Journeyman Protector Jaster Mereel slid out from under the vehicle he was working on. He ran a hand through his thick brown hair. The old LL-27 landhopper had been giving him trouble ever since he had bought it.
"Jaster!" a voice called from across the working bay. His wife was calling from the door to their house. "It's time for dinner!" Jaster hopped up, and, after giving his wife a quick kiss, followed her into the house. His wife, Marria, was an avid collector of rare artifacts, especially of long- extinct civilizations. Artifacts from the Massassi, Mandalor, Ziox, and other alien races sat on shelves, hung on walls, and were just generally scattered around. Marria was especially interested in the Mandalors. Their armor, language, system of life, anything she can find about them, fascinated her. She never gave her findings to museums or studies, she preferred to be the keeper of secrets. Jaster chuckled. Marria and him were probably the only people in the universe who knew almost the whole Mandalorian language. Her prize possession was an almost complete set of Mandalorian combat armor. They had that relic safely and secretly hidden away. As they walked into the kitchen, Jaster reached into the cradle there and patted his daughter's head. As was customary on Concord Dawn, the child was not named until they were a season old. After dinner, Jaster reported to High Command. The Command building was located in Concord Dawn's capital city, Concordia. All Protectors reported here. Jaster had just been away on a one-month relief period, but it was time to get back to duty. Jaster was in charge of the Rapport section of Concord Dawn, known for its nightlife. Jaster's partner was Protector Harrol. The only reason that was allowed to even stay with the Protectors was because he was the High Protector's son. Harrol never stayed on patrol, he visited the nightclubs and got drunk. Every night Jaster had to carry Harrol back to his house. Harrol often made mistakes on his round, but because he was in high favor, he was able to blame it all on Jaster.
That night, Harrol was behaving particularly awful on patrol. He skipped by two robberies ,and, in his favorite nightclub, the "Bantha's Breath", created a large disturbance. After stealing a purse, he bought a round of drinks for the whole club, started a fight, and wound up beating the manager of the club. The manager reported him to High Command and he was immediately expelled from the Protectors. Harrol was furious at Jaster.
"It's your fault! If you had been watching me, I would've never gotten into that brawl. You have shamed my house and me. I swear you will pay!"
Jaster was not afraid of the brute. After weeks of service, and a new partner, Jaster all but forgot about Harrol.
One day Jaster returned home after an uneventful night, and found his house in flames. He ran into the house, screaming for his wife. The house was in ruins, all Marria's precious relics bent and broken. He found Marria in the kitchen. She was all broken and bloody, splayed akimbo on the floor. Jaster ran over to her and cradled her head in his lap.
"Jaster......."she moaned. He looked into her bloody face. "Jast...he....Har... Harrol........burned house......attacked.......took...daughter...." She took a short breath and died. Jaster sat there, staring out into space, unaware that the house was crumbling all around him. Hours later, all burnt up, he rose. A strange light was in his eyes. After that day, Jaster was never the same again.
Jaster grabbed his rifle and took off towards Harrol's residence. He was not there, and Jaster dashed over to Harrol's bay where he kept his speeders. He entered the room and heard a speeder taking off. He jumped onto another bike and sped off after the other speeder. He caught up quickly. Harrol was on the bike. Jaster screamed a cry and started firing the forward lasers on the bike. Never having rode a speeder bike before, Jaster missed all his shots. Harrols erratic flying pattern led them into a deep gorge. Many of Jaster's shots bounced of the canyon's walls. All of a sudden, a deep rumble started. Jaster jerked the speeder to a stop. Harrol did the same. Jaster aimed his rifle at Harrol's head a pressed the trigger, but before he could fire the rumble became louder. All of a sudden an avalanche of rocks tumbled down on top of Harrol. When the dust cleared, all you could see of Harrol was his hand. Jaster ran over and cleared the rocks off Harrol, in fear that his daughter was with him. Harrol was alone. Jaster jumped back on the speeder bike and sped back to Harrol's house. He searched through the building, in every nook and cranny, but could not find any sign of his daughter. Then he heard Protector sirens approaching. Five tall Protectors entered the house.
"Are you Jaster Mereel?" asked the head Protector.
"Yes. What do you want?" answered Jaster.
"You are under arrest for the murder of Protector Harrol."
"But, how do you know I killed him. Did you see what he did to my family?"
"We found your blaster rifle at the sight of the crime. It looks like you caused the avalanche, and then killed Harrol by struck him on the head with your rifle. Your home is only a few cinders. We cannot find your family anywhere."
Jaster tried to run out of the house, but one of the Protectors stunned him.
Jaster Mereel woke up in a small dark cell. He was chained up, and the early morning sunshine streaked through the tall and narrowly barred window.
A tall old man walked in. He seated himself on the bench across from Jaster.
"How will I plead you?"
"You're Iving Creel," Jaster said, "I've heard of you. You're rather famous."
Creel said stiffly, "No one wants it said you were not treated fairly."
"You'll plead me unrepentant." Creel stared at him. "Do you know the seriousness of this, boy. You killed a man."
"He had it coming."
"They'll exile you, Jaster Mereel. They'll exile you-"
"I could always go join the Imperial Academy," Jaster said, "if I got exiled. I expect I'd make a good storm-"
Creel overrode him: "-and they may execute you, if you anger them sufficiently. Is it such a hard thing to say you're sorry for having taken a life unjustly?"
"I am sorry," said Jaster. "Sorry I didn't kill him years ago."
Pleader Creel studied the boy, and nodded slowly. "You've chosen you're plea well enough."
Later that night Jaster pulled out his personal datapad and started writing:
It's the final and only lasting Justice. Evil exists; it is intelligence in the service of entropy. When the side of a mountain slides down to kill a village, this is not evil, for evil requires intent. Should a sentient being cause that landslide, there is evil; and requires Justice as a consequence, so that civilization can exist.
There is no greater good than Justice; and only if law serves Justice is it good law. It is said correctly that law exists not for the Just but for the unjust, for the Just carry the law in their hearts, and do not need to call it from affar.
I bow to no one and I give service only for cause.
I will become a Hunter, loyal to Justice only. I will use my beloved wife's stashed away Mandalorian combat armor for my gear. Thank Justice that was not burned. It will hide my identity from all. Now I need a name. I shall use a Mandalorian name, so that one may not find out what it means, or trace back my identity. Justice Protector. I will make my name the Mandalorian words for Justice Protector. That would be Boba Fett. Boba Fett: Justice Protector.
NOTE: Justice Protector: The Tale of Boba Fett includes excerpts from The Last One Standing by Daniel Keys Moran.