Story by Mark Atkins • 516 words •
Updated Jan 26, 2008
He awoke in his bed, only a pair of military issue longjohns protecting him from the cold because he would not let one blanket cover even his foot. His alarm set off a somewhat annoying beeping noise, but was unnecessary because he had already began to put his uniform on. But then, he curiously paused and turned around to look through his window at the stars. The blackness of space reminded him of the blackness in his life. He continued to put his uniform on. His purple pants gave him an allergic reaction which always seemed to give him a rash, his matching purple jacket was just as bad, but his shirt protected him from that. The shirt was white and long in the arms, but it was not part of the uniform, only for comfort. Next came his socks, boots, and hat and then the final touch, his nameplate. He connected his nameplate to the top right part of his jacket and looked at it. On it it said "Protector Jaster Mereel." He didn't want to look at his face, not a lot of people did. He always resented what he looked like, he even pointed his head to the ground as he walked, so nobody would look at his face. He left the room to meet two guards waiting at his door. Today was the day of his trial for murdering another protector who was corrupt. He killed the protector, but he was arrested for murder and now his sentence was to be given today. The gray, metallic hallway was a reminder that the prison ship he was on was probably his last stop until an uncertain future. He entered a small room as gray as the hallway with a desk and three judges behind it. The guards went to different corners of the room, as the judges began. The penalty for murder was death, but since the victim was corrupt, the judges gave him a more lenient sentence. He was to be exiled from his home planet, Concord Dawn. It gave him a heavy lump in his throat as he was stripped of rank and position. He almost cried when his nametag was removed from his uniform. To him it meant that his life as Jaster Mereel was eliminated. He escorted from his cell and put on a transport for the planet of Mandalore. Once he landed and the transport left him on the planet, he took off his hat and burned it and walked towards the nearest bar. As the years passed by, he learned to grow stronger, tougher, calmer, and above all, smarter. He adopted Mandalore his new home planet, and with it, a suit of armor from a Mandalorian warrior. He climbed to the tallest mountain on Mandalore, and made a base of operations, and started his new job as a bounty hunter. On his first job, he captured a pirate who was attacking a merchant's chain of cargo ships. As he was paid by the merchant he asked him for his name. He answered.