Back again. Hope you enjoy!
Slave I came out of hyperspace opposite TarisÃ¢Â€Â™s orbiting platforms incase the New Republic had also set up a base in this system. FettÃ¢Â€Â™s remote detonation of the seismic charge took out the dreadnaught and disintegrated the pursuing Headhunters, but it also did a lot of damage to his own vessel. The rear deflector shields took nearly as hard a hit as the dreadnaughtÃ¢Â€Â™s hull. FettÃ¢Â€Â™s high power antenna, mounted on the back of Slave I, took considerable damage. Also, one of the power generators was off line. Speed was cut by 30%, and if another fire fight was in FettÃ¢Â€Â™s near future, he wouldnÃ¢Â€Â™t be able to keep the weapons charged for long. At least the sensor jamming unit was still operating.
Hope Danthon can get me out of here quickly. Fett had dealt with Kesh Danthon several times in the past. He ran a small time smuggling operation on TarisÃ¢Â€Â™s wastelands. His headquarters was in a cavern created by the fallen buildings. The hanger was perfectly hidden, nearly imposable to find unless you knew where it was and what you were looking for.
The red glow subsided from around the forward viewport as Slave I entered the atmosphere. Fett brought up the coordinates of the base and punched them into the auto navigation system. As Slave I passed through the clouds on its downward course, Fett noticed something in the seemingly endless plain of broken rubble. A landing pad.
The black top of the pad made it visible from a great distance. Fett again took manual control of his ship and put it on the deck, flying around and just above the great piles of debris and gutted atmosphere scrapers. A scan of the area showed enough life signs to populate a fair sized settlement. Gaps in the rubble allowed Fett an occasional glimpse at the area around the pad. It was surrounded on three sides by ruin. But to the south, a good degree of reconstruction had taken place. Mostly smaller buildings under five stories, and there appeared to be clusters of warehouse like structures concentrated in the further reaches of the settlement.
If Boba Fett had been the kind of creature who succumbed to such emotional fluctuations, he would have been shocked. He had never heard of any major development projects under way in this whole system. Since his Ã¢Â€Â˜death,Ã¢Â€Â™ it had been harder to get information. But he had enough trustworthy sources left that he should have heard about this. Taris was a dieing city when it was destroyed. Why would anyone be interested in it now? First a New Republic base on Bandomeer, and now this. WhatÃ¢Â€Â™s going on in this sector?
With a new settlement so close, the likelihood of Kesh Danthon still running his operation here was about nil. But with Slave I in its current condition, Fett decided to take the chance. Even if Kesh was gone, he probably didnÃ¢Â€Â™t have time to strip the facility when he left. There should be enough spare parts and gear lying about that Fett could make short term repairs.
After a fairly short flight, Fett approached the hanger. He gave the clearance code, but as he expected, got no response. The entrance to the hanger was difficult to see, even for someone who had been there before. However, Boba recognized several of the crushed buildings in the area and the unique way they had fallen. Using them as landmarks, he quickly pinpointed the hangerÃ¢Â€Â™s location. Three great buildings once surrounded what was now the smuggling base. Two of the buildings collapsed strait down, leaving a pile of rubble to the north and west. The third building was split in half, with its northern side falling over the rubble of the first two, creating a cavern. Somehow discovered by Kesh Danthon, he dug a crooked entrance between the still solid foundations of the first two buildings. Being crooked prevented a passing ship from seeing into the hanger. The opening was more than large enough for a small starship to fly into, but the overhang from the third buildingÃ¢Â€Â™s wall made the entrance difficult to see from the air.
The hanger was totally dark. Turning on Slave IÃ¢Â€Â™s navigation lights, Fett could see that it was empty. He piloted Slave I to the repair pad, which was on the far side of the hanger. As soon as the primary systems had been shut down, Fett disembarked and commenced getting things in order. First, he located the hangers control room and turned the power on in the repair station. He then commenced turning the base inside out looking for the required parts to repair the damaged power generator. Fortunately, the base had a backup generator. Fett was able to scavenge enough parts from it to repair Slave I.
As midday came around, Boba had just completed hauling the scavenged parts from the generator room into the repair shop. The shop, which was in the same corner as the repair bay, was surrounded on two sides by the hangerÃ¢Â€Â™s eastern and southern walls and on the northern and western sides by workbenches. The western benches didnÃ¢Â€Â™t extend all the way to the northern side, which allowed access. There, Fett set about modifying the scavenged parts for use on his ship.
Ã¢Â€ÂœBase control, this is Scout 5, over.Ã¢Â€Â
Sure didnÃ¢Â€Â™t know about this place. IÃ¢Â€Â™ve seen this ruble form some weird stuff, but nothing quite like this. Corporal Drada and his three troopers entered the growing darkness of the hangerÃ¢Â€Â™s cave-like entrance. Whoever flew in here knew exactly where he was going; itÃ¢Â€Â™s hard to see until your practically walking into it Must be some kind of hideout or supply catch.
Ã¢Â€ÂœBase Control, this is Scout 5; come in.Ã¢Â€Â Some kind of interference is killing our comm-links. Idiot I should have sent someone back to base for reinforcements Too late to think about that now; got to check this out. If I don't do it now we might never find this place again. A ship that size couldnÃ¢Â€Â™t hold many people anyway; we can handle this.
As the squad entered the hanger, they could see a glow coming from the far corner. Blocking the light was the silhouette of the strange looking ship they saw fly into the cavern.
Switching his combat visor to low light amplification, Drada scanned the hanger for any sign of life, weapon ready. Satisfied that he wasnÃ¢Â€Â™t walking into a hive of smugglers or worse, the corporal split the team into two pairs. Drada and the private at his side quietly moved toward the shipÃ¢Â€Â™s open loading ramp, while the other two went around the shipÃ¢Â€Â™s topside. His A280 blaster rifle in firing position, Drada stepped onto the elevated landing platform that the ship was resting on. Stopping next to the vesselÃ¢Â€Â™s starboard side, Drada gave his team time to switch their visors back to standard combat mode. When everyone was ready, he gave the signal to move. The corporal quickly moved around the hull and up loading ramp of the starship, while his partner kneeled down behind the ramp and covered the repair area. Making a rapid inspection of the vesselÃ¢Â€Â™s interior, he noticed a military grade jet pack sitting in one of the passenger seats. With no sign of the shipÃ¢Â€Â™s owner, Drada began to move back toward the exit.
Ã¢Â€ÂœLOOK OUT!!!Ã¢Â€Â The yell from one of DradaÃ¢Â€Â™s troopers was quickly followed by several rapid blaster shots. As he ran to the exit, he saw his partner jump to the repair shop side of the loading ramp.
Drada slowed down as he stepped off the ramp and scanned the repair shop for targets. Ã¢Â€ÂœWhat happened ?Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœI donÃ¢Â€Â™t know Ã¢Â€Â The private was in a kneeling position next to the shipÃ¢Â€Â™s portside wing, his back against the strange shipÃ¢Â€Â™s curved hull. Ã¢Â€ÂœI heard the shots, and when I got around the ramp they were down! Ã¢Â€Â In front of the private were the two other members of the squad, sprawled on the dirty hanger floor in front of the repair shop entrance.
Ã¢Â€ÂœTake it easy, private. WeÃ¢Â€Â™ve got to take this guy out. Cover me Ã¢Â€Â The pair slowly walked toward their fallen comrades, blasters leveled toward the workbenches. Just before reaching the bodies, Drada gave a hand signal to halt. Kneeling, he reached into his belt pouch with his off hand while the private stood guard.
As the corporal was reaching into his pouch, the private took a quick glimpse at one of the fallen troopers. For the first time he noticed where his squad mate had been shot. Ã¢Â€ÂœHEÃ¢Â€Â™S BEHIND US!!Ã¢Â€Â
The top of the landing pad that Slave I had landed on was made up of removable panels covering a pit. These panels, which are designed to be removed from inside the pit even if a starship is sitting on them, enable a mechanic to work on the underside of a vessel. The only panels that can be opened from the outside are those around the edges of the platform.
Giving the edge panel he had been hiding under a shove, Fett emerged from the pit. With only his upper torso exposed, Fett fired two quick shots from his E-3 blaster rifle at the young trooper who had wheeled about in his direction. The corporal, who was still reaching for something in his belt pouch, swung his blaster around and fired a wild shot in FettÃ¢Â€Â™s direction. The muzzle of FettÃ¢Â€Â™s blaster had already turned on the corporal. Just as DradaÃ¢Â€Â™s blaster bolt streaked past its target, Fett fired a well aimed shot into the corporalÃ¢Â€Â™s upper chest. The powerful bolt from FettÃ¢Â€Â™s modified blaster burned through the corporalÃ¢Â€Â™s protective vest and knocked him onto his back. Mortally wounded, the corporal was only able to roll onto his left side away from his attacker.
Fett stepped out of the repair pit and checked the other downed troopers, kicking away their weapons. Keeping his blaster pointed at the still moving corporal, he made a quick check on the private. The man had died instantly, with the first shot striking him in the throat, and the second burning through his heart. This New Republic and I just donÃ¢Â€Â™t seem to get along, thought Fett as he tossed the privateÃ¢Â€Â™s weapon in the direction of Slave I. Standing, he moved toward the corporal. Looking down at him through the T-Visor of his helmet, Fett used his boot to kick away the dieing soldierÃ¢Â€Â™s blaster rifle. Ã¢Â€ÂœNothing personal, trooper. You were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.Ã¢Â€Â
Gaging and barely able to talk, the corporal looked back at Fett. Ã¢Â€ÂœYeah, same to you.Ã¢Â€Â With that, the corporal limply rolled onto his back, an armed fragmentation grenade slipping from his left hand.
Without a momentÃ¢Â€Â™s hesitation, Fett lunged toward the repair shop and jumped over the nearest workbench. As he sailed through the dimly lit air, the entire hanger suddenly glowed white. The force of the explosion reached Fett just as he crashed down on the floor. The workbench closest to the grenade didnÃ¢Â€Â™t have a back, and a shower of splinters flew through it. FettÃ¢Â€Â™s upper body was covered by a stronger, metal backed bench, but his legs were ripped by burning grenade fragments.
Bold move, trooper. You almost got me. Fett rolled onto his back as the smoke cleared. When he looked at his legs, he became deadly serious. He was unable to move from his waist down. The amount of blood flowing from his right leg indicated that an artery may have been cut. Ã¢Â€ÂœMaybe you did get me.Ã¢Â€Â
Grabbing a piece of electrical wiring from the floor, Fett tied it around his leg as tightly as he could. Slinging his blaster across his back, he started to crawl toward Slave I. Clawing his way through the open backed table, the pain started to set in. As he passed what was left of the New Republic troopers, he noticed his vision was getting dim. Halfway to Slave IÃ¢Â€Â™s loading ramp, Fett could feel shock from blood loss setting in. Through force of will, he managed to pull himself onto the repair pad and reach the ramp. As he tried to drag himself into the ship, the last of his strength left him.
After all I have survived, this is how it ends; in a forgotten hole on a forgotten world. Well, IÃ¢Â€Â™ve cheated death my whole life. Guess itÃ¢Â€Â™s time to pay up. Ready for the inevitable, Boba Fett closed his eyes for the last time.
Then he felt someone role him onto his back. Opening his eyes again, Fett looked up to see a dirt smudged face staring back at him.
Ã¢Â€ÂœHang on. IÃ¢Â€Â™ll see what I can do.Ã¢Â€Â The stranger then stood and ran into Slave I.
The only thought Fett could manage as he closed his eyes and darkness overtook him was, not another partner.