Kal’or removed his helmet–buy’ce, in Mando’a–and tucked in neatly under his right arm. Years ago he had learned the important lesson of never letting any piece of gear go you’d want in a firefight, and more important than even a sidearm to him was his buy’ce. He had put enough credits upgrading the bucket over the years to buy a small luxury yacht, which gave him great advantage in any fight.
His armor was primarily blue, which was a stood for reliability. The shoulders were red out of respect for his father, and black gauntlets for justice. Unlike most Mando’ade nowadays, he preferred to wear the traditional kamaa their ancestors had worn, his own made from the hide of a Rancor he had killed not long after becoming an adult at 13. It was one of his greatest victories, his other trophy being a concealed vibroblade that had a hilt made out of one of the Rancor’s claws.
Kal’or reached down with his left hand and flipped the holographic displays on for the Strategic Planning Terminal (SPT), waiting patiently and motionless for the familiar blue glow to come to life. As the years grew on him he was often told he reminded people of a reptile more than a human, with his sudden movements and all.
General Katarn–Jeir, not his more famous half-brother Kyle, Kiiara and himself had been leading a system-wide resistance effort just shy of a full year now for the Ill’iare system, just inside of the Braxant sector. A few years back there had been some ordeal with the system’s Grand Moff, Vilim Disra, which had led to his execution. Several of the Moff’s cabinet left with the majority of his personal fleet, took the system and declared it their own. For whatever reason, the actual Imperial Remnant let them be.
Knowing the system now, Kal’or couldn’t blame them. There were two planets barely on the side of habitable due to solar storms from the white-dwarf star at the center of the system, an no notable mining installations capable of supporting anything beyond basic fleet maintenance. The settlers hadn’t been particularly excited about the occupation, and somehow had gotten hold of Katarn which started the whole mess.
As fond as Kal’or was of Jeir and the respect he had for his formidable powers as a Jedi, he tended to harbor mistrust for people that like to keep their past a secret. There was no need for anyone to run around singing their life story, however there was also no honest reason to hide your past…to a Mandalorian at least. A warrior was the sum of their experiences, be they wins or losses, great acquisitions of honor or shame alike. Some things he understood, like his whole “I’m Jinx…no, I’m Jeir” ordeal. Others he never would.
Be that as it was, Katarn had resigned from the Republic Navy some years before arriving in the Ill’iare system and brought little help with him for the growing resistance. He had a small fortune from a short lived bounty hunting career, had hired Kal’or through an old contact, and here he was…fighting for free now with these resistance fighters, alongside a Jedi and a kid in the backwater systems of all backwater systems.
He wouldn’t have it any other way. Many Mando’ade confused the Mandalore’s message–when they had one–which lead to the creation of the Deathwatch in the first place. Mando’ade were not meant to wander the galaxy killing for monetary gain, pillaging those who couldn’t defend themselves and fighting battles a Gamorrean could lead.
No, not according to Clan Kutin at least. They did not have any particularly memorable place in Mandalorian history, they had just always gotten through. Kal’or’s father had been a strong leader before him, his beskar’gam painted red in respect to his father. Buir had taught him the only way to become a greater warrior was to fight the battles he was not sure he could win.
And here this ragtag battlegroup was, on the eve of their great victory. He had trained hundreds of men and women to become warriors, many of which had far exceeded his hopes. Had they been anywhere else, he would had forged them their own suits of Mandalorian armor–beskar’gam–as a way of adopting them into his culture. The naval fleet of their enemy was no more, the battalions of Stormtrooper were smashed, and all that stood in their way was a single city and it’s defenses.
Kal’or felt a small stinging sensation on the back of his left hand, the signal his suit’s communication systems used when his helmet wasn’t sealed on his head, and he replace his buy’ce once more to take the call. Whomever it was, the cal was private and on a secure line to have reached his helmet’s comlink. The familiar clamp and silent hiss of air let him know the helmet was closed, and with a triple-blink of his eyes he opened the line.
“Kal’buir,” said Kiiara’s voice. “I’m in a bit of a jam right now.” She breathed heavily over the line. “I need extraction.”
“Ha!” Kal’or replied, likely not the reply she wanted to what was certainly a dire situation though he could not hide his amusement. “Somehow I don’t think the good General will like this.”
“Well, he can just keep his hand in his mouth until he can give me a respectable reprimand later on,” Kiiara snapped.
“Get to a high point, wait for sunset, then turn your personal locator on,” Kal’or instructed her. Jeir had trained her in the ways of the Jedi and how to control the Force, but it had been Kal’or that taught her how to think and act like a warrior. He knew she would do what he told her to the letter, and succeed. “Then watch the skies.”
“Good to go,” she replied. “Kiiara out.”