault whatever base they're going after directly. Just get me over to them before the fireworks start, if you're so concerned."
The sensation of the deck shifting ever so slightly under Alora's feet told her they were in motion.
Already on his feet when Garrus heard her response his actions spoke for him. Lifting his Buy'ce off the table where he'd been seated when she arrived Garrus would lower it over his head, locking it into place the same as she did. Instantly his HUD came to life, the Friend/Foe Designator integrated into the helm activating, marking the bodies the filled the patio and then fading. Only Sasha Kryze
remained, an ally as designated by the display in his helm which shuffled through different spectrum's of vision momentarily before settling. Reaching for the Blaster Rifle he'd left leaning against the table Garrus would pick it back up with his right hand.
He'd move then, footsteps ready to take him down through the cantina again when he heard the sound of her voice as amplified by the helm she wore. Though his Buy'ce disguised all expression beneath its cover Garrus would smirk. Shortly thereafter she'd hear his response...
"I've walked a long road already, what's a little further."
...it was both a confirmation as well as a polite way of letting his companion know that this was a small matter to him. Another conflict amongst the multitude he had already participated in.
When they'd reached street level again, exiting the cantina Garrus made no attempts to disguise his path. He walked down the street in the direction that had been indicated by Sasha's Holo Map when she'd given him her report a short time.
As he went the Blaster Rifle was held loose in his right hand, the arm of which hung ease at his side. When people saw Garrus coming it was usually the Beskad he carried that they feared the most, the sword almost universally recognized as Mandalorian was also known to be quite heavy, many men needed two hands to wield such a weapon but the Warrior had enough strength in his arm to use it effectively in only one. Presently that Beskad was still stowed away on his back, the hilt extending up over his right shoulder while the blade remained obscured beneath the cloak draped across his shoulders.
Looking over at Sasha as he moved ahead he would gesture with his left arm and state...
"Take point, Vod. Call out your targets as they appear. Lets not draw this out into a game of cat and mouse."
...clearly Garrus preferred his engagements to be violent, upfront affairs.
His response brought a smirk to her lips, she should've known better than to ask was what that translated too. She didn't voice her response however, letting her face tell back to stoicism shortly after. If the seas parted before when it was just her and the droid... Well, it seemed people would do anything to steer clear out of the way of the trio. Even those that didn't follow Resol'nare knew of it, likely mistaking Sasha for a child... Many knew what happened if you threatened Mandalorian 'children'. There were stories told of it; atrocities had been committed as a result.
No one here wanted those issues, and had no issue yielding to the moderate pace Sasha set for them.
"I prefer taking it to them, shock and awe is what my Founder called it... Breaking an opposing fighting Force by sudden, and overwhelming attacks. Even a few can seem like an army if done properly."
She said, much younger, but clearly already having a solid mind for warfare. Before long, they would have been out of the city, and well on their way to the location she provided. After some time, she would have offered him a question.
"Biai munit ganar gar cuyir ti Urltima, ner vod?"
She asked over their comms, snapping her fingers to the droid to push up ahead of them and clear the areas they were about to head into. If she was going to pull their attention even slightly from the environment, it was better to offset it was something of an early warning system.
Obviously her Founder had been a competent soldier. Garrus had soem respect for anyone who preferred a fast and furious style of warfare, it wasn't in his creed to appreciate the more subtle points of combat when the option to face the enemy in a straightforward battle was available. Of course he could appreciate those that did use the more subtle points of battle control the field as it were as long as they were on the same side as him.
As the two Mandalorians, as well as the droid Sasha had brought moved deeper along their path, heading out of the city towards the designated area Garrus remained silent for the most part. Occasionally he might offer a comment or observation about their surroundings however Garrus was content not to make conversation. Of course Sasha Kryze
finally questioned him and her response was silence for a time until...
...he tended to keep his answers short and to the point not knowing her well yet but he was honest, he'd come to the Enclave only recently after learning that they were establishing a space for Mandalorians again. Sasha would have to understand that with comrades he had served with over decades Garrus could be quite gregarious in fact but with those he barely knew he tended to be tighter lipped until they proved themselves. If Sasha was as capable in battle as she was on reconnaissance it shouldn't be difficult for her though.
When she sent her droid ahead Garrus, eyes focused ahead would fall into a practiced pattern of movement walking with one foot over the other to minimize the trail he'd leave as well as the chance he might disturb something that would reveal their position. The Blaster Rifle that had hung loose in his right hand was raised, the butt sucked into his right shoulder while his left hand gripped the underside of the rifle to assist with aiming and stability.
Just as he'd envisioned it and Sasha has described it 'Foot Traffic. Air Traffic. Lots of Containers.' the area they were moving into resembled something similar to a Supply Depot at a distance. The HUD worked quickly, designating potential targets from afar but Garrus knew his Blaster Rifle would be more effective the closer he went. He'd crouch down and find cover while signalling Sasha to join him...
"If your droid clears any tripwires or devices they could have planted near the perimeter moving in shouldn't be difficult. Eliminate any lookouts they have, once you've done that I will engage down the middle."
...not a sophisticated plan but it had a probability of success, these people didn't seem to think they would be attacked so the element of surprise was on the side of the Mandalorians. Anyways Garrus nodded to Sasha once, his voice breaking over the comms...
She noted that brief silence, and it reminded her of her previous home among the traveling band of Mandalorians. Even as a little girl, they treated her similar initially. She suspected they didn't think she had what it took... In the end though, they had done a lot for her. And she for them. Ultimately she still felt as though she owed them. They took her on the strength of her Father, and for a while she knew she was dead weight. That being said, she was no longer dead weight...
Her hum was brief, in response.
She said, leaving well enough alone. If he wished it, he would speak more later. Or he wouldn't. Time would tell.
When he spoke next, Sasha would check her wrist-pad, noting the Pred-X had tagged a potential hostile for takedown. She cleared the command, and looked away just as it began to pounce on him. With teeth that were essentially vibro-blades attached to mechanical clamps, if it got its mouth around your throat, you were pretty much toast.
She would walk further, eventually getting to the site of the kill, crouching and patting at the individuals pockets. He held nothing. She picked up his blaster, and tossed it further down the hill into some brush; standing and loosing another low whistle to the Droid. It prowled forward, with her hot on its heels. This was where she excelled. Rapid Assault. Between her and the droid, they had cleared any lookouts, and were prepped to take the fight to the main compound.
She sent the message to Garrus over their comlink, ordering the Pred-X to move to a safer location and wait for her order to fire off its payload at her designated targets.
With that done, it was time to make some noise.
Sasha neared one of the barracks, and smoothly kicked the door open. Roughly sixteen individuals inside were doing their own things, either playing pazaak, or smoking, or laying in bunks. They all looked at her at the same time, just in time to hear, and feel as she unloaded the rifle across the room. Halfway through the robust tempo of the rifle firing, she would drop to a knee, narrowly avoiding incoming fire, and held the trigger till the weapon clicked three times.
She quickly took cover, ejecting the spent magazine, and near sleight of handed the next clip into the slot. Peeking back in, she systematically walked through the barracks, offering mercy killings to the poor souls that needed it, before getting ready to move back outside.
Dropping out of hyperspace over Kaddak I looked I’ve at my sensor board. To see another freighter with a mando ID signature, I decide to follow it. The trip through the atmosphere was quite rough, some pocket of less dense or more dense atmo made for an interesting decent.
I set down a hundred meters from the other freighter. I got out of the pilots chair and looked over to the copilots station where my HK droid Junker was plugged in to the console. “You know the drill as soon as I’m clear of the ramp take off and keep your distance unless I call.” With his vocoder being broken he gave me a thumbs up. Making my way through the ship and into the cargo bay I stopped by the ships armory, grabbed my bes’kad and DC-17m, along with 2 bandoliers of grenades for the launcher attachment.
I set down a hundred meters from the other freighter. I got out of the pilots chair and looked over to the copilots station where my HK droid Junker was plugged in to the console. “You know the drill as soon as I’m clear of the ramp take off and keep your distance unless I call.” With his vocoder being broken he gave me a thumbs up. Making my way through the ship and into the cargo bay I stopped by the ships armory, grabbed my bes’kad and DC-17m, along with 2 bandoliers of grenades for the launcher attachment.
Running down the cargo ramp I hit the close button as I went passed it. Making my way over to the other freighter I saw an M-1 Mandalorian walker make its way out of the cargo hold. I was impressed I hadn’t seen one before.
“Y’all got rooms for one more? I brought the party poppers.” I said as I patted the grenade bandoliers