Scar Friends Luncheon Circle
Lunch with Fett. Piett's new boy.
The noose tightens.
Boba Fett is one of the few people with whom I will share a meal. He was horribly disfigured by acid years ago, and I feel we hold a bond in common in that respect. He has never so much as winced at the ghastly noises that come through my ventilator while I chew, because he is a gentleman.
He is also a bounty hunter, which is why I have invited him over to chat.
"They won't leave this sector," he assured me as he sprinkled hot sauce on his vegetables. "That freighter can't be jacked out of a prang this time -- Captain Solo will limp someplace safe to lick his wounds."
"And you know where that will be?" I asked, drawing in some meat through a straw.
Fett gave me a level look. "That's my hard yakka, Lord Vader."
"The contract is yours. You know the other bounty hunters will find nothing."
He nodded slowly, returning his attention to the meal. "They'll swim for Bespin, my Lord, to have a smoko with a gas-cocky called Calrissian. He and Solo go back yonks."
Calrissian! I knew the Force did not orbit him for no reason. To Fett I said, "Excellent, Boba. You will be rewarded handsomely. By the way, your scars are looking quite good."
"I've been using a new cream," he told me.
I did my famous corpse of Mace Windu imitation, which made Fett snort wine through his nose. "This party's over," I quipped, and Fett howled. Long ago Windu was First Speaker of the Jedi High Council, a fierce warrior who slew Boba's father and tried to kill my master. In vain, of course. These days the Emperor uses Windu's purple light-sabre to trim his hedges.
We understand one another, Fett and I, and so we share a certain mutual regard. When all of the bounty hunters are assembled on the bridge we pretend no special relation. Should Boba Fett gain a reputation as a man of the Empire he would lose the trust of the Hutts.
Captain Needa of the StarDestroyer Avenger found and then lost the Millennium Falcon again. The good captain subsequently lost consciousness. Whether or not he finds it again is not my concern. The bounty hunters have been dispatched, and the fleet moves on to Anoat to await Fett's signal.
Also, Admiral Piett seems to have a new boy. I don't know what happened to the old one, but I am fairly certain I did not kill him. At any rate I came upon the two of them in the pit this morning and Piett seemed somewhat sheepish. "This is my new yeoman, m'Lord," he said too brightly. "Yeoman Broderick, Lord Vader."
"M'lord," whispered Broderick.
"Getting younger all the time, aren't they?" I asked Piett.
He smiled tightly. "Sir," he said.