We were part of the first wave. I was the assigned leader of Republic Special Forces Squad 8. A squad of five. My name is Tiran. Our mission… to infiltrate and to gun down as many mandalorians as we could. The other four were Javelin, Nalan, Yar, and Diejl. Javelin was our main soldier, the one most heavily trained in battle. Nalan was a survival expert and doctor. Yar, whose name always reminds me of a pirate, is our demolitions expert. Diejl is our stealth expert and best sharpshooter. As we passed around the other side of the moon, I watched out the window at the space battle raging right in view at the far edge of the moon. In only a few minutes, I couldn’t see it anymore, apart from seeing some explosions and debris of ships fly out on the eastern horizon, and slowly later become captured within the moon’s gravity. The ship we rode on was nothing greater than a simple, standard shuttlecraft, only armed with a couple blaster cannons in front and slightly stronger than usual armor for a shuttlecraft. There were eleven other shuttles with us, all of them spreadout and meant to land in different sections of the Jungle. The shuttle I was on was destined for the deepest part of the jungle, nearest where the mandalorians had their strongest base.
The decent was a little bumpy, because the thermal plating stabilizers kicked in a little late, but the extra armor plating on the shuttle kicked in before that became a problem, and about halfway through the thermosphere the thermal plating stabilizers kicked in and it became smoother. In about a minute we were though, and all our shuttles used detection jammers and hid in a low cloud cover as we began to land. Each of our shuttles were spaced about ten klicks (Kilometers) apart.
Our mission was simple, but ever complex in its true aspects. “Infiltrate the Mandalorian Jungle and use gorilla tactics to quietly eliminate them. Avoid all direct conflict if at all possible.” Quoting the Jedi who organized our mission.
So we trudged off of our shuttles quickly after we landed, as we were already fully prepared. We wore full body armor, designed like what the Mandalorians had, but slightly different and in jungle camouflage coloration instead of the bright colors most mandalorians had in armor. Also much more flexible, not as restricting as most Mandalorian armor. Our guns were not standard issue. We had black market weaponry, bought by the republic from pirate organizations at places such as Nar Shaadah for war use.
My squad trudged off into the jungle then, weapons raised and charged.
The First Mandalorian outpost camp was fifteen klicks away. We estimated we’d be able to get there by nightfall at first, butt hat was an overestimation. The jungle was far more tangled and tough to travel through than I’d first expected. It actually took two days to get there, but those two days weren’t at all uneventful.
Bomas, Cannoks, Maalraabs, Kinrath, and yes, even Zakkeggs were some of the problems we encountered. No wonder we never encountered any Mandalorian patrols around even when we had gotten to within two klicks of the camp. Those mandalorians were right to expect the jungle to be a plenty effective defense. Radio contact was silenced once we were within two klicks of the camp, and by then we’d already lost two of our twelve squads to the beasts of Dxun. My squad had more luck. We only encountered two Zakkeggs, while all the other squads had at least had to fight three or four each. Those bomas in packs are quite a challenge. A few hits to their heads isn’t usually enough to kill em’, so you have to aim for their sides for the most effectiveness against em’ in battle. Bomas sure are hardheaded beasts.
So anyways, my squad made to less than one klick of the camp by dusk of the second day. The mandalorians were on heavy patrol at the walls of their little outpost, holding big carbine guns. We waited hidden under a cluster of treeroots and rocks that made up what was almost like a bunker, the entrance hidden behind a thick bush. Diejl was the one who noticed it with his sharp eye. So we took a few hours to eat some of our rations and to get some rest. It was a good thing we waited too, because Squad 7 rendezvoused with us a little after we finished resting. Our two squads after watching the mandalorians for a while estimated that there were about thirty of them in the camp.
In half an hour, when the Mandalorians were having their lunch break, we ambushed them. Diejl and the sharpshooter form the other squad knocked out several of their troops right away, but the mandalorians quickly responded. Then the rest of our squad gunned down whomever we could from behind our camouflaged positions. The mandalorians were down to fifteen by then, and they were armed now, firing rapidly and aimlessly into the trees. Then I gave Yar the order to fire a rocket at the wall of the Mandalorian camp. It crumbled to bits in an instant. I then threw a smokescreen grenade and we rushed in, killing about seven mandalorians. Only eight left. We now outnumbered them. Then the Mandalorians threw a thermal detonator at the center of the other squad as the smoke cleared, killing the entire squad. My squad and I rushed in and gunned them down yelling in anger. Three Mandalorians left and Javelin threw a flash grenade, blinding them. Then we killed them, successfully capturing the camp, but with the heavy loss of another squad. Maybe it would have been better if we had attacked first before the other squad had come. I bet we could’ve won with no causalities without he other squad’s help. Part of that thought made me feel guilty, but then I realized; this was war, and in war people die, and it has to be accepted. So I decided to refocus that guilt into anger, anger that would help me kill any other mandalorians we found and avenge the people we lost in battle.
Two Hundred klicks ahead was the main focus of our whole mission. The Mandalorian Fortress of the western side of the moon. We estimated the whole trip would be a little over three weeks. All the squads would rendezvous there, surround the fortress, and then stealthily take over. Our ships would provide surface bombardment support during the battle.
Two weeks we traveled through the dense jungle of Dxun, which deemed to grow ever denser the deeper we hiked through its marshy swamps and twisted vines. Cannoks grew ever so annoying. We killed so many of them that we had to put in recharge the power cells on our guns almost three times. By the second week, a massive storm made it even harder to hike through the jungle. The ground became muddy and like quicksand, and the trees slick as grease. That certainly slowed us down, and must have slowed down the rest of the squads quite a bit. After a while, it seemed like this jungle would never end. It never did. The entire planet was covered in jungle after all… after a couple days, we finally got some easier hiking, and the storms dissipated. We reached a huge valley of plains on our trek though the jungle, twenty klicks long. Finally somewhat level ground without any treeroots to trip on or vines to get tangled in.
During the night we could see the stars, however many there were it was futile to try to count, and by morning we could see Dxun’s captor, Onderon, filling almost the entire sky.
After we crossed the valley, more jungle again. We came across a nasty hive of Kinrath, which left us having to run through the jungle to get away from the overwhelming amount of Kinrath. A week and a half left after that.
Strangely, by the time we were within 50 klicks of the Mandalorian fortress, we found no wild animals wanting to take us as their prey. We went on and on, twenty more klicks, four more days through the unforgiving jungle. Then, by the time the Mandalorian fortress was ten klicks away, we encountered tons of Mandalorian patrols. We had to be quick before they radioed our presence to their base, or else we’d have to face a whole army.
We snuck through, and by the time we were only two klicks away, we could see the base by climbing up to the top of one of the trees. The base was in a crater, with huge, strong walls around it and considerable defenses. AA towers, hanger bays full of basilisk war droids. Landing fields for capital class vessels, barracks for their troops. It was certainly a well-fortified base. I just hoped that most of the other squads had survived going through the jungle and were going to be on destination in time. We waited a night, for we had arrived a day early thanks to the valley we passed through that lessened the travel time in the jungle. At night the base even had guard towers and searchlights. And with binoculars we could see tank droids and sentry droids marching around the main wall. We went in before morning, before the system’s star came up to bring day. We snuck in the wall and began firing on the sleeping mandalorians, and did as much damage as we could. But… None of the other squads arrived. We suddenly realized we had tactically committed suicide. No surface bombardment support came from the sky… We… had lost. As the mandalorians surrounded us, they didn’t even ask for us to surrender. The Mandalorians didn’t understand real honor. They just shot us. Just like that. We were dead.
In my dazed sight as I laid on the ground critically wounded, breathing my dying breaths, I could see something coming from the sky, the AA towers of the Mandalorian base firing but missing it. It landed. Right ton top of the mandalorians surrounding our nearly dead bodies. I could make out that it was a shuttle. And someone came out of it… not one, but two now. They had… robes… and suddenly I saw two very blurry bars of light light up out of their hands. Blue and green lights. And then I saw red… so much red… gushing out of mandalorians as the green and blue lights touched them… then I knew what it was… Jedi had come… was I not going to die after all? I didn’t know…. Because then, everything went dark, and the screams and yells of the mandalorians falling to those two Jedi suddenly became silent. So silent. So dark… Did I survive? Will anyone ever hear my story? I hope they do, I hope they remember me… I just hope they remember me…
(I hope you liked it.