Boba Fett watched her across a landing bay in Tattooine. She worked quickly and with a calm efficiency that he didn't find in many people. She was definitely bounty hunter material. A pity he didn't have time to approach her.
Fett fired up the Slave Iâs thrusters rather reluctantly and prepared to leave Tattooine for the Super Star Destroyer Executor, where Lord Darth Vader was to give him a new assignment.
She glanced up briefly from her work as the Slave I roared away.
Boba Fett found himself wishing he could spend some time with the human female. A very odd feeling for someone usually so...emotionless. Fett frowned from beneath his Mandalorian Armor.
"I'm getting soft."
..Two years later..
In a crummy spaceport on a planet called Terok, he saw her again. There was no mistaking the cold efficiency with which she worked...or her face. Today, he had time.
She straightened as he approached, lifting her eyebrows in a "now what could I have done to be receiving THE Boba Fett's attention?" look.
He smiled under his mask.
"What do you want?" she asked him in smooth Basic.
Not a bit afraid, thought Fett. Good.
"What makes you think I want something?" he countered in his harsh Basic.
"You don't get Boba Fett's attention unless he's hunting you and I don't think I've pissed anyone off lately."
He looked at her thoughtfully.
"First, your name." He paused briefly. "Second, have you ever considered becoming a bounty hunter?"
It was a question that probably surprised him more that it surprised her. He hardly knew this woman and he was...no. There was something special about her, he knew it. He knew he was meant to find her, to train her.
"Shada...and that sounds like an offer to train me."
"Well, how could I turn down Boba Fett?"
Two months later, Boba Fett cursed himself for falling in love with her.
Three days after that, Shada cursed herself for falling in love with him.
Two weeks after that, Jabba the Hutt teamed them up for a hunt.
"Your reputation is growing," Fett spoke to her as the Slave I entered hyperspace en route for Paknar, a small Outer-Rim planet. "Four months of bounty hunting and the galaxy fears you already."
She looked at him.
"So who are we hunting?"
He glanced at her.
"You should know Jabba enough by now."
She rolled her eyes.
"Let me guess, a smuggler who dropped a load of spice and never got around to paying for it."
"Wow, that was a toughie. A man by the name of Cass Madden. From what Iâve heard of him, heâs an overly confident fool yet desperate for credits."
"Yeah, that sounds like the type Jabba hires. The ones who agree to do the job for 200 credits, then end up dropping their load at the first sign of Imperials. The only exception of course, being you."
"Iâm hardly a smuggler."
"So what ARE we getting paid?"
"Fifty thousand. Each."
They both grinned.
The Slave I dropped out of hyperspace.
On the planetâs surface, Shada consciously tried to avoid the fact that her mind was nagging her to tell him how she felt about him.
Yeah, right, she thought, Boba Fett is known for being a totally emotionless man. Even if I told him that I did love him, he would just snort and probably leave me on this dump of a planet.
Boba Fett found him glancing at her occasionally...Well, a little more than occasionally. Falling for her was probably the worst...and the best...thing that had ever happened to him.
They both looked up as they approached an old, weather worn building.
"This is it?"
He frowned under his mask.
"If my resources were correct, yes, this is where he has been hiding."
"All too easy."
"Yeah, thatâs what Iâm afraid of."
Fett entered first, through a sliding door, into a dusty room with no apparent doors. Shada followed closely.
"This is it? So um...where is he?"
"No, this is not it. Not all of it, at least. Appearances can be very, very deceiving."
"Right. Of course. So what are we looking for?"
"Iâve already found it."
Boba Fett, pulled out his blaster and fired a single shot into what seemed to be just a blank wall. Nothing happened.
"Um...Fett? Was something supposed to happen?"
"Sorry, Iâm not that great a bounty hunter yet."
He said nothing, but walked over to the wall and pushed gently. It swung open.
To reveal two guards, who almost lived to open fire. Almost.
Before they had time to react to the Mandalorian Armored man before them, they both had blaster shots through their heads.
"Overly confident. Only two guards." "Iâm impressed."
He couldnât help but smile under his mask.
"You should be."
They walked cautiously down the narrow hallway toward the hidden office.
"Is your stun blaster ready? Heâs the type that wonât surrender until heâs dead, and Jabba wants him alive."
Fett swung the door open...
Cass Madden looked as if heâd been expecting them.
And apparently, he had. He pulled a blaster out and fired a shot at her as Shada fired her stun blaster.
The stun bolt got Cass Madden.
The blaster bolt caught Shada square in the chest.
He leaned over her.
"Shada, Shada, Iâll kill him."
"Nah, Fett, go get your fifty thousand. Itâs too late, Fett. Fett...I love you."
He took off his helmet on impulse. No use in letting the woman he loved die without letting her see his face and...
He leaned over and kissed her gently, and took her in his arms.
"I love you too, Shada."
She reached a hand up to touch his face, running her fingers over his less than delicate features. Old scars, rough skin, yet somehow good looking with dark short hair and fair brown eyes.
"Nice face. You should let more people see it."
She closed her eyes with a smile on her face, and her chest stopped moving.
A single tear left his eyes and dripped down his face. It fell on her blaster wound. He put is helmet back on.
"I love you, Shada."
Boba Fett slung Cass Madden over his shoulders and took a final look at the still body of the only woman he had ever loved. He walked toward the Slave I. He didnât look back.
It was already a memory.
Not his memory.
Maybe it would be Cass Maddenâs memory someday...If Jabba let him live. And if Fett didnât kill him if Jabba let him live.
But Boba Fett would not think about it again.
Unless Jabba let Madden lie.
It was, after all, just another hunt...