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Victims of Corruption, the innocent are the damned.

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The fight was not overly bloody.  

It could have been, but it was not.  

Jaster had brought his verde to Galidraan to stop another Death Watch group left over from the war, but quickly realised that the Governor had not been entirely truthful. A few days of research had uncovered it all.  

The Governor had called for the Jetiise, lied and told them that the Haat Mando’ade were slaughtering ade and innocents. The Jetiise were coming with force to be used as a weapon against them, but they were being tricked, and Jaster... 

Jaster held no love for the Jetiise , but he did not think they deserved to die when neither side had actually done any wrong.  

When the Jettise arrived, he had his verde in position for an ambush and the Jetiise had barely even finished landing when the fight began. They hadn’t stood a chance, all stunned or knocked out or pinned or restrained within a few minutes. Some were injured, and an unfortunate sequence of events had led to more than half the ships the Jettise had come on being destroyed, but they were apprehended.  

That led to a new issue; what to do with their captives?  

They weren’t hostile, though they were clearly angry at being stopped and restrained. They were not here to fight, especially since their supplies looked mostly medical, but the report the Governor sent had asked for a Strike Team, and they had acted on that information. Had the Governors report, the one they’d managed to get a hold of, also been a rouse for them, as well as the Jetiise ?  

They needed to be restrained, watched and held, but he also didn’t want to treat them too badly, because he didn't feel they were entirely in the wrong either.  

In the end, he decided he needed to talk with their leader.  

Information was key, and if both sides knew what was happening and what the others knew, perhaps further conflict could be avoided.  

Jaster had just ended the Civil War his own people had been facing, save a few small fanatical groups that were still causing trouble. They would not be drawn into a new war with the Jetiise.  

Not if he could help it.  

.  

.  

.  

“Why are you here on Galidraan?”  

“We were told a Mandalorian fringe group was attacking civilians. We were asked to divert here and assist. Our plan was to talk with the Governor who called for our help, investigate and then act on that information. Please, be assured, we would not have attacked unless we found any real evidence of wrong doing.”  

“We have done no wrong.”  

“Truthfully, I did not think you had. The Force does not warn me of anything and you are Jaster Mereel , the Mand’alor . You're renowned for your honour and dedication to protection of the innocent. How did you know we were coming?”  

“We did not trust the governor, not his claim that Kyr’tsad  was here. What’s with the ships full of supplies?”  

“Those were part of our original mission, a supply run to a war-torn planet who has been calling for aid. May I make a request?”  

“If you were sent on a rescue mission, why are you here?”  

“We were the closest.”  

There was more to it than that, Jaster could feel it, see it on his face and the way he held his tongue.  

“What’s your request?”  

“I would ask to be allowed to make two comm calls.”  

“To whom?”  

“The Council an...”  

“We will be calling your Council. You may be present but you will not talk to them alone. The other?”  

“My grandpadawan . These supplies were supposed to be going to him, we aren’t going to make it, and I'd rather he learn it from me.”  

“Your grandpadawan?”  

“My grandson, so to speak. He and my former padawan and another Jedi were sent on a mission, it failed and they were all reported as dead. A few months ago, we finally picked up communications. He alone survived and desperately needs help.”  

“You’re only sending supplies and aid now?”   

That wasn’t it, he knew that before he’d even asked the question. The tone of the Jetii’s  voice alone was enough to know he was sincere in his want to get to his bu’ad. He was also sure this was going to be of the same vein as why the Jetii had stopped himself before.   

“Every prior attempt to send help has been diverted by Senate orders.”  

Diverted.  

Kriff , they hadn’t been these Jetiise’s mission, that had already been clear by the supply crates and the lack of information they had, but to think that they’d been an afterthought and worse, a way to keep these supplies away from the people who needed them, it made him sick.  

And it was this Jetii’s  grandson, no wonder they’d been so furious.  

The Senate, the Republic’s greedy corrupt cowardly bastard leadership, had purposely diverted supplies away from those who needed it, more than once.  

“I will allow it; but it will be monitored.”  

“I understand.”  

.  

.  

.  

Jaster wasn’t lying when he told the Jetii it would be monitored, he, Myles and Jango were all in the room with the Jetii , just out of the camera range, so they could see but would not be seen.  

The holo lit up blue as the call connected, and Jaster recoiled slightly.  

“Obi-Wan.”  

“Master?”  

The boy looked awful, skin sweat-sheened, hair a complete mess, bags dark under his eyes, whole face drawn with pain.  

For a second his face was lit with a smile that seemed to give him strength, then some realisation came over him, and it slipped away back into resigned exhaustion .  

“You’re not coming, are you?”  

“I am so sorry.”  

“Another Senate side track?”   

It was a weak joke, but the undertone was deadly serious. The Jetii, Dooku, looked on the verge of tears.  

“Indeed, we’ve lost the supplies and I do not think we’re going to be able to make it to you. You're going to need to hold on a little longer.”  

The boy huffed a laugh.  

“I’ll pass on the message.”  

“No, Obi-Wan, you have to hold on. Just a little longer, please.”  

“I’ve been holding on for three weeks Master, I... there’s shrapnel in my lungs, my insides are shredded my leg’s badly infected. We have no medical supplies and barely any food, Master, I need a bacta tank and surgery and right now I'm holding my insides together with the Force, string and 50-year-old medical sutures. I'm exhausted and nothing’s helping drive that away anymore, hasn’t for days now. The others will keep surviving. Please, when I die, don’t let them stop trying to send help.”  

“One week more, Obi-Wan, please. That's all it will take.”  

“For what, the Senate to divert another mission away from us. They want the planets resources; they need the people here dead to make their claim. Help isn’t going to make it in time for me, please save them. Promise me you'll keep trying.”  

“The Council won’t stop; the Jedi will get to you. I promise, dear one, help will come. I am so sorry it has not managed to find you sooner.”  

“It’s not your fault, grandmaster. You've tried so hard to get here, please never blame yourself.”  

The camera view shook on the boy’s end, though he barely flinched at it, and the view was static for a second before refocusing.  

“The bombing’s starting again, the signal won’t last.”  

“Help will come, padawan. Remember, luminous beings, we are...”  

“Not this crude matter. I know. May the Force be with you, Grandmaster.  

“And with you, Obi-Wan.”  

The comm cut out from his end, and the Jetii’s face crumbled.  

.  

.  

.  

Dooku returned to where they were holding the rest of the Jetiise , and Jaster watched as the younger girl who’d kept close to him when she could, darted forwards. If he had to guess she was his ad, which likely made the boy on the comm her vod’ad and the Jetiise that had died her vod.    

Kriff, he hadn’t even thought Jetiise had aliit before today. 

“Master, did you speak to Obi-Wan?”  

“I did, they are aware they’ll have to hold on a little longer.”  

“How... how is he?”  

Dooku shook his head, as if he couldn’t quite get the words out and Jaster wondered if he’d have been able to if their positions were switched.  

“Someone... someone will get to him, right? Another team, they’ll make it in time?”  

“I do not believe anyone else will be able make it in time for Obi-Wan. He shall likely have joined Tahl and Qui-Gon by the end of the week. They will not be able to gather the materials and manpower for a new team and make the journey that quickly.”  

The girl’s face fell, in fact, every one of the Jetiise looked somewhere between devastated and furious, something he again hadn’t thought was possible with Jetiise , and Jaster made his decision there and then.  

.  

.  

.  

He called a meeting, Jango, his second Myles, and a few of his Al’verde.  

“Myles, can you see where the Jetiise were going?”  

Melida /Daan, we already started looking after the comm call. Planets a mess, they’ve almost wiped themselves out, most of the surviving adults have left as ‘war refugees’ but apparently there’s a faction of ade that were trying to stop the war that were left behind and a group of ‘Elders’ who refused to abandon the planet they’re intent on killing the ade . They've kept on fighting, despite the fact that no-one's got much of anything. The elders want the planet and its resources, the ade want peace and to survive. Three Jetiise were sent to help, two are dead, the third is the ad from the comm.”  

“Dooku’s ad and bu’ad were sent.”  

Myles nodded.  

“What resources?”  

Durasteel  mines, several rhydonium  mines, a slew of other valuable minerals.”  

“And the Senate’s been blocking all rescue operations?”  

“It looks like it. Apparently, an investigation had been called for by the Jetiise  because it also looks like someone in the Senate was blocking the calls for help from getting out and aiding the war on the planet, but nothing has come of it. Looks like someone’s fuelled the war so they can take the resources once the natives are dead. The Jetiise are being shut down and moved aside.”  

“Correct me if I'm wrong, but Melida /Daan is on the borders of Mandalorian space?”  

“It is.”  

“Ade to save, valuable resources, the Senate is unwilling to act and has been evidenced as such, it’s been a while since we added a new planet to our system.”  

“It’ll hardly be an invasion, there’s no-one there to stop us.”  

“Peaceful occupation, rescue mission, peaceful incorporation,” Al’verde  Kree muttered, “pick a term.”  

“Alor, are you sure?”  

His al’verde were right to be worried, if this went wrong it could be disastrous , but they had to do something.  

“We can try to work with the Jetiise, that would give us legitimacy. Once we’re done, whether we have the planet or not, the ade would be safe and the demagolka dead.”  

“If the Jetiise wanted to save their ad so badly, why n ot just send a small ship for him?”  

Reau had a point, but Myles was quick to answer.   

“Kid probably won’t leave without them, you heard him on the comm, he wants the ade he’s with safe.”  

“Look, the Senate chose us to be the decoys for this mission, and that may have cost this ad his life, and the lives of other ade on that planet. I think we should show them that they made a mistake trying to use us to harm ade , and trying to start a conflict between us and the Jetiise.”  

Jango was right, and saying what most of the room had probably been thinking. The people in the Senate had chosen them, and known that the resulting battle, had there been one, would have hugely widened the rift, maybe caused a war. So many Jetiise and Mando’ade would have been needlessly killed.  

It was at times like these he knew for certain his ad would be a great Mand’alor one day.  

Jango’s right. They used us to destroy resources that were to be sent to a group of war victims. It's our honour and our duty to make things right.”  

“What will we do once it’s over?”  

“Let the Jetiise leave, help the ade on the planet, start into talks with the Republic about how they let this happen, go from there. First things first, we need to get to that planet and save these ade .”