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Posted: Nov 9 2010, 02:53 PM
Group: Paladin Jedi (Administrator)
Member No.: 3
Joined: 27-October 08
Ixtren looked down at the comlink on his forearm gauntlet. He could tell from the small screen that it was a long distance holo call from Saul.
The Hutt made some kind of throat clearing sound. "And where is here? It took twenty minutes for this call to go through. I could call an Ewok on Endor and get a faster response."
The Mandalore laughed. "I'm on Dagobah."
Saul paused. "Is that a planet?"
"Yeah, it's a swamp."
Another long pause. "That's near the end of the Rimma."
"Yep, rather remote place. No holo receivers out here."
"May I ask why you're out in the middle of nowhere in a swamp?"
"Well..." Ixtren drew out the word, "I guess, seeing the we are allies and such. I'm training some commandos. Nothing like a swamp to keep you on your toes. And like I said, it's remote. No one will spot us out here."
Saul must have agreed with the wisdom because he quickly switched gears. "Have you heard the recent news out of the Core?"
"The news never stops coming out of the Core, Saul. You know how many 24/7 holonews stations they have?"
"True." The Hutt grumbled. "I'll get to the point, GA intelligence put two and two together. The Senate is in an uproar that Hutt Space has an alliance with the Mandalorians. A lot of the Senate has solidified against the Coalition because of it, but mostly Core worlds."
"The nexu was bound to get out of the bag sooner or later."
"You don't sound surprised."
Ixtren looked around for the nearest tree to sit on. "I've spoke with Sariss, she knew all about us Saul. You can be sure she's behind this, one way or another. Besides, how does this change anything?"
Saul's voice replied with an edgy tone. "First off, there's the fact the Paladins don't like Mandalorians. Secondly there is the fact that Mon Cals don't like Mandalorians. Thirdly-"
Ixtren cut him off. "Okay okay, so none of your Coalition allies like Mandalorians. I get it. What do you want me to do about it?"
He could hear the Hutt breathing heavily on the other end of the comlink. "Anaxes..."
"No!" There was steel in the Mandalore's voice. "I'm not your cannon fodder Saul, and the Mandalorians aren't some currency for the Coalition to spend against the GA." Ixtren tried to bite down on his anger, it wasn't natural for him to get mad. "We signed an economic alliance. We send you beskar, you send us ships. We help each other rebuild. Neither of us likes the GA much. I know what the Coalition is offering you. What I want to know is what is the Coalition going to offer us? Did it ever occur to you that the Mandalorians might be tired of fighting other people's wars, Saul? I'll put it to you this way, we're no longer for sale." Ixtren closed the comlink and snapped to his feet.
He felt like smashing something.
"Mandalore, what's wrong?"
Ixtren turned slowly as faced one of his supercommando officers. "How the shabla should I know." He stared off at flying lizard and thought about vaporizing it with a blaster.
But he didn't do it.
"I don't know what's wrong with me, Red."
The supercommando, 'Red' Hokan sat down on the nearby fallen over tree. "Try me, Ixtren."
Red was a long time friend of Ixtren's. There weren't many people he trusted as much as him. "I'm angry as a krayt dragon with a tooth ache for starters."
Red laughed. "Sure you are! What Mando wouldn't be."
"I'm not plotting you?"
"You're the leader of a world full of soldiers, Ixtren. We've never liked farming or mining, not for long at least. Every time we try to live nice passive lives we feel like osik. It's not in our nature."
Ixtren was quiet.
"Think about," Red plowed on, "when's the last time you felt thrilled?"
The first thing that entered Ixtren's mind was firing two blasters into a crowd of bodyguard's at a Hutt's party. "You might be on to something."
"When's the last time you were in battle, Mandalore?"
"A few months..."
"See?" Red cocked his head, it was how a Mando smiled when he had his helmet on. "Time to dust off the blasters, get back into the fray. Live a little."
There was a part of Ixtren that wanted to argue with that. Some little piece of sanity that refused to admit that he was a glutton for war and battle. Yet there was no denying that part of his truly enjoyed and craved it. In fact, without it, he wasn't happy.
Red stood up and faced him. "We need Mandalore the Sanguine, Ixtren. Lead us in battle."
"Anaxes." Ixtren almost whispered. The word came out with a certain tone of finality to it.
Ixtren looked over at Red. "Anaxes." He repeated. "It's a Core planet, major training center for the GAN. The Galactic Alliance Naval College is located there. Major naval base and a respectable shipyard. It's basically a city planet like Coruscant but greener. Not to mention it's a fortress world."
"Sounds like a worthy piece of property to fight over."
"Round up the unit." Ixtren's thoughts were kicking into gear. "Maneuvers are over. We're returning to Mandalore."
"Yes sir." Red snapped a salute and disappeared into the swamp.
Ixtren stood there, feet sunk four centimeters into dark green mud, a thin veil of fog obscuring his vision, and the amplified sounds of insects thrumming in the air. But his eyes were imagining a different scene. A world besought by Chaavla-class battleships, atmosphere dotted with supercommandos inserting from orbit, and the surprise yell of his enemies: Mandalorians!
Round two...GA vs Mandos. And this time Hapes is on our side.