Like soldiers legs straight at attention the trees of Reon stood in uniform pairs. In their tops bird-like creatures twittered in the yellow foliage. The ground was scattered with green bushes. They were allowed their vibrant colour from the shelter of the canopy above that protected them from the harsh sun that threatened to fry an egg if left out in the open.
Yet at the base of the towering trees a single bush hid a secret. If one looked hard enough the faint red lines and yellow blobs could be formed into shapes that when joined with a deceptively hidden shade of greyish-green you found a man.
The tribesman only noticed the colours because they were foreign to him. He raised his primitive spear and cautiously moved to the offending bush.
The hidden figure didnât move. He didnât need to. His helmet that had gone unnoticed for over eight days saw the approaching primitive in the scopes of his 360 degree visuals. With the slightest touch of his finger he moved slowly to operate his dart launcher.
Slowly placing one foot in front of the other the tribesman grew nearer. With each step the light that penetrated the canopy played over his face. This revealed his emotional state to the hunter. The tribesman was clearly scared. The spear in his hand trembled slightly and it wasnât from the jolts of his footsteps. Sweat tricked down his brow but it was indeterminable to whether the cause was from the heat or panic.
The hunter watched the tribesman and prepared to move. A few paces ahead of the tribesman was a small ditch, small enough to go unnoticed but easy enough to snag a foot in. As the hunter anticipated the tribesmanâs whole attention was focused on him. A fatal step twisted his ankle and allowed the hunter to pivot and release a dart that struck itâs target in the tender flesh of his neck. The tribesman fell to his knees before crumpling onto his side.
The hunter stood and revealed himself to the tribesman a second before he died. The tribesman uttered one thing, "Boba Fett."
The galactic bounty hunter waited for the tribesman to cease breathing. All the while he studied his surroundings for an appropriate place to stash the body. This native was not the quarry he was pursuing. To be truthful Fett had not laid eyes on the soon-to-be merchandise for over a day.
Fett reached for the dead tribesmanâs ankle and prepared to drag him into the nearby valley and dump him in the maze of caves that were situated within a large asteroid that had hit the planet eons ago.
He froze as the sound of womenâs voices were picked up on his audio sensors. Instead of removing the body, Fett leant down and removed the small dart from his victimâs throat. On light feet Fett disappeared into a shallow trench that hid him beneath the tan coloured branches that made up a long and textured vine.
Fett crawled slowly along the trench until he positioned himself beneath a fallen log that would fit a standing man within itâs hollow rotted base. Moss on the black bark made him less visible to the approaching women. Fett knew the moment they found the body. A piercing scream broke the tranquil chirping of the bird-like creatures above.
Boba Fett pulled his blaster rifle from itâs holster. Through the battered scope he studied the newcomers. One of the three women was of value, not to him monetarily but as bait for his quarry.
With a gloved thumb Fett turned the blaster setting down to stun. Carefully he aimed the blaster at the bait, with his free arm he lined up his gauntlet with another target and fired at them simultaneously. A stun bolt to the bait, a deadly dart to the other woman. The third ran but was slammed to the ground tangled in the retractable cord that was tautly draw between her and Fett.
Fett lifted his arm and rewarded the conscious captive with a poisoned dart. All was silent as Boba Fett freed his cable of the deceased. Once again Fett removed the dart and stashed it into a pouch on his utility belt. He then hefted the unconscious woman onto his shoulder and carried her to the cave-ravaged asteroid, ensuring his footprints were heavy in the caramel soil.
Fett sat comfortably on a smooth stone. He was well into the heart of the asteroidâs caves. The caves twisted into tunnels eroded together by the sand filled wind. His gloved hands were comfortably latched on his blaster that lay silently across his knees.
Only the windâs howl was present then it was suddenly joined in a duo with a feminine bellow. The captive could scream herself hoarse for all Fett cared but the noise she made drew attention. Boba Fett just hoped his quarry was the one to be lured to it.
The sound of footsteps carried through the ancient asteroid. Boba Fett rose slowly to his feet in one smooth motion. The woman he held captive in the cave below began to whimper. Fettâs visored gazed scanned the cave below. Both his natural and synthetic senses were heightened yet the shove from behind was totally unexpected.
Fett involuntarily fell forward. As he did so he flung his right arm backward, the blaster in his hand hit solid flesh and hooked behind the recipientâs neck. Boba Fett landed hard on his stomach, the pusher landed even harder on Fettâs back.
Fett stifled a grunt that threatened to emerge from his lips. His jetpack had smashed hard against his back and he felt his body respond to the harsh punishment. Nevertheless he roller under and away from the weight that held him down and was on his feet in a second.
The shadow that shuffled to his feet was whom Boba Fett had hoped for. Jargarb Boonta was the merchandise Fett had expected to lure and lure him he had.
Boonta was older than Fett and an experienced assassin. He had faked his own death to avoid the wrath of Jabba the Hutt, however his scheme had one glitch and a renegade stormtrooper had willingly sold that glitch for his release from the Imperial army. Unfortunately for that stormtrooper Jabbaâs reward had not been what he had expected. Jabba gave his rancor itâs first Imperial snack.
"Boba Fett, I should have known Jabba would have sent you." Boonta commented as he spat a mouthful of blood on the dusty cave floor. "How did you find me?"
"Simple," said Fett. "You sent a message to your girlfriend, who is currently hanging from the ceiling. Messages can be restored from being deleted if you know the right procedures."
Boontaâs brows sank menacingly, "I warned the tribe of your possible presence. If you do manage to kill me, you wonât get off the planet alive."
Fett shrugged his armoured shoulders in response. âYou wonât have to worry about it." He taunted dryly.
Boonta drew a thick bone knife shaped from vigorous rubbing against a hard surface. The knife was the length of itâs yielderâs forearm. He twisted it through experienced fingers in a threatening manner that had warded off previous attackers that Boonta had once taken on.
Fett wasnât impressed. His head tilted to the side slightly and Boonta imaged a cynical look was set underneath the Mandalorian helmet. Boonta didnât find the thought amusing.
Boba Fett thumbed the blaster power to full and quickly turned it and fired. Boonta managed to dodge slightly but was struck at the gap between his torso and arm, singeing the flesh on either side of the graze.
Boonta threw the bone knife which embedded itself between the plates of Fett chest armour. It did not penetrate the grey flight suit beneath. Fett extracted the knife and threw it at Boontaâs feet returning the weapon or at least Boonta believed so. As Boontaâs line of vision focused on the bone knife at his disposal, Boba Fett released three blaster bolts from his EE-3 rifle, two to Boontaâs heart and one to the head.
Fett suddenly realised his mistake. Boonta was worth more alive than dead. The caveâs abrupt silence brought forth a scream from Fettâs captive. Fett turned in her direction and instantly regretted it.
Boonta tackled him and pinned him to the floor. Fettâs back cracked at the abuse. This time Fett was unable to contain his grunt of agony. Boonta wrapped his arm around Fettâs neck as he brought the bone knife to Boba Fettâs throat.
The ivory knife was drawn back and forth, with each movement Fett felt the neck of his flight suit grow thinner until it frayed and the narrow edge touched his throat.
Panic surged through Boba Fett and he did the first thing that came into his mind. The jetpack ignited and propelled Fett and Boonta towards a stone wall. Boontaâs bone knife slipped down from Fettâs neck and hit the solid mass of his armour.
Boonta screamed as they propelled along. His legs were steadily being fried by Fettâs jetpack. He tried to push off Fett but his arm was now pinned under the bounty hunter and he had no means of escape.
Fett dragged Boonta along and felt a sense of satisfaction. He then shut off the jetpack and rolled away from the injured merchandise. Fett stood on giddy legs and fired a dart from his gauntlet that induced unconsciousness. Boonta twitched for a moment before going still.
Boba Fett released a breath he hadnât realised heâd been holding. His body sagged with relief and he slouched against the stone wall behind him. He studied Boonta and noticed that the shot to the head had only left a farrow of blood through his hair. The chest shots had been deflected by an armoured vest that had laid hidden beneath the leather hides slung over Boontaâs shoulders.
After a moments rest, Fett lugged the merchandise over his shoulder. His back protested and his knees nearly gave out. Somehow though Fett half carried, half dragged his burden to Slave I.
Slave I sat exposed to the harsh sun in a large meadow that consisted of brown grass. Fett dropped the heavy load as he opened the outer hatch however as he turned around he saw Boonta running awkwardly away and was drawing close to the tree-line.
Fett was too exhausted to give chase. Instead he bent down and did something he rarely bothered with. He initiated the rocket from the launcher on his back. Fett collapsed as the rocket exploded from the top of his jetpack. He watched as it precisely followed the path which he had set it.
Boonta was nothing more than a red smear after the rocket hit dead on target. Fett smiled despite the fact that he would be paid a lot less for the disintegrated merchandise. But for once he did not care.