The following story was written based on information gathered from the Essential Guide to Characters, the Essential Chronology, the Droids Cartoon Series, the Dark Forces video game, and the graphic novel Dark Forces: Rebel Agent. Special thanks to Dark Forces project leader, Daron Stinnett, all of the Dark Forces team, and Dark Forces author William C. Dietz. This story wouldnât have been possible without your hard work. May the Force be with you all!!!
As told by BL-17...
Let us get one thing straight: This isnât some third-hand, half-witted account of a rumored tale that was brought off an inebriated spacer in a seedy bar on the fringes of known space for the price of a mug of lum. It is far from. This is a retelling of one of Boba Fettâs lesser known, slightly embarrassing, somewhat humiliating, and very few defeats. This story comes first hand, practically uttered by the great one himself. It takes place long ago at a time when civil strife ran rampant throughout the Empire -yes, the Empire -you know, that ragged piece of space on the fringes of the New Republic? Back when the Rebels were an endangered species and the Empire held Coruscant as its main seat of power throughout the galaxy. Shortly after the destruction of the first Death Star...
Crix Madine was a man living in fear. By now his state of distress would be noticed by the bridge crew. Madine had left the cruiserâs bridge a few moments earlier in preparation for the coming black-operations assignment. He heard footsteps from around a bend in the corridor and ducked into a utility alcove turning his back to the walkway. Breathing shallowly, he kept his back to the individuals proceeding down the passageway.
Madine wiped sweat from his brow and smoothed his Imperial green tunic, adjusting his code cylinders. He exhaled slowly, leaning heavily on a locked-down weapons cabinet, trying, without success, to steady his nerves. He once more justified his course of action in an effort to settle his conscience over his soon-to-be betrayal. Iâm killing a few, so millions wonât perish. My actions will save a world from desolation at the expense of my guilt. A small price, that.
Finally, Madine was ready to proceed. He walked stiffly down to the landing bay of the modified Carrack class Cruiser. The ship was Imperial, but externally appeared to be a non-descript bulk-freighter. His commando team was already assembled outside the ship theyâd be using on this mission, a battered Incom P-58 Planethopper. His crack team of soldiers had been with Madine for a long time now. He knew them all by name, had shared meals and trenches with them. Now, of the twelve of them, including Madine himself, eight were about to die. The Corellian General sighed heavily as he approached his second in command, Ybom Spixx.
âAll is in readiness, General,â Spixx barked hoarsely.
âGood. And our cargo?â Madine asked wearily, dreading the answer.
âThe bio-chemical detonator is locked down in the hold. If customs scans it, theyâll read it as a shipment of ryll spice, destined for a pharmaceuticals company. Those blasted planet-dwellers wonât know what hit them!â
Crix raised an eyebrow. Ybom had used the proper code phrasing. It meant that the mutineers were ready to proceed as planned and that the ship would blow up during its descent, while Madine and his associates made their escape in the life pod.
âLetâs get this over with...â Madine strode up the ramp, preparing for murder.
âWhatâs taking so long?â Spixx whispered anxiously to Madine. The Planet hopper had left the safety of the Cruiser moments earlier and their larger counterpart had already left the system.
âBe patient, give Deek time to get in position,â he replied. Madine glanced at his chronometer. They were still on schedule. The General was referring to Lieutenant Deek Filrothe, one of the conspirators on the mission. He was charged with disposing of three of the loyal Imperials on this mission, on guard duty in the cargo hold. Madine, Spixx, and Tandor Sleed were in charge of taking care of the other five crew members. They were outnumbered three to one, but had righteousness on their side.
Madine separated himself from Spixx at the rear of the cabin and passed his troops in the common area to seat himself at the copilotâs station. He addressed the soldier in the pilotâs position, âHow we doinâ?â
âRight on course, sir. Weâre on schedule and should make planet fall in about ten minutes.â
âGood job, son,â Crix spoke loudly, then more quietly, âHey look to port, a solar flare!â
The covert operations pilot craned his neck to where the general was pointing and as he did so, Madine jabbed him in the neck with a needle, releasing lethal frinka venom into the manâs blood stream. The trooper gagged, then went limp. Madine swallowed. No turning back now. Quickly, he typed a command into the navigation console, calling up a hidden sub-program. He activated it with his code cylinder, which he inserted into a computer jack. The program was running. It would stop the shipâs descent and blow out the engines, thus stopping the planethopperâs deadly cargo from reaching its target.
There was an explosion from the aft of the vessel. The engines gave out. Immediately, an alarm started to drone throughout the ship. Confusion erupted in the common area. Four of the Generalâs men filed into the cockpit, followed by Tandor and Spixx, both toting blaster carbines. Without warning they opened fire on their mates, taking them all out with precision shots to the head before any of them could get off a single shot. Spixx gawked at the bloody mess on the floor, then ran out of the cockpit mortified at what he had done. Tandor remained by the hatch.
Madine barely batted an eye over the carnage of his former troops, intent on his current task, as he set the ship to explode. He was about to activate the sequence, when he was interrupted by a comm signal. The flustered Madine set aside his current task to respond. Deek reported that his mission was complete. The last Imps were dead. It was over. The ship was theirs... Or so they thought.
âGood work, Deek, now get up here,â Crix barked into the receiver. Crix turned to face Tandor, âYou did well, just remember that the guilt we feel is inconsequential compared to the number of lives we preserve today. Whereâd Ybom go?â
Tandor spoke in a low voice, ââFresher unit, canât blame him. Makes me sick too. These were good men, General. Itâs a real pity things had to be this way.
Before Madine could reply, a silhouette appeared behind Tandor at the cockpit entrance, as if it had materialized out of thin air. Tandor turned, âDeek?â The figure didnât speak. Rather it brought a Blastech EE-3 Assault Rifle from itâs side and proceeded to rake fire across Tandorâs form. The man hadnât even cleared his blaster from its holster and was dead before he hit the floor.
Madine was frozen in his seat, knowing that any move he made would mean death for him. âWho are you?â
The humanoid stalked forward, out of the shadows until it was bathed in the glow of red emergency lights. The flickering lights illuminated the hunterâs unmistakable T-shaped visor and the visage of the infamous Boba Fett appeared. âNeedless to say, trooper Deek will not be joining us...â
Madineâs passive face became a thing of rage and the General exploded out of his seat throwing himself at Boba Fett with all his weight. The Mandalorian armor-clad tracker side-stepped easily, cuffing his prey on the back of the neck and drawing blood in the process. He brought a pair of wrist binders out of a cargo pocket and, with his knee in the small of Madineâs back, forced Madineâs hands behind him and clamped the binders on. The prey stopped resisting, realizing his efforts were futile.
Boba Fett stood up, pulling Madine with him by the scruff of the neck and shoving him roughly into a seat. Then proclaimed, âBy Imperial decree, you are hereby under arrest for high treason against the Empire, for instigating insurrection, for the murder of officers, the willful destruction of Imperial property, conspiring with Rebels, and for attempted-mutiny. Lord Vader was made aware of your treachery some time ago. The Emperorâs order for the purification of this world was a test of your loyalty. Obviously, youâve failed. The punishment is death!â
Crix heaved a long sigh and spat out blood. âSo, whatâre you waiting for? Get it over with.â
Fett shrugged, âI was paid to capture you, nothing more. Besides, Vader and General Mohc want to have a talk with you first and see just how much you told the rebels about their pet-project. As you know all information concerning the Dark Trooper Project is highly classified. Prince Xizorâs not even supposed to know about itâs existence.â The hunter coughed. He wasnât used to talking so much. As he spoke a figure moved up behind him. Madine saw, but carefully modified his expression and kept it impassive.
Ybom Spixx stepped into the open, âDonât Move.â Fett didnât flinch.
âYou picked a bad time to mess with me, kid,â the hunter intoned with a croak.
âDoes it look like I care? I really hate scum like you. You bounty hunters are the worst kind. You have no morals. Open your eyes, weâre saving lives here, damnit!!!â Spixx would have continued, had it not been for his untimely departure. Spixx lay dead on the floor, a clean shot through his back. Madine was confused and saddened at the same time. The shot had come from the hatchway. The hatch... now blocked by a red coloured protocol droid carrying a blaster rifle with a laser scope mounted on its barrel.
âAllow me to introduce BJ-17, my assistant, sometimes medic, and traveling companion,â Fett said smugly. He then turned to the droid, âSend for the ship, prepare a holding cell for our captive, and send a message to General Mohc aboard the Arc Hammer. Tell him we have his spy in hand and are en route to the rendezvous location.
The Arc Hammer, an oversized assault frigate and soul prototype of the abandoned Nebulon C class, bristled with weaponry. It was a mobile fortress in space and a weapon factory for the top secret Dark Trooper Project. If it was thought to be at risk, then any such thought would be crushed by the appearance of itâs escort: two Imperial Star Destroyers and the Executor, Vaderâs flagship. Slave I waited in the shadow of Orinackraâs moon. Fett didnât expect the Imperials to double cross him, but he knew Vader was not to be trusted. He sent probes out to scan the surrounding system, before moving towards his destination, himself. Fett wasnât one to play it safe, but wanted to be sure that there were no surprises in store for him.
Upon boarding the Executor, Fett and his prisoner, Madine, were greeted by an entourage of stormtroopers. They attempted to take Madine into custody, but, as was his custom, Fett refused to part with his bounty until payment was received. The stormtroopers escorted the hunter directly to the bridge where Vader and Mohc were deep in discussion. Fett heard only snatches of their dialogue overhearing âKatarnâ, âsabotageâ, and âFestâ. From Mohcâs tone, Fett could tell the man was not happy.
Fett roughly shoved General Madine forward to get Vaderâs attention. Vader looked up, taking in the shorter man with an assessing glance. Mohcâs reaction was much more gratifying. The older man noticeably paled, upon seeing the seedy character.
âYouâve done well, Boba Fett. The sum we agreed upon earlier has already been transferred into your account. You may leave,â the Dark Lord spoke ominously. His invitation to leave had an unmistakable, yet unspoken threatening undertone buried in it.
Fett stood stock still. Vader faced him threateningly, however Mohc interrupted before Vader could chastise the hunter. âThis contemptible excuse for an officer will no longer divulge any more information to that Rebel, Kyle Katarn.â He drew a blaster and leveled it at Madineâs head.
âKatarn will not be as easy to deal with. He is very resourceful - more resourceful, it seems, than even your dark troopers.â Vaderâs angry tone was unmistakable.
âI understand the threat, Lord Vader. Katarn was once an impressive Imperial officer, but he was weak and gave up on the struggle for our new order. I wouldnât put much faith in his abilities. Katarn will never come near this ship. My new hire will see to that...â At last Mohc turned to Fett, âI have another task for you now.â
âThen you had better make it worth my while. Iâve got a lot of unfinished jobs cropped up for the Desilijic Hutt clan. Jabba has a lot of enemies he needs eliminated.â
Mohc flatly ignored Fettâs comment as he continued, âI was just discussing some countermeasures to the setbacks weâve been having over the Dark Trooper Project. We want you to eliminate Kyle Katarn.â
Fett nodded in acceptance. He didnât know it then, but he was about to meet some serious competition
Weeks later, the time had come to engage Katarn. The mercenary had been on the move quite a bit recently. The former stormtrooper had successfully stolen the Death Star schematics from a supposedly secure facility on Danuta, recently liberated Madine from the supposedly secure prison world of Orinackra, abducted Imperial Moff Rebus from a supposedly secure research facility on Anoat, blown up the Imperial mines on Gromas, blown up the Imperial robotics facility on Anteevy, survived a trip to Nar Shadda, successfully escaped from Jabba the Huttâs private yacht, and had, moments ago, infiltrated the Imperial Security Operations Building on Coruscant right in the heart of Imperial City.
This guyâs insane. That was the first thought that came to Fettâs mind as he watched Katarnâs progress on the video monitors. A live feed was coming in from a camera in a courtyard outside the ISOâs central building. Ysanne Isard had stationed over forty troopers positioned around the perimeter of the building. All of them now lay in pools of their own blood, multiple blaster burns through them. Explosive craters ringed the building Kyle Katarn was a one-man equivalent to Pageâs Commandos.
Fett glanced at Isard. Her face was a mask, her red eye and her blue one staring impassively at the monitors, betraying no emotion. Katarn was toting some impressive firepower, equal to Fettâs own in fact. Heâs a walking arsenal. The irony of that statement immediately hit Fett. Often times, people had said the same of him. Fett pushed these thoughts aside and turned to watch as Kyle dispatched a Dark Trooper. Isard scoffed uncontrollably, âSo much for General Mohcâs toys. He should have stuck to teaching at the academy on Carida.â
âDonât take the General so lightly, Madame Director. He was a great strategist in his time and his teachings have saved many men from death in the face of combat,â Fett croaked.
âYou sound as if you speak from experience, bounty hunter. Iâve often wondered about youâre previous life, but Iâm afraid not even the ISOâs records are complete,â Isard spoke venomously.
Fett bit his tongue, disbelieving in the fact that he had blatantly tipped Isard to his past, something he had tried to shed for years. He returned his attention to the monitors, shrugging off Isardâs taunts. Kyle had made his way to the records room and had only to break the vault puzzle, before gaining access to the database on the floor below. Fett had tested the ISOâs defenses himself, and it had taken him a good forty minutes to break the final seal. Katarn solved the code a moment later. Impossible. Fett couldnât believe it. Who is this guy, some sort of Jedi?
Isard interrupted Fettâs thoughts, âHeâs through! I canât wait any longer Fett. I have to close the net. Iâm dispatching fighters to draw off his escape ship. You get down there and stop him. He canât be allowed to escape with data that sensitive! The Emperor would have my head!â She tapped several commands into her console. âGo earn your pay bounty hunter!â she yelled vehemently after the hunter. Fett was already gone.
Kyle Katarn, mercenary, strode up to the ISO terminal and extracted the information on the Dark Trooper Project. Peace of cake he thought to himself. Data in hand, he stepped back from the computer and proceeded up the hall to the freight lift that would take him back to the landing platform where his ship, the Moldy Crow, was docked. On his way up he received a message from his pilot, Jan Ors. âKyle, youâd better get up here quick. Thereâs a lot of activity. Thereâs a couple of TIE Fighters tracking me. Oh no, youâd better watch out, Kyle, I just saw--â
The commlink abruptly went dead. Katarnâs adrenaline started pumping double time. His heart thumped in his chest.
The elevator rose to the top of the shaft. Kyle disembarked and rounded the corner to the landing bay but instead of finding his ship, he found an armor plated bounty hunter, bristling with weaponry standing in his path.
Of course, a fight ensued. Katarn immediately ducked back the way he had come as Fett let loose a rocket. Recovering quickly from the explosive shockwave, Kyle crouched down and lay a claymore mine, then ran down the hall. Fett jetted headlong around the corner, expecting Kyle to be waiting to ambush him. Instead he was greeted by a bright orange explosion that ripped the floor out from under him and crushed him into the sealing. The stunned bounty hunter rebounded into the floor, a jolt of spasmatic pain travelling up and down his spine like a keyboard scale. Red dots flashed before the manâs eyes and he heard the faint whailing of a jizz band playing inside his head.
Staggering to his knees, Fett brought his rocket launcher to bare on his opponent further down the hall and let fly another rocket. This one hit itâs mark. Katarn was thrown backwards against an elevator door. He was, however, relatively unscathed. Personal shield. Fett decided that hand to hand would be the only way to take this guy out. He charged Katarn dodging blasts from Katarnâs fusion cannon and firmly connected his fist with Katarnâs jaw. Fett was rewarded with a resounding crack. He bodily hoisted Kyle above him and continuously pummeled the younger man in the stomach, beating the kid to a bloody pulp. Fett stopped just long enough to catch his breath and unsheathed a vibro blade from his shin pocket, readying for a killing blow. It was all the time the kid needed. He grabbed another mine from inside his vest and magnetically sealed it to Fettâs armored chest plate. Fett looked down at the mine, recognition seeming to dawn on his mask. He disengaged from the rebel in order to pry the explosive off. Too late. Kyle looked away, hoping his shield wouldnât break under the stress. The explosion carved a gaping hole in the side of the ISO building.
Katarn slowly extricated himself from the rubble. He was a wreck, but it was clear to him that he wouldnât need to fight anymore today. Fett was out of commission, permanently it would seem. The battered Mandalorian was unconscious, half buried beneath a durasteel beam a few meters away, his armor in tatters. Kyle almost slew the hunter right then, but realized it would be immoral to kill an enemy when he was down. So he settled for humiliating Fett instead. Pulling a writing utility from inside his vest, he drew a big smiling face across Fettâs mask. With a chuckle and a groan as he worked his jaw, the merc hobbled off to meet Jan.
Katarn escaped aboard his ship and Fett was left by the Imperials to die, while they licked their own wounds. Fett would not have survived, had it not been for his devoted droid, BJ-17. The droid carried Fett back to Slave I and treated Fettâs injuries. He was humiliated. He had gone from bounty hunter legend Boba Fett to bounty hunter joke Bobo Feet, all because of a deadly, but childish prank. Fett swore vengeance upon Kyle Katarn that day. It would be six years before Fett would encounter him again...
Nar Shadda, three years after the Endor debacle:
The bounty hunter sat in a corner booth, his back to the wall, his jetpack on the seat beside him. A human might have resented the T-shaped visor and the fact that it obscured the bounty hunterâs face, but 88 felt no such discomfort. Heâd heard humans refer to eyes as âwindows to the spiritâ but had no idea what they were talking about. His voice was flat and synthesized. âBoba Fett?â
The human nodded. âAnd you are?â
âA potential client. They call me 8t88.â
Fett gestured toward the opposite side of the booth. âTake a load off. Are you representing yourself or someone else?â
âDoes it matter?â
The bounty hunter shrugged. âNope. Just curious. Never worked for a machine before.â
With no flesh to soften it, 88âs grin took on a threatening quality. âThen get used to it - machines are the future.â
âMaybe,â Fett replied calmly, âand maybe not.â
âA man named Kyle Katarn will enter this bar in an hour or so. He has information that I want.â
Boba Fett leaned backward. Light rolled across the surface of his visor. âSo? Ask him.â
âHe may not wish to tell me.â
âAnd thatâs where I come in?â
The bounty hunter remained silent for a full thirty seconds. âI donât think so.â
âBecause Iâve heard of Katarn. Some say heâs aligned with the Empire, while otherâs claim he works for the Alliance.â
âSo? Youâve done work for the Empire.â
âTrue, but the Alliance has been on a roll of late. Who knows? They might come out on top. Either way, Iâll sit this one out.â
âThatâs your final word?â
8t88 stood and stepped into the aisle. He was about to leave when Fett cleared his throat. âOne more thing...â
The droid turned. A ball joint squeaked in protest. âYes?â
âGet a lube job.â
Boba Fett sucked down a mug of lum with a straw fed through his helmet. He watched 8t88 and Katarn in the booth on the opposite end of the cantina. Thinking to himself. BJ-17 joined him shortly. âYou could eliminate him, you know. He has inferior reflexes and his weaponry is minimal. After the way he humiliated you on Coruscant, why donât you exact vengeance on your opponent?â
âItâs about principle, Beejay. Heâs unsuspecting. Iâm not getting paid to frag him. Itâs a waste of my valuable time. Besides, you kinda have to admire his audacity in the face of death.â Fett got up to leave, then something caught his eye. One of 8t88âs cronies had a gun to Kyleâs head. Should I help him? Fett thought. âNaaaah,â he said aloud as he left, âHeâs a survivor, like me. Heâll pull through...â
And that is the story of Boba Fettâs encounter with Kyle Katarn. Maybe next time Iâll tell you about his run-ins with Dash Rendar? Of course, thatâs a story for another occasion and itâll cost you another can of lubricant. See ya âround the galaxy!!!