So here we are. Face to face. Commander versus commander. We’re settling this battle in the old way.
Ronan Barec was a Mandalorian sniper who fought under Mandalore Boba Fett in the Yuuzhan Vong war. A former special forces commando on Mandalore, he was active under the New Republic and in the early years of the Galactic Alliance. He became one of Fett's most reliable supercommandos after the training on Raxus Prime and his operations during the Vong invasion.
Early years (1 BBY-16 ABY)Edit
Born in Shirok, Mandalore as the only son to Munro Barec, a former Cuy'val Dar and later instructor at the Imperial Royal Guard Academy on Yinchorr, Ronan grew up under strict Mandalorian training. He was mostly brought up by his mother Belaya in his early years, before his father retired after the Battle of Endor. Shortly after Ronan turned six, his mother died and Munro made his son's upbringing and training his main focus. The fact that his father had been a more military-oriented Mando and a special troops instructor twice in his life made Ronan's combat training a more drilled one as compared to others, and he would later indeed live up to his father and choose a career as a commando.
Career in the special forces (16-25 ABY)EditEven before his mother's death, Ronan turned out to have been born with an eagle eye and an unchallenged precise shot. Consequently, his later penchant for sniper rifles would only be a natural choice. At the age of 17, Barec joined the globally acclaimed Shirok Police Service, and with his skills, it didn't take long before he was promoted to its special operations department, better known as ShenCresh Ops (short for "Shirok Commando Ops"), a division specialized on counter-terrorism, special commando operations and the galaxy-wide trackdown and hunt of fugitive high-profile convicts. In the force, his military bearing was hardened, and soon, Ronan made a reputation as one of the service's best commando snipers in the several last generations. He was given a scout sniper position in Fireteam D, better known as Team Dorn. Later on, he took command of the small commando unit after the former leader's demise and was promoted to lieutenant. He came around a lot in the galaxy during the operations, making lots of new contacts but also breeding feuds with some criminals, such as the wanted assassin Gladus Tite. Each time Ronan and his men managed to capture and send him to prison, Tite managed to escape again, so the hunt began anew. This hunt became more and more personal for Ronan, as he saw Tite as something like his nemesis, and yet he still had a certain amount of respect for the contract-killer. In the end, Ronan was assigned off the chase to fulfill operations with higher priority.
When his father died an abrupt, mysterious death in 23 ABY, Ronan took a few month's leave from the service to search for his father's place and circumstances of death. All he found was Munro's torso armor and helmet, both covered in dirt, mud and blood, which Ronan took along to later put in a small display cabinet on the cockpit of his ship, leaving the armor unpolished and literally untouched in the way he had found it. He went searching for the reasons of his father's death, but never found his body or any details, apart from rumors that Munro Barec might have been somehow involved in the events of Fenn Shysa's death and Boba Fett's taking up the title as Mandalore. His father bequeathed Ronan all his belongings, as well as his impressive wealth, a small part of which Ronan invested in purchasing his commando unit's upgraded Firespray-class attack ship Nemesis from the service. The vessel had long served as more than an operations platform to him and he had somehow grown attached to.
In 24 ABY, only a few months after his father's demise, however, Barec chose to abandon his successful career and his highly awarded officer rank, and joined the Mandalorian Protectors, convinced by Fett's new leadership. It would turn out that this conviction had been misplaced, when Fett handled the upcoming extragalactic invasion in a way Ronan didn't approve.
Yuuzhan Vong war (25-29 ABY)Edit
You didn’t want to have the shab to do with us as we risked our lives trying to feed you with first-hand intel on the vongese. Now you think it goes without saying for us to meet your demands?
—Ronan Barec to Galactic Alliance officer Salem Rios
In the next few years, he, along with many other volunteers, experienced a brutal training regimen under Fett himself on the desolate planet of Raxus Prime. Ronan became a true Mandalorian warrior, a supercommando. When in 25 ABY the Mandalore chose to ally with the Yuuzhan Vong, Barec, like many others, struggled to help the extragalactic invaders, and he fought only on very few occasions for them. They looked for every single good fighter with Mandalorian spirit, and so Ronan chose to recruit several acquaintances, including Gladus Tite. He had long settled the grudge against the skilled swordsman and assassin, and since Tite had originally been Mandalorian but now had the status of dar'manda, Ronan gave Gladus his heritage back and even allowed him to join his clan.
Concealed from the Vong, Fett even tightened the regimen, causing countless casualties. But when the Vong eventually chose to betray the Mandalorians and attacked Mandalore in 29 ABY, the it proved to have been worth the efforts and the Mandalorians more than successfully repelled the invasion. Barec, now experienced in larger scale battle than commando insertions, finally got the chance to fight the invaders, and following the Battle of Mandalore, he led a group of supercommandos and other Mandalorian volunteers to a decisive victory in the Liberation of Dubrillion.
This battle, however, also changed Barec's view on the war, mostly due to the friends and comrades he lost there. He acquired a new, more specialized armor and became less talkative and grimmer, but his will to push the Yuuzhan Vong back didn't cease.
After the war (29 ABY- )Edit
Barec survived the following battles and the war, proving to be one of the most experienced and skilled Mandalorian soldiers under Fett's leadership, and he was still with the Mandalorians during the Second Corellian Insurrection.
Physical appearance and personality traitsEdit
It’d be interesting to see how a brute force marksman like Ronan,and a more... delicate sniper like Ram would team up.
—Norac Tristan, about the "rival" snipers Ram Zerimar and Ronan Barec
Despite his strong build and tall size, Ronan knew well not merely to rely on brute force and preferred ranged combat to a melee, as he wasn't as skilled in close combat. And while he had a body as trained and steeled as it had to be expected from a Mandalorian soldier, he didn't overdo it and knew if he was too muscle-packed, he wouldn't be as athletic and agile as he needed to be—he relied more on other things, such as intelligence, tactics and a more elaborate approach at things. Also, while Ronan had all kinds of hi-tech and sophisticated weapons systems at his proposal, he turned down several features in his armor suit and relied more on his natural abilities rather than technology—he did, for example, often deactivate his helmet systems when shooting his sniper rifle, relying only on his skills and instincts.
He had striking, penetrative blue eyes and distinctive scored facial features that told of experience, wit and cunning. Known to be a companionable and cordial man, Ronan cared about his friends and comrades and always had exhilarant and unconstrained lines in patter. After the events of Dubrillion, however, he became grimmer and less talkative, although he still remained sane and lucid—and somehow, he projected an even more aspiring and thrilling aura to others.
While never showing his fears and worries to the outside, keeping them tightly to himself, it was not like he didn't have any, like many who knew him were lead to believe. The deaths of both parents, as well as deaths of partners in the Shirok forces, lead him to never forge close relationships and bonds with others, for he feared he might lose them as well. Despite his efforts, he always found friends and comrades he cared about. Especially after the high losses on Dubrillion, he started to enforce his efforts and became more introverted, trying to prevent things like that from happening again. The fact that he never showed those feelings to anyone was probably playing against him, because sometimes he reckoned that if he had someone to talk to about his worries, they might start to vanish. Those traits showed also in his relation to women: he had various relationships with women before the war, but they never lasted long, and he still needed to find a partner that would be able to truly help and be there for him. Nevertheless, when it didn't come to romance, he could quite well interact with females.
Those many losses only naturally lead to a grudge against the Yuuzhan Vong, and he hoped that once the war was over, he might truly start to live and get loose from his worries. With his father having been an Imperial in principle, Ronan also tended to dislike the Galactic Alliance as a governing body and was oriented more to the side of the Imperial Remnant.
Equipment and gearEdit
During his time with ShenCresh Ops, Barec had worn the plain matte-black standard-issue Mandalorian shock trooper armor without markings and only durasteel protection, which was standard issue for ShenCresh Ops. He kept that armor after resigning and joining the Mandalorian Protectors. Shortly after the Yuuzhan Vong War began, however, he repainted it in a matte silver and golden scheme. After the Battle of Dubrillion, he eventually put his old armor away and went to the acquainted armorsmith Altair Jiriad to produce a new one. The suit was very expensive, even by Mandalorian standards, and Barec spent nearly all of the remaining money he had inherited from his father on it, but it was more than worth it for him.
Ronan's new helmet was of standard Mandalorian design. The rangefinder included a powerful electrobinocular that allowed an immense magnification. Ronan often referred to this as his galaar'sur'haai (Mando'a for hawk eye), as this was the only visible feature on his helmet that showed his profession, not to mention that the rangefinder itself was shaped like a reptilian eye.
Default features were multiple visor modes (night, low-light, infrared, thermal, ultraviolet, and the Vong-detecting vision that had been adopted from Yuuzhan Vong Hunter droids); the wink-commanded HUD which lacked the standard 360-degree vision, in order to provide better focus and attention in Ronan's natural FOV; enhanced aural and olfactory sensors; built-in A/V-recorder; targeting systems linked to his suit's weapons (not to external weapons like blasters); rebreather and airfilters which were not visible from the outside, as they sat on the "inside" of the helmet for aesthetic reasons; and access to an expansive database (e.g. field guide), as well as a powerful long-range comlink that also allowed access on the HoloNet. Ronan also added enhanced sensors for atmospheric conditions and weather, since such data was important for ballistics.
Armor and attireEdit
Ronan would never equip all of his gear at once, he always adjusted his equipment to the environment and the kind of mission/assignment. This was especially true for ammunition and some of the variable suit weapons, and usually he had to unequip a certain kind of weapon, ammunition or grenade to replace it by another one.
Upper parts and torso protectionEditBarec could attach a small, ball-shaped targeting laser to his right shoulder that would always follow the direction his helmet faced if activated, though he was seldom to use it. A standard sniper ammo pack was sometimes sitting on his right shoulder-pad, where often also grenades were fastened. On his right shoulder-pad was the traditional Mandalorian emblem, while he had painted a stylized Vong skull onto the right pad.
The standard armor vest had enforced armor plates out of an elaborate alloy of Mandalorian iron, durasteel and a slight amount of laminanium, forged by expert armorer Jiriad to provide best protection for an acceptable weight—still protective enough against lightsabers and not near as heavy a pure Mandalorian iron, the alloy found use in Jiriad's own armor and those of several of his clients; or at least those with large pockets. The chestplates also bore the Clan Barec crest and the sigil of Honor Guard, the team of Mandalorians he commanded during several battles in the Vong war.
His upper arms and elbows were not protected by armor plates, but there was a black brassard strapped around his left upper arm, the only item from his old armor that had remained unchanged ever since leaving the Shirok special forces. It bore the badge of his his former commando unit, Team Dorn, and served as one of his identification marks.
The right wrist guard featured retractable blades on the right (as seen on Jango Fett's armor) and the often-seen whipcord launcher. After various encounters with enemies that managed to sneak up close to him while he was in a prone or crouching sniping position, so close actually that he wouldn't have time to swirl his sniper rifle around and aim a precise shot, he installed a close to mid-range flechette thrower, the wide-spreading projectiles of which allowed him to counter such hostiles without having to take an accurate aim. The launcher could also utilize depleted baradium shells as highly efficient particles against Yuuzhan Vong materials like voduun crab armor and yorik coral, but that was too expensive even for Ronan. On the gauntlet also set a control panel for the calibration of his synth-skin camouflage.
Mounted on the left gauntlet was a dartcaster, for rocket- or toxic darts and an extendable vibroblade. Further on, there was an extending nozzle that could be both used as a hypodermic needle for injection of toxins and nerve agents, but also bacta and painkillers, and as a dispenser for spraying gases, such assmoke or toxic gases, but also numbing dust for use against enemies up close. Latter feature seemed unusual for a sniper to many, but Ronan also often opted as a scout, and taking out hostiles from behind without making any sound whatsoever was something he deemed very useful. Notable was the lack of a flamethrower.
Lower parts and leg protectionEdit
He wore a traditional kama with pouches for equipment (medpacs, grenades, supplies and other things depending on mission) on the back waist and the right thigh. On his belt, he carried ammunition for his rifle and sidearm (what sorts of ammo were depending on the mission), a sheathed vibrodagger, a pocket flask for—usually non-alcoholic—drinks and his sidearm in the holster on the left thigh. His vibrosword was fastened on the back, and if backpack or jetpack was carried, the sword was strapped on a bandoleer from waist to shoulder, that had also space for additional ammo or grenades.
Thighs, knees, and lower legs were protected by armor plates, while a small rocket-dart launcher was mounted on the knee-guards. The armor protection, however, was only on the front, while the kama and a thicker layer of special armorweave on the jumpsuit's calves protected the backsides. Barec had two main pairs of combat boots, both with the upper parts protected by armor plates, sealable with the rest of the suit and with two punctured spikes on each boots, the only difference being that one pair had zero-g gripsoles and was thus heavier.
Protective clothing and hunter's veil camouflageEdit
He also had two different jumpsuits, a standard one—vacuum-tight, fire and puncture resistant—with thicker protection for the unarmored parts, and a heavier one made out of a sophisticated armorweave that was produced in a diffucult quantal-process were every single fiber was sprayed with a thin layer of duraplast, woven so tightly and multi-layered together that it provided protection against one or two razor bugs. The kama and the armor vest was also made of this special fabric. The only real disadvantage was that it was considerably heavy and unrepairable if impaired, and naturally coming with an exorbitant price.
One item in his pouches was a set of a special camouflage poncho in three pieces; the main suit that could cover his entire body, a rifle sleeve and a cover for whatever backpack he carried. The fabric it was out of was called hunter's veil—or hodar'gam, a colloquial Mando'a expression roughly translating to "deceiving skin"—, a special material able to mimic colors and shapes in the vicinity, creating chameleon-like properties. The fibers of the material could be adjusted to create a random or precise pattern by standing on end, giving it a bristle texture. The pattern could be fine-tuned via the control panel on Ronan's right gauntlet. The whole suit could further be improved by adding environmental traits like leaves, grass, snow, sand or alike to make it something like a ghillie suit.
If Ronan was, for example, on an assignment in a forest, he could put on the poncho and adjust it to turn green and brown like the trees, and even add some twigs and leaves to improve the camouflage. If the area outside the forest was covered by snow, he could move to the edge of the woods, and adjust the hunter's veil to be green where he still was in the forest, while everything else was white as the snow, making him even more difficult to spot.
When he didn't want to wear the whole poncho, he could also cover individual armor plates with pieces of hunter's veil fabric.
All metal parts that were not covered by paint were matted to be anti-reflective (just like the helmet visor and the rifle scopes), what was very important for a sniper, because light reflections easily gave away hidden positions.
Barec's weapon of choice was a heavily modified BlasTech EE-23 Mk IV marksman carbine, perfectly suited for both long-ranged and close combat and equipped with a vibro-bayonet. The blaster/slugthrower-hybrid rifle allowed him to shoot high-energy blaster rounds as well as slug and particle rounds in various calibers. The EE-23 was nearly as versatile as a Verpine sniper rifle, but provided more stability and robustness, as well as different fire modes that didn't limit it to long range.
His favored sidearm was a customized Merr-Sonn P-7, nicknamed "Offshoot" for its feel as an extension of the arm, a close to mid range blaster pistol. It was lightweight and didn't have many shots in one clip, but each one was powerful and very precise. Later on, when the war came, Ronan went to the acquainted gunsmith Siege Takomir, an expert armorer who had been involved in the production of later EE-23 variants. Takomir worked on the pistol and modified it to have the capability to also shoot slug rounds, in addition to standard blaster bolts; after all, blasters turned out not to be very useful against the highly resistible organic protection of Yuuzhan Vong.
On only few occasions after his time as a commando, Ronan still wore his jet-black Mitrinomon Z-6 jetpack, the same type used by many other Mandalorians, although Barec preferably used a grappling hook missile rather than an explosive warhead with the force to blow up a medium-sized tank, and that wasn't all too well protected against blaster fire.
Ronan also sported a short, double-edged vibrosword. Under the grip was a pointy rivet, what made the weapon still deadly when bashing an opponent with its butt.
Behind the scenesEdit
Originally, Ronan was supposed to be born on Shogun, but with the release of Revelation, the planet was written out of continuity, so I had to come up with a different solution. Now he was born on Mandalore, but in the remote city of Shirok.
A lot of thanks goes to Kuk-Man, a friend of mine who not only did a lot of great art for Ronan, but also helped with technical issues regarding armor and equipment. He created the whole backstory and details of the EE-23, as well as the "hunter's veil", an ingenious idea.
Ronan Barec's looks are based on Clive Owen. The images (not the artworks) show photomanipulations by me.
The Appearances listed below are fanfiction stories by me (Corran Fett), in which Ronan has major roles.