Disclaimer: Sigh, Star Wars is not mine. I mean, just because George Lucas made a movie off my brain waves I sent him before I was born....

Shall I just repeat the last opening note? I really want to apologize. I do have an excuse, but reasons are just excuses. The excuse is: (deep breath) Iwaswritingastoryforthiscontestandthattookupallofmytime. And school, that's always a ready excuse.

Chapter 25 (happy sigh. I really do love this)

What's in a name?

Jacen could not help but think this as he searched his mind for the memory that held answers. His Force sense told something was wrong, that there was something he should know. He sat down one of the scattered crates that had not been picked up. Due to the persistence of Skont, they had patched up the human shaped hole in the wall with foliage. Both Jania and Jacen had inspected it and found no peculiarities, except for one of the hands of the bounty hunter had left a perfect outline of its shape in the wall.

Jacen tried to contemplate what kind of hand would do that. A robot hand, he thought, or a really strong one

Joad massaged the back of her hand as she examined the screens before her; it really smarted.

She took in all the screens at once, taking the information in one and applying it to the other. They were the footage from the hidden cameras she had set up while sneaking around the buildings. She had placed them at specific points so she could ensure that no other bounty hunters tried to run away with her merchandise. And it was hers.

There was a flicker of movement on a screen that passed to another where it stopped. A smile crept onto her face underneath her mask. She recognized the bounty hunter that crouched stupidly in front of her camera. It was time for the games to begin.

Jacen had gotten up to stretch his legs after sitting on the crate for an hour. Maybe he should wake his sister up and get some sleep. He paced around, looking over at his twin sister, then at the snoring lump he was supposed to be protecting. He and Jania had protected him; Uncle Luke would be proud.

Jacen started. He had not contacted his uncle to tell him what had happened. The translator was in the ship; no one had bothered to bring it in. He looked over at his sister but decided to let her sleep. It would only take a second after all.

Understatement of the century.

As Jacen made his way towards the X-Wing they had come in, his Force sense tingled. He moved rapidly out of the way, his light saber flying to his hand, but he was not quick enough. The light saber fell on ground as Jacen collapsed near it.

Jania woke. She was not sure what had startled her from her sleep, but she had had enough experience with the Force to rely on it. Jumping to her feet, she noticed immediately that her brother was not there.

"That lazy, no-good-.... He probably went to find something to eat." She took one look at Skont and sighed. She would have to stay here; the skaj they were there to protect should not be left alone. She sat down on the crate that Jacen had once occupied and took out her light saber. Her mind was still hazy from sleep. She was tired, and she began to nod.

A twig snapped near the entrance and Jania jumped to her feet, suddenly awake. A figure stirred in the shadows, and it definitely not her brother. Her lightsaber hummed to life and she took up a fighting stance in front of Skont, who gave of an especially loud snore.

"Come out and try to claim your prize, bounty hunter," she snarled at the figure.

In its turn, the figure gave off a snarl bordering on roar that made Jania's sound like a whimper. It jumped to life, pulling out two blasters as it sprang forward. It fired them rhythmically at her which made it much easier for Jania; easier, that is, until he got closer. By the light of her lightsaber as she worked to fend him off, Jania could see who it was. She could recognize that scaly face anywhere.


As much as a blunderer as he was, Jania was having a hard time keeping her own in the fight. He had managed to knock away her lightsaber and now they were engaged in hand-to-hand combat. Needless to say, with her lightsaber, Jania stood a chance, but without it, there was no way. She was under a much stronger and vicious being than her and losing fast. Her Force powers were still minimal after the previous battle and she was still tired.

She felt like a punching bag. Jania was able to block and retreat, but not attack. Her ribs ached and her stomach protested her moving. A dribble of blood ran past her eye and more came from her lip. Bossk launched one more attack that sent Jania sprawling.

"Poor baby Jedi, all alone with no one to guard her," sneered Bossk in her face. His breath stank.

Using her last ounce of Force and strength she heaved Bossk off her. She dove for her lightsaber, but felt a clawed hand close about her ankle. He dragged her across the ground for a ways before picking her up and throwing her into a stack of crates. Jania saw him coming for her, as much of a smile on his face as one without any lips can muster, and knew it was death coming. Unless someone could save her.

Then, out of nowhere, came a figure that plowed into Bossk. He bowled over with a cry and the red and black figure rolled off him. Jania was surprised to see the bounty hunter that had attacked them earlier.

Joad leapt at Bossk again from behind. She fought the hate that burned within her; fighting with hate was never a good idea. Sure enough, Bossk fended her off. Joad calmed herself, forcing her hidden face to a mask of calm.

Bossk bounded to his feet, snarling and spitting. They circled each other, slowly tightening the circle as each decided what to do and who was to do it first.

"Say your prayers Fett. I'm gonna get you this time and make your daddy cry."

Bossk broke the standstill, unable to bear it any longer. He lunched at her with the most straight forward attack there was: a tightfisted punch.

A punch has the capability to do a lot of damage in numerous ways. It can serve as a bluff, stun your opponent, bruise your opponent, break the bones of your opponent, or, if you're strong enough, kill your opponent. However, being one of the most basic fighting maneuvers it has a lot of ways it can be blocked and avoided.

Joad choose to avoid. All it took was a simple backbend over and suddenly she was not there, but was still there (think Matrix One). She could simply pop back up and launch her attack, but while Bossk was still throwing his punch, Jaod was attacking.

While her torso was parallel to the ground, she pulled out two long vibroblades from the opposite arm. While Bossk was beginning to retaliate and pull his arm back, Joad was already lightly cutting his arm (there was no force behind her cut) with the X her blades made when she was still uncrossing her arms from grabbing the blades. At the same time she was rising from her parallel position and by the time the punch was finished, about two seconds, she was standing exactly as she had stood before.

That was when Bossk had a hint of doubt. However, he had no time to brood on the subject. Joad was already attacking him and he was forced to use his rough and scaly forearms to bloke her furious assault. In fact, it was going to be impossible for him to be able to fight much longer if he were to go on fighting with no weapons. So he got a weapon.

It was a well-aimed shot, at the heart. And it hit, which is a good thing because if it missed at close quarters he would never hear the end of it when word got out. Unluckily, most of Joad's body was covered in protective armor and the shot bounced off. Luckily for Bossk, the shot clipped her helmet, putting the first battle mark on her armor. Joad touched the curved burn with her hand as she staggered away. Secretly, she smiled.

But it was not over. Bossk had his blaster out, but still Joad did not get hers. To retaliate for her disadvantage, spikes came out of her forearm armor with an ominous 'shing' and she leapt into action. Spinning in the air, she landed behind him and slashed viciously at his backside with all four blades. He dodged and rolled away to get a good shot at her, but a blade had already left her hand and was spinning toward him. It dug deep into his shoulder. With a scream of pain, he yanked it out. Then he threw it back, where it slid neatly under her shoulder armor. Joad grunted, but in reality it had barely broken the skin. She left it as it was.

Bossk was running at her now, sure that he had her off-balance, snarling laughingly. No more playing by the rules. As Bossk neared her, she pulled out her blaster. Bossk didn't see it, blind with triumph, mistaking her battle stance for a stagger. He was almost upon her as the settings clicked to what she wanted. He leapt into the air, claws reaching out toward her, snarling inhumanly. Instead of a mouthful of neck and hands full of torn flesh, what he received was a shot in the face. Joad jumped out of the way as Bossk landed in a crumpled heap.

Jania wondered why the bounty hunter had saved her. She knew of hunter competition, but the black and red bounty hunter, whom Bossk had called Fett, would have benefited from Bossk killing her. Maybe, just maybe, the bounty hunter had had a change of heart or mind. But as she straightened out, her thoughts were interrupted by a slow clicking sound and she knew that the tiny, microscopic chance was nonexistent. She turned and found the bounty hunter crouched over her charge, who had fainted, with her imposing blaster aimed directly at Jania. And by the sound of her thumb on the settings, it was no longer on the stun setting, and this bounty hunter didn't seem like the kind to miss.

Why did Joad only stun Bossk?

Is Jacen still out?

What will Jania do?

Stay tuned, answers sure to follow!