The Mandalorian Swordsmen
Orchestral fanfare blasts through the darkness of space as a icey planet floats into the frame from the top of the screen. A hawk-290 sweeps from the left and taking a long arcing path breaks into the atmosphere of the planet. The Camera snaps into the cockpit where two Twi’leks and a Mirialan sit and discuss a trip to Ryloth after a quick refuel. The camera moves down the hall and past a medical bay where a male and a female Duro look over some data from a completed cat scan on the male. Finally a lone Mandalorian is seen etching a tally mark into his sword completing the twentieth group of five hashes. Sheathing his sword he turns away from the door and speaks.
“That is another sword to retire, only four more until I can earn your forgiveness. I failed you” he said.
“Honey, that was the farthest thing from failure I have ever seen. You were such a help with getting Essek all fixed up.” Verita, the female Duro said as she entered the room with Yaas. He turned to her arms crossed and tilted his head to the right. “Oh was I not supposed to hear that? Personal is personal I guess. I’m just not one for bubbles and holding my tongue.”
“It is quite alright Verita, I was talking with my wife.” He said.
“Oh, I didn’t know you were on your com. Old habits from my work with the Republic, I like to listen in on people it’s almost as good as watching.” She said with a wink.
“You didn’t interrupt anything. My wife is a part of the Manda now. Along with the rest of my Clan. I’m all that there is of Clan Karren.” He said taking his helmet off. “Was there anything that you needed?”
“I just wanted to say thank you Yaas. For all your help. The way you stepped into the ring with that huge Dathomirian and put your life on the line and helping us find the witches. You did a lot for my family and I meant it when I said you could join our Clan.” Verita said thankfully.
“It has been a while since I’ve belonged anywhere. I would be honored. Vor entye, ni kar’tayl gai sa’aliit.” He vowed leaning forward into a bow from the hips. “It means thank you, I know my name as your clan. Or that’s about the gist of it. Mando’a translates very literally so the meanings of the words change with how and when they are said.”
“There is one condition though, Tsar and I have an agreement with our little home on Toola. You have me to vouch for you, but you have to speak with Darla in order to be fully accepted in.” Verita said holding up a finger gesturing Yaas to hold on a moment. “I would hold off on the grand gestures and oath swearing until we land.”
“Well, I already said it sooooo…” He said putting his helmet back on. “I guess my meeting with Darla better go well.”
The camera wipes an image of the ship landing on a snow-covered platform. Everyone walks down the boarding ramp and walks inside much like the last time they arrived on the planet, this time with no brainwashed attacks from Essek. The Mirialan, Dal and the Two Twi’leks, Resse and Illar wave goodbye after loading some new supplies on to the ship and take off heading to the much warmer desert planet of Ryloth.
The camera slides to the left to Verita, Essek, and Yaas standing outside of a room as the door slides open to a Female Devaronian. “Oh, hello I see you guys are back at last. It’s so good to see you all.” She said.
“I… I I can… Think for myself… Now, head is… Clearer.” Essek spoke.
“That is very good to hear, let’s let you two settle back in from your travels.” Darla comforted. “I’ll see you tomorrow bright and early for your session I have a new idea for treatment that I would like to try.”
“That sounds like a plan Darla, I’ll make sure Essek gets plenty of rest, and a good breakfast, and all that good stuff for people in recovery.” Verita promised. “Oh and this is Yaas, he stopped Essek from shooting you before we left… I think you probably remember that. Well, he wants to stay on and help us for a while. If you could put him through the process? I’m all for it and you vetting him will help with getting Tsar to agree.”
“Oh why of course, I love talking with new people.” Darla cheered. “Please, I have an opening right now if you have a moment.”
“Sure, If it will help. I don’t have anything to tend to here.” Yaas said. He then followed her into the office. It was cozy and warm and a welcomed change from the sterile cold of the hallway leading in from the landing pad entrance. There were pillows, chairs, couches, a pleasant aroma wafting through the room that eased the mind. Yaas looked around the room and took in all the colors of the fabrics as Darla motioned him to take a seat.
“Please. Make yourself comfortable.” Darla requested.
“I am plenty comfortable.” Yaas said dropping his belonging next to the couch as he sat down.
“You don’t want to take off your armor?” She asked.
“No, my armor is as my flesh.” Yaas stated.
“Oh, I know your people have a strong code that they adhere to. I meant no offense, just that you are safe here.” She comforted.
“Resol’nare or the six tenets. Wear the armor, speak the language, raise your children as warriors, self-defense, honor your clan, respond to the call of the Mandalore. An vencuyan mhi. All keep us alive.” Yaas explained. “I’m not normally one to open up to people I haven’t been with in battle.”
“Ah yes, I’m not much of a fighter. You did however protect me from Essek before you went with the others. Does that help?” Darla asked.
“We will say that it does.” He said as he took off his helmet. “So how does this all work? How do you know whether I fit in with this group?”
“Tell me about yourself. I can learn a lot just from listening.” She said. “Tell me what brought you here.”
“Well I am on a quest of redemption. I failed my Clan. I failed my people. All because I wanted a better life for all of the mando’ade.” Yaas confessed as he leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. His right hand rubbing his forehead. Darla’s hand touched his forearm and they made eye contact for a moment that seemed to pull Yaas in.
“You can trust me, you can let go of your pain here. I can feel it. You have so much hurt so much loss.” She consoled him. Her words seemed to carry a palpable strength and helped him relax.
“I was a Protector back then. Back when I lived on Manda’yaim, the planet Mandalore. My father was one, and so was his father, as was his before his. It was expected of us. The times were starting to change. We had been a culture of warriors for millennia and our planet showed the signs. Clan Kryze was trying to seize power with the New Mandalorian movement and I believed they were the correct path for my people. I challenged my father for leadership of our Clan. I won, and I swore us into fealty to Satine Kryze, she was the leader of not just her Clan, but her House. I helped her escape the planet at the height of the Civil War into the protection of two Jedi.”
“It sounds like you made a hard, but noble choice for the safety of your Clan and your family.”
“So I thought,” Yaas said with a pause. Then he looked to the ceiling of the room. “Then he came for me. Pre Vizsla. I thought he was one of us, but as the city burned he asked me to betray the soon-to-be Duchess. He asked me where they were going. He needed to know so he could end the fighting. He said he had found a long-lost artifact that would prove him to be the new leader that we needed. That we must stay a warrior culture and that he would finally unite all of the Clans. He asked me to join his Clan and I refused him. That was the moment. I turned down the call and broke a tenet. I didn’t know it then. He, however, knew he was right. My family paid the price. I returned home to find them all dead. My whole Clan left beaten, broken, and burned. I arrived just in time to hold my wife as she died. Her last words were that they called us Dar’manda, and our only purpose was to show other the price to pay for our actions.”
“That is a lot of guilt to carry.” Darla said.
“My penance for my failure is ten swords.” He said. “A self-inflicted punishment. Through combat, I must fell one hundred foes with each sword. I must prove my strength so that my fallen loved ones can return to the manda and earn their rest. Darasuum Kote cuy’val dar Eternal glory for those no longer.”
“If you stay here will you still be able to offer them peace?” Darla asked.
“Te kyrayc soletar ca’nara guuror mhi. The dead count time differently than us.” Yaas said standing up. “If I can’t stay, I will fight elsewhere. I can tell I am still needed here though.”
“I would agree. We would be honored to have you.” Darla said with a bow. “You can come talk anytime you need too Yaas, you’ve been alone for so long. I’m sure you’ll find family here.”
“I know that I already have.” Yaas stated.