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"Kast Aside"

A tale of Jodo Kast's origin.

  • Story by Melinda McMahon
  • Estimated reading time: 31 minutes (6,280 words)
  • Updated January 26, 2008

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Jodo Kast pulverised the message in his hand. 'Failed? How could I of all people have failed?' He thought to himself. It had always been his dream to become a stormtrooper, he had been certain he could pass the test with his eyes closed and his hands behind his back. The Imperials saw it differently.

Rage flared through Kast with an intensity he had never known. He had spent years training in every fighting art he had ever heard of, determined to join the ranks of the feared stormtroopers. Fate it seemed had dealt him a bad hand.

'Well, the stormtroopers have just made themselves a bad enemy.' Jodo Kast brooded as he linked onto the public Holonet. His temper gave him the impulse to dredge up every enemy of the Empire in their entire history.

As he scrolled through the information one picture caught and held his attention. A platoon of armoured soldiers in vicious looking helmets glared at him from the screen. Jodo Kast suddenly felt compelled to move on but curiosity got the better of him. He began reading through the information.

The headline read, "Attempt on Senator Palpatine's Life". When Kast finished his perusal he learnt that the platoon were a rogue group from Mandalore intent on killing Palpatine. They almost succeeded in silting his throat however a young man named Anakin Skywalker came upon the scene and helped save the senator from the Mandalorians' wrath.

Many of the Mandalorians were found with extensive electrical burns that could not be accounted for. The remaining members of the platoon were executed and the planet Mandalore denied any involvement with the rogue platoon.

Jodo Kast felt faintly sad for the loss of such fearsome warriors. If only they had known of the power that Palpatine had concealed before he became Emperor. But this Skywalker character had Kast baffled, he'd never heard about him before. Only Darth Vader was allowed to enter the Emperor's chambers with such ease. He decided Skywalker must have been killed after the Mandalorian attack.

Kast shrugged his shoulders on the matter and decided to delve further into the history of the Mandalorians. He would learn about these warriors and he would have his revenge.

For the next year Jodo Kast dug up every morsel left behind by the Mandalorian warriors. He studied their achievements, fighting styles and technology. They were a race technologically advanced and in the height of power before their demise came at the hands of the Jedi.

Jodo Kast found it most fitting that the Jedi diminished into oblivion shortly after the destruction of the Mandalorians. "What goes around comes around," Kast said smugly to himself.

Only one being now lived who had the qualities long lost with the Mandalorians. He was renowned for his skill and success. He was a force to be reckoned with. He was Boba Fett.

Jodo Kast had only been able to dig up two holos of the notorious bounty hunter in action. He had studied them like a man possessed. Kast would wreak havoc on the stormtroopers, he would be feared and become the best warrior in the galaxy.

Kast plotted silently as the holos of Boba Fett went through their familiar actions. As the second holo of Boba Fett drew to an end Jodo Kast studied the local calendar of events. An auction of antique weapons caught his interest. The auction was to take place the next day but the items were available to view any time prior to the auction. Jodo Kast decided to see the pieces and determine whether any were of interest.

A brisk walk through the city streets of cold blue buildings brought Kast to the security warehouse where goods to be auctioned were stored. He entered the massive doorway that was fitted with the most complex sensor devices available on the market. Kast strolled restlessly down the cluttered corridor of clear forcefields protecting various weapons of many years passed. He found himself breathless as he came upon a battered suit of Mandalorian armour.

The armour was not in very good condition, it was stained and scraped. Heavy dints were obvious in the chest-plates and helmet. The suit appeared older than Fett's and the distinctive T?shaped visor was outlined with a vibrant orange instead of Boba Fett's blood red.

Nevertheless, Jodo Kast had to have it. He went to one of the nearby guards and asked the approximate price the armour would go for. The guard named the sum of twenty thousand credits. Kast almost choked, he was lucky to have a third of that price in his account.

Yet the next day Jodo Kast was at the auction. A scattered crowd had emerged but most beings were merely interested in seeing if anything sold.

The auction moved slowly for Kast. When the Mandalorian armour was brought forth Kast quickly suppressed his eager emotions.

The auctioneer started the bidding at twelve thousand credits. No one moved, he dropped it a thousand after a moment, silence. Jodo Kast yelled out a bid of five thousand credits. The auctioneer looked faintly hopeful but no one rivalled his bid. The auctioneer summoned Jodo Kast forward and said the owner was willing to take as low as eight thousand only. Kast offered seven and got himself some armour.

Kast was instructed to pick up the armour at the completion of the auction. So he rejoined the crowd and was surprised when Mandalorian dartlets were put on offer. He immediately bid seventy?five credits. The auctioneer urged the crowd to bid against Kast but no one was interested. The hammer was about to fall when a harsh voice said, "I bid one?hundred."

Heads turned to the new arrival and silence proceeded. Boba Fett stood with his arms crossed and his right hand raised.

The auctioneer stuttered, "Do I h-have one-twenty?"

Jodo Kast raised a hand, "One?twenty."

Boba Fett's head turned slowly and his concealed gaze levelled on Kast like the targeting system of an ion cannon. Jodo Kast did not falter under that glare. He had stared into the terrifying gaze of Mandalorian helmets long enough to feel nothing more than a slight wince. He concealed it and Fett merely nodded at his company. "One?fifty." Fett's gravelly even voice stated as his gaze remained on Kast.

Kast didn't let the deathly glare deter him, "One?seventy."

Boba Fett decided to finish it, "Two?fifty."

Jodo Kast stared at the dartlets with hungry eyes but they weren't worth more than two hundred and fifty credits to him. The auctioneer tried to prompt him further but Kast remained silent.

As the auction drew to a close Jodo Kast went to collect his newly purchased armour. He watched as Boba Fett obtained the dartlets then headed towards him. "So it was you who bought the armour." Said Fett. Kast stood mystified and said nothing.

"I'll pay double of what you spent for it." Offered Fett.

Jodo Kast came to his senses. "No, I've been wanting this armour for some time."

Fett's helmeted head tilted slightly, "Collector?" he simply asked.

"You could say that," Kast replied without elaborating.

"May I have a look." Boba Fett more or less demanded as he pointed at the packing case Kast was about to seal.

Kast nodded to his idol, "Sure, be my guest."

Boba Fett lifted the helmet first and ran an appreciative gloved hand over the battered exterior. "This suit is older than mine." He stated more to himself than Kast. He surveyed the inside of the helmet and pulled at a loose wire. "Headset's out of commission." He told as he pushed the antenna into its rightful position. He placed the helmet back into the crate and pulled out the left gauntlet.

"This piece has seen a lot of action, I doubt it has much life left in it." Boba Fett was speaking a lot more than usual. Perhaps it was the fact that this young man was keenly interested in the Mandalorians just as he was. Fett composed himself and returned the gauntlet to the crate. "This armour isn't worth my time, keep it."

Jodo Kast didn't know whether to feel relieved or insulted. But the truth was he wouldn't be able to afford Mandalorian armour in as good a condition as Fett's. Sure Fett's was dinted and scrapped on the outside but it was said to be in prime working condition, always.

After the crate was sealed, Jodo Kast lugged it home. Once there he began testing the armour to see what sort of repairs were needed. Fett had been right about the headset, audio was totally shot. The gauntlet Boba Fett had studied was extremely worn, one burst from the flamethrower and the wearer would attain a wound themself.

"This is going to take a lot of my time," Kast muttered to himself. But the project was not something that angered him. He had plenty of time. Besides he would now have to save up for a ship.

Four months later Kast had the wiring worked out. The technology had been totally foreign to him. Manuals on repairs were as rare as Jedi. Fortunately Jodo Kast was a fast learner. He fused up the gauntlet making the metal much thicker and stronger.

Lately he had begun exercising in the armour, learning its capabilities as well as its technical layout.

Kast was most impressed with the retractable cable that was attached to one of the gauntlets. He had been practising precision with it and was getting close to mastering the motions.

Fleeting movements were hard to perform in the armour. The weight wasn't too bad but the chest-plates limited some manoeuvrability. Kast had discovered that most of the dints in the chest-plate were basically cosmetic. They had done no real damage to the suit except for on the right plate. Jodo Kast had to beat out the dint and laser welded it for strength.

After another month Jodo Kast had started his training to fight in the Mandalorian armour. He began in the cover of the forest outside his home, using unarmed combat on a practice dummy.

Kast went through his drill of various levels of kicks and punches. He was in the middle of his uppercuts when a forest asp threatened to bite him.

Jodo Kast froze on the spot. His in-built microbinoculars focused on the asp and Kast's fingers switched. With speed he didn't know he possessed, Kast turned a gauntlet on the asp and ignited the flamethrower. A powerful burst of flame cooked the asp instantly and Jodo Kast had something different for lunch that day.

After weeks of training in the forest Kast decided to practice in a different environment. He borrowed his brother's swoop and headed for the Vantarna Desert.

The heat was intense. He trained for several hours before the effects of the desert began to lay a heavy toll. Beneath the grey flight suit and Mandalorian armour Jodo Kast was no longer sweating and the effects of dehydration were clearly evident. When he had completed his training drills he decided to return home.

Kast didn't bother changing into his usual garb of sand coloured pants and baggy ivy shirt. He guided the swoop back into town only to have it overheat a few blocks from his home.

The swoop jerked to a halt at the front of Menzies's Bar. Jodo Kast dismounted and walked inside. His thirst was so great that he did not notice the hush his presence created. He pulled out a barstool and sat down, instantly the bartender was at his disposal. "What can I do for you bounty hunter?"

Kast was puzzled for a moment at the reference then shook his head, "Just water." He replied. The voice that emerged from the helmet was somewhat harsher than Jodo Kast was used to hearing. He'd never spoken while wearing the helmet before.

The bartender returned with Kast's request, "There's no charge on that." He told as he backed away.

Kast nodded absently as he extracted a feeding straw from the base of the helmet. He hadn't used the thing before so he tested it out.

He was almost at the bottom of his third glass when a shrill voice called out, "What do you want here, Fett? Get out or I'll show these low-lives that you're no where near as good as you say."

Diverted from his drink Kast pushed his feeding straw back into the helmet and turned, "I'm not Fett."

The grotty man staggered forward. "You're not gonna talk your way out, FETT. You'll either walk out or be thrown out. Leave now or deal with me."

It was quite obvious to Jodo Kast that this man had every intention of fighting him. With a gloved hand he pushed the glass away from the edge of the bar. His body had pretty much recovered from his journey in the desert. He rose to his feet and brought himself to his full height and glared through the vicious black visor of the Mandalorian helmet.

The man who challenged him took a step back. The corner of Kast's mouth twitched with delight at the armour's emotional effect on the weak-minded.

Jodo Kast decided it was time to test the capabilities of his armour on human prey. In a reflex Kast brought his gauntlet into play. With a delicate twist the retractable cord lashed out of its haven and wrapped tightly around the man's throat. Kast yanked his arm back snapping the cord rigid and bringing the man to his knees.

Next Kast slowly drew a vibro-blade from his pocket and taunted his prey by pressing the blade's edge against the curve of his victim's cheek. "Had enough?" Jodo Kast queried.

The man's mouth flapped open and closed as he tried to speak, "Y?y?yeah!" He eventually spat out.

With a movement beyond human sight the cord retracted from around the man's throat and Kast pushed the man onto his behind. He was putting away the blade as he said, "Go home and don't bother me again." As an afterthought Kast added, "I'm never as lenient the second time."

The man ran with a velocity that seemed too fast for his bulk. Kast smiled beneath the helmet. The armour was definitely a good buy.

With the man gone and his thirst quenched Jodo Kast returned to the broken down swoop. He checked the dials and noticed the temperature gauge had significantly dropped. Kast thumbed the ignition and was rewarded with the contented purr of the engine. The repulsors kicked in and Jodo Kast sped home.

A package awaited Kast's return. He smiled as he realised what had been delivered to him. For months Jodo Kast had been negotiating a way to get his hands on a self-destruct mechanism from a destroyer class vessel. He planned to plant it in the Imperial Recruitment Centre that had denied him his dream.

The bomb would blow up the Centre and anything within a five kilometre radius. Kast smiled evilly to himself. The thought of seeing that explosion from orbit was a fine fantasy to fulfil.

The fact that Jodo Kast's family would be killed in the explosion did not worry him in the least. No one had any ties to Boba Fett and now no one would be able to divulge any information about Jodo Kast, once the deed was done. It was a day Kast looked forward to.

It was barely a week later that Kast had all the information he needed. He had sliced into the Imperial records on the planet and extracted the blue prints of the Imperial Recruiting Centre. He'd found the perfect place to stash the bomb, in the Managing Director's office.

Kast had arranged to hire a shuttle for his escape, but if it came down to the crunch he'd steal an Imperial ship.

The dawn of the next day was glorious. The rays of sunlight stretched in long fingers across the land as if the sun wished to hold Gydon in its warm grasp. It would be the last time Kast would be on his home planet and only the slightest tint of regret touched his black heart. There were better places to go.

Breathing in one last breath of crisp Gydonese air, Kast slipped on the Mandalorian helmet and placed the bomb in a hessian sack.

He braced the bag over his shoulder as he rode his brother's swoop into the lush green forest. A short time later he dumped the swoop as he reached the outer perimeter of the Imperial Recruitment Centre. Truth be told, the Imperial building was lightly guarded. It was presumed that the planet was completely under the Empire's influence, an attack would be totally unexpected.

Jodo Kast climbed a rough barked tree and studied the sparse population of stormtroopers. A steady burning swelled in his chest as the consuming hatred reinforced itself in his mind. They would pay for rejecting him. Kast smiled as he thought, 'I will be the best and they'll never know what hit them.'

Kast turned his attention away from the stormtroopers and to the keypad on his left gauntlet. He began typing in a code that would send memorandums to the Managing Director: Colonel Dapodai La'gorv, supposedly from his Operations Lieutenant Bastian Myan. The memo would be sent in a quarter of an hour, telling each of the recipients that there was an important need of their presence in Operations regarding a problem with the Orbital Radar. It also said not to contact either party, as it was a highly confidential matter.

A wicked grin crossed Kast's hidden face as a fifteen?minute countdown appeared within his helmet. It was time to move.

Stormtrooper GY259 paced restlessly beside his partner GY183. Both knew they were in for another boring shift of guard duty. As GY259 gazed out over the tree line he found it most peculiar that his partner let out a painful groan.

Turning his white helmet to ask GY183 what the matter was GY259 suddenly understood. An armoured silhouette was illuminated by a crimson flash of a laser bolt that shot from his wrist. GY259 crumpled to the ground, his hands pressed to his abdomen. He watched helplessly as the silhouette marched forward and confiscated his blaster rifle and left him to die.

'This is too easy,' thought Kast as he added to his arsenal. He had two blasters now. One being a rifle, the other a pistol.

Kast strutted along the pathway that led to the entry of the complex. He remained in the shadows to hide the visible difference between his armour and the stormtroopers'. He flicked the broadband antenna down so it lay horizontal, hiding it from view.

He holstered the pistol in the thigh pocket on his flight suit. He then secured the sack by threading it under the plate of armour that went over his shoulder. Once this was done he carried the rifle in the typical fashion of stormtroopers, up against his chest with both hands. He decided the more he acted like a stormtrooper the less attention he'd bring on himself.

Two sentries stood at the entrance door. While Kast was still camouflaged in the darkness of the building's shadow he was able to take out the sentries before they knew what he was about.

Like all things Imperial, the complex was big and bulky. The chalky coloured structure was so different to the other constructions on the planet that it was clearly distinguishable even from the distance of space. Kast shook his head with disgust. If the Imperials ever did lose their radar they could easily be bombed from orbit.

Once inside the complex, Kast found it nearly deserted. Being dawn, most employees were either still in bed or preparing for work. Defences were at their minimum.

The heavy footfalls alerted Kast of incoming trouble. He ducked into an empty office, pried open the doorway a millimetre and watched as a squad of six stormtroopers went by. He waited for their footsteps to ebb in volume before he continued towards his ultimate goal, the Managing Director's office.

Unfortunately Kast was four minutes early. He decided to try another approach. With a gloved fist, Kast knocked on the Colonel's door.

The door slid open and Kast was greeted with an angry, "What?" The Colonel was busy scanning over some documents and didn't even bother raising his dark mop of hair that was streaked with grey. Only after a considerable silence did the Colonel lift his head.

As the Colonel's eyes widened in surprise Kast shot his com-link with the blaster rifle. A few sparks touched the Colonel's sleave and he glared at Kast with contempt. "How dare you destroy Imperial property! You will pay for that."

Jodo Kast tilted his head as he studied the stuffy pencil pusher. He considered shooting him on the spot but decided it would be more satisfying letting the Colonel see the destruction of his base.

"Relax, Colonel. I've come with a gift." Kast spoke as he pulled the sack from his shoulder.

The Colonel's demeanour changed completely, hostility was replaced with curiosity. He edged forward on his seat as he tried to peer at what was inside the sack.

Kast couldn't believe how gullible the Colonel was, surely he expected something sinister was in the bag. 'Why else would a being shoot out your only means of communication?' Thought Kast.

Gloved fingers found the trigger mechanism and started the countdown on the bomb. Scarlet numbers flared into action and Kast opened the sack enough for the Colonel to see.

The Imperial was on his feet in a second. Confusion was etched in his face, followed by disbelief, then finally panic. "You...you...can't be serious. Is this a...a joke?"

"Yes, it is and the last laugh will be mine." Kast glowered. Then he turned and left the Colonel with the bomb. Knowing the Colonel was not trained in the diffusing of a bomb, especially not an altered bomb.

Kast exited the Colonel's office and activated the lock mechanism, then he blasted the controls with the rifle. Now the Colonel's doom was sealed in with the bomb that would destroy a large chunk of the planet Gydon.

Carrying the blaster rifle with visible contentment, Kast made his way through the complex with the knowledge that justice was about to be served. His pleasant notions were suddenly drowned out by a barrage of red blaster bolts.

Kast dropped to a crouch and returned fire as he scuttled backward. A squad of stormtroopers began to hunt him down, spreading out and trying to block all escape routes.

With one hand firing the blaster, the other began typing in a code on a gauntlet. The blaster abruptly faltered, dying from excess use. Kast threw it aside and allowed a blast of blue flame to emerge from the gauntlet. He had been working on a flame that excreted extreme heat, and finally he had the results. The stormtroopers' armour began to melt from the high temperature, allowing Kast to flee as they tried to remove the burning plating.

He hurdled around the few remaining bolts a final stormtrooper shot and managed to break out of the building and into the training grounds.

More shots came from the guard towers. Kast made his way into the scant shadows fading rapidly as the sun rose above the horizon. He was almost to the landing field when his right leg went from under him. The smell of burnt flesh touched Kast's nose before comprehension dawned on him.

A charred mark seared his grey flight suit just below the knee. Shock suppressed the pain that would ultimately touch Jodo Kast later. A splattering blaster bolt slapped the pavement beside Kast's hand and he immediately pushed himself to his feet. He ran with only a slight limp and made it aboard an Imperial Shuttle warming up for flight.

Slamming a gloved hand over the control for the hatch, Kast then paced lamely to the cockpit and found the pilot going through the initial preparations for take-off. He didn't look up but acknowledged Kast's presence, "I'll be ready in a moment Sergeant, take a seat in the passenger bay."

Kast pulled the pistol from the pocket on his thigh and lowered the power flux to stun. The pilot slumped over the navigational computer as soon as the blue flash touched him. Kast strapped the pilot into the copilot's seat for insurance then buckled up in the pilot's position.

Increasing the ship's shields to full, Kast pulled away from the Imperial Recruitment Centre as the first explosion rocked the building. The shuttle jutted in the shockwaves created by the detonation. Kast levelled out the ship and guided her through Gydon's orbit. As the gravitational pulled ebbed, Jodo Kast activated the hyperdrive.

As the shuttled travelled through the mottled sky of hyperspace, Kast pulled off his right boot and proceeded in cutting away the leg of his flight suit. He gave himself a needle to reduce the pain that had started knifing through his system. Kast drew in a deep breath before he studied the wound.

The blaster bolt had penetrated the calf muscle and emerged through the other side. Kast bathed the wound in a basin of bacta, then dressed it and replaced the boot on his right foot.

Kast then stalked around the shuttle looking for a replacement flight suit. He rummaged through the Imperial uniforms and found only black flight suits worn by TIE fighter pilots. Deciding it was his only option, Kast donned a black flight suit and then replaced the Mandalorian armour over the top of it.

As Kast's heavy boots slapped the metal flooring, the pilot began to stir in the cockpit. Kast stood, leaning against the doorframe and watched silently. A groan escaped the pilot's lips as he touched his head gently. His eyes strayed to the nav-computer and widened in horror. "Wha...what? This isn't where...wait a minute." At that moment the pilot looked around and froze in morbid horror as he spotted Jodo Kast watching him. "Boba Fett," he hissed.

"No, not Boba Fett." In a moment of pure ego he added, "I'm better than Fett, I am Jodo Kast."

The pilot's form lost some of its tension, "Never heard of you." His eyes made a quick sweep over Kast before returning to the ebony visor.

"I am new to the game, but you'll hear a lot more about me. If I let you live." Kast crooned as he stepped forward, positively oozing intimidation. The pilot slunk into the upholstery of his seat, his eyes staring widely at Kast. Jodo Kast used the opportunity to question his nervous companion. "So where exactly does the Empire sort through the applications for stormtroopers?"

The pilot's chin tilted up defiantly for a moment before his brow crinkled in confusion, "Why do you want to know that?"

Kast dipped his head and glared from beneath the black visor. "Let's say I'm curious."

The pilot swallowed, "In this sector on the patrol star destroyer 'Veteran Warrior' I think." He scratched at his chin as he thought about it. "Yeah, I'm sure it is."

Kast peered at the pilot from the corner of his eye, not sure of the other man's claim. "Where would this ship be located now?"

"Taridian sector, first planet." The pilot stated too quickly.

It was a trap, Kast could feel it in his bones. Yet his desire to wipe out his failure was more alluring than the need for self?preservation. "Set a course, and no tricks." Warned Kast with a pointed finger.

The pilot nodded eagerly and started tapping buttons under Kast's steady glare. Kast stretched his leg and felt the numb pull of deaden muscles, the painkillers had kicked in. Next he surveyed the charge left in the blaster, the counter registered full, as did his other weapons except for the flamethrower. It was on recharge and the dial was quickly rising.

With his weapon checks out of the way, Kast sorted through different ideas of how to destroy the Veteran Warrior. The ship was huge and would easily defeat the small Imperial Shuttle that he travelled in; an outer space attack was out of the question. Kast logged onto the holonet and sliced into the Imperial ship's schedule for the week. A smile played across Kast's features as he noted the name of one of the Imperial's visitors.

As the Veteran Warrior loomed largely in the front viewport, Kast felt exhilarated. As long as the Imperials believed they were here for business there would be no immediate attack. Kast just had to be sure to keep the pilot, known as Packard, on a short leash.

So far Packard had complied with every order Kast had issued, he noted the way the pilot smirked, Packard thought he was home free.

"Imperial Shuttle state your business..." came a drilling voice.

Kast activated the com, "Delivery of merchandise."

"Whom am I talking to?" Demanded the voice.

Kast tilted his head to look at Packard who was grinning from ear to ear. Kast answered, "Boba Fett."

Packard gasped, "You lied! You said you weren't Fett!"

Kast ignored his remark but slapped Packard across the face to silence him.

"Access granted, you may land in hanger 345." The voice informed and Kast guided the ship into the belly of the star destroyer.

As Kast strutted down the ramp of the shuttle he was met by a pair of stormtroopers. "Admiral Quartez will see you in administration. Follow us."

Kast nodded, as he believed it the thing Fett would do, then shadowed the troopers to their destination. The corridor was wide but ugly, metal contraptions stuck out of the walls littering an otherwise acceptable surface. Little droids scurried along the floors getting underfoot and Kast was tempted to kick any that came within his range.

The Admiral was spooning some yellowish liquid into his mouth when Kast arrived. His head lifted and he greeted Jodo Kast with an extended hand, "Welcome back Fett, were you able to apprehend the mark?"

Kast's gaze was scrutinising the room, this was the obvious place to sort Imperial applications yet all hands seemed to working on reports regarding travel and patrol. Kast's teeth ground audibly, Packard had lied. "The merchandise was troublesome, I disintegrated him." Kast prayed it was a 'him' Fett had been pursuing.

"What!" The Admiral dropped the bowl of yellow liquid and clenched his fists, "I demanded live capture!"

Kast was saved from response by a Sergeant, "Sir we have another being claiming to be Boba Fett."

The Admiral made a quick pivot and faced the Sergeant. "Impossible, we have the real Fett here."

"But sir this Boba Fett is hailing us from Slave I." The Sergeant said as he pointed to his monitor.

The Admiral stared at the screen for a moment before he turned to look at Kast, his finger pointed with accusation but his mouth hung open with uncertainty. "Who are you?" He growled.

Kast's fingers were working furiously as he raised his flamethrower, "Jodo Kast and the last person you'll ever see." With that said he let a tongue of flame engulf the Admiral before he turned his wrath on the stormtroopers who flanked him. One became a lot hotter, the other was hit with a blaster bolt.

A tactical retreat was in order and as Kast left he threw a thermal detonator into the room as he backtracked to the docking bay. Sirens pierced the ship as Kast pelted down the corridor, the slap of stormtrooper boots were growing louder and Kast had a feeling that he had made a wrong turn.

His heart felt as though it was in his throat but as he turned the next corner relief flooded his soul. The Imperial Shuttle waited with its ramp open invitingly. Kast sighed and pushed himself harder, gaining more speed. His feet touched the ramp and he punched the 'close' button as he trotted aboard.

Head down as he puffed Kast was surprised to hear a voice within the shuttle. "So you returned, that surprises me." Packard said smugly, the corner of his mouth twitching upward with appreciation. "But," he shrugged "...you won't escape this time."

Packard kicked the blaster from Kast's gloved hand and attempted to stun Kast with the rifle in his hands. However Kast had other ideas. He dropped down and held his body with the strength of his arms and threw his legs out lashing his feet against Packard's ankles, knocking the other man to the ship's floor.

Kast stood pulling his vibroblade from his pocket as he rose to his full height. Placing a foot either side of Packard's sprawled form, Kast bent down placing an immobilising knee on Packard's chest. Kast roughly caught Packard's chin in a hard gloved hand and with the other he sliced the vibroblade across the pilot's throat. Packard's eyes went wide before they glazed over. Kast wiped the blade clean on Packard's shirt and headed to the cockpit.

The ship was still idling so it didn't take Kast long to initiate take?off. The yawning maw that was the docking bay exit stood open, though the doors were closing with the slow speed of an intoxicated Hutt. Kast gunned the engines to maximum speed and careened out of the star destroyer.

But the battle wasn't over, the star destroyer was still heavily armed and shielded. There was also the fact that the real Boba Fett was lurking in the vicinity. An idea came to mind.

"Slave I do you read?" Kast called as he manoeuvred the shuttle beneath the Veteran Warrior.

"This is Slave I." Came the gravelly voice of Boba Fett. A thrilling chill ran up Kast's spin, he was speaking to the notorious Fett in the heat of battle. Perhaps his idea would work.

"Slave I, I am Jodo Kast one of the last Mandalorians will you aid me in this battle?" Kast asked with authority.

The line was silent a moment before Fett simply answered, "No."

Kast stuttered, "B-but you-you're a believer in the Mandalorian ways!"

"I believe in getting things done as effectively as possible, that I have in common with the Mandalorians. Nothing else." Fett explained.

Jodo Kast couldn't comprehend what he was hearing. His idol was turning him down, rejecting him in the worst possible way. "How could you?" Kast asked but the com wasn't activated, it was a question to himself.

Kast duck-dived the shuttle as he bit his lip in disdain. His mind was a whirlwind of disbelief, his hero wasn't what he thought he was. Kast operated the hyperdrive, it was his only chance of escape. He pushed the shuttle into a fast drop and zoomed into hyperspace within moments.

Boba Fett let his hand drop away from the com-link. It was the only sensible thing to do. If he had aided this 'Jodo Kast' he would have jeopardised his line of business with the Empire. It wasn't a wise move to turn against the Imperials and Fett had no intention of doing so. He watched as Kast's ship vaulted into hyperspace, Fett felt that he had chosen wisely.

The Imperial Shuttle emerged from hyperspace in a region of Hutt space. Kast selected a dreary moon to land on, it suited his mood.

After leaving the shuttle in a dingy little dock of rusty metal, Kast trod the rickety boardwalk to a grotty bar by the name of 'Hypo Nonsense'. He slid into a booth with split vinyl seats and awaited a barmaid. She arrived wearing a nametag saying Rystall, her wild red hair spiked high above her freckled skin. "Oh wow you're Boba Fett aren't you?" she queried breathlessly.

"Hardly," Kast muttered as he turned away from her, studying the dismal scenery outside.

Her features dropped at his glum response, "Okay...um...what would you like?"

Kast brought up a hand to cup his chin as he returned his attention to the attractive Rystall. "Something to take the chill out of my bones." She smiled and nodded as she backed away. Kast gazed at nothing and went over the events that had occurred.

Why had Fett left him to the Imperials wrath? His dismay soon became charged with anger. How dare Fett leave him to the wolves! He slammed his fist down on the tabletop as Rystall appeared. She jumped at his unexpected violence, spilling some of his drink down her hand.

"S-sorry," she mumbled with her head dipped, her eyes studying the floor.

Kast watched her but his anger didn't flow her way. "I was not angry with you Rystall." He commented, standing to remove the drink out of her hands. "Join me," he said as he indicated to his booth. The bar was empty except for himself he couldn't see the harm in it.

Rystall provided a weak smile and sat down. "Who are you?"

"Jodo Kast," an idea came to him, "Mortal enemy of Boba Fett." He smiled, Fett's days were numbered he was going to take him down. But that was not all, he would replace Boba Fett as number one bounty hunter, he'd be the best and no one would remember Mr Fett. The thought warmed him, oh yes Fett would pay. Plus it would be an awful lot of fun.

Kast smiled at Rystall from beneath the helmet. "You want to leave this dump?"

Rystall beamed at him with a beautiful smile, "Oh yes."

"Come with me and we will let our destinies guide us down the path of success." With that Kast took Rystall's hand and led her to his ship and to a future that seemed bright with possibilities.

Epilogue

The lives of Rystall and Jodo Kast did not end happily. Rystall became a dancing girl for Jabba the Hutt after a torrid affair with Kast turned ugly. She tried to worm her way into Boba Fett's heart only to be used for information regarding Jodo Kast. When Jabba died Rystall disappeared and no one ever saw her again.

Jodo Kast made a name for himself but his fame never reached the level of Boba Fett's. However he was foolish enough to draw Fett's attention his way by posing as the galaxy's best. Kast was tricked into Boba Fett's grasp and went into the final battle of his short life. He died at the hands of his previous mentor, Boba Fett.

But some believed that Jodo Kast somehow survived and if so, perhaps he is with Rystall living a peaceful existence of forgiveness...perhaps...


AUTHOR'S DEDICATION:
To Aaron Proctor, for all your help and support. Thanks a million.

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