Editor's Note: The Boba Fett Fan Club warns that this story contains adult content. It may not be suitable for minors.
He's coming for me; I can feel his anger.
Ara Lars sat in what used to be Jabba the Hutt's audience chamber, awaiting the arrival of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Master, and his trainees.
I rescued him from the Carkoon pit, or rather, from the edge of the pit. His armour was melting; the clothing beneath shredded. Much as some small part of me would have liked to admire his near-naked form, I wrapped him in a cold sheet and tugged off his helm. His face was contorted with pain; his face, the only part of him not marked by the acids of the Sarlaac.
The escape skiff I'd loosed from Jabba's pleasure barge became our transport. I dragged at him until he stood, shoved him bodily into the passenger seat, then took off for my parent's farm. It was only three days since my capture by the Gamorrean guards, but the emergency evacuation had already taken place. I suppose my fighters thought that if I'd gone into Jabba's palace, I was never coming out. They would have been right, if Boba Fett had not been given me as his own.
The few fighters that had not gone off-planet with Luke and his friends came back to me. I hid Jaster in my rooms, then told them they could seek other pastures. Defeating the Hutt had been our main purpose; that, and causing as much trouble as we could for the Imperial troops stationed on Tatooine. I only asked that they leave me with some of our precious medical supplies.
I took care of him. It was becoming a round, with us. He'd save my life, then I'd save his. It took him months to recover, but by then I'd retrieved his hidden cache of credits, weapons, and additional armour. He decided that Boba Fett was better off "dead" for now, so we couldn't draw on his considerable wealth to get off Tatooine, nor could we get Slave I out of its dock in Mos Eisley.
I sold the family farm to Barthan Amoy, a greasy pig if ever there was one. He tried to rape me, my last night there, but Jaster pointed a laser rifle at his crotch, and he took himself off. We left at dawning the next day, heading for Mos Eisley, to see what our combined "fortunes" could purchase. Jaster made no comment when I cried, just a little.
We ended up with a small freighter that was held together by spit-and-a-promise. After leaving Tatooine, the thrice-damned thing almost fell apart on us. Jaster was not amused when I suggested we name it Slave II.
He taught me to hunt. We changed our names, and I became his sister, Nera. He called himself Jazon Merel. I think it amused him, being so close to himself. We swiftly made another name for ourselves: some spoke of us a the Hounds. And we were; like a pair of matched hounds.
After four years, I began taking solo jobs. My break came when I captured the canabalistic seductress, Jossini. She'd made the mistake of devouring an Imperial officer's cronie, and he paid well to see that she had indigestion for a very long time afterwards. I returned to Tatooine just long enough to get Slave I out of dock, though I was sorely tempted to use its weapons on Barthan's scraggly hide.
Some places condone incest; some even encourage it, especially in royal blood lines. When I handed him the key control of Slave I, we were still known as brother and sister, and if we had been most anywhere but Nar Shaddaa, we would have been arrested for the heat we generated that night through various, um, activities.
We ran into Han and Leia, shortly after that. A few not-so-gentle encounters with them and Chewbacca nearly left us without a ship again, not to mention the scars Jaster still bears after the Wookiee threw him through a roof. The mind-cloud I was using to shift the features of my own face did nothing to help Jaster; he was again wearing the armour of Boba Fett. None of the so-called "good guys" recognized me, though I think I might have been in more trouble if Luke had been with them.
Five years more together, with me going solo every once in a while. By then, I'd had my fill of tense adventuring. I was surprised at how much my share of the bounties came to. I could live quite well, indeed! Our last night together, Jaster asked where I was going.
"Home," I said. "Back to Tatooine."
"To the moisture farm?"
"No. Let Barthan have it."
He was understandably curious, though he wouldn't have shown it for the world. When I left him, I whispered just exactly what I was intending to do with the money. He removed his helm, to stare at me a moment with his own eyes, then threw back his head and laughed as I'd never heard him before. He ran a gloved hand through my hair, for the last time, and kissed my mouth.
So here I am, ensconced in what used to be Jabba's palace. Oh, a great deal of it is closed off; we who dwell here didn't need that much space. No longer for smugglers, it is a place of peace for the artists who come here to create their works. There is light and life here; even a room for the Mar Terin monks, the remnants of Jabba's followers. The wealthy of the galaxy have a piece or two that these artists have made; only the finest comes from Tatooine. This, from what was once a backwater planet. Even Mos Eisley has gotten a better reputation!
Too bad all of it will soon be destroyed.
I cleared out the scum that had inhabited Jabba's old palace. Cleared it, and cleaned it, with the help of some aspiring sculptors I'd met during the journey back to Tatooine. I left the Mar Terrin monks where they were, and they actually liked having others speak to them about their philosophies.
The Empire was in fragments, after Luke and his friends destroyed the second Death Star.
A new Republic would soon be set in its place, and the sculptors, painters, musicians and poets that were flocking to my colony would be selling their wares to members of the new Senate.
The only black mark in my life was the arrival of a heavy box. It bore Boba Fett's helm, and I knew the one way that it would have been sent was if he was dead. I made as many discreet inquiries as I dared, with no result. We never loved each other, he and I; a mutual respect of talents, a mutual desire of bodies. Still, I mourned briefly for him. He'd been such a large part of my years.
Chewbacca's son came to us, in the third year after the new Republic was established. He was a talented youngster, and it would be a pleasure to see him grow into those talents. His father tagged along, to check out the colony. Chewbacca had aged well; a little silvering of the fur, particularly at his temples, but still a nice... specimen. Some of the sculptors wanted to "do" him on the spot, but he demurred. Pity. A life-size statue would have been wonderfully imposing.
He was made uneasy when he saw Boba's helm, in its place of honour on my chairside table. He finally asked the question I'd been expecting: where I'd gotten the money to start this place, and how I'd been able to keep it going. I saw no reason to lie to him, so I told him about the years I'd spent as a bounty-hunter. He almost took his son out of here that instant, but I managed to calm him. I explained that I never acted other than honourably, and mentioned the fact that he was a fine one to talk, seeing as his closest friend had once been a drug smuggler! All this said with the most gentle good humour.
He relented, then glanced about warily. He pulled his chair closer to mine, and told me the first that I had heard about a trouble that was brewing. Luke had gathered about him a small cadre of Jedi trainees; half a dozen that were loyal only to him. I shrugged at Chewbacca's cautionary tone, and said that I thought all Jedi masters (of which Luke was now one) were supposed to have trainees. He told me I didn't understand; that Luke had decided that everyone who'd been connected with the Empire had to be... eliminated.
I was stunned. And, looking at Boba's helm, an idea began to gnaw at me. I asked Chewbacca bluntly if Luke had been the one responsible for Boba Fett's death. He nodded, once. I closed my eyes, and breathed deeply for a moment. Looking into the Wookiee's face, I told him he should return for his son in six months. That should give me just enough time to see if he had anything worth developing. I also told him that if I could not place his son with a reputable patron, I would make sure that there was someone who could. Again, he nodded, satisfied that I could keep things under control for a little while, at least.
A week past:
Everyone except myself and the Mar Terrin monks are gone. All the artists have either been placed with wealthy patrons in the new Senate, or have struck out to make their own fortunes. I shall miss the lively discussions on various techniques, though I must confess I shall not miss the thrown bits of clay or pots of paints, when things got a bit out of hand!
Chewbacca's son left with him three months ago, and I am proud to say that he has become quite the poet. He will do well, either on his home planet or elsewhere. A letter was sent to me a month back, Chewbacca saying that his son had left to try his hand at obtaining a Court position. I could just imagine the Wookiee tribes swelling with pride.
I'm surprised I've not heard more from Chewbacca.
Luke and his trainees were spotted setting up their quarters on the barren grounds that used to be my parent's farm. As I thought he would, Barthan Amoy ran it into the ground (so to speak). I know it won't be long until he comes for me, seeing me as a traitor to his Rebellion and the new Republic, just because I was with Boba Fett. These fanatics trouble me; whenever you have someone who believes that they are right, and everyone else is wrong, and tries to make you think the way they do, no matter the cost... well, it scares me.
I went to the lower levels of the colony, where the Mar Terrin monks are housed. I bluntly told them that they would have to use their bodies for a change, seeing as both Jabba and I had given them free roam of the place. It took me awhile to get them going, but they finally accomplished what I asked, then I let them go back to their musings.
It is so very quiet, now. The only voices I hear are in my memory; the students, my parents; Jaster.
In Jabba's former audience chamber is a single chair, and a low, round table. The table bears the helm of the most feared and successful bounty hunter ever to roam the galaxy, Boba Fett. The chair's occupant is a lithe woman, still holding herself alert after all these years. Her brown hair had kept its accents of gold and red, with grey strands showing through. Her body still in fighting trim, her mind still sharp, Ara Lars was steeling herself for the most difficult moments in her life.
He strode through my open doors like a conquerer, though there was no-one left to fight but me. He ordered his trainees to search the place; take anything they liked, if they liked. All my wealth went with my people, to help them on their ways. His trainees will be... disappointed. How sad.
He smirked when he saw the helm, resting on the table by my chair. I idly placed my hand on it, feeling the roughness of its crown. He asked if I liked his "gift". I answered him with a look as cold as the Hoth moon he'd once been on.
His trainees returned, empty handed, as I knew they would be. He glared at me then, saying how much he disliked traitors, then told me he had another "gift" for me. He threw a packet at my feet, made of cloth and bound with string. It... smelled strange, like rotting meat.
I bent to pick it up, keeping my eyes on him at all times. I had no illusions as to how this would end; he and his were more than a match for my feeble powers. All I had to do was... ach! It is rotting meat! I asked him if this was his twisted idea of a joke. He became solemn, and reminded me of his hatred of traitors. He said he knew this place would have been filled with people and treasures if I hadn't been warned.
As his words sunk in, my brain recoiled in horror. What I was holding wasn't just some chunk of spoiled meat, it was a Wookiee's tongue!
Luke laughed; a chilling sound. He had found out that Chewbacca had brought his son here to study; had also found that Chewbacca had told me what Luke had become: a self-righteous maniac. So Luke, visiting the Wookiee homeland, had contrived to get Chewbacca alone. There, he was able to lock that gentle giant's limbs in stasis, while he used a lightsaber to silence the Wookiee's voice forever.
I refused to cry. I refused to give in to the temptation to scream, or to throw up. I laid what was left of the tongue on the table, next to Jaster's helm.
I can only hope that the recording system that I set up has caught everything that happened next. I want all the galaxy to see what I have done, to keep it from those who would become as great a dictator as the late Emperor.
Luke stood in the midst of his trainees, an arrogant expression on his face. I guess he thought that whatever mind powers I possessed were to small to interfere with his plans for me. I also guess that he was a bit disappointed that the Sarlaac no longer existed. In his frame of mind, I can easily imagine him throwing me in there.
I leaned back in my chair, right hand stroking the crown of Jaster's helm. As I reached the antenna (amazingly still intact), I smiled. Triggering the detonator hidden inside the helm, which would ignite the explosives packed into the old Rancor pit (over which Luke and his ilk were so obligingly standing!), I believe I had the final word:
"You were never so clever as you always thought you were."