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Burden of Command

Posted on Tue Nov 24th, 2020 @ 11:01pm by Klav Thurn & Sev Rezer

Chapter: Chapter VI: The Last Bastion
Location: Sev's Quarters, Jericho
Timeline: Just after "En route"
Tags: Sev Rezer, Klav Thurn, Mandalorians

BEFORE:

"You will not go alone with him,", said Sev beaming at Mentis. "I'll come along. My Second will take care of the clan for now", he made a motion to turn off but added something before it the screen went off. "And I don't need anything. I always come prepared. I'll be waiting". The screen turned black.

NOW:

Sev Rezer got from his chair and suppressed a sigh. The duty to his clan was paramount but Axion demise was necessary. Moreover, Thane and his companions shed blood with him. They didn't know at the time, but they were helping his people to find the way again. The right way. The true Mando'ad way. Soon the rest would see the ways, if things went as Sev planned.

But, first Axion needed to die.

Luckily for Sev, Klav Thurn was a true devoted Mando'ad. He didn't know the man for long, but he already proved himself several times that Sev had put him as his Second.

Sev tapped his comm on the wrist. "Klav, need to talk, meet me at the War Room.", said him already leaving his quarters towards the War Room.

Very little time passed between Sev's own arrival at the so-called war room of Jericho and the subsequent arrival of Thurn, who had already established a reputation with Zrad Rezer's cousin as a diligent, dutiful and efficient warrior and administrator. As ever, he was garbed in his pristinely-kept blue-hued armour, well-oiled weapons arranged about his person.

He did not remove his helmet, as was the typical custom, when he arrived, but he gave a respectful nod to the man he had claimed as their leader just some short months before. Thurn's leadership and vouching for Sev, along with the latter's own victory over the mad dog Zrad, had kept the band of Mandalorian 'Exiles' that maintained Jericho together and organised, even if Sev was proving to be quite the contrast to most Exile leaders.

"Alor'aan Sev," Thurn greeted Sev, standing a polite distance from the other armoured Human. "You were not at the feast last night."

Despite the observation, there were no additional connotations to Thurn's comment. He was not a man for mixed meanings or underhanded plays; he was a tactical mastermind, of a sorts, but cared little for such games, admiring forthright manners and direct leadership. Furthermore, he was not one for revelry, either, despite the nature of many of their fellow Mando.

"I do not see the reason for celebrating, Al'verde Thurn", replied Sev. "Although I understand the reason the clan sees in it, I need to keep myself focused". He walked over the holotable and activated. A galaxy map appeared. "We are here in Jericho but we don't have the numbers to defend ourselves against the Imperials. We also are vulnerable to GalactaWerks scum." He raised his from the holotable. "So, what do you think we should do, Al'verde?"

Thurn's visor was pointed directly at Sev for a lingering moment, before its black sheen shifted almost imperceptibly, his concealed eyes regarding the holographic display. As was his custom, he said nothing immediately, preferring to consider his options before electing to speak. Finally, he broke the silence.

"Only a small strike force would be able to penetrate the asteroid field and assault the colony itself," he said, voice sounding synthetic through his helmet. "And there is nothing of material value here to a nation or a corporation of such material interests. Furthermore, since adopting your more targeted and reserved approach to raiding and plying our services to others, fewer people are aware of our operation and possessions at Jericho. Those that do fear our reputation."

The visor angled back towards Sev, the unlikely leader that he had become. "At our current level of notoriety and scope, we face more threat from other Mandalorian bands seeking to prove themselves or to seize our quarry, or from criminal cartels." There was a punctuated pause. "Or from the dar'jetii serving Axion, after reprisals. If we wish to safeguard ourselves more effectively, we should lace the asteroid field with mines and obtain more starfighters to patrol the system - or even a blockade runner."

Another pause. "This would require recruitment of more warriors - and not just the scum Zrad let pretend were Mandalorians. True Mando'ad."

The older man nodded. "That's exactly what we are going to do. We'll need to pluck Mandalorians from the 'Provider'", he said, adding disgust to the last word. "And as any hunt, we will need a decoy to distract the prey. That will be me", he lift his head up. "Before you interject, listen."

He pointed to the the holotable. "Thane and the others are moving towards Imperial space. It's my intention to go with them and be seen. To help them. To leave 'Provider' and his followers think that I accomplished nothing in Jericho. Your job", Sev said raising his eyes from the holotable, "Is to lead a group of clan members into one of the Mando'ad outposts and start recruiting."

With Thurn's helmet obscuring his visage, there were no obvious cues as to the man's feelings on what Sev had said, but the bounty hunter had grown accustomed to judging his fellow Mandalorians' humours and characters from even the smallest of physical movements. With Thurn, that had taken a little longer, but he already had a sound understanding of the man he had taken as his 'second' on Jericho.

"The jetiise again," he finally said, a rare indication of his faint disapproval for Sev's former 'colleagues'. "I will obey, of course; I shall seek to swell our ranks and spread word of your deeds... but you think the False Folk are still watching us closely, my alor?" He then queried.

Since the death of Zrad at Sev's hands, there had been no hiding the truth of Sev's ascension to leadership of the Jericho True Mandalorians. They were, after all, one of the best-organised and fiercest of the warbands that had formed outside of the boundaries of Manda'toma, claiming many victories, prizes and much honour in the eyes of their kin. However, although Sev's tenure as their leader had brought a new kind of prosperity and prestige to them, he was not as bloody-minded as his cousin, nor did the bloodthirsty amongst their number find the home they once had with Zrad the Mad.

Whilst Sev had quickly grown to be respected by their fellow True Mandalorians (who were, effectively, rivals, until such time they could ever be unified), he was arguably not as feared.

Not yet, anyway.

"I know what most of you think about the jetiise. And I agree. I don't like them", Sev said, his voice hardening. "But a warrior doesn't lose his honor by compromising himself for the good of the Clan. Thane and his companions are not the type I would prefer to have around me, but I cannot lose sight of the fact that they're right in the position to help their plans. I intend to use their purpose to help us achieve ours. They need not know, but I'll do it for all of us." Sev approached Klav. "As for the Provider's own people, from every log Zrad left behind it makes clear that the Provider has internal strife and more external threats to worry about than us right now."

Sev stared at Klav. "I know this isn't the duty you're looking for, but that's the duty I'm giving you. You'll carry our future on your back, Klav Thurn. Be faithful to our warband. If you have doubts about my plan, I want hear it now. I don't want silence. I don't want you with misgivings. Talk. Mando'ad to Mando'ad. That's the way."

Thurn was silent for but a moment, clearly weighing Sev's offer for dialogue carefully. Whilst he had been the one to proclaim Sev's leadership over Jericho, and undoubtedly supported the man, he was still growing accustomed to a role under such a different leader from Zrad.

"You still thirst for vengeance against Axion," he said, without malice or dismay. "And I believe yet you support the individuals that call the Raptor their home, to that end - it is why you have had us aid them from afar before. Zrad believed that ending Axion's cult in a public display would earn us honour and prestige - you seek them out for your own ends." A slight movement of his head. "Do you shy from telling us this? Jericho stands with you, Alor - Zrad was not mistaken in this matter, at least."

"My motives were always mine and honor demands that I fullfill them alone. If the clan sees fit to join me on my actions, they must see my reasoning. They must be voluteers. I will not order them", Sev gave a few steps as he turn his back to Klav. "We must have numbers, supplies and weapons. We need to find last refined Baskar the empire hoards. We need new armors for the change to come."

He turned around to face Klav. "When I finish my recon in the Imperial space, you as carry out my orders of recruitment, if you receive a set of coordinates from me, don't ask anything, prepare a strike for to capture the beskar. Understood? We will be like the wind and leave without a trace. Hunters in the jungle."

Klav Thurn inclined his head in assent and placed a clasped fist against his chest in a warrior's salute. "Aliit ori'shya tal'din, Alor Sev. When next we meet, your horde will have grown, for the honour of Jericho, and the glory of all Mando'ade."

 

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