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"The Black Spirit"

Boba Fett meets a hunter equal to his own skill, and discovers his shadowed past.

  • Story by Katie Pugh
  • Estimated reading time: 31 minutes (6,368 words)
  • Updated January 26, 2008

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Boba Fett sped through the desolate sands of Tatooine. The two suns of the planet, side by side, were to his back as he made his way toward the busy port of Mos Eisley. He had left earlier in the morning. It was now mid afternoon and he hoped to make it back to Jabba's Palace before nightfall. Even Fett knew that the hostile spaceport only got worse after the day hours.

The only sound Fett could hear throughout the desert was the somewhat loud humming of his hoverbike, picking up a cloud of sand behind him as he sped forward. He knew better than to let himself slacken. There was a long list of things that could kill a man on this planet: scavengers, Tusken Raiders, kell dragons. There was also a rumor of there being a live Sarlaac somewhere on this planet. Not to say he was worried, just wanted to be cautious. The last thing he would need is to be attacked on this wretched planet.

He let his thoughts run back towards the day's job. Jabba the Hutt had called the bounty hunter in the day before, requesting a job from him. Apparently a man, called Turaak Stul, had "taken leave" from his job, taking a total of an even thousand credits with him. Rumor about the palace was that he was headed to Mos Eisley to buy a cheap ship and get off the planet as quickly as possible. That had been two days before Fett was called in.

Fett looked across the horizon. He was quickly approaching the spaceport and figured to be there in about five to ten standard minutes, not long at the rate his speeder was at. Maybe he would be done with this job sooner than he had thought.

Luckily, Fett had also figured that Stul should still be somewhere in the port, even three days later. Buying even a cheap ship was not always the easiest job for anybody. And with the money he had on him, Stul would have enough for lodging at one of the more convenient lodgings. Why anyone would want to stay in Mos Eisley overnight was beyond him.

A few minutes later, Fett pulled his hoverbike into a small alley, away from the notice of peeping eyes. He was glad he had left the Slave I back in an abandoned docking bay by Jabba's Palace. His last encounter with a "hostile" bounty had crippled his security fixtures. In this scum filled spaceport, anyone could get lucky and steal his ship in anyone of the cheap bays around here.

Fett scanned the streets throughout the open roads. His helmet's sensors picked up every living thing throughout the walkways. He did not have to worry about overcrowding; anywhere he went he was avoided. People feared him, a natural trait that came with the armor. They knew who he was, and they knew they wanted to avoid any eye or physical contact. It was known how ill patient he could be on a hunt.

As he walked, he noticed an open-bar cantina, owned by a humanoid named Wuher. It was the busiest cantina in the port, inhabited by most local sentient beings. If Stul went anywhere, chances were he'd go here.

Before he entered, Fett checked the power readings on the blaster at his side. It was always wise to have a weapon ready if you went anywhere in this port. Anything, truly anything, could be going on when you come in.

The cantina was very dimly lit, mainly to suit temperatures and aliens that were prone to react to very bright light. Fett was comfortable in his Mandalorian armor, suit to accommodate according to body and room heating, allowing full access to blistering hot planets or extremely cold to the wearer. One of the many reasons Fett wore this armor everywhere he went.

In the corner, a band played a quieter tune, nerved by the bounty hunter's presence. There was a slight murmur throughout the crowd, at least the ones sober enough to realize who stood before them. The beings at the bar parted, allowing the bounty hunter full access to speak to the entire cantina.

Already watching him intently, the cantina became eerily silent as Fett took out a portably holoprojector and pressed the button on the top. A full-scale image of a young man, looking in his mid-30's, came into focus in front of the hunter. Fett spoke in a heavily accented Basic, loud enough for all to hear. "I am looking for this man, one Turaak Stul. He is wanted by Jabba the Hutt for thievery in service." He paused briefly, allowing the crowd to look at the image. "If I find that one of you is giving this fugitive succor, I will kill you on sight. Does anybody have information on where I can find this man?"

One Bith walked up to the projection, squinting at it. He appeared in thought. He turned to Fett. "He was in here the day before yesterday, looking for a place of vacancy. He left, but then came back the next day for a drink. But that was when... he came in."

This time there was a louder murmur from the crowd, but with a gesture of Fett's hand, they were silent again. He turned off the projector, and walked in front of the Bith, close enough to frighteningly intimidate the much smaller being. He spoke one word: "Who?"

The alien began to break into a cold sweat and he stuttered frightfully, "He... he came in here faster then anyone could see... moved, like a... a... ghost. He was cloaked in black. No one... saw his face."

A Rodian, older and slower than the younger ones seen in the port, turned from his seat, standing. He said a few phrases in Rodese. He knocked him unconscious with one blow. Drug him off before any of us could reach a blaster.

Fett could feel rage erupt within his body and he contained himself from showing his inner anger. In a steady voice that had taken him years to keep the same, he asked. "Did he say where he was going?"

The Rodian made his way toward the door of the cantina, but turned before going. He didn't make a single sound. But just before he reached the door, he said, 'I am the Black Spirit. Do not cross me.' Can't say it made sense to me...

Boba Fett left the cantina silently. Several thoughts ran through his mind as he made it back to his bike. Someone... someone... had had the nerve to take his hunt. Anybody knew the Bounty Hunter's Creed strictly forbade that. Evidently this one figured himself above the Creed... but no one escaped Fett in the end. He vowed to himself that he would make this traitor pay for his disobedience to the Creed...

Fett had figured that since this was a one-man job, somebody in Jabba's service must have heard about it and taken it for himself. It was not the most intelligent thing to do, but anybody in Jabba's service would want to make a good name for themselves. But this person had a good idea what they were doing. They knew how to do their work.

This man might have made a good bounty hunter, Fett thought as he made his way back to the Palace. He still wondered who was behind this. Most people, even in the service of the Hutt, knew better then to work against Boba Fett. The Twi'lek, Bib Fortuna? He was known to be a crafty one, so were all the creatures of the Twi'lek species. No, the witnesses had said that it was a human, and Fortuna already had enough of a reputation being Jabba's majordomo. He was the only one who would get close enough to hear of the bounty hunter's job. If not him, then who?

Fett's mind seemed to throb with the mystery, filling each crevice with a loathing, raging fiery hate. If there was anything more important to him than money, it was his reputation. This may stunt his record with the Hutt, knowing that someone had actually beaten him to the catch. Whatever merchandise had a large enough bounty was usually in a way promised to be his. The larger the bounty, the more to the top of Fett's list it became. If it were small enough, he might get around to it. But if it was one of the Hutt bounties, which usually ended up being the most profitable, he put his whole attention into it. Perhaps after this situation, it may come to be known that his "attention" may not be enough to get the job done.

Then there would be more problems with the Guild. The inside bounties may be assigned to the quoted better bounty hunters, Bossk, Dengar, perhaps Zuzkuss. Bossk was already getting sharper and better. Perhaps soon he would take Fett's place. And Dengar was already equal to Fett, being physical enhanced by the Empire.

Boba Fett felt his skin crawl suddenly. Ever since the two at Mos Eisley had told him about this fool he had been sure to keep his cool. So had he always been able to do, even when the worse of hunts would grind at his nerves. But now... now he could feel the boiling anger rising, and he hoped upon everything moral that he would be able to withstand it. But he also knew that this Black Spirit had to be dealt with. Dealt with before this ordeal could get out.

The trip back went faster then the trip there. Maybe the night air made it cooler, rather than riding in blistering heat. Maybe it was Fett's angered power that made the speeder go faster. He couldn't tell which.

Fett arrived at Jabba's Palace a bit later into the night. It would have been later, if the hunt had actually taken any time. There was that crawling feeling again. He took a few breaths and walked towards the entrance door. The small watcher droid, looking like an eyeball, came out, saying a few phrases in an alien language.

"Speak Basic," Fett said.

It took a second for the droid to find the vocabulary. It then spoke in a raspy, metallic voice, "Empty-handed, eh bounty hunter?"

That was enough. Fett grabbed the droid roughly by the cord attaching it to the compartment it stayed in. His voice was not angrily loud, but deathly low as he said, "I have had a very bad day. Would you like to feel as bad as I do?"

When he let it go, the droid hovered for a moment, searching through more of its vocabulary. "If you want to know, he came in after you went out."

Fett knew whom the droid was talking about. It made perfect sense then. If this person did not want to get a good name from Jabba, they wanted to humiliate Fett. It would have made a perfect set up. Hide out, hold the bounty, cash in after Fett left.

The door slid open with a slow hiss. Boba Fett walked calmly through the dark corridors he knew would lead to Jabba's Main Audience Chamber. Down some, he could hear frightened, painful screams. Others, death moans. He knew that these people probably deserved what they received. Most were the thieves, the traitor, the scum. But as he walked down another hallway, he heard something else. It was barely noticeable, but it was smaller, deliberate yells. These weren't torture screams, but the keiya yells of a fighter. Most likely a fighting captive, Fett thought to himself. He dismissed it carelessly.

He finally entered the Chamber from the flight of stairs leading down from the Corridor Level. There were stories that once the whole Palace had been a spiritual temple of the Bo'maar Monks, who believed in an eternal life of spiritual thought. This was then accomplished by surgically removing one's brain, allowing it a permanent place in a nutrient filled jar, only allowing travel through the use of spider-like machines. There were rumors that the monks were still allowed to usage of the Lower Level for their studies.

But any example of holiness was definitely distinguished from the Audience Chamber now.

As Fett came into the large rotunda, he was incredibly grateful for the expensive air filters he had inserted into his helmet. The body odor of the Hutt, along with the sickeningly rank smell of blood and alien made him realize how sickening it was for humans in an environment such as this. Most who came into the Chamber wore breathing masks or space helmets. Any oxygen breathing human without such would probably turn ill from the incredibly strong odor.

Even in the night, Jabba's residence was as active as ever. Of course many beings were already passed out and perhaps a few had left to their rooms. Anybody would choose even Mos Eisley over this rotting scum during the night. The band played louder then ever, the dancers jumped lithely through the air, spinning and spiraling as if made of water. They danced directly in front of Jabba, on a small grate in the floor. Fett knew what lay under that door; a partially starved kell dragon, caught by an expert hunter. There were rumors that Jabba was in the process of buying a more ruthless creature, a Rancor, but had not done so yet.

Boba Fett came in silently, through the front entrance. He did it deliberately, hoping to catch the vile Hutt's attention. Of course, Jabba could see all that happened in the room. Laying on a large platform, big enough to allow twenty humans to sit comfortably, the huge slug-like creature lay on his side, watching everything with a natural hunger. Nearby, a translator droid stood, patiently waiting to receive any instructions.

Jabba looked down at the bounty hunter. He laughed suddenly, a sound that echoed throughout the Chamber like thunder. The room seemed to become silent, until all that could be heard was the insistent bellowing sounds. He then stopped and clapped his stumpy hands together twice. The band quickly disappeared, picking up their instruments and ushering them out of the room. The dancers retreated from the center, hurrying to return to their respective positions. The droid beside job stood ready to translate the Hutt for the crowd.

Seems like someone finally got the better of you, Fett > Jabba said almost mockingly.

Fett could feel his hand move toward the trigger of his blaster. He was tempted to just up and shoot the Hutt where he lay. "A casualty. And it would be easily rendered if you would tell me who brought him in."

Jabba grew suddenly serious. And why should I do that? Perhaps this new bounty hunter could be better then you, Fett? Maybe I just might use him as my primary hunter and not you? Maybe I shall...

He didn't think Fett would notice, but Jabba's hand moved toward the control panel that would open the grate beneath him. But Fett's motion s picked up even the small amount of movement. Quicker then anyone could see, he fired a single shot that landed in front of the platform. "If I meant to hit you, I would have. Now I want the information I asked about. Now. Or your lackeys are going to have to try to put you back together after what I do to you."

Jabba seemed to tense up and he smiled nervously. Now Fett, you know I really wouldn't replace my favorite mercenary. I was merely... stretching, yes; you know how my nerves get.

Boba Fett lowered his gun. He knew that the Hutt would not try anything while he was on guard. "Now tell me exactly what happened earlier today. Who is this Black Spirit?"

He came in right after you left. I don't know how he got in, the guards said they didn't see anyone come in through the main entrance. He came in alone, dragging Stul over his shoulder. He wore a fighter's uniform, no armor, just the jumpsuit. It was pure black and he wore a cowl over his neck and face. When he demanded the bounty, naturally I was suspicious. I mean, I had privately asked you for that bounty, my friend. I pulled the grate out from under him, but he grabbed onto the door as he swung down. It was the most incredible feat I had ever seen, rather well for a human.

Fett was then sure that this was not one of Jabba's regular crowd. None of them were capable of a feat such as that. And barely any knew that they were going down until it happened. That was when they were falling down the abyss into the waiting jaws of the kell.

Jabba then continued. He flipped back up to the floor, Stul still slung over his back. He then pulled out not one, but four thermal detonators! I was so frightened, I wish you were there to take care of that stranger. He demanded not only the payment, plus a room for the night. If I'm correct, he should still be in the first Level, in Chamber SL-2, across the corridor from where Stul is being kept. I had no choice but to pay him! You must understand the circumstances, Fett...

The Hutt kept babbling as Fett left the Chamber for the Corridor Level he had just left. He could hear in the distance the band begin again, and the noise of the audience beginning another round of drinks. The sounds followed him back up the stairs to where he would find this scum and make him pay...

Fett did not expect this...

He was back downstairs, standing outside the door to the Black Spirit's room. As he walked down the stairs a few moments ago, the short yells had still been echoing through the hall. As he got closer, they became louder, and louder, until he realized they were coming from his enemy.

He decided best to holster his blaster. He wanted to be ready for whatever may be awaiting him. He checked all his weapons, detonators, blaster, darts, everything he had on him. Who knew what he might have to use? He reached down and put the level on his blaster to the highest power, clicking the holster sideways. Suddenly the room was silent.

Boba Fett listened silently for a few moments before touching the panel on the side of the door. He knew it was against regulations to lock the doors in Jabba's Palace unless it was one of the prison cells. It opened practically silently and he stepped in.

He was not ready for what was waiting for him.

A flying kick knocked him speedily into the wall outside the door. Standing in front of him, a few inches shorter than himself, was a man in a fighter's gi. He recognized it directly from a jump suit, for it was more airy and loose. It was pure black, allowing him to blend in with the shadows of the dimly lit hallway. He still wore the cowl, covering most of his face so only two icy blue eyes shown into his sight.

The fighter stepped up slowly, and then bowed gracefully. "I apologize, my friend. I did not realize it was you until after the attack. I heard the click of your rifle and thought it was one of those Gamorrean axes. I verily despise those guards. I hope I did not seriously harm you."

Boba Fett was surprised. This man, who had the nerve to steal his bounty, had the strength to keep himself from being eaten by a kell dragon, now appeared in a friendly greeting? Must be a distraction to let my guard down, Fett thought to himself. He retrieved his blaster from his belt and pointed it towards the man as he stood up. "You collected my bounty. As an offense to the Bounty Hunter Creed and the Guild, I shall punish you for your ignorance. Not only on a official note, but as a personal statement."

The man reached into his pocket and pulled out a small counter. "Ah, you speak of this." He threw it to the ground between them. "Take it, it's yours. I did not want it, I already have enough. But I wanted something else..."

Fett kept his gun level to the man. "And what is that?"

"You. I wanted you, Jaster Mereel. My friend, my companion," he said, suddenly gasping and Fett thought he saw tears in his eyes.

Boba Fett felt his knees weaken as he let what this man, whom he had never seen nor heard before, call him by his true name. His name when he was a Journeyman Protector on his home planet of Concord Dawn. His name when he had a true place to call home. His name when he was exiled from his planet...

The Black Spirit reached up, deliberately slow, and removed the hood and cowl. He stood for a second before fully removing it, almost unsure of what may come of his decision. He took it off, along with a breathing apparatus that had turned his voice deeper and stood before Fett in true form.

Fett did not expect this...

Standing only in the fighter's uniform before him, unmasked, was someone he remembered almost vividly in his mind. A woman, a woman stood before him. His only real companion before being exiled from Concord Dawn. When he left the planet and donned the armor of the ancient Mandalores, he left everything behind him and went forward rather then linger back.

That had included Teaa.

They had never become serious about one another. She was a fellow Journeyman, like him. A warrior, like him. Ruthless, cunning, agile. Deadly. In every way like him except for sex. She was named properly, for Teaa meant "She who Conquers." They had always fought side by side against the scum of their homeworld, until an explosion put Teaa in the Med Hospital. It had been because of their Superior Officer's orders. And Fett had made him pay... with his life. The whole reason for his exile.

She had been younger then. Her hair had been shaved to military standards. It now was tied back away from her face. It was not the Teaa he remembered, but a full grown woman that now stood before him.

When she spoke, her voice had a coldness that had come naturally from the years of intense training. "After you left, I couldn't stay. I wanted to give you some messages from a few people and I knew somehow I would have to find you, let you know how much it was worth working with you, learning from you. Boba Fett." She stopped, chuckling softly. "You chose a name wisely. One who Brings Justice. Still, it took me seven years to find you. I became the Black Spirit, weaving in and out, gathering information to find you."

Teaa turned away from him and walked back into the room. She picked up a sheath and pulled out a yard long swordblade. She swung it expertly, through cutting arch, stabs, and throwing techniques. She then stopped, putting it back into the cloth and slinging it over her shoulder onto her back. "I studied for three of those years the arts of ginku-ta'. A lost art, but when one knows the right people can still learn it."

Fett lowered his rifle. "Now what will you do? Now that you have found me?"

She smiled at him and put back on her cowl. "I guess part of that is up to you. I respect the Creed and now, and as the Black Spirit, I am at your mercy. But in all truthfulness, I thought this may be the only way to finally find you."

Boba Fett reached down and picked up the fallen credit counter. He handed it back to Teaa. "Here, take it. You have earned it. But we still must figure out how to pull this off."

"Yes. I do not wish to cause any more damage to your image. My intentions were not to do so, but now that I know of you and how you are, we may go our separate ways. I respect your way of life now, and I can go on knowing that you are safe in your own way."

Suddenly, Fett's helmet picked up a figure moving down the hallway. Teaa had already sensed it, drawing her blade from the sheath. It was one of the Gammorean Guards. He approached both of them, talking speedily in his native tongue. Fett turned to Teaa, saying, "Jabba wishes to speak with me."

The Guard continued. "No," Fett said. "He wishes to speak with both of us."

As the two warriors walked back to the Audience Chamber, Teaa continued on about her long search for him. After Fett's trial and exile, Rebel forces had surrounded Concord Dawn. Being dependant to the Empire, the planet turned against the Alliance. There was constant war between the planet and it's new enemy.

"You said you had messages for me. What of my family?" Fett asked.

Fett could see her eyes trail to the floor. "I kept an eye on them for a while. After you were forced to leave, your brother, Proj, joined the Protector Corp. He always hoped to grow up like you. Your father disowned the both of you. He couldn't understand what he saw in you, he always said. You know how he was.

"Your mother became sick. She missed you terribly. Wished that you could have grown up better."

Fett could feel something in his gut turn. He forced himself to ask, "What happened?"

Teaa looked at him for a few seconds. "The Rebels bombarded the planet's main capitals. Proj was killed in the Battle of Tydon, when they were trying to seize the Home Base. And your home was blown up in the bombardments."

Fett felt his eyes burn like fire. He would not cry. He would not let the news drag down his work. When he left his world he now knew he had truly left everything behind. He made a vow then that he would not allow himself to ally himself with the Rebellion. Ever. If that is what truly happened, then so be it. The Rebellion would be destroyed sooner or later. And when it did he knew he would relish in it.

His thoughts were left behind as he once again entered the Chamber. It was loud again in a droning way. He knew that the aliens were even less sober then before. He walked alongside Teaa as they stood before Jabba once more.

He clapped his hands together twice and it was generally quiet once more. Fett noticed that some aliens were getting in a fight near some dancing girls, but he didn't let them distract him from what the Hutt began to say.

It seems the two of you are at a stalemate. Two equally matched opponents for one career. That is I have a contest of the both of you. A job to find one man. The first one who finds him becomes my personal hunter. The other... must become my slave. >

Teaa and Fett exchanged glances. It was a challenge neither one wanted to take. Perhaps if they-

Suddenly there was a shrill scream to the right of the platform. The fight between the aliens and the dancers had gotten out of hand and a green humanoid had thrown one of the women toward the platform. Nobody had seen it coming when she landed on the control panel to the grate...

The doors swung from underneath them and Teaa tried to grasp the grate, but to no avail. They both plummeted roughly to the sandy ground of the pit. Look around, she noticed Fett had landed a few feet away. Shockingly, he had landed on his pack, crushing the main gauge. It had cushioned his fall, but now they had no way to get out of the pit!

There was a low growling sound from a dark shadow in the earthen chamber. Suddenly, the kell dragon came out, slowly advancing toward the two. Fett pulled out a blaster and walked backwards. Teaa had already unsheathed her blade and was advancing to the side of the cave.

The kell was literally huge, as big as at least three dewbacks. It walked sideways, on four sharply clawed feet. It had three horns on its lizard head, which bent back to reveal deadly serrated teeth. It had a bony back, ridged by a protruding backbone. It ended in a sharply spiked tail.

It moved slowly, snapping it's mouth open and shut, as if to taste the air. It moved slowly toward Teaa first. Fett fired a few stun shots toward it, trying unsuccessfully to slow it down. It only became more angered and ran faster toward her. With a warrior yell, she flipped onto his back and jumped, slicing down toward the neck. The kell easily sidestepped and flipped its tail toward her.

She blocked it, but it dealt a glancing blow to her knee. She knew that if she didn't move fast with her good leg, it could be the end. Fett fired another blast, this one on a higher power boost. The animal turned away from the other and headed toward him at a quick pace. Fett jumped to the side and fired a blast into the animal's eye. It reared up on its hind legs, showing a full height of about ten to twelve feet. Its roar was almost deafening.

Teaa stood and crouched down low, preparing for a jump to the back. She flew through the air in a blur, kicking into the animal's back with her bad leg bent beneath her body and her blade into the animal's back. It did little but sway the kell slightly. It turned; it's eyes and mouth open to the already bloody opponent.

She pulled back the swordblade... and pulled again. Teaa cursed as she realized that the it was stuck between two bones in the back. She let it go, directly before the animal crouched down again. It knew that this prey was now unarmed and the fight would be short.

Fett jumped between the two, drawing his blaster, now set to the highest power. It would be enough to obliterate a human, but would it work on this beast? He fired toward the neck of the creature. It whined and seemed to sag before falling in a smoking heap to the ground.

Teaa moved forward to see if the animal was truly as dead as it looked. She grabbed the blade stuck in its back and gave it a good hard tug. It came out with a shoop and she dragged it to the ground to clean it off. She turned away from the fallen animal and sheathed it again. "Just like old times," she said with a cough.

She didn't see the kell regain its footing and crouch behind her...

Teaa was pinned to the ground as the full weight of the beast weighed down on top of her. She could barely breath as it bit down on her shoulder. Fett heard something snap and he quickly fired off two more shots into the animal's throat. It was dead this time.

Teaa was hurt very badly. The complete weight of the animal had borne down so hard on her that the internal damage was pretty much unmanageable. She was also loosing blood from the wound in her shoulder. As he crouched beside her, Fett knew she was done.

She looked up at him. Her breathing was labored, and she knew she wouldn't make it. She reached painfully into her pocket and gave Fett a small round disk. "This... from our planet... I wanted to give it to you..." she managed out a small laugh. "Guess now's as good a time... as ever."

Teaa shuddered for a moment and then she was still. Fett felt something electric in his body. The only one he had ever cared about, ever, was gone. He picked up her body and carried it silently out of Jabba's Palace. He did not listen to the sounds of the Chamber, or the moans in the dungeons, or the screams in the torture chambers. He walked out and mounted his bike and rode out into the farther Dune Sea.

Fett did not want to just bury the body. He knew how a womprat might catch the smell of decaying flesh. No he wanted to do something else. He built a pyre out of stones that littered the desert and used his flame launcher to light it. He watched as the flames danced through the otherwise dark early morning.

After it had burned down, he mounted his bike and rode back to his ship in the bay. He couldn't tell if it had taken hours, minutes, seconds. Time had passed the same way: slowly, passively. As he took off from the planet, he pulled out the small disk that Teaa had given him.

It projected a small screen in front of him. It blinked for a moment, but then evened out. Teaa stood there, wearing the normal uniform of the Protectors. She smiled and waved. "Hello, Mereel. I can't even tell you what it's been like since you left. I'm filming this at least three weeks after you left. The other Protectors and I grieve not having you here. You were a light for us to follow." She paused and looked to the side. She laughed, saying, "Proj is killing me to talk to you, so I'm going to hand the Cam over to him now."

She walked off screen. Soon another man was in front of the Cam. He had scruffy blond hair and a distinct face. He was a handsome man compared to Fett, his older brother. He smiled and turned around, showing the Journeyman uniform of the younger ranks. "Pretty sweet, huh Jast? I hope that I can do as much as you did with the corp." His voice lowered, almost quivered slightly. "I can't tell you what it's like not to have you here. We all miss you. Even Pops, though he won't show it. He's... well... disowning you and I. He can't understand why I would want to join the organization that threw you off the planet. But I want to tell you, as a brother, that I understand..."

Teaa came back on the screen. If you have this, chances are something has happened to me. I'm sorry I did this to you Mereel. And I wanted to tell you especially." She paused lengthily. "It was always something more, my friend. It wasn't just business partners. You... were like a brother to me. And even if I'm dead now, I won't forget you, Jaster Mereel. Ever."

The screen blinked and went off. Fett sat for a few moments. He let what had happened roll around in his head for a few seconds. He wouldn't forget Teaa. And he wouldn't forget Proj. Or his parents. Or his planet, Concord Dawn.

He would work, he would strife, he would live. He would not let them be forgotten easily. When work would get harder, or the trips lonelier, he would remember. And he would go on.

The End... for now

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