A/N: Bounty hunter Vianna D'Pow is a very minor character, appearing in Tales and Clone Wars Adventures. She struck me as an interesting emotional foil to the Jedi—she was ostracized from Zeltros for being the only albino of her species, and turned to violence when she couldn't give or receive the unconditional love the Zeltrons thrive on. In Adventures, we find that she journeyed to Kamino not only on a job for the CIS, but to pick up a clone of herself that she had ordered so that she wouldn't feel so alone.

A fun fact: This may be the only story I've ever written without any men in it.

Virago n. 1. archaic: a woman of strength or spirit. 2. modern: an ill-tempered, scolding woman.

I fight so well against Jedi because they have what I want, and I'll never get it. They have an identity, a place to call their own.

I sound so shallow.

But when that envy fills me, when in the fight with Mace Windu I felt like no dark Jedi ever understood how anger can harness a person as much as I did then, it makes me feel so strong.

(from Vianna D'Pow's journal early in her career as a bounty hunter, shortly after her encounter with Master Windu )

Asajj Ventress stood, hooded, on a street on Nar Shadaa and knocked on the scuffed door in front of her a second time. This time, it buzzed and swung open.

The Force alerted her to pinpoints of danger; a glassy-eyed security camera in the corner, deactivated trip mines set mushroomlike along the hall.

Beyond the bare metal corridor, the apartment was well-furnished, with a carpet, chairs, and wall hangings of a mint green. The woman Ventress had been sent to find sat in a green-padded chair, wearing leather fighting gear. Despite it, she looked relaxed, with her legs stretched out and her black eyes half-closed. The white-wrapped baby fetched up against her in her arms was happy in the Force, serene with its—her—simple thoughts.

Maybe I won't get the fight I expected, Asajj thought. Not that she had been looking forward to this; leave it to Dooku to give her a task that was so beneath her as collecting a Force-blind bounty hunter who never showed up for her mission! Yes, D'Pow had been known to have once successfully infiltrated the Jedi Temple, and to have fought Mace Windu and Obi-Wan. But she was still blind.

The Zeltron's arms tightened around the bundle that Asajj suspected was the reason she hadn't taken on the mission in the first place. She looked up, gave no other reaction. Asajj stalked forward to stand in front of her.

"Vianna D'Pow."


"Count Dooku summoned you."

"I've been busy with the clone." Vianna looked down at the baby, moved a corner of the blanket aside to run a finger across the pudgy white face. Just like a Rattatakan baby, Asajj thought, but I've never seen a white Zeltron. Nor one so quiet, so morose in the Force.

But she didn't linger on how most Zeltrons were too flippant and pleasure-seeking to take on any career as difficult as D'Pow's. The baby wasn't what Asajj immediately thought of when she heard the word clone.

She hadn't seen a baby in years. She said, "You got it from Kamino."

"Her. Clone of myself. Leave me alone." Vianna dipped one pale hand between the cushions of her chair.

"I didn't come to kill you; just to find out why you didn't make the rendezvous. If you'd told us you weren't available, I wouldn't be here," Asajj hissed.

Vianna's hand re-emerged and cradled the child. She glanced aside. "I was ashamed. He doesn't need to know. Now get out!" The delicate spines on her shoulders quivered with the force of her shout. The baby's eyes opened.

Asajj slowly lowered her cowl, both showing that she wasn't going for a weapon and revealing her own white skin. Vianna flinched in the Force as if an old wound had been poked. My appearance did that to her, regardless of species…

Asajj stood in the silence, not sure what to say. This was a glimpse of family bonds, more than she usually experienced, and she wanted to enjoy it. Enjoy how comfortable the two of them looked. She turned aside. "I almost envy you."

Vianna would have lunged out of the chair if she hadn't wanted to keep the child still. She snapped, "Never envy what you don't understand. If I had a true family that wanted me, even a false one like the Jedi, then—"

"Don't waste your envy on the Jedi!" Asajj's anger flared.

"Why not?" The Zeltron replied without emotion. "There's never been one albino among us, my people. Until now. Two now. Both of us ugly, and the Jedi take all species, make something new out of them no matter what they'd be on their homeworld. I tried to gain all the skills they have, but no matter if it's not in my blood, just like no pigment in my veins."

The outpouring of emotion—of selfishness!—surprised Asajj, but the misperception of the Jedi more so. "They made nothing new of me," she hissed. "I thought I'd be taken away when they found me, but no—we were alone, my Master and I. And he—we did not always agree, and he never showed me this camaraderie the rest of them supposedly have. Perhaps not until the day when they showed the true extent of that loyalty by allowing my Master to die alone."

D'Pow said, "I've seen their crèche; I know they're not perfect. But Obi-Wan Kenobi doesn't feel—it's hard to tell with humans, to explain it in Basic, but he doesn't have the pheromones of a lonely man. More like someone protecting his family."

Obi-Wan--Asajj remembered how Zeltrons placed an emphasis on love, either romantic or unconditional, that some beings found ridiculous and some felt was an expression of the instincts and desires that all species felt, but were too afraid to express.

She nodded, unable to disagree. She hated Obi-Wan because of what the Order had, in essence, taken away from her, although sometimes it was difficult to. Vianna hated him because of what the Order had never given her.

Back to business.

Asajj said, "We'll be in touch if you're needed."

"Good," Vianna said softly.

Asajj took a few steps toward the door, scanning the Force in case of an attack. She paused when Vianna spoke.

"You want a bounty hunter good with Jedi?"


"Find Cad Bane."

"Thank you."

The quiet warmth of the ambiance inside was markedly different from the mélange of belligerence and hopelessness on the streets of Nar Shadaa.