Chris McAuley has teamed up with Legendary Disney Imagineer Teri Hardin to craft an exclusive Boba Fett Story. Terri has worked on Jim Henson Productions, Ghostbusters, Men in Black and designed Disney Star Wars attractions.
The figure in the desert crawled slowly, the man had been gut shot by his partner. They had worked against the Hutts for several years, growing wealthy off black market goods stolen from Jabba’s trading partners. They had become too greedy and the Hutt had found out. Now in the middle of Tatooine with the sun slowly roasting his skin, he fought for the strength to grab one more fistful of sand to pull himself forward.
The armored figure approached the crawling man. The electronics housed in his helmets visor informed him that this was one of the active bounties on his list. Danan Karr, an imperial officer would have gone AWOL to become a smuggler and privateer. His was valuable to both the Empire and the Hutt, if managed correctly this could be a good payday. Fett kept his stride at a steady pace, his feet barely made any tracks in the sand.
Despite the heavy Mandalorian armor, he was as agile as a Twi’lek dancer. He stopped as he approached the Karr, his heavy shadow and presence looming over the dying man. Fett almost felt an emotion approaching pity as he watched Karr’s hands left arm shake and feebly clutch the sand in an attempt to gain one more inch.
Karr’s hand disappeared into the sand but he made no motion to drag himself forward. A decision had been made. The man turned awkwardly, his face contorted in agony, the sweat of his previous exertions running down his large, bearded face. He looked up at the bounty hunter and saw his face reflected back in the visor. It was rumored that Fett never removed the helmet, a gesture of some kind to the Mandalorian the armor had originally belonged to. It took a moment for Karr to build up enough courage to speak, when he did, his voice had a thin, reed like quality.
“The other one you are looking for, he done for me. We saw your ship flyby and knew you were after us. Zingo was always a practical man. He blasted me and took all the water from our supplies. Guess he figured that you could only take one bounty in at a time. A wise man would angle to put some distance between you and him.”
Fett placed a boot on Karr’s chest and pushed down slightly. The injured man moaned as his ribs began to crack under the pressure. The inferred question was obvious. With difficultly the bearded man spoke.
“He’s heading across the death plains. Negative five or six degrees from the sun line. Look for the speeder trail.”
Fett eased the pressure from the man’s chest and lifted a pair of binoculars to his helmet. Enhancing the viewing mode, he could see the dust being kicked up by a speeder bike racing across a tall dune. Dropping the binoculars and unslinging his bolt rifle, he made a few adjustments for distance and atmospheric conditions. Lining up the sights and anticipating where his target would be in a second, he pulled the heavy trigger. The blaster bolt slammed into the target’s back. It seemed as if the figure was frozen for a second, his arms raised. Then he collapsed against the speeder’s controls causing it to crash into the dune.
In a short while, the speeder would set on fire. A slightly singed body Fett could deal with but one that was immolated could be tricky to identify. The bearded man began to laugh, it was a sound like leaves rustling on an autumn day, dry and without true mirth. The laughing turned into a gurgling sound as Fett placed his armored foot against Karr’s neck and pushed down. As the blood bubbled through the man’s rotten teeth and over his chin, Fett hoped that Lord Vader would be pleased with the two tributes he brought in. Rumor was that the next contract was juicy, a Jedi, that bounty could aid his retirement plans. Two targets netted on one trip would look good, after all, in order to be the Empire’s preferred hunter, it was important to appear efficient.
[art by Tristan Jones]
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