Crowd Control - By Black Waltz Omega

Don't mind this - just something I wrote in under the influence of a good mood... PG-13 for some strong language, nothing more. ^_^; Maybe I'm trying to continue the little trend I had with my other story,

Perhaps with a little less bloodshed. Results do vary when the variables are altered, after all. This particular variable couldn't wipe the grin off his face as he casually strolled down the paved walk, a slight swagger to his stride. He was on a small Outer-Rim world with an equally small name and reputation; Balmir, he recalled, a planet where the most developed areas were nestled tight around a tiny rather primitive space port. The city in which the space port resided was called Knessharr. It had been designed with symmetry in mind; in the very center of the circular city was the space port, while business offices, market places, residential zones, and industrial factories all were wrapped around in thick layers. Roads that were patched with dark splotches of primitive cement ran through each circle-layer in parallel rows, connecting it all together in somewhat of a neat package.

The Slave IV was docked somewhere on a crumbling platform in the center of Knessharr while the bounty hunter roamed the market places. He reckoned it was time to get some fresh air, anyhow. He thought somewhere deep inside, the people that inhabited the small world around him were rather tolerable, in deep contrast to the people of other worlds; there was something strange about them, something different...

Fett thought a moment while he walked and decided that it was the way that the people paid so little attention to him, as if he wasn't even there, that made them appealing. The market place zone itself was huge, but the area that Fett roamed was composed of only a few blocks of road-side stands, tents, and small buildings. Farmers, craftsmen, butchers, people from all sorts and forms of work were gathered and actively voicing their wares. Fett paused at a stand to look over a table of fresh Balmirian fruit while the woman with child beside him did little more than glance at the glossy T-slit of his helm, then resume rolling a pulpy red piece of vegetation in her hand.

He grinned some more onto the one already soldered to his face; he rather liked this anonymity. The hunter moved on, strolling with his hands in his pockets towards one particular stand with a large crowd gathered around it. A narrow column of smoke was billowing into the air and the strong smell of some sort of native cuisine was strong, even through the filters of the helmet. When he paused in the back of the gathering, no one shrieked the name of their deity and fled; no one scrambled over his fellow men to put as much distance between himself and the hunter as they could manage. A young boy, a teen, even dared to give Fett a slight push so that he may wedge himself somewhere between the masses.

Boba Fett was amused, though he wasn't quite sure himself why; the respect and fear his very silhouette induced from beings around him had been something of comfort in a rough existence. With his reputation as razor-sharp as it was, he knew that there was little danger of being attacked should he need to just wander for a while; there were few enough people with the guts and lack of sense to even try. The boy was nothing more than a clean-shaven, tan-skinned runt, and he had pushed aside the very physical incarnation of death himself.

It had been quite a while since Fett had any sort of verbal exchange with another human being.

"Excuse me," he started, his voice adjusting to the low and menacing tone known throughout the galaxy. "But I do believe I was here first."

The boy took a moment to register that he was being spoken to. His round, bald head swiveled on his toothpick of a neck and he arched a black brow at the hunter. "You had your chance, you didn't take it," he grunted, then quickly turned to try and push himself deeper into the tangle of bodies.

Fett reached in and pulled him back by the shoulder before he could escape. "No, I don't think you understand... I don't quite like being snubbed aside by little boys." Intentionally, he injected the traces of a hiss into his words, merely to see what kind of rise he could get out of the youth.

"Little boy my ass," came the venomous reply. "You don't take advantage of time, you lose."

"Ah, but you see, people don't try that sort of thing with me... They get hurt, you know."

A snort. "Good for them, now beat it, jackass, I've got some food to get."

Fett arched a brow, his grin widening again. Normally, he wouldn't let a snot-nosed little punk speak to him like that, and the urge to take the shiny dome of his skull and slam it into the rough sand-paper pavement nipped at his senses. He paused, tilting his head ever so slightly to try to look as curious as he could, and asked in a smooth and level tone, "You... do know who I am, don't you, boy?"

The other was obviously getting agitated. His fists twitched in and out of small boney fists, and one of his eyebrows looked as if it were about to fly off, judging by the way it fluttered above an eye. "No, and frankly, I don't give a damned piece of shit just who the fuck you are, now shut up and go get some fucking wax for your fucking self."

It was hard for Fett not to chuckle, so hard that he failed holding it back. Shaking his head slowly, he said, "Boba Fett," and waited for the expression that he had seen on countless faces on countless occasions. First, the eyes blinked repeatedly, then his cheeks became confused and began to wonder which way they should flex, pulling his lips from a scowl to a nervous grin to some sort of aghast "o" formation. Knowingly, Fett nodded and patted the boy's shoulder. "Don't freak out; it doesn't happen often enough for me to get agitated over it."

The boy stuttered a colorful curse, managing to blend words with fragments of Fett's name, and started an awkward mix of stumble and walking backwards deeper into the crowd. The crowd did not move at his will, however; rather annoyed beings turned to gently shove the boy back towards the way he came. On the second or third shove he acquired, he was sent straight into the watching hunter, and shrieked a new string of curses.When asked by a piggish man why the boy was screaming indecencies in public, the boy so eloquently shouted above the clamor of the market, "It's fucking Boba Fett!"

Fett blinked, hoping that people would not take the phrasing literally. For a dead moment, the entire crowd and the crowd gathering around them turned to look at the armor-clad hunter, silent as ghouls. In the next moment, it was as if a giant bird had been shot; people jolted from all directions in an explosion of bodies. Cries of alarm sounded as a familiar scene played before Fett once again. In a matter of seconds, the road had gone from crawling with people to inhabited by the scant few, with screams and roars trailing into the alleys where the hunter was not.

He sighed, but noticed that the food stand was clear now. A dazed cook stood behind a large oven, looking over where the phantoms of his customers were still admiring his cooking.

A soft grumble buried beneath layers of cloth and metal reminded Fett of business he would need to attend to. And since the place was deserted now...

He raised one hand towards the cook while stuffing another in his cred pocket. A few minutes later, he was heading towards an abandoned table set not too far away to enjoy a nice warm meal, smiling for the first time in quite a while; how he loved peace and quiet.