The mercenaries, now working for the Empire of the Hand, were given quarters aboard one of Thrawn’s cruisers. They waited while the Cult of Illviii gathered information on the whereabouts and activities of the groups intended targets, Swindle and Mandalore the Crusader. Intelligence pointed that each was at their most vulnerable, Swindle, in the middle of his bloody take-over of Black Sun, wass in the midst of fighting to secure lasting power in the organization, and consolidate his forces. However, [[:mandalore-the-crusader was currently in a state which may have been his last truly vulnerable time, holding the final ceremonies before mobilizing the clans in a direct strike against the inner systems. With this information, the group decided to eliminate Mandalore the Crusader, rather then risk his invasion, Swindle would have to wait for now.
Mandalore the Crusader was staging on the planet Rattatak, the Mandalorians having recently conquered the planet and built a command center there. All the major clans were gathering at a gladiatorial game hosted by Mandalore the Crusader, where they are executing a number of enemies to the Mandalorians in honorable combat. The clans were also competing with one another for favor in the upcoming battles, but the agents of the Empire of the Hand reported there is still unease regarding the direction Mandalore the Crusader was taking. Many of the soldiers were calling him ‘Mandalore the Insane’, and ‘Mandalore the Cursed.’, and while this group seemed to be in the minority, if they could be contacted, they would prove a powerful asset.
The group managed to use their old Mandalorian armor, recolored and battle worn in places to prevent recognition, and infiltrated the city on Rattatak. There, they entered into a Cantina to survey the clientele. They asked the bar tender, in fairly vague terms, where they were to ‘meet with him.’ The bar tender, apparently knowing exactly who they meant, pointed at a warrior nursing a drink in the back corner. When they approached him, the man quickly recognized the group, and led them to a secluded area to meet with his resistance group.
But as usual, it was not what it appeared. Entering the storage area, the group was confronted by a group of Mandalorians wielding lightsabers and armor similar to the warrior they had killed aboard Thrawn‘s cruiser. “You slew our leader, you will not destroy us, nor betray us to Mandalore!” But, some quick talking averted (most of) the violence, and soon the realization that this group opposed Mandalore the Crusader’s heavy handed policies led to a plan to infiltrate Mandalore’s arena games.
The group was smuggled in as prisoners, brought to fight against the Mandalorians and die for the pleasure of Mandalore. But upon seeing that these ‘foreign prisoners’ were in fact those he had labeled traitors, Mandalore eagerly ordered the arena doors to open and for his soldiers to attack. Fighting through three waves of Mandalorians seemed bad enough, but the group was also confronted by Mandalore’s own assaults as well, as he fired missiles into the arena. His attacks created an inferno that spread, slowly eliminating the room the group had to maneuver in as the fire moved across the room. Soon, Mandalore the Crusader entered the fight personally, and with some carefully placed shots into his Jetpack, came plummeting to the ground. Mandalore the Crusader was soon defeated, and with him, his plan of a mad Mandalorian conquest.
But the fire still spread, and the group was locked into the arena. Suddenly, the flames parted, thrown aside by some invisible power. At the entrance to the arena stood that same mysterious cloaked figure which had thwarted the group back against the Jedi so long ago. By the time the group had escaped, the figure was gone. Looking forward, their next mission would be to deal with Dro Artos, Swindle.