It was the name.
The name appeared across the viewplate of Boba Fett's computer console aboard his ship, Slave I. A name he had not thought about in a long time.
The name was Jem Mereel. Mereel had once been Fett's own name.
"No more." He said silently, and memories of the past slipped away into the same dark oblivion where they had been buried for more than sixty years.
This Jem Mereel had a price on his head, and he was wanted dead on sight. Apparently he had killed some New Republic troops, and gotten away. Fett had never been married, but he knew who the mother was. She was a childhood friend, his only friend, if there is such a thing.
Fett was getting old. He didn't know his age exactly, but he knew his days were numbered. He needed a replacement, an heir to the thrown that he had sat upon for all of these years. He entered the coordinates of his home planet, Concord Dawn, on to the navcomputer of Slave I, a place he hadn't been to since he had been banished.
He arrived in the system and noticed another ship rocket past him. It was thousands of kilometers away, and out of range from his ship's close range sensors. Any normal man would have missed it, but then again any normal man doesn't have a macrobinocular viewplate inside of a Mandalorian battle helmet.
Fett reversed the main thrusters and followed the vessel. He caught up quickly and identified it as an outdated Raptor Transport. The ship was called Infinity. Apparently it had blasted off while being shot at by New Republic Troops. There were newly scorched blast scars on it's hull, and over the comm scanner Fett picked up arrest orders for Jem Mereel, who had blasted off in an old transport. Fett broke radio silence and communicated with the transport.
"I am not here to kill you, I have an interesting proposition for you." Said Fett, his voice striped of any emotion.
"Who is this?" Asked Jem, obviously frightened.
" I was once known as Jaster Mereel. However, you might have also heard of my âadopted' name, Boba Fett?" There was a long pause. "I was banished before you were born, son"
"That's not possible, my father was killed when I was very young. In fact I have no memory of him!" This conversation seemed to be upseting Jem.
"Not dead, in a since, not in existance. Jaster Mereel ceased to exist, and Boba Fett was born. I..." The words caught in Fett's throat, words he had not used since his childhood. "I'm sorry."
"What do you want? If you want to know about my mother, you should ask that...that Republic scum. They killed her!" Fett was enraged. The Republic client hadn't told Fett this part of the story.
"Why?" Asked Fett. He hadn't questioned anything in a long time. The way things are doesn't need to be questioned. Everything happens for a reason. Fett didn't believe in fate, or that something controlled his life, but things happen that you can' t do anything about.
" Because, I killed one for calling her a two credit mistress. Another pulled his blaster, she was trying to save me. She took it in the chest. I killed two or three more and ran." Now Slave I was positioned alongside the other ship to dock.
"I'm coming aboard." Said Fett.
Fett swivled the worn pilot's chair around stood on his cybernetic leg. Cancer had spread and it had to be amputated. However there were enough credits in his account to get a replacement quickly, and he was back in action in a matter of weeks. He descended the ladder to Slave I's holding area, and strode over to the dock tube control panel. Jem opened the outer hatch on Infinity's hull, just as Fett secured the dock tube. Jem too got up and walked to his cargo hold, to meet his father, for the first time. When their eyes met, Fett did something he hadn't done in sixty, or more, years. He removed his battered and scared Mandalorian battle helmet, and looked upon another being with his own eyes.
"I am an old man now. Years ago, I looked like you. Now cancer has taken my left leg and unfortunately my reflexes aren't as quick as they used to be. I won' t be around much longer. If the name Boba Fett dies, criminals will walk care free. While he is alive, they will live in fear. I need you, son, to take my place." Fett's voice was raspy, but still just as emotionless and intimidating as it had been while it was projected from a transmitter inside his battered and scarred helmet.
"What, you expect me to just become you? You are a legend! Everywhere in the galaxy people look over their shoulders in fear when they hear your name whispered!"
"It is just a name, a name I made up years ago. I'll train you as long as I can, and after that, Jem Mereel does not exist, and you become Boba Fett." Fett explained.
"There's just one little problem, the New Republic wants me dead."
"Leave that to me. I'll think of something." Fett turned around and walked back to his ship.
"Where are you going?" Asked Jem.
"Meet me on Tatooine." The dock tube retracted as Fett boarded his ship. He set the course for Tatooine. Close behind him followed his son, and heir.
When they arrived on Tatooine, Fett began training his son. He taught him how to shoot a blaster with astonishing accuracy, be patient, and predict what his prey was thinking. He made his son as emotionless as he was. Fett sent Jem on several smaller jobs at Mos Eisley for practice. His son breezed through every obstacle, much like his father. Several weeks had passed, and the training was almost complete. At last it was time for the finishing touch, the armor. Jaster Mereel took of the Mandalorian Battle Armor he had worn most of his life, and gave it to Boba Fett.
"I think you're ready, but in town today some bounty hunters were asking me if I had turned Jem Mereel in yet. I put a blaster bolt through one, and throttled the other one into telling me that they saw Infinity and my ship, Slave I, land out in the desert. They probably contacted the New Republic." Jaster explained.
"So they're either on their way, or already here." Fett began scanning his comm unit for news on the whereabouts of the New Republic fleet. After a few moments, he got the tip he needed. "The Republic Outer Rim fleet is in orbit around Tatooine. Whatever needs to be done, better be done quickly."
"Now the time has come for us to part company, forever. I know what I must do, and here is what you will do: you will get into Slave I, pilot it just like I taught you, and hunt down those poor souls that you are paid to."
"What are you going to do?" Asked Fett.
"That doesn't matter." Jaster walked over to Infinity, as Fett walked over to his Slave I. Both seated themselves at the controls, and left the planet. One piloted right into the New Republic Fleet, another watched from a far.
Jaster Mereel was one of the best pilots in the galaxy, but even he could not take on the entire New Republic Fleet. He shot down a few fighters, scored a couple of hits on the capitol ships, and was hit several times himself. Sudenly, out from behind a freighter, there came a ship that's name was permanently embedded in Fett's brain. It was the Millennium Falcon.
Han Solo had been told there was a dogfight, so he thought he'd get in on the action. As Jaster Mereel saw the Falcon he reached down to the empty co-pilot's chair and picked up an extra Mandalorian helmet he had brought with him. He put on the helmet and fastened the bottom onto the neck of his jumpsuit.
Mereel charged his shields, set them to full forward, and flew straight toward the Falcon. Most of his life he had waited for this moment, and now it was upon him. Looking through the T-shaped visor of the helmet...Jaster could see Han Solo...looking right at him...terrified.
"Goodbye Solo. I'll see you in the afterlife, if there is one for men like us." Once again Fett removed the helmet, this time so that Solo could see his scarred face, grinning. They collided head-on just as Han was bumbling for the comm unit to alert the rest of the fleet that this wasn't Jem Mereel, it was Boba Fett.
Both Infinity and the Millennium Falcon burst into flames, and the New Republic believed that Jem Mereel was dead. It's just as well, in a way he was.
Boba Fett sat in the pilot's chair of his Slave I and thought aloud, "Everything happens for a reason." Han Solo was finally dead, and Jaster Mereel dead with him. Fett fired the ship's thrusters and lit off into space, and the legend lived on...
41 BBY - 50 ABY
“Heir to The Trade”
The story of Boba Fett's encounter with his son, that will change the course of the galaxy forever...
It was the name.
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