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One Time at Mando Camp

Posted on Sun Jul 25th, 2021 @ 9:34pm by Master Deakon Iersa & Knight Azsari

Episode: Episode I: Rise of the Sith
Location: Onderon
Timeline: Day 1 at 2115

City of Iziz | Onderon, Mandalorian occupied world

The Mandalorians were disarming.

It was a veritable end of the world scenario as far as Azsari could tell. Guns were part of the Mandalorian religion as surely as the Force was part of the Jedi’s. There was no known power in the galaxy that could come between a Mandalorian and their armaments and armor. And yet here she stood, clad in a black hood in the corner of a veranda that overlooked the city square, witnessing the impossible.

From her vantage point, she could see the mighty Bes'uliik, or “iron beast” in Mando’a, that had occupied the city square, now depowered and dormant like a hibernating behemoth. The Basilisk war droids were the mainstay of the Mandalorian raids. What had ended this one’s campaign while it was still in one piece? Azsari had to know more.

When she jumped from the veranda, it was Force-assisted. Azsari was carried on eddies of the Living Force toward the Basilisk and its surrounding complement of Mandalorian soldiers. When she landed, it was in a shroud of the Force that obscured her from sight and scanners alike. The arguing Mandalorians were too engrossed in their deliberations to notice. It seemed there was some dispute over the nature of what was happening.

An armistice had been declared. The Mandalorian fleets had been defeated. A ceasefire order had gone out across all the legions. Cease and desist. Disarm. Await further orders from Jedi.

Azsari did a double-take. Jedi? What could that mean? It seemed too much to hope that the wars were finally over.

Stepping out from the shadows, she assumed a strong posture and strode toward the three arguing Mandalorians.

“Ke’shush!” she shouted in Mando’a.

Immediately the soldiers turned around to see who had called for their attention. When they looked at Azsari, they didn’t see a sultry Chiss in a midnight shawl. Instead they saw a fellow Mandalorian with one more stripe of rank than either of them. Her helmet was removed, though, given the general order she had already overheard.

“Dinuir ni te tome'tayl petir be te bes'uliik!” she ordered in Mando’a.

While she wasn’t especially fluent in the language, she relied on the Force to help the Mandos overlook the breaches in her grammar or etiquette while they retrieved the Basilisk’s memory core for her. Two of the Mandos appeared to hesitate, but the third one turned around and went to the rear access panel for the Basilisk. Another of his compatriots joined him when asked.

The third one, though, stood confused, even unconvinced.

“Meg ol'averde vaabir gar alorir?” he asked, questioning what regiment she commanded.

“Ibic solus,” Azsari said on a bluff. She’d claimed command of the present regiment. “Ra vaabir gar copad at challenge ni at alorir?”

Doubling down on her bluff, Azsari had asked the strong-willed Mando if he was challenging her for command. The Mandalorian sized her up and shook his head.

“Slanar Gaa'tayl te t'ad,” she said with a nod toward the others. Before he could comply, they were already lugging the memory core between them.
Azsari blinked. It must weigh half a ton!

“Naritir bic daab,” she said, nodding at the ground in front of her where the others put the memory core down as indicated.

Walking up to it, Azsari quickly identified a data port where she could use her slicer for an improvised interface. Much of the data that came up was in Mando’a, which she could not read despite her Force-driven oral fluency. She would just have to follow her hunch and take what seemed important. There was only so much memory to spare on her data pad.

All too easy, Azsari thought with a smirk.

“Ke'mot!” shouted a voice from behind her. “Meg cuyir ibac gar vaabir?”

It was a Mandalorian of much higher rank, if his decorated armor was any indication. And he had friends. Three of them. And none of them had been ‘persuaded’ to see her as anything other than a Chiss woman in black. With her ruse all but gone, she used the last few remaining seconds of it to hopefully turn odds back in her favor.

“Ram’or!” she shouted.

The three tricked Mandalorians obeyed the order to attack and rushed the four other Mandalorians without question. Azsari took advantage of the fracas and sprinted away with her feet propelled and her body veiled by the Force. Evenly matched, six of the Mandalorians fought each other with the vigor of soldiers who were unconcerned with victory but had been bored for far too long.

Sounds of an igniting jetpack behind her were far more disconcerting.

Azsari ran for all she was worth, ducking out of the main city square and under cover while the lead Mandalorian scanned for her from the air. Fool. Smiling at her own ingenuity, Azsari headed back inside the building to the underground access tunnels that would lead her out of the city and back to unoccupied territory where her ride awaited.

It would have been flawless, except that Jetpack had radioed ahead. The access tunnels were guarded by a squad of fully armored Mandalorians who hadn’t seemed to get the memo about disarmament. Though they were still as statues, Azsari knew better than to underestimate them. Force tricks wouldn’t work here. Their weapons were already drawn and would fire on anything that moved.

Removing her twin shotos, Azsari held them in hand without igniting just yet. Timing had to be just right, or this would turn into a protracted battle that would attract unwanted attention. She took a breath, found her center, yielded to the Force in preparation of wielding it.

And then she struck.

In a blur of motion, Azsari jumped out from around the corner into a kneeling position. Her hands stretched out, projecting the same Force eddies that had propelled her at superhuman speed and took hold of the disruptor rifles pointed in her direction. She pulled her hands back, linking the Force pull to her limbs. The Mandalorians were gunless now, but they were far from unarmed. They unsheathed their single-edged Beskads and prepared for battle.

Azsari rushed forward, feigning a forward attack, but at the last minute dropped to her knees and slid between them. Her shotos ignited into a fiery purple at the last second. The overconfidence her opponents had felt surely wilted. While their beskar could withstand direct strikes, there was no armor that could withstand a lightsaber at the joints and straps that held its pieces in place.

Four swift, strategic slices, and the four Mandalorians were struggling to keep their armor in place. It was almost cruel the way she stuck her shotos into their necks, one after another, but the mission had to come first.

Besides, she’d heard from one of them that they were supposed to disarm and surrender. Maybe that was true, maybe it wasn’t, but with the path through the tunnels and the desert beyond all clear, Azsari wasn’t sticking around to find out.

Two Months Later...

Jedi Temple | Coruscant

"And that's exactly how it happened," Azsari stated with a small amount of impatience. "If I may beg the Council's indulgence, why am I telling this yet again? I was debriefed by Army Intelligence, I gave my story for the Loremaster in the Archives, and I even shared it again for a subcouncil of Jedi Masters, and as far as I can tell my story has not changed. If the High Council is deliberating on whether to pardon me for my part in the Revanchinist defense of the galaxy, then I ask them to look no further than the loyalty I have already displayed. Revan, Malak, and all the others only did what all of us should have done."

Grand Master Uadra, the tallest of the Jedi in the room, and perhaps the most un-Jedi like among them, had listened to every recount of the youngster's story and indeed, nothing had changed. He was satisfied, for now, but glanced around his fellow Masters for confirmation that they were too.

"Revan and Malak have acted without the permission of this Council and will be dealt with," he eventually spoke in a stern manner. "You have acted in a way you deemed fit and, whilst the Council is split in its judgement, I am happy to bring this matter to a close."

A weight lifted from Azsari's shoulders that she hadn't acknowledged she was carrying. She released the tension through a slow but deep exhale. It had been a long month returning to Coruscant from Onderon -- direct travel was never her modus operandi, as her usefulness to the Council relied on her secrecy of movement -- and then another month spent alternating between giving reports and waiting. She was nearly beginning to think that she had been doomed to an eternal sentence of never-ending meetings. If the Council was at last prepared to exonerate her, then it was not a moment too soon.

"Thank you, Master..." She dipped her head, now regretting her churlish indignation that was already melting away. If the War was truly at an end, though, then it meant she had no further excuse to avoid her former master, Onofron. She had joined Revan's crusade against his wishes (even though he relented in allowing her to face the Padawan Trials to attain Knighthood) and had used the war as an excuse to not keep in contact. Sooner or later, they would cross paths. Azsari was not ready yet. "If I may beg further indulgence, might the High Council have an assignment suitable for me? I feel I have been idle for far too long..."

Uadra steepled his fingers together in contemplation as he considered the request of the Padawan and, after a few moments, he nodded. "You're to go to the Saleucami system, where you will meet Master Iersa and his Padawan upon the completion of their mission. We must reassemble our presence on the planet following the conflict with Mandalore," the Zabrak instructed.

Well, it was peacetime, so what could she expect? Azsari held back a sigh. Helping a Master babysit his Padawan while a planet pieced itself back together wasn't exactly glamorous and was a far cry from her specialization. Still, if it meant getting off Coruscant and back into the shadows... well, maybe Saleucami had shadows of its own.

"I shall leave at once," Azsari said with a deeper bow. "Thank you, Master Uadra."


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