*So, this is a short story by John Jackson Miller that was originally produced for Hyperspace. Some of the Hyperspace content never resurfaced in any legal fashion, but luckily this one did. It can be read for free at Suvudu.
*So, this is a really interesting concept. It’s just a series of transmissions from a Republic Captain Goodvalor and the Mandalorian authorities. It seems that Goodvalor has managed to hack into the transmission feed that goes to the Mandalorians’ helments and he’s spouting Republic propaganda. The Mando leaders, obviously, tell the soldiers to ignore it.
*This is actually very witty and creative.
*Goodvalor sends out a transmission arguing for all the Mandalorian troops to defect to the Republic forces on Taris.
*Then this is the next transmission: “This is Commander True, first officer to Captain Goodvalor. The captain apologies, but he is not going to be able to broadcast today. There were so many Mandalorians who crossed the lines and joined the Republic after his last message, he’s just been too busy. He sends his regards. The Republic: It sends its regards.”
*Every message ends with “The Republic” and then some catchy slogan. And “It sends it regards” made me laugh out loud for some reason.
*So, the Mandos shove a vehicle off of an abandoned rooftop in order to set up a signal post and then we get this transmission: “We absolutely made a call . . . ten seconds after we shoved the fighter over the side of the building. There was plenty of time. You guys in the Lower City need to stay on top of things. Oh, and – ah, ‘We’ll remember them, so they are eternal.’”
*Miller is able to take the simplest ideas and make them hilarious. I mean, time for the Allston comparison again.
*The Republic: Real beds. Running water.
*Goodvalor warns the Mandalorian troops that some aliens from Zongerlu have joined the fight against the Mandalorians and they’re especially pissed because the Mandos nuked a camp filled with children.
*Next transmission from the Mandalorians: “Sornell here . . . the signal station is not the place to bring your questions about alien biology. If you really want to know what a Zongerlu looks like, you can wait until we get there. I don’t care if you just joined us. Next guy who bothers me gets beaten to death.”
*Republic weather report for Zongerlu: Hurricane-force winds across much of the planet, with magnetic storms throughout the ionosphere. Searing heat at the surface, with intermitet pyroclastic flows from some of the larger volcanic ranges. Atmospheric sulfur content remains high, with acidic rains in the polar regions. Essentially, for Zongerlu, a temperate day.”
*Goodvalor keeps sending messages about all the ships waiting for the Mandos at Zongerlu, etc. But when the Mandies get there, they discover the Zongerlu are a plant species and it seems that “Captain Goodvalor” was basically broadcasting out of a closet.
*So, things are quiet on Zongerlu for a while, but “Goodvalor” returns, once again offering very good surrender terms.
*But this very humorous story has a bleak ending. The Mandalorian leader muses over the surrender offer from the Republic and simply doesn’t understand: “They could have a glorious battle, a true measure of what we’re worth . . . instead, they’re trying to choose a bribe? . . . I don’t understand them. And I don’t think they understand us.”
*Which kind of neatly boils down the whole problem with the Mandalorians. Because they’ll never surrender. Because it isn’t a loss to die in battle; the Mandies only lose when they choose not to fight. Any other outcome is a victory for them. Maybe it’s true. Maybe the Republic still doesn’t get it.
*I really liked this. It’s a nice little detour, a short story breaking up a run of comics and, surprisingly, a story that doesn’t feature a single character from the comics. The Revanchist and Cassus Fett are mentioned, but that’s all.
*It’s four pages long, free, very funny and has a clever concept. Win, win, win, win.
*And then, surprisingly, a thought-provoking ending. Yeah, I really liked this one a lot.
*CANONICAL STATUS: This work is of exceptional historical accuracy. It is RECOMMENDED as a historical resource.
John Jackson Miller