Of course I always liked Canderous as well. His tales about battle always brought a sense of wonderlust.
You want to hear tales of my exploits? Of the wars I've seen and fought, the enemies I've seen die by my hand. Heh, sure, I'll humor you. My name's Canderous of the Mandalorian clan Ordo. I've been fighting across the galaxy for 40 of your years. For my people it's the honor and glory of battle that rules us. It's through combat that we prove our worth, gain renown and make our fortunes.
Times have changed now. The Mandalore clans have been scattered across the Outer Rim, the Republic is in decline and the Sith Empire raises to take it's place. The clans as they were aren't a threat, but the galaxy still fears us. Ha! People think we war out of spite, or bloodlust. They don't understand, and fear that. We only wanted the challenge of the battle, and glory from it - win or lose. And we lost. But now I have no real challenges. Crushing Davik's enemies and the pathetic gangs in the Lower City of Taris could not be considered the most glorious of tasks. When I think of the battles I've fought… the thousands I've killed… the worlds I've burned… I weep for my past. We'll never speak of this again. We've got work to do, so let's get to it.
I was one of the best youth warriors in clan Ordo in my time. No one before me had mastered the power of our Basilisk war droids as quickly as I had. Except Mandalore himself of course. In those days we were sweeping across the Outer Rim. Destroying all who fought us. Young Mandalores would prove themselves in real combat with unknown opponents above a thousand worlds. Each brought back the story of his achievements.
I remember it well, orbiting high above a placid world, its defenses just stirring. As was tradition, I would go ahead of the first wave to find enemies in the thickest fighting. I remember sitting there in my armor, linked directly with the Basilisk thrumming beneath me. My heart racing with fear at the coming battle.
Every new warrior has to fear to understand how to beat it. You must know that. The doors opened in front of me and the air was sucked out of the drop bay, scattering crystals of frozen vapor across my path. I can't describe what it feels like to look directly down at a world, falling continuously as you circle it, with barely fifteen centimeters of armor plate protecting you. When the magnetic locks disengaged on my droid I plunged out of the drop bay towards the battle that waited below.
The exhilaration, the euphoria I felt as I streaked into the atmosphere, dodging self-guided projectile and beam weapons, was unmatched. A 80 kilometer plunge through the atmosphere, dodging and weaving, the outside of my armor glowing like the sun with the heat of re-entry. And with barely thirty meters to spare, I twisted and skimmed the surface, firing at the giant beam generators that were in my path. The explosion from that sent shockwaves that leveled the entire complex around it. It was the moment of my life.
I'll never forget those times. But… things are different now. We can't go on fighting the way we had. There are too few of us left now. But I don't really want to talk about this anymore. I trust I've satisfied your curiosity for now? Is there something else you want to know?
You want another story, eh? You want to hear about some other world getting wasted? Heh, I knew you were the type. Your stagnant Republic has never seen some of the strange creatures and races we fought on the Outer Rim in those years. Heh, and you never will now.
If a world isn't strong enough to defend itself, it's basically forfeit. But this story is about something a little different. We were going through the asteroid fields of the Crispin system at the very edge of the galaxy, playing with the pirates and smugglers we found there. The main belt in the Crispin system consists of mainly small rocks covered in frozen methane gas shells and the pirates were using them for cover. Ha! I remember using a thermal generator to cause the outer layer of one of the asteroids to vaporize in a picosecond. It blew out and shredded the three smugglers using it for cover! But… that was a mistake…
The asteroid I had targeted was smaller then most, maybe a dozen meters on a side. On the outside it looked the same as any other: just a ball covered in frozen gas. But something must have been inside it… something inactive in the cold. The heat of my blast might have triggered something or woken something up. After I had hit, spots of light and heat appeared all over the thin shell still covering it, evaporating the gases. What lay underneath looked like some sort of rocky growth… a deformed rock pitted by scores of micrometeorite scars. I think something even older might have been inside that.
Maybe (an asteroid)… but maybe not. It started rotating - faster and faster as we watched it. After a second it started spraying fire - thermal projectiles that melted our armor like wax. We were caught completely by surprise. Before we could counter-attack, it fled at an incredible speed.
We couldn't catch it, but we could follow its hyperspace wake. We followed its trail as far as we could, heading away from the galactic core. When it finally led beyond the edge of our galaxy, we abandoned our efforts. Anything that wants to commit suicide in that great void is not worth our trouble trying to catch. That's the only story I have for now. I'll tell you some more stuff later, if we get the chance.
I don't have as many strange stories like the last one I told you, but I do have a couple about me and the stuff I've done. In one battle above the world of Althir, my unit managed to defeat a force of Althiri ten times out own size. That battle gained me command of an entire sub-sect of my clan.
For five days they had managed to hold off our forces, keeping us to the outer rings of their world, preventing us from attacking it directly. My task was to assault one of their flanks with a false attack. The Althiri would be drawn out by the units I had sent in. Once they had surrounded those units, the bulk of my forces would attack from the rear and defeat them in detail.
Things did not go as I had planned. I saw an opening - a mistake they had made in the disposition of their forces - and took it! While fending off our main force, they had let their fleet split in two! The center of their entire fleet was left exposed! I turned my forces and assaulted the center of their fleet, decimating them!
Their slow, ponderous ship could not turn to face us without being overwhelmed. Their command vessels were destroyed in seconds. Their ranks were thrown into chaos. It was most amusing to watch the surviving ships scatter and flee. Several even tried to dive through the plane of the rings to escape us! They were shredded by the rings, or crashed into rocks, or were destroyed by our forces as we pursued them. Warriors do not flee from a battle if they are losing. They fight to the end! As we did against your Jedi Revan. Another time maybe I'll tell you about how the war with the Republic went. For now, let's just get on with things.
Hm… I think I'll tell you a bit about the recent war we had with the Republic. That might be more familiar to you. The one where the Jedi Revan beat my people. We started by conquering worlds just outside the Republic. We did it quietly so the Republic wouldn't really know what was going on until too late. When we finally did hit the Republic worlds, they had no idea we were coming. We came in through three invasion corridors in adjacent sectors. Anyone who put up a fight - or wouldn't fight - was crushed. We razed whole worlds trying to provoke the Republic into fighting us. I don't particularly enjoy wiping out worlds for its own sake, but the cowardly tactics the Republic defenders used left us little choice.
Hiding in the homes of civilians. Using families as shields. Thinking we would not use appropriate force on their bases inside major cities. They underestimated our resolve and what measures are acceptable in war. Those who cannot defend themselves should not be around those who can in battle. If annihilating a city is the kind of power it takes to overwhelm a Republic shield device, then that's what we did. Necessary force to destroy all opposition.
I have no time or patience for cowards! They deserve to be hunted down and exterminated like vermin! There was no honor in wiping them out like rats. But some of your forces did redeem the Republic in our eyes… especially later…
It was what we had wanted all along, in a way. We wanted to fight the best in a battle that would be remembered for centuries. And we did.
Plus a nice little set from HK-47 on the Mandalorians...
HK-47: I had completed an assassination in Mandalorian space… though I have no knowledge of what my target was or who sent me. Regardless, my motor function had been damaged and I could not return to wherever I had been sent from. A Mandalorian soldier claimed me as 'booty', I believe. He repaired me… poorly, I might add… and proceeded to use my assassination protocol to raise his rank.
HK-47: At any rate, it seems that my Mandalorian owner finally decided to send me against Mandalore, himself. My poorest performance, sadly.
HK-47: I was captured by this Mandalore during the attempt. He was able to reverse my programming and send me after my own master. It was quite distressing. There was little I could do. Needless to say, I dispatched the Mandalorian soldier efficiently.
PC: So you couldn't kill Mandalore, hey?
HK-47: Statement: With all due respect, master, he *is* the leader of the Mandalorians. Perhaps my old master was foolish to send me after him.
PC: So you killed *that* master directly.
HK-47: Statement: So I did. I am not very proud of that, master. The soldier seemed very startled, I must say.