April 10, 2000
Category: Star Wars, PG
Author: BeElleGee

[Disclaimer]

Doing Time

Disclaimer: Boba Fett is the property of George Lucas. I make no money from exploiting him.

***

The prison building was primitive. Its doors had to be pushed open by means of metal bars attached across each door's width. Instead of elevators, there were endless dark stairwells. The offices were sparsely furnished with only early model computers and drawerless desks. Everything was functional. Nothing was aesthetic. The prison's cells were simply modified cages, gridded with heavy wire mesh. There was no privacy for the prisoners that were detained there. However, this was only a temporary holding pen. Few inmates stayed more than a few hours. Most were transferred, others were immediately executed.

One of the prison's temporary occupants was a bounty hunter, known throughout the galaxy as Boba Fett. He sat in a corner of the prison cell on the warped, cracked floor, studying the prisoner in the cell next to him. It was impossible to determine his expression for he wore an old modified shock trooper uniform and helmet.

"You are wanted on two systems for murder," Fett said after awhile. He continued studying the other prisoner. "Aslonia and I believe Margate. You killed some children, am I right? The Aslonians will take you dead or alive for five and a half thousand. Margate offers two thousand. You are the infamous Co'mei Estelos."

The other prisoner turned and looked warily at Boba Fett. He nodded slowly. "How do you know such things about me?" He shifted positions uneasily.

Fett waited a moment before answering, debating with himself as to reveal his identity to what he saw as prospective prey.

"I know these things because I make it my business. I study all the latest postings of wanted beings. And I'm very good at what I do."

"Slime," Estelos growled. "Filthy bounty hunter."

Undeterred, Fett continued. "What are you doing here? Or are you just passing through on your way to Aslonia perhaps?"

Estelos didn't answer.

"Just wondering," the bounty hunter said and shrugged. "It's not like I can do anything to you. Or haven't you noticed, my friend? We both seem to be in a bit of a bind."

Estelos sat forward. He smiled slowly. "So what did you do to land in this pit? Why are you here?"

"I've done nothing. Absolutely nothing."

"That's what they all say."

"Actually, it's my ship," Fett confessed. "Imperial scum all of a sudden tell me I have no authorization for owning and using the weapons my ship is equipped with. Since when do I need anybody's permission to do what I do?" He leaned back, cursing in Huttese. "They gave me a warning once, a long time ago. I disregarded it and here I am."

Estelos seemed to lose interest, but asked, "So how did they catch you?"

Fett wondered again if he should tell Estelos who he was. He decided against it. "I came for the bounty on Mingo Nebia. He was wanted here. They recognized me. So after they escorted Nebia to the death block, they escorted me to this cell."

Smiling again, in a mocking sort of way, Estelos said, "That was stupid of you."

Fett shifted uncomfortably on the hard floor and sighed heavily. "They haven't paid me for Nebia yet either."

"And your ship? What are they going to do with it?"

The bounty hunter turned away from Estelos and cursed again. "They are disarming it," he replied angrily. "I spent years building it. Modifying it. Making it perfect. My perfect Slave. It's everything I need. After they disarm it and I serve my sentence for ignoring them, they told me I could have it back. A lot of good it will do me then."

Estelos started to laugh. He stopped abruptly upon hearing the door to the cell block rattle open. A prison guard entered and strode over to Boba Fett's cell.

"Time to go Boba Fett," he barked, opening the bounty hunter's cell door.

"Boba Fett?" Estelos said and spat. "I know that name..."

"I'm not going anywhere with you," Fett answered the guard tersely.

The guard extended the bounty hunter's weapons towards him. "You've been cleared. Get out and take your weapons."

Boba Fett rose slowly.

Estelos started shouting. "You're letting him go? What about me? He's murdered more times than I have!"

"Shut up, Worm! You're leaving here as soon as we can arrange transportation for you. And if I were you, I wouldn't be so anxious about it," the guard yelled. He faced the bounty hunter once more. "You can pick up your payment for Nebia in the captain's office."

"I don't understand. Why the sudden clemency? If you don't mind my asking," Fett began.

"You have been summoned by Lord Darth Vader," the guard explained. "He has taken authority in this matter over our heads and ordered your release."

Boba Fett took his weapons and secured them to his uniform. He smiled to himself. "Darth Vader, you said? Yes I know him well. He has employed me before." He walked arrogantly out of the cell, then stopped in front of the guard. "What about my ship?"

"Your ship will be returned to you as it was. This Vader has issued you documented authority to use its weapons. You certainly have friends in high places, Boba Fett," the guard relayed warily.

Fett laughed. "Vader is no friend, I can assure you. He just pays well and doesn't impose too many restrictions. That's all I give a damn about." He started to walk away, then turned back and gestured at Estelos. "What is to become of this creature?"

"We are trying to find passage for him to Aslonia. He'll be turned over to the authorities there, then executed."

Fett smiled. "May I offer my services? I could take him to Aslonia for you at no additional expense. There is no need to find passage."

"No! No!" Estelos began screaming. "Don't turn me over to him! I've heard about the things he does... to his captives. Horrible things! Please, I'm begging you!" But the guard rather liked the idea. He began to unlock Estelos' cell despite the prisoner's frantic protests. "He's all yours."

The screams grew louder as Boba Fett stepped in front of Estelos and raised his blaster. He fired once and the cell block was suddenly silent. The guard looked over at the bounty hunter with distaste. Boba Fett merely shrugged.

"They are much easier to transport this way," he explained.


BeElleGee

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© 2000 Dragon's Library & Ulrike Großmann