Chapter 48
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AN: I know the uploads are slow. It's mainly because my righting speed has come down drastically. 

A few months pass. The hype about our reveal has died down as we mostly kept to ourselves. And there is a war going on. People’s attention gravitated to it as the Republic had started a mass recruitment drive. The military composition of the GRA will be half clone while the other half would be regulars. And the funny part is that the regulars will be under non-Jedi commanders and generals. While the Jedi would still command the clone forces. The reason being the widespread distrust of the Jedi by the Public.

While this is happening, we struck major trade deals with both governments. We would make and sell defense equipment to them through the Straxon Corporation. We will sell infantry armor and weapons to the Republic. Meanwhile, we will sell droids and other infantry equipment to the separatists. We also have a special line of infantry weapons for sale.

These two factions were not the only ones we were trading with. We made deals with the Hutts, the Black Suns, and the Pyke syndicate as well. The Hutts ordered ships with ‘legal’ modifications they needed for trade. The Black suns trade weapons and information with us. And we trade spice with the Pykes. We trade weapons and droids of many varieties with all three in the open as well as in the shadows. We became the unofficial manufacturer of arms, armor, and droids for the black-market and the syndicates. We also unofficially formed a council for the Underworld. With all four of our factions holding a seat. Bringing about a unified underworld organization. We call it the Shadow Council. The main purpose of the council being trade. Bith material and intelligence.

The greatest achievements were when we gained access to the separatist droid armies control core. This was the kill switch to turn them all off at once. The keyword being ‘was’. With a little trojan horse malignant code insertion here and there. Now when the button is pressed the entire droid military force will just pick up everything and come over to our side as discretely as possible. Well, I also made sure to leave significant pockets of self-sustaining droid forces to carry on the Separatists' fight. They will make it seem like all the droid forces have retreated to these locations. Especially on key separatists’ planets and production worlds. Even after the war, they will continue to fight the corrupt enemy regime. This will keep the imperials busy for a long time.

All the groundwork had been laid. Now, all we had to do was continue this little game.

(POV Subail)

We were given a mission by Thrunn. If it succeeded then we will give the republic a bloody nose and they will continue to be on the back foot.

The mission was simple. We were to take a newly developed bomb in a stealthed frigate and deploy it discretely on Anaxes. One of the Republics' key military worlds. We were to deploy this on a mountain range on the planet. This was also a field test for the new bomb cooked up by the egg heads.

“Are we there yet?” asked Arla who came into the cockpit.

“Almost. Did you check on our cargo?” I asked.

“Yeah. The Demolition guys gave us the all-clear. Can’t believe we are carrying a metric kriffin tone of planetary destruction with us” said Arla.

“Well, they wanted to test it on someone. Who better than the Republic” I said.

“But why though?” asked Arla.

“From what I know of Thrunn and what he has told me, I can think of two reasons. The first one is that whoever wins this war will eventually turn their attention towards us and we need a deterrent. The second is more of a guess. He has spoken of an enemy from outside the galaxy that will invade it. My guess would be he is preparing for the eventuality of something like that happening” I explained to her.

“I heard him talk about it as well. Are they real though?” she asked.

“I would say yes. When we were getting started with the Ghost fleet, we engaged one of these invaders' scout fleet alongside the Chiss. From what I saw I would say the threat they pose is real” I said.

“Hmmm,” she said. Pondering on what I had just said. I just look over at her frowning face. She always gets so serious when thinking. I just run a system check in the silence of the cockpit which was occasionally interrupted by a ‘hmm’ or a ‘tsk’. Why is she thinking so hard on this?

Soon we arrived in the system. Dropping out behind a moon. This will hide us from any sensors. Plus, the active stealth and ECM also helps.

“We are here. Go tell the guys handling the nig boom box to be ready. Our Window is small and we have to do it quickly” I said. Arla nods and heads off to notify the specialists. Even with the stealth, the possibility of discovery is still there. It only takes some lucky clone or any soldier just needs to fumble over some irregularity on the sensor readings or spots us, the entire operation will be a bust and the consequences severe.

We slowly make our way to the designated location. So far no one has spotted us.

As soon as we touchdown the specialists are of the ship and hard at work. They have to not only set up the device but also cover its presence up.

Time ticks by and they are making good progress. I am constantly on the sensors keeping an eye out for unwanted guests. We don’t want to get busted after getting so far.

Soon enough everything is setup.

“We are done. They have assembled everything and just need to run some system checks” said Arla coming into the cockpit.

“Good. So far we haven’t been spotted...” I wasn’t able to finish that line as the sensors picked up a LAAT coming our way “SHIT! Tell everyone to get in or hide. We got incoming Clone bird” I shouted out. I quickly made sure the cloak is still on and ECMs are running.

Luckily enough everyone was near the ship. Upon receiving my warning, they all ran into the ship.

(POV Random republic soldier)

We had been rerouted from our usual patrol route just because some clone thought he saw something on the sensors. Our LAAT flew along the mountain ranges at a steady speed and altitude.

“Picked up anything yet?” I asked my fellow trooper manning the sensors.

“Nothing. Just rocks and local wildlife” said, my fellow soldier.

“Just as I guessed. These clones are too jumpy. Good thing the Republic has started recruiting us regulars” I said.

“True that” came the reply.

We flew around for a few minutes longer. But didn’t see anything out of order.

“Tell the pilots to head back to the designated patrol route. This was just the clones jumping at shadows” I said. If it weren’t for those jumpy clones, we would have finished the patrol route sooner.

(POV Subail)

The damn LAAT flew over us a few times. From the flying pattern, they were doing a thorough search. They might have picked us up on sensors when the specialists were setting up the device.

I for one can testify that we were sweating bullets. Being discovered on a Republic stronghold planting a world devastator category weapon was not ideal to put it lightly.

Luckily, they left after a few minutes.

“Fuuu, that was a close one,” I said to Arla.

“Too close” she admitted.

We spend a few minutes to make sure there weren’t any more visitors before hightailing away.

(POV Thrunn)

I am currently facing one of the toughest missions I have ever carried out. Taking care of my children. SIGH. They were just small balls of untamable energy.

The only possible way I could handle this situation was by diverting their energy into doing something useful. I introduced them to armor, weapons, and vehicles. I showed them how to maintain and repair them. They were too young but were very interested. But such interest does lead to mishaps. Like when they blew up a speeder. Or when they set an entire garden on fire.
Bo did a good job chewing them up. But they were just over three years old, hopefully, they will mellow out after a few years. Especially after their training starts.

But tonight, I have a more urgent matter. I had to cancel on a date Bo had worked on for a few days. Her doing something like that was a rarity in itself. And it coincidentally coincided with our anniversary. I had some urgent work to be done within the war ministry. SIGH. She was royally pissed. Tonight, I had to soothe the Mythosaur queen.

I never thought I would have to stay on New Keldabe taking care of work and looking after the family when I set out doing all this. But baggers can’t be choosers. SIGH.

(POV Janak)

“This baby handles like a charm,” I said as I throttle our new ship towards Ryloth.

“It’s far better than I was expecting. Especially him funding all the modifications. This is a one-of-a-kind ship” said Asajj.

“That’s not what you told him if I remember correctly” I retorted.

“Well can’t let him get too high and mighty now can we” Asajj just sneered. “Either way why are we here?” she asked sending a notification and clearance code to the in-system HQ of the company

“He wants us to inspect how things are going here. This is one of the locations from which the cartels buy and modify ships from us on the down-low” I explained.

Soon we reach the moon under our control. This is the base of one of the industrial centers Straxon corporation operates throughout the galaxy and the one selling ‘civilian’ equipment to the Hutts, the black suns, and the Pykes. The ships are mostly in the small to medium category. While the customers bring in larger ships that might need ‘legal’ modifications.

We soon reach the landing pad of the companies HQ. We slowly make our way to the welcoming part once we are off the ship.

The group consisted of the man in charge of the operations, his Secretary. They are accompanied by a twi’lek man we are acquainted with and a young twi’lek girl.

“Glad to meet you Mr. Janak and Mrs. Asajj. I am the Operations chief in charge of all Straxon corporations’ operations in this system. People call me Regi. This is my secretary. She goes by the name Ela. We weren’t expecting an inspection till your arrival in the system” he said cordially.

“It wouldn’t be an inspection if a notification was sent before our arrival would it? Plus, the Big man himself wants me to check up on how things are going in detail” I responded.

Just then the twi’lek man cut into the conversation “Good to see you again Janak” he said shaking my hand.

“Good to see you alive and kicking as well Syndulla. And who might this be?” I asked.

“Ah. You didn’t meet last time you were, here did you?” I just shake my head “This is my daughter Hera. She is very interested in ships and tech in general. With the permission of the Mand’alor, she was able to study here in the company’s facilities” he explained. The little girl looked at us. Then to our ship her eyes shining with curiosity. Just like how I was when I was young. I am sure given the chance she will tear apart our ship to study it given the chance.

“Hello Mr. I have never seen a ship of that model before,” she said full of excitement.

“Well, that is a Mandalorian designed ship. Modified under the supervision of Mand’alor himself and with my inputs as well” I explained.

“Can I inspect it?” she asked.

“Now Hera. What did you promise before I brought you along? Simmer down now, or I will send you back to your quarters” Scolded Syndulla.

“Hahaha. It’s quite alright Syndulla. I was just like her when I was young” I then turned to Hera “Unfortunately the ship is off-limits. It has some classified Tech on it” I said in a stern voice.

“Ok,” she deflated.

“Now let’s walk and talk. I want to get this inspection done as thoroughly as possible” I said. The OP Chief lead us into the HQ.

“So Syndulla how are things going planetside?” I asked.

“Well, since you guys brokered a deal with the Hutts and even different high-ranking officials’ things have been going smoothly. There have been no pirate raids and the businesses are prospering quite well” he explained with a small smile which soon turned a little sinister “The preparations for darker times are also almost complete.”

“Good to hear. It’s better to be safe than sorry” said Asajj “Oh by the way little girl. Thrunn said to give you this datachip and badge” she turned to Hera throwing both items at her.

“What are they for?” asked Hera curiously.

“He said it will be useful for you and that you will know when to use them in the future” I explained. The girl just looks at the things in her hand with a frown on her face.

“Now Hera. What do you say when someone gives you a gift? Especially when that someone is our benefactors” asked Syndulla.

“Thank you. And say thanks to the Mand’alor for the gifts as well” she said with a smile.

“Don’t bother overthinking it. Thrunn does things differently. You will know what it means when the time is right or when he comes and punches you over the head and scold you for your ignorance” I said chuckling.

“That indeed sounds like him. He seems to think a few steps ahead almost all the time” said Syndulla.

“We will meet you guys after the inspections are done,” I said before parting with the father and daughter pair, who returned to their quarters. We had a lot of work to get done. SIGH. This is going to be a long week.

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