The job looked easy. The bounty was on one Gartol Rackmoss, a small time smuggling chief. Apparently Rackmoss had crossed another smuggler chief, a hutt, and so the hutt had put a dead or alive bounty on his head. Fett looked at his list of bounties, and there was a new one on it. He called it up on the screen. It was a bounty for 300,000 credits, alive and unharmed delivery, on one Sonja, a bodyguard, assassin, bounty hunter, and all around mercenary, posted by Prince Xizor. There was a picture of her, and it showed a beautiful woman, with rich, curly, dark black/brown hair, dark, intense eyes, and a muscular but lean figure. She was wearing a black skin tight jumpsuit with no sleeves, just two skinny straps, and a dark blue dress covering it, with slits on the side reaching up to her upper hips, and straps, just like the jumpsuit's, and black shiny boots. She had a DL-44 blaster strapped to her hip, slung low, in a gunman's position. He almost thought that she was a human, but then he saw her very distinctive pointy ears.
He made her the next priority on his list, not only for the credits, but because he had heard of her skills in the assassin trade, and she would probably make an interesting hunt. The signal that his ship was about to leave hyperspace pinged, and he had other concerns.
Boba Fett stalked through Rackmoss's dwelling, and he was severely disappointed. The job was just too easy. He walked to Rackmoss's study, and listened carefully. He could hear a person breathing in the room, so he checked his blaster rifle and made sure that it was it set on kill. Then he disabled the lock on the door and walked in.
It had been a quite day, and everything was going smoothly. No bounty hunters were chasing him, even with that high bounty on his head, and Sonja would take care of all the bounty hunters that did come along. Rackmoss looked up at the sound of the door opening and he saw a dark figure dressed in old beaten up Mandalorian battle armor. Then everything went black.
All was quiet, and there had been no reports of suspicious strangers wearing a lot of weapons and asking prying questions anywhere in the area, but Sonja wasn't taking any chances. She patrolled the perimeter of the dwelling, making sure everything was secure. Then she heard a loud sound that made her exclaim, "Sithspit!" and she ran up the stairs, down the hall to the study. She darted a quick look into the room, and what she saw made her blood boil. There was a figure in battered battle armor kneeling on the floor by a dead body, and not just any dead body either. It was the body of Rackmoss. She, slowly, with quiet movements, stalked into the room, looking like some great stalking cat trying to catch its prey unawares. She decided to tackle the figure, and not bother with her blaster, since drawing it might make a noise the figure could hear. So she stalked him in complete silence.
Boba Fett, by some lucky chance, saw movement on the monitor in his helmet. He looked at it, and saw that the movement was a woman with an intent expression on her face stalking him from behind. All at once he recognized her as Sonja, the woman who had a bounty on her head, alive and unharmed only. He quickly brought out a small blaster pistol from his belt, and out of her sight, and set it to stun. He then quickly shot her with the stun beam, and then turned back to Rackmoss's body. He deposited Rackmoss's head into a sack, and fastened the sack to his belt. Then he picked up Sonja, and flung her over his shoulder, carrying her to his ship. He didn't have to find her now. That made things all the more convenient for him.
Sonja felt uncomfortable and sleepy when she woke up. She all of a sudden remembered the strange figure in the battered armor bending over the body of Rackmoss and she snapped completely awake and alert, in a combat position. Then she saw that she was inside a cage in the hold of a strange ship, and she felt the telltale signs of hyperspace vibrating the ship's floor. She had no weapons, and even her blaster holster & belt were gone. Then she spotted her stuff all the way across the hold. Whoever held her captive didn't miss a thing, she thought wryly. Her only question was why the person hadn't killed her. He or she could have very easily killed her, and yet she was in the hold of their ship, whoever ?they' was, bound for some unknown destination. Then she heard steps on metal coming her way, from the door, and she looked at it, willing her captor to appear.
He was medium height, dressed in ancient, dented, pitted, Mandalorian armor, with a ratted and torn cape slung over the back, a whole arsenal of weapons, including a jet pack, a blaster rifle, a flame thrower, and other deadly weapons, and a Mandalorian helmet, complete with a forebodingly dark T shaped visor. His stare was penetrating, and he just stood there, looking at her for a few minutes. Then he went across the hold and filled a plate with gray goopy stuff that passed for food. He put the plate on the ground in front of her, and shoved it under the cage with his foot.
"It's food. Eat." He said.
She just looked at him calmly and asked him, "who are you?"
"My name?is Boba Fett." He said. She nodded her head in understanding.
"I've heard of you, bounty hunter. But why didn't you kill me? I don't have a bounty on my head."
"Oh, but you do have a bounty on your head. It's for 300,000 credits, alive and unharmed."
"Who posted it?" He considered her question for a moment. Her knowing wouldn't harm anything, she was already his captive.
Sonja fell silent with an intent brooding expression on her face. She was not like any other hard merchandise he had ever captured and put in his holding cages. Any other merchandise he had ever captured would cower in helpless, mindless fear, or they would try and make deals with him to save their skins, or they would hurl insults at him. But never had they faced him, and their doom, with so much icy cold indifference to their fate, or so much lack of emotion. He stood there watching her, and studying the emotionless mask on her face, when she spoke again.
"Do you know why Xizor wants me back?"
"He tried to seduce me, and I resisted and left his service."
"Why did you agree to be his bodyguard if you knew the risks involved for any female in his service?"
"The credits involved, of course." She said, as if it was obvious.
She fell silent again, but this time she just looked at Fett with an unreadable expression on her face. Boba Fett just looked at her back, his thoughts hidden by the mask he wore. He was thinking that it was a pity to give this kindred spirit to Xizor like some sort of slave. But hard merchandise is hard merchandise, and He would deliver her to Xizor no matter what. His reputation could not afford any exceptions.
Boba Fett's distinctive ship, the Slave I, docked on the pad at Xizor's personal skyhook. He contacted Xizor, and lowered the boarding ramp. Xizor arrived and entered Fett's ship, standing haughtily in front of Fett.
"The 300,000 credits have been delivered to your account. Hand over the merchandise."
"She's in the holding cage."
Fett left and checked his account, and the 300,000 credits had been added. Fett then unlocked Sonja's cage and escorted her out, into the waiting arms of several bodyguards in Xizor's employ.
Sonja was forced to wear skimpy clothes and stay near Xizor at all times. She felt like a fancy jewel or bauble put on display for everyone's enjoyment but hers. Worse, she knew she would not be able to resist Xizor's for much longer. One day, a whole week after Boba Fett had delivered her to Xizor, Darth Vader Visited Xizor on his skyhook to talk business. Darth Vader saw her, and recognized her for what she was, a top-notch assassin, the perfect tool for those who know how to use it. Vader felt her presence in the force and was amazed at how large it was. She could not use the force, he was sure, but she was definitely a presence in it. So he told Xizor that Sonja was going with him back to the Executor, and Xizor was forced to agree, pretending that was just what he had planned to do with her, meanwhile fuming in anger at Vader and planning revenge.
Sonja was amazed at the sudden and highly improbable escape from Xizor's clutches. She was very grateful to this tall, imposing figure in black, for helping her. She had only heard tales about Darth Vader, but she had never seen him in person, and now here he was, in person, so close she could touch him if she wanted to. While she was thinking this, Vader turned toward her and started asking her questions about her career. Then Vader told her that he wanted her to be his "aide" on board his flagship the Executor. She would be given an honorary rank of lieutenant, and she would take messages from him to the Admiral, speaking in Vader's name. She would also be in charge of keeping the officers in line, and she had full permission to discipline them any way she saw fit. At least, that was her official role. Unofficially, he would give her assignments in things ranging from sneak thievery to assassination.
She immediately accepted, and was given a lieutenant's uniform at once. As soon as she set foot on the Executor, she was Vader's aide, and she didn't mind the job in the least. She had complete run of Executor, and in a show of trust, Vader hadn't assigned anyone the task of watching her at all times. Her duties ranged from supervising the engineers assigned to keeping the hyperdrive in tip-top condition to telling the Admiral to do this or that for Vader. Sure, Vader could give the Admiral orders over the comm, but he didn't have the time or the patience to direct the Admiral step by step through everything. The Admiral griped a bit at first about taking orders from a woman, and especially one whose chosen profession was an assassin. The Admiral never complained to Vader about it, but he ignored Sonja's direct orders. After Vader ?talked' to him, he obeyed her orders promptly.
A few weeks after Boba Fett delivered Sonja to Prince Xizor, he got a message from Darth Vader asking him to meet the Executor at a certain star system in two days. Since he didn't have any important jobs at that moment, Fett decided to meet Vader at the appointed spot and time. He set the course for hyperspace and made the jump.
Sonja was watching the Admiral directing the pit crew on the bridge of the Executor and she was getting very bored. She started thinking about the past, her home planet, and her people. She was from Elda, a small, unknown planet in the rim territories. Her people had been among the first to get massacred by the Emperor's troops. There used to be four races of Elda, she thought bitterly. Now there are three races. She was the sole survivor of the fourth race. Afterwards she had almost gone mad, from the anger and the pain. She had seen her whole family massacred by Palpatine's soldiers. A familiar wave of anger hit her, and then it vanished as if it had never been. She had long ago, after becoming a mercenary, given up her quest to gain the skills necessary to kill the Emperor. She had the skills now, but she had learned long ago about Palpatine's studies of the Sith arts. It would be the dumbest and the last thing she ever did if she tried to kill him.
Instead of trying to assinate him, she was now helping him. What an ironic galaxy it is, she thought. The entrance of Darth Vader interrupted her memories of the past and her musings. Her memories were the past and this was the present. The past could and would wait. After all, it had waited for 15 years. She walked over to Darth Vader's side and her memories of the past faded to a dull pain in her mind. Vader told her about a project wanted her to do. A special project, that would make use of her impressive skills, that he would pay her 250,000 for it.
The Slave I came out of hyperspace in a small remote sector that hardly anyone ever went to. Waiting for him there was the Executor, Darth Vader's flagship, a vast super star destroyer. Boba Fett's comm pinged, and he answered it. A voice said in basic, with an arrogant imperial accent, "You are cleared to land." Fett did not bother to answer; he piloted Slave I towards the Executor's main docking bay. With skill from years of piloting, he landed the Slave I with finesse in the pristine, impressive docking bay. He walked down the ramp, an impressive figure, in his complete set of Mandalorian armor and with all of his weapons on his person. A Lieutenant met him at the end of the boarding ramp, and escorted him to Executor's bridge. When he entered the bridge he immediately saw Darth Vader, a tall imposing figure all in black. Vader was staring out at the stars and the sun of the sector meditating, so Fett said nothing, he just looked at the view and waited for Vader to speak.
Finally Vader turned to him and said,
"I have a important job for you." Fett nodded. Vader continued,
"I want you to kill a certain being who has stolen something from me. This data pad contains information about that person. I want you to work with another mercenary I hired to bring back the item the thief stole."
Fett replied, "Who do you want to work with me?"
Vader replied, "you will see."
At that moment Sonja walked onto the gigantic bridge, in her tight Imperial uniform, with a lieutenant's insignia and her long dark hair flowing uncut behind her. Fett recognized her and almost gasped in astonishment. She reached them and he could she was surprised as well, but was trying to conceal it behind a neutral mask.
"My lord" she said, struggling to seem neutral.
So this is who Vader wants me to work with! She thought. No wonder why he didn't tell me who it was from the beginning, why he just said, "You will see." Then Vader spoke.
"You both have your orders. You will work together, and help each other. Both of you must come back alive for either of you to collect your credits. You two are worth to much to me to loose, so see that you take good care of each other."
With that, he nodded to both of them and turned around, signaling the end of the interview. Sonja and Fett turned toward each other, locked eyes, and turned in unison towards the bridge's exit. Sonja looked at Fett our of the corner of her eyes and said,
"I need to get my belongings. I will meet you in 10 minutes at your ship."
Without waiting for his reply, she left. She was feeling sick in her stomach. Working with Boba Fett! After what he did to, the humiliation he delivered to, the thought was almost too much for her pride to bear. Impossible! She had sworn revenge on the very person whom she had to work with, and he had to be alive at the end of the mission. "Life is just unfair!" She thought. Luckily, she didn't have the faintest idea what she would think of Boba Fett in about a year, other wise she might have become ill right then and there.
Two days later, Sonja was on the Slave I once again, except this time she was sitting in the cargo hold, which doubled as the non-hard merchandise passenger space. Fett was in the cockpit, and she mentally cursed at him. He was not the most pleasant company she had ever had, but not the worst ever. She toyed with her blaster as she imagined disemboling him, very slowly. Then she tossed the thought aside. As much as she might have enjoyed that, most of her anger at him had passed. After all, she would have caught herself for that bounty if she had been in his boots. They were disturbingly alike in the ability to go completely emotionless when the situation called for it. That ability they both shared was one major reason why they were successful, and why others were not successful.
Sonja's thoughts then turned to her life before all of this started. She had been a pacifist, of all things. Elda, by nature, are even more pacifistic than the Alderaanians were. She thought of her sisters, and of her father and mother. She missed them so! A wave of sadness washed over her, and memories flowed past her mental barriers, flooding her mind.