Disclaimer:  These are starting to get repetitive…

Sorry about the slllllllllllllloooooooooowwwwwww uploads, it's just that I have been swept away out to sea by Pirates of the Caribbean (one of my all time favourite movies now along with Star Wars) during the summer and I'm now back at university so then there's the studying factor.  Plus the art bug is back and I'm turning out some great work (yay!).  So here (finally) is the new chapter of Iile.  Enjoy!

All was quiet in the stateroom as Mace watched the tiny fish swim by in a flurry of colour.  He sat kneeling on a plush sofa in one of the more expensive hotel suites of the underwater resort on Pantolomin, a beautiful world with vast oceans filled with galaxy renowned coral reefs.  He touched the heavy pane of the window tracing a finger across its surface as he followed the flight of the fish.  Each tiny creature glistened like a jewel in the soft blue of the seabed surrounded by the dark green kelp that floated lazily in the current.  The sea creatures gave him something to do since children weren't allowed in the bright and loud casinos which Pantolomin had a wealth of.

He rest his chin against one arm watching the playful antics of a wallo turtle, its fat belly brushing up loose sand from the seabed as it chased tiny minnows for a late afternoon snack.  Mace giggled as the miniature fish eluded the quite larger reptile and swam skillfully between the intricate workings of some red coral leaving behind the frustrated hunter.  The turtle soon gave up its chase and rolled over onto its back, exposing its ivory white belly to the filters of sunlight coming down from the sky overhead, the soft beams seeming to wave just as lazily as the kelp on this calm afternoon day.  Mace would miss the reefs of Pantolomin when it came time to leave for Coruscant.  It was only a few more days until his father finished his business here and would take him to the Jedi temple to begin his long training to become a Jedi Knight.  Master Yoda had been very keen on Mace when the Jedi Master had visited the Windu home a year ago.  Supposedly this young boy of six was extremely force sensitive, even more so than some of the older skilled Jedi currently residing in the temple.  Master Yoda had wanted Mace to go with him that day and begin the training right away, something about the sooner you learned to control the force the better, but since Mace's father had government matters to attend to Mace had turned down Yoda but offered that he would be ready in one year's time.  The small Jedi master had asked why it would take a year and Mace had explained in a calm six-year-old voice that ever since his mother had died he had taken on the responsibility of watching out for his father and keeping him company during the long treks to the different worlds under which his father governed for the Republic.  Yoda had nodded thoughtfully and patted him on the shoulder, saying that he understood the commitments one made to those they loved and would not pressure him into the training.  Apparently patience was another much learned practice among the Jedi.

Yoda had left after instructing Quan Windu about the preparations for his son's bright future as a Jedi Knight.  His father had been so proud that night and had enveloped his son into his arms in a tight hug while tears slid down his cheeks. 

"There is no greater blessing for this gift, son," Quan had told him.  "You will be able to aid others using this extraordinary talent that you possess, making this galaxy a safer and better place to live for all."

Now one year later only days remained before his big trip.  It would be a sudden shock to leave behind his only family and go off on his own; and to Coruscant no less!  There were no friends that Mace would leave behind besides Ai'Lan, his father's thin and prim Sullustan assistant, who had always traveled with them on these government outings.  Ai'Lan had been the closest companion Mace ever had since he had never lived in one spot for more than a few months, which made it hard for him to make new friends.  Yoda had told him that at the Jedi temple he would be training with others close in his age, human and alien alike.

Would the other children like him? 

Would he live up to Master Yoda's expectations?

The door chimed as someone stepped into the stateroom from the outside hallway.  Mace turned to see the tall form of his father as he hung up his governor's jacket carefully on a nearby hook. 

Ai'Lan stood off to one side of Quan, a data pad in one hand.  The Sullustan gave a brief smile in Mace's direction before handing some files to Quan. 

"These are the latest reports of the quarrel on Ryloth.  The southern twilight zone has increased its settlement to two thirds of the spice mines and sixty percent of all ryll sales in the Outer Rim.  The northerners are refusing and have already kidnapped three of the south's head clan members and exiled two into the Bright Lands while the other was exiled to the Dark Lands.  This does not look good governor," Ai'Lan warned.  "Unless both Twi'lek clans can come under some sort of agreement or even merge into one clan, I'm afraid that war on Ryloth could be in the near future."

"Yes, and that would put a stop to the mining causing the shipments of ryll to our hospitals to cease, would it not?"

"Yes sir."

Quan flipped through the folders as his eyes scanned over the data.  He tucked them neatly into a pile and handed them back to Ai'Lan.

"Send a message to Ryloth telling them that I'll be there in eight standard days with a survey team of twenty…no make it thirty five and we'll see if we find a better deal for the southerners.  Perhaps they would settle for some of the Bright Lands."

"But sir, no Twi'lek will want those parts.  The Bright Lands have nothing to offer but lava and rock."

"The lava would be an excellent source for some hydrogen compressors.  If we give them a hand in building them, both manpower and financial support, then maybe they'll take to the idea.  Compressed hydrogen isn't worth as much as ryll but then again it is far safer to produce than braving those dark caves for the spice."

Ai'Lan nodded.  "Yes sir.  I'm sure that would be a profitable proposal in the end.  I'll see to it right away.  Young master," he said to Mace, bowing slightly before taking his data pad and proceeded out the door. 

Quan turned to Mace and opened his arms and Mace jumped off the sofa and ran into them, giving his father a hug.  He stepped back as Quan ruffled his hair and chuckled.

"Have a good day?"

"Yep!  I've been watching the marine life."

"All day?"

Mace giggled and shook his head.  "No of course not!  I went to the dining rooms with one of the hotel managers for lunch and then he took me to the indoor swimming pool.  It was weird swimming in a room surrounded by an ocean full of fish and turtles and giant Orcthays, which are huge beasts with six flippers and rows and rows of tiny teeth used for eating only the smallest fish!"

"Wow!" Quan exclaimed with fatherly astonishment.  "What else did you learn?"

"That wallo turtles can hold their breath for ten whole hours!"

Quan clapped a hand over his chest and slumped onto a chair.  "Oh my!  I can only hold mine for two minutes but imagine ten hours!" 

This earned more laughter from Mace.  "Daaad… You can hold your breath for four minutes remember?"

"Oh really, that long?"

"Yeeaaah," Mace said smiling. 

"Hmmm, I must be getting forgetful in my old age."

Mace rolled his eyes and jumped onto the couch across from Quan.  "I can only hold mine for one minute."

"Well then maybe later we'll go down to the pool and I'll show you how to hold it longer."

"And then we can get dinner!"

"Yes, yes.  We can't forget dinner now can we?"  Quan sighed and stretched.  "Oh I'm beat.  Are you getting enough rest?  Your big day is coming up."

"Yep."

"Are you nervous?" 

"Kind of," Mace answered truthfully.  "I'm worried that the other Jedi won't like me."

Quan looked at his son seriously.  "Mace, I have raised you to the best of my abilities and I think that you have turned out wonderfully.  You are kind, honest, hardworking, loyal… all traits that people with good hearts will notice and in turn will be honored to become friends will you.  Trust me."

"Truth?"

"Galactic truth from a galactic governor," his father grinned.  "And always remember to treat people the way that you would want to be treated."

"I remember," Mace replied.

"Good.  Now I think its time that I get out of these clothes," Quan said lightheartedly. "When I'm done we'll head to the pool for those lessons."

Quan exited into his bedroom and Mace returned to the window with the ocean view.  He felt a bit better now, some of his worries fading from his mind.  He resumed watching the fish outside while waiting for his father to get ready.

Suddenly the stateroom door opened.

Mace turned expecting Ai'Lan to enter, since he was the only other one with a keycard, but jumped up in shock as three burly men came into the room, shutting the door quickly behind them.

"Wha…who are you?!"

One of them stepped forward.  "We're here to see Quan Windu," he said in a harsh tone while his two companions began slowly making their way around the edge of the room.

"He's not here right now," Mace lied as he could feel uneasiness creep up his spine.  The man grinned showing yellow teeth.

"Oh now that was a mistake my dear boy, for we know he's here.  We saw him enter this room."

"What are you going to do?!"  Mace shouted at the man. 

All he got was another grin.

Quan, hearing his son's yelling, came running out of the bedroom.

"Mace what--" He stopped short upon seeing the intruders. 

"Mace get into the bedroom, quickly," Quan ordered him in a low voice.  Mace nodded and bolted for the room, seeing the alarm on his father's face.  There he would press the security switch for the hotel guards.

The man off to the side grabbed him though before he reached it and clamped a large paw of a hand over his mouth.

"Mace!!" his father yelled, running towards him.  The other two quickly intercepted Quan.  They brought him down to the floor with massive punches to the head and ribs.  Tears streamed down Mace's face as he watched the thugs beat his father, blood gushing from his nose as it was broken and a knife was slashed through the tendons in his ankles, rendering him helpless on the thick rug.  The first man backed up as the other planted one boot against his father's neck.  The leader wiped at the blood trickling out of his mouth from where Quan had managed to land a blow.

"Fucking hell…" he snarled.

Quan coughed violently trying to breathe under the other's weight.  "D-do what you want with me but leave my son alone…"

"Shut up!" roared the man, pulling out a blaster from a hidden holster.

Mace sobbed trying to cry out to his dad, but the hand covering his mouth made his words come out muffled.

"Why?" his father choked.

"Governor Triyqo's orders."

"But Triyqo's a corrupted bastard!" Quan shouted as the second man took his boot off him and joined his companion's side.

"I don't give a damn, I just follow my instructions.  You were becoming an obstacle to him, and we are here to remove that problem for the governor."

He aimed the blaster and fired.  Mace screamed as the shots hit his father, slamming into his body six times.  He fought at his captor who finally released his grip on him and Mace ran over to where his father lay still upon the floor. 

He never made it as a seventh shot was fired…

Mace snapped out of his trace.  His glanced wide eyed around the room in which he sat; his body tense.  His gaze shifted down to see that his hands, which had been resting calmly against his knees in the meditation position, were now clutched together so tight in his lap that his knuckles were white.  He quickly called upon the force and felt it flow through him, dissolving the turmoil within his spirit and mind and making him feel at ease once more.  The dream faded and Mace could feel the room around him, the presence of the beings that passed by in the outside corridor, and the flight and vibrations of the bustling city traffic as it zoomed by the curtained window.  Everything was silent in the Jedi Temple as people went about their daily business and training.  The young padawans off with their masters for their early morning practice to hone their still fresh and developing skills in the Force.  The older Jedi Knights were out in the many sun drenched courtyards sharpening their maneuvers with their lightsabers.  Each weapon handcrafted by its owner in a style which represented who they were and in a form which allowed the most fluid motion when placed in the users hands, flippers, claws, or tentacles.

His own lightsaber lay beside him on the cushion, its unique purple blade hidden within the delicately carved design of the handle.  Mace tenderly touched the smoothly polished surface, tracing along the small motif of the Windu emblem etched upon the very bottom of the weapon. 

He hadn't thought about the day his father died for a long time…

 The soft sound of a cane tapping against the tiled floor behind Mace echoed through the still room announcing the arrival of Yoda.  The old Jedi Master slowly made his way to the cushion beside Mace's and sat upon it, placing his walking stick beside his crossed legs.  Yoda unclipped his own lightsaber from his belt and laid it beside the cane before resting his hands softly in his lap and closing his eyes.  Mace waited in silence, staring at the dark maroon drapes of the window. 

"Something troubles you, old friend," Master Yoda finally spoke. 

"Yes."  Mace's voice was soft as he answered, almost so that it was no more than a whisper.  Yoda's large ears heard his friend clearly though and he opened his green eyes to gaze thoughtfully upon the larger Jedi. 

"In the past your thoughts do lie, yes?"

Mace nodded.

"Tell me your problems you should, then maybe we can find a solution to them," Yoda spoke gently, sensing the disturbance within Mace.  The Jedi had not been himself over the past few days but then again neither had he.  Since the battle on Geonosis and the death of many Jedi Knights, the entire temple had taken on a certain desolate feeling; the remaining Jedi returning to their duties but their thoughts lying elsewhere.

"I saw myself as a child, just before I came to the temple," Mace began slowly, closing his eyes in reflection.  "It was the day my father was murdered.  I remember watching him die, only a few feet away and being able to do nothing at all to help him…"

"Young you still were," Yoda spoke faintly.

"I know.  But still, there should have been something within my power that I could have done.  I have this great ability and it was useless to the one that I cared for the most."  Mace sighed.  "I understand that my skill in the force back then was weak but… it was in me.  I could feel it surging as they shot him.  Each sound tearing me apart inside as I struggled to move to go to him but was held back by those massive arms wrapped around me.  It was in those passing moments that I had my first taste of the darkside.  I could feel it reaching out to caress me, promising me the power that I craved so badly for in order to save him."  Mace ran a hand over his face and shook his head.  "That wasn't the only time the darkside called to me.  Every day after I woke up from my wound I remember feeling it lurking just within the shadows around me, waiting for another weak moment to tempt me again.  But you helped me through those days…"

He turned towards Yoda who sat watching him, listening to his words.

"I learned to forgive those men for that day and what they did.  Forgive them for killing my father…"

"The darkside did rest after that," Yoda said.  "The right thing, you did."

"Yes," Mace agreed faintly.

"That part of your past, settled it is.  But what happened then is the shadow to what troubles you now, is it not?"

"Yes."

Yoda waited, already knowing the answer to the question.

"I saw myself in that boy's eyes when I killed his father.  The expression on his face was of helplessness, pain…  I felt no more than a hired thug, no better than those men who killed my own father."

"Jango Fett would have killed you, had you not him first."

Mace hung his head staring at his hands resting in his lap.  "I know.  But again it felt as if there was something I could have done…always something to have made it right."

"You showed concern for the boy when Obi Wan sent his message from Kamino.  Saw it in your face I did.  Foreseen the boy's future that moment did you?"

"No, not foreseen, but I sensed trouble on the horizon for him."

"Make things right you want to now," Yoda said.  "No longer a hired thug you will be to him.  Am I right?"

"Yes but I doubt that he will be willingly to even look at me much less hear an apology for what I have done," Mace said, sadness lacing his words.

"True.  But one must take a first step if he is to begin on a path.  Apologize to the boy you should, let him decide if he wishes to accept your apology and begin his own path to forgiveness.  Just as you had those many years ago."

Mace nodded and slowly got to his feet.  He walked silently over to the window and slid open the curtains to let golden sunlight spill into the room.  He watched the bustle of Coruscant for a moment.  "The council has also asked that the boy be brought in.  They are aware of his connections with the Count."

"Yes.  Young Boba Fett is important to our search for Dooku.  His location the boy could have.  Arrange for someone to find him you must."

"I will summon Obi Wan then.  With Anakin accompanying Senator Amidala back to Naboo, he will have some free time on his hands…"

…………………………………………………………………………………………

Soft skin.

A lush set of red lips.

The gentle brush of those lips across his own…

Obi Wan blinked as the image came to him slowly.  He was standing on a gray stone balcony overlooking the sparkling waters of a beautiful lake, light from the setting sun casting the water in a reddish gold while the dark green of the forest surrounding the lake gently shifted in the warm breeze.  Sweet smelling flowers lined the courtyard leading from the balcony and planters full of delicate blooms hung from posts overhead, petals dripping over the sides giving vibrant splashes of colour amidst the gray pillars.

The beauty of his surroundings was breathtaking; but nothing compared to the exquisiteness of the one who stood before him. 

She was dressed in all white.  The cloth of her gown was the made from the silkiest material he had ever felt and it was covered in a veil that shimmered with millions of tiny clear gems.  Her long brown hair curled down her back, held in place by the soft weave of a veil.  A soft tendril fell against her cheek and he gently brushed it behind her ear, leaving his hand resting against her warm skin.

"Padme…"

Obi Wan blinked confused.  He hadn't spoken those words.

The image shifted again and he saw a man standing to his left dressed in black with a scroll in his weathered hands.  He was reading the words on the scroll aloud yet Obi Wan couldn't make them out. 

What was going on?

Behind Padme he saw See-Threepio and Artoo-Detoo watching them from beneath the shade of a tree.  No one else stood on the balcony or even in the courtyard.  It seemed as if the world had stilled just for this moment.

Suddenly he found his other hand lifting up to grasp Padme's and was startled to see that it wasn't his own but a prosthetic one.

"Beep-beep…Beep-beep!"

Obi Wan jerked out of the dream as his com unit went off.  He grunted, rubbing his eyes with one hand and clumsily reached out with the other trying to grab a hold of the annoying machine.

"Yes?" he asked into the screen, flipping it on to see the concerned face of Mace Windu.

"Sorry Obi Wan, did I catch you at a bad time?"  Mace asked, noticing his friend's frazzled look and heavy lidded eyes.

"Oh no, of course not, Master."  Obi replied.  "I was just catching up on a bit of sleep; after Geonosis and all."  He attempted a chuckle but it died in the silence of his room. 

Windu nodded,

"I have something I must ask of you.  I need you to find Jango Fett's son and bring him before the council and I.  This is important since the boy might know the whereabouts of Dooku."

"Boba?"  Obi Wan was slightly taken back at the request.

"Yes.  I doubt the boy would still be on Geonosis.  Most likely he will head back to the planet of Kamino so I need you to return there and search for him."

"I understand Master, but I must ask that I be allowed to go to Naboo first.  Something is bothering me about Anakin."  he told Mace, remembering his dream.

"Oh?"

"I'm not sure what it is just yet but he's hiding something from me and from the Jedi council."

"Perhaps this assignment will get him focused back on his training.  I had heard that he was taking the loss of his arm pretty hard."

"More so the loss against his fight with Dooku than anything.  I'll inform you the moment I reach Kamino with Anakin, Master."

"Take care Obi Wan.  May the force be with you."

"May the force be with you."  He snapped shut the com and rubbed his thigh, easing the lingering pain of the freshly healed wound caused by the Count's lightsaber and sighed. 

"I'm never going to get some relaxation time…"

……………………………………………………………………………………….

Meanwhile in the confinements of hyperspace Boba sat in the pilot seat of the Slave 1, his father's helmet on his lap, as he watched the fleeting lines of the passing stars shoot by.  It had been three days since he had left the Outland and set course for Coruscant and three long and very boring days at that.  Without the access to the ship's databanks Boba had been left with nothing to do besides study his father's old paper files in the safe.  Having already gone through them ten times over in the past few days he was itching to reach his destination.  Boba's stomach growled loudly and he reached into his pocket and pulled out another ration bar.  It was dry and tasted of old vegetables but at least it did its job at satisfying his hunger.

They really should make a chocolate ration bar, he thought, crumpling up the wrapper and shoving it back into his pocket.  Suddenly the computer screen blipped and scrolled out a reading saying that he had an incoming message.

Boba flicked on the screen and Roz appeared.

"Hey there kiddo!  Have I got some good news for ya!" she exclaimed happily upon seeing Boba's face.  "I was dead on the money for telling you to head to Coruscant.  Turns out that lady friend of yours is there right at this moment.  One of my spies confirmed a sighting of her only a few hours ago and if ya' make it in time perhaps you can catch her if she is plannin' on leaving there any time soon.  How far away are you?"

"I'll be in Coruscant space within five hours."

"Well there you go no sweat huh?  Anyway once you reach the planet head to the 487th sector of the city and go to the Dancing Smuggler, a small out of the way bar where you'll find my informant, Mizzith Krojeb.  He'll tell you the directions to your Kish Tyres," Roz told him.  "As for that Count Dooku fellow, I haven't been able to find a single trace of the guy.  Whoever is hiding him has covered their tracks better than a party of Tuskin Raiders."

"I should be fine with what you've given me, Roz.  I wasn't even sure what I would've done if you did have the whereabouts of Count Dooku.  He isn't the most trustworthy person I've ever met…"

"Well I'll keep an eye out for the bugger and you take care honey and get that Kish woman to feed you something; you're nothing but skin and bones."

"Comes with eating nothing but ration bars."

Roz laughed and shook her head.  "I'll talk to you later, kid.  Roz out."

The screen went black and Boba sat back against the chair, a smile curving on his face.  It was nice to have another acquaintance in the galaxy that was on his side.  He had enough trouble with foes in the past and knew that there would be more coming in the future.

Coruscant huh?  Boba didn't like the idea of going to the very core of the Jedi society but if he remembered correctly their base of operations was located in the northern hemisphere of the planet while the sector Roz had told him was set in the south.  With luck he would evade them completely and besides, Coruscant was an immense planet wide city after all.

Why didn't she come back to Kamino?

The thought about Kish floated into his mind.  Kamino wasn't too far out of Republican space.  Of course it had been a long time since Boba had last seen her and he didn't want to consider the fact that she might have forgotten about him.  But then there was his father.  Kish had known him for much longer and they had even worked together on a few hunts so the idea of forgetting Boba completely was slim to nil. 

Maybe she just wanted to get away from you, echoed the tiny voice inside his head.  After all, you are just a kid.  A little boy with no other friends to keep you company…

"Shut up," he growled into the silence of the cockpit.  He didn't need his conscience popping up at that moment.

What will you do when she closes her door on you? It continued on.  Will you give up and go back to Kamino.  To live forever on that watery planet that you so hate?  And just why are you going to see Kish?  Is it that you need someone to care for you since your father just died?  Care for you like the child you are?

Boba groaned and rubbed his eyes wearily at the questions churning around inside his head.  He had been offered a soft life back on Kamino with Taun We but had turned it down.  So why would he now go off looking for Kish just so that he could rely on her for everything?  It was true he would need someone to go to for advice when dilemmas involving the hunt arose and there was always the benefit of being taught more tricks of the trade by those who were experienced. 

So will that be the reason you will tell her about why you just showed up at her door?

No.  He would tell her about Jango and the battle at Geonosis with the Jedi.  Tell her about him leaving Kamino and starting to train as a bounty hunter out in the galaxy…

Boba banged a fist on the arm of the pilot's seat in frustration.  No matter how he worded it in his head it still came out as if he had traveled a great distance just so that he could see her in person, when really a quick message over the Holovid would have sufficed just fine.  Oh well, he had another five hours to think up something good…

………………………………………………………………………………………………

It was another lonely night for Mizzith as the Bith enjoyed a long drink at one of Corescant's many dilapidated watering holes, made just for those with alcohol fixations.  His drink tasted like shit and gave off an aroma that was a mixture between fried womprat fur and the bogs on Nal Hutta.  Either way, it was pretty disgusting.  Mizzith smacked his tiny lips together under the fleshy folds of his face and looked around the murky gloom of the bar.  A couple of Wookies sat opposite to his table and three humanoids were playing a game of double Sabacc with a Snivvian, and were obviously losing as indicated by the increasing pile of credits before the smaller furred creature.  Not much excitement to say the least but it suited Mizzith just fine at the moment.  If it hadn't been for the call from Rozatta earlier he would still be lying on his back in his small apartment located on the lower levels of the city.

His drink diminished as he sat, waiting for the contact that Roz had explained was the one that required the information on Kish Tyres.  A kid huh?… Well that's a first, he thought.  What the child wanted with the assassin was beyond him so he had politely kept his mouth shut during the conversation with Roz.  Besides, it wasn't his place to ask questions, his only job involving the female Toydarion was to give her the information she wanted and get his average wage of credits in return.

A shadow appeared in the doorway and Mizzith turned his gaze towards the entrance to see a young boy swathed in a cloak step into the dimness of the bar.  Is that him?  He mentally smacked himself upside the head.  Of course it was him!  What other kid would go into a bar at this time of day? 

The boy's eyes settled on the Bith and he approached the table where Mizzith sat. 

"You have some information for me," the child spoke in a monotone voice to him.  Mizzith buzzed with humor.  Smartass…

*Do you understand my language little one?* he asked.

"Yes."

*Then tell me what it is that I should supposedly have to give to you?* he toyed.

Nothing.  The child's gaze didn't waver from Mizzith's huge lidless eyes.

He coughed and tried again.  *All information that I carry comes with a price perhaps too expensive for someone like you.  Go back to your playthings.*

Boba didn't budge.  He knew that the alien was trying to deter him since no intelligent being would give out information that easily.  He flipped a ten credit chip onto the table.  "You know the whereabouts of Kish Tyres."

Mizzith watched the chip spin around in front his drink before snatching it up in one hand.  *Of course I do little one.  She's still on Coruscant.*

Another credit chip.

*Sector 224-B.*

That still wasn't good enough for Boba yet he was low on funds as it was and didn't feel like spending it all on the creature before him.  His hand brushed the folds of his cloak, moving the material to the side allowing the blaster strapped to his belt to show.  His fingers rested on the handle and he scowled at the Bith, using the expression his father use to display whenever annoyed.  Mizzith puckered his lips upon seeing the weapon.  He hadn't expected the kid to pull such a move and since the Bith hadn't a blaster of his own it was likely that he would lose greatly if the boy decided to use it on him, no matter how young he was.

*Alright alright, little one, you've proven your point.  No need for your weapons here* he spoke, putting his hands up before him in defeat.  *Your assassin can be found at Borruag's mechanic shop on level three of that sector.  I don't know where she stays exactly but the owner will know.  That is all the information I carry.*

Boba nodded and concealed the blaster within his cloak again.  He turned on his heel and left the Bith to sit alone with his drink and bar companions.  Mizzith watched him go, swirling the remaining liquid in the cup. 

Smartass…

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

The sky had turned a deep red as the sun began to set, the rays of light scattering as they hit the haze of pollution which blanketed the city's stratosphere.  The traffic had increased as the planet's inhabitants left their places of work to head home after a long day.  Large transport ships took off with the last shipments of the day to head into deep space where they could make the jump to light speed.  The remaining strands of light glinted off the sleek hull of the Slave 1 which sat silent on a docking platform overlooking a large expanse of the city.  Its defense system was currently active while it waited for its new young owner to return from his business among the city.  The few people and aliens that passed by the platform paid the starship little attention, in fact most who caught sight of it simply turned and headed in the opposite direction, knowing all too well the history of that particular ship.  One person however took great interest in the ship, and sat looking at it from a ledge near the docking platform.  The bounty hunter swung her legs through the air as she slowly peeled the skin from an apple with her vicroblade.  It wasn't every day that the person you were searching for happened to show up right in front of you.  The peel coiled around and around until the blade sheared the stem, freeing the yellow strand to fall hundreds of meters down to the pathways below. 

Aurra Sing cut a slice from the fruit and popped it into her mouth.  Jango Fett's child had made this job a whole lot easier by coming right to her instead of her having to go searching the galaxy for the little whelp. 

It had been a day earlier when she had intercepted a transmission between the Jedi Temple and one of their padawans and had learned of the great Jango Fett's demise.  With the father dead, his son had become quite the center of attention and Aurra had immediately searched for any possible profit to be made concerning the boy.  She had never been fond of Jango in the past as he had held the title of the greatest bounty hunter in the whole galaxy when in actuality it should have belonged to her.  Her thin smile disappeared into a scowl.  Jango had always been one step ahead of her in obtaining all of the prized bounties on the market, leaving her with nothing but scraps.  For a while there had been a time period when he had disappeared from the business only to return a few years later to once again reclaim his title.  Everywhere she went it was "Jango this," and "Jango that,"… it was enough to make you vomit. 

People were so afraid of nothing more than a man in a tin can uniform while I have killed more than twenty JEDI in my lifetime.  Does that mean nothing? she asked herself.  But now he was dead and she would no longer but stuck with second place.  Aurra Sing would be the top bounty hunter in the galaxy; a place that she should have possessed a long time ago. 

After tapping the Jedi conversation Aurra had immediately weighed her options about Boba Fett and found that there was considerable profit in finding and apprehending the boy.  The first major profit of her newfound status… and none other that the offspring of her rival.  Vengeance was indeed one of the sweeter fruits of life.

She licked the knife blade after swallowing the remaining apple slice and got to her feet.  Aurra pitched the leftover core onto the platform where the Slave 1 rested and immediately two beams of light shot out to scan the intruding object but then turned off upon analysis of the harmless produce.  Aurra grinned as she climbed aboard her modified swoop and took off between the buildings,

Be careful when you return to your precious ship, little Boba, for I'll be waiting…

There you have it, another chapter (woohoo!).  Hope you all liked it and just a warning in advance, it might be a while until the next one :( Enjoy!