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Truth and Trudge

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Bo-Katan raises her hands in surrender, and a child that accompanies her mimicks her as they disembark from her shuttle  in the Star Destroyer hanger bay. She and the girl was captured by the Star Destoyer's tractor beam. The stormtroopers arrest her and the child as they yell at them and put manacles on Bo-Katan's wrists, but the little girl races toward a screen grate that covers an duct and hides into a wall as the stormtroopers fire their blasters. Bo-Katan yells from the confusion and round house kick knocks them out to stop them. “WAYII! Stop. She’s just a girl. She doesn’t understand...we surrender.”

The stormtroopers keep firing until an Imperial officer enters the hanger and yells for them to stop. They salute him in his neat green standard Imperial uniform and blue squared badge as he lowers his raised hand to his back with a smug stare of disgust at Bo-Katan. "Mandalorians. Defiant to the death."

Two stormtroopers fire on the child, a girl named Sabine, with blasters set set to stun as they knock her out from the wall. They run to her unconscious body and drag a 4 year old girl her across the floor.

The lieutenant clears his throat as he glowers at Bo-Katan like she is a terrorist. “Regent of Mandalore, I am Lieutenant Chaquaur. I am to escort you to your holding cell where you, as the representative of Mandalore, will prepare to appear before the HoloNet Imperial News service to indicate your terms for the Mandalorian sector's surrender. How you are related to the Duchess Satine Kryze is beyond me.”

“Tell your Captain that the handling of prisoners of war is against their Republic codes, Lieutenant,” Bo-Katan spits as she chuckles from the sound of his name to mean "theif" in the Mandalorian language.

“This is the Empire, and you are terrorists when you defied the true leader of Mandalore the King on Kalevala of House Kryze.”

She lunges at him with her arms bound and held back by stormtroopers. She wrestles from her arms as her light eyes flash before the Lieutenant Chaquaur; and then she grins as she realizes they cannot handle her and scares the squad as they aim their weapons toward her. “Hah! House Kryze is not Mandalorian."

The Lieutenant stands as sweat beads from his forehead. "You Mandalorians are merely savages that require taming. Either you learn it or we will breeding clone it out of you."

She stares into his eyes with a sneer as she smells his stink to see what his sexual response would be. His fear reeks of nuna osik to her. His first weak spot was his Imperial uniform. She smiles as she watches his crotch harden because he desires it. "If we were to ever meet again, di’kutla, it will be at the end of my blaster, thief!”

The stormtroopers yank her away and the lieutenant clasps his collar to exhale in fear.

She is thrown into her holding cell, when she sees a neatly folded dark navy-colored dress commensurate of her sister’s reign, Satine Kryze.  The dress was spartan in its design, modest in Mandalorian fashion. She frowns when a protocol droid enters the cell to assist her to change into the dress. “Lek-lek. I got it. I have to wear this, okay. I understand. Tell them not to hurt ner'Manda'adi'ika. She does not understand your protocols.”

The droid does not comply with her requests, and removes her clothes. It pushes her into the refresher for more than 5 seconds. The steam squirts on her naked body to clean it and the air blows to dry her. No moisturizers, to her dry chaff skin, only a foul stench perfume in the water.  She covers the lenses of the droid to not film her during her beauty regimen, but the droid switches to infrared vision for security. It monitors how she slides on her stockings, and then the undergarments, and steps into 20 cm heeled stilettos. To her surprise, everything fit, snugly as well as the brassiere. Then the dress, though a bit tight, was the exact size and comfortable. To her amazement was how careful the selection was made when the droid hands her a Mandalorian Iron Heart choker, which accompanies the dress, perfectly. The precision of clothing choices have never been predicted for her. That was her sister’s realm. Bo felt, special, but odd that her exact measurements, color preferences and jewelry selections were easily determined. It made her predictable and very uneasy as a warrior.

The door locks unlatch from a signal by the droid as stormtroopers grab her biceps to escort her to the area of the press conference. Long winding grey halls seem to to snake forever confound Bo-Katan in a Star Destroyer ship of its size, until she sees a clearing into a large hanger with several Imperial TIE fighters parked with old Republic and Mandalorian ships not decommissioned, but their sigils removed. Then, she sees the Captain, who turns to her with a grin of astonishment and accomplishment. He rose from a chair in a crisp black and blue uniform that had a Chiss sigil on his left arm and an Imperial sigil on his right. He skin was blue and his eyes were red-in-red. His stare threw stakes that felt like they pierce her heart. More males to subjugate her leadership and command. She felt felt naked and realizes he selected her attire with her exact measurements, sizing and to her liking. Nearly with mechanical droid perfection. She sees him salivate on his lips as if he was gloating on his Pygmalion artistic achievement. 

 “Congratulations Lieutenant Commander, seems you have triumphed for your people. For Mandalore.” He announces before the small Imperial audience as the holovids float and record.

The HoloNet Imperial News holocams flash while aboard his Star Destroyer, The Entropy.

The stormtrooper push Bo-Katan to stand next to him as a congratulatory champagne flute is shoved in her hand. He smiles for the holovid with pride as he wraps his arm around her. The entire scene sickens her as she never touches her champagne. She sneers through her fake smiling teeth. “KRIFF you Chissese. There was no deal for Mandalore. You Imperial di'kutlae think you can come here and rule Mandalorians. Rule us? Besides, based on your weapons that you used to bomb us, your ship is not remotely a part of Sienar systems, is it?”

Thrawn cheerful in his grin with a chuckle as he feigns ignorance. “Ah, Lieutenant Commander, surely you jest in us not knowing about your Keldabe capital class ships, or that Confederacy of Independent Systems Recusant you stole from the Christophosis shipyards,” he sips his Jogan brandywine champagne as he carefully evaluates her mannerisms. “Mandalorians, defiant to the end.”

Bo-Katan smells the sweet alcoholic beverage, then chugs it down to stave off her pent up rage. The presumption of the Chiss quickens her stomach and she wants nothing to have anything to do with Imperials. The cool liquid bubbles down her digestive tract as she realizes he stares at her to uncomfortable scared feeling. That was a strange new emotion that set in her as she had more of them. It would sets her rage off more to a sneer. “Hut'uun sheb'urcyn Chissese, let me make it clear, my nephew, Korkie Kryze may have agreed to your conditions, but you lied to him, and you have overstepped your boundaries of lawful sector control and you know it. Remember this one misstep when you are caught between Mandalorian Death Watch’s crosshairs.”

Thrawn eyes did not flinch nor his retort. “Lieutenant Commander don't make a mistake and delude yourself into thinking that your rogue group can mount an offensive.”

Bo-Katan bites her tongue as she smiles to new flashes from the holovids. "Doesn't it bother you, that I can hardly see you without my HUD in ner'buy'ce di'kutla, or helmet since you don't understand Mandalorian.”

Thrawn turns from them and moves his arm around her body to escort her away from the cameras. His face unshakable from her onslaughts of her derision. He cradles his drink gingerly sipping it watching her carry her empty flute. “Lieutenant Commander,” he says softly with concern. “You tremble quite a bit since your last mission, as if you are a bit sick. Are you alright, I'm quite concerned?”

Bo-Katan glares as his voice had soften to a level said to lovers entwined. “I have not given up on freedom, Imperial kebiin sheb'urcyn. I am here to broker this deal from your bombardment of Concordia and hand over the i'kaad to you for your bantha osik academy you are going to build here on Mandalore. I'm her godmother, her Manda'buir, and I promised her mother I'd keep her safe before you vaporized her.”

Thrawn's eyebrows rise as he understands some Mandalorian. “What baby?” His voice booms to commands all those present their attention and in the most awkward manner. His tone cuts through the stifled air with cat-like stealth as he grips her elbow and calls his guards over to them. “What child, Lieutenant Commander? Yours?” 

Bo-Katan head tilts as the lines around her nose flexes to a loud sneer. “Oh? You did not think your orbital bombardment would not kill babies did you? Babies, Captain. You killed them, but not this one. Sab'ika is my goddaughter and she will go unscathed in your Imperial Academy on Mandalore. You will promise me that you will be her Officerial Patron. As to her qualifications, I will make you accept her here and now. Those are my terms to stop any continuing actions.”

Thrawn wrestles his arm away from her with anger from the poor intelligence about children on Concordia. He glares as he thinks how the Empire kills entire families without regard. No military officer worth his rank targets innocents and children. The latest statements by Bo-Katan could be a ruse, but that is when the stormtroopers report of a child dumped into a holding cell. He regains his regal composure. “Now-now Lieutenant Commander, terrorist attacks by known terrorist organizations such as Death Watch, will be met with military actions as decreed by the Emperor himself. My jurisdiction, as I have decided is if Death Watch is using children as shields, then the Empire cannot be held at fault as - how do you say it - hut'tuunyc? Besides, the Empire does not negotiate with terrorists.” He places hands behind him as he knows exactly what he said to her and how much her ego would react. Her face incredulous as her eyes narrow more. “The Emperor only wants peace throughout the galaxy.”

Bo-Katan lashes out at him and spits on his face and head butts him down. She kicks him until his guards pelt her with multiple stuns from their stun sticks. She screams in pain watching him slowly rising and he punches her face until it is bloodied. Her breath heavy from the hits she takes to protect her one Mandalorian child in her care and any other child in her future care.

Thrawn grabs his handkerchief from a hidden pocket and wipes off her spittle and blood as he sees her strength to take a beating. “Guards. Stop!” They see his arm rise and his hand flick to tell the droids to bring him this godchild of Bo-Katan. “Her name is Sabine?" He squats to the girl’s eye level with a smile as she grabs for his hair and nose. He flinches back with a chuckle. “Mandalorians are cute when they're babies. How unfortunate that these children have bad mothers who prefer to be thug terrorists and fight and are incapable of giving the best in mothering and loving environment to their future.” He rises with a stony red eyed glare. “Lieutenant Commander, I want you to tell me, who flew that brand new Confederacy of Independent Systems Droid Controlled Recusant you salvaged. I know that flight maneuvers like those were not that like Mandalorians. They were not like any I've ever seen.”

Suddenly, a Gonzati Cruiser runs alongside the Star Destroyer and rams it while it fires a torpedo into the hull.

Commander Wolffe announces. “I want a clean rescue for the Lieutenant Commander and the child. Minimize all casualties.” He repels down to the gashed hole and fires on the stormtroopers unable to make their shots.

Bo-Katan recognizes the ship, and then smiles. “Chissese, Ke nu jurkad sha Mando'ade, burc'ya!” A recently liberated Wolfpack clone battalion and they grab her as she reaches for Sabine Wren."

Thrawn's eye move into slits as his hands shook behind him. He orders the stormtroopers to surround and imprison Sabine Wren with a droid cage.  “Yes. And you Mandalorians also say family is more than blood, which is not true. Watch outsiders teach your children to erode your culture at its core!" He fires his pistol at the mix of clone troopers and Mandalorians. His stormtroopers surround him as he orders. “Call in for support, Lieutenant.” He races to a shuttle to go to Mandalore. “Fire a blockade cannon at my ship's coordinates in 5 second pulses.” His demeanor calm as he sets he finger on his lips thinking about how a Gonzati Cruiser appeared without being noticed full of clones.

Commander Wolffe grabs Bo-Katan and yells. “Let's go! We cannot save her.”

The Wolfpack surround them for protection and fires on the stormtrooper as the Chiss officer leaves with a child in tow, and too far to grab without more casualties.

Bo-Katan wrestles from Wolffe shrill in her voice. “Commander Wolffe let me go! I promised her! I promised Vidya! Don't you tatugire feel anything?” She wrangles from him and he grabs again to get her out of there. “You know she's yours, di'kutla Tatugir! Nayc! Vidya died protecting her for the Mandalorian way... NAYC! I MUST—“

Commander Wolffe wants to stun her but looks at her widened eyes with fear and grabs her shoulders. “Bo. I do feel. But if we don't get out of here, we will have to fight a fleet of Imperial ships and he - the Overlord wants you back at HQ to regroup. I can't let my lapses in judgment with Dr. Vidya Wren--" Sighs and looks down not wanting to recount that. “Sabine is safer on Mandalore. I will make sure of that. We will make sure of that.”

The Wolfpack jump on a retrofitted Mandalorian Gauntlet Fighter with the entire rescue team. The clones watch Bo-Katan collapse in tears at the loss of her goddaughter in complete silence.


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