Now it's the eve of a new generation. The Empire, the culmination of centuries of manipulation and corruption, has been defeated by...children. The New Republic likes to believe that they can sit behind the controls but in truth, their utopian ideals are laced with shortcomings and naivete. In spite of all they have accomplished, war still pervades and the chaos that planted itself so long ago, continues to thrive as the factions of the Empire split and the New Republic loses its grasp on everything it so recently gained.
It is time for my people to march again into the dynamic of the crumbling galaxy. It's time to give rise to a new order; the rise of the Mandalorians."
-excerpts from the logs of Boba Fett. Standard year: 23 ABY.
A few strands of hair fell against her cheek, tickling the skin. Distracted by the current task, she tried to brush the black strains away but her hand tapped against the glass of her visor. Oh, right. Later. She knew she should have tied it back but that was all in hindsight now. Concentrating on the console she was working on, her hands danced over the blue screen as symbols and numbers flowed from her fingers. Occasionally, the datapad she had plugged into the bypass jack would beep as another layer of security was defeated. She almost had it... Ah! There! With a click and the hiss of airlock decompression, the door slid open to reveal the interior of the hold. The room before her was in minimal gravity mode to save power, griping the door frame she pulled herself through, her body gliding through the opening into the dim light of the cargo space. Her hand still on the airlock frame, she looked back at the vast emptiness of space - the far off lights of stars, suns and planets hovering in the inky black void. The woman clad in black and deep violet turned and went in, closing the door behind her.
Hitting a small button on her suit, she felt the power surge through her armor as the stealth system and deflector shield engaged. The self engineered suit wasn't just useful when climbing on the outside of cruisers in deep space unseen; it also blocked the pesky stray and rare intentional laser fire. Like a shadow she walked throughout the ship, the crew and captain unaware of her presence, the computer long ago informed that she was never here. There was no heat signature, no record of the door opening or extra weight noted on the computer's database. That was the first thing she did when she picked a ship to study, tell the ship that she did not exist. After all, how can you learn when you are being watched?
After several hops from one hyperspace lane to the next, she grew bored, as she usually did. She had explored every aspect of the ship and its crew; knew where it had been, who owned it, the names and details of the crew and their lives. Mess with them? Play the ghost? Nah, been there done that. The reaction would be typically pitiful at best. A light flashed on the dash panel inside her helmet. An interface appeared on the inside of the visor and her eyes scrolled the news across. The item she was looking for had been put into inventory for a small cruiser currently docked on the planet below. Perfect.
Pulling into port and happy to disembark the rust-bucket, she walked through the ships as if just another passenger catching hyperspace jumps. She had some time ago stored her helmet away and donned an outfit to hide her unmistakable armor. It wouldn't outright identify her but it would certainly draw attention. Her eyes surveyed the scene before her, catching the faces and details, cataloging and storing them for research later. A passing glance could be very useful in tracking individuals; individuals that didn't even know they were been watched. Who did she work for? Oh that was easy, she chuckled to herself.
Her boots crunched the sand underneath, so similar to the beaches on her home world, except here it was dry, fine and always managed to get everywhere. The sand at home was more rock-based, multi colored and interesting. Anchorhead was indeed the wretched hive it was often made out to be, the perfect place for her to go unnoticed. A young man brushed passed her, “Uncle!" he shouted. Mmm, she caught the sight of the brown hair and white tunic. Still a boy in so many ways. Turning from history, she thought of her own past...
Growing up on the outskirts of a system forgotten by its conquerors, she lived a life of exploration, unburdened by the mire of politics or the threat of takeovers. Most of her time was spent climbing the ruins of her clan's possessions, the deserted ships lying in varying degrees of repair and decay. The assortment was a collection of artifacts from a world long dead, that the inhabitants clung to with the misguided hope of glorifying the days of old. As a curious child she played with the old tech, breathing in the circuits, code and metal like air. Truth be told, the clan wasn't that bad and most were good mechanics. Being from a family of archeologists the thirst of knowledge was never quenched, learning about the computers made her clean in the knowledge of metal and wires.
Coming back to the present she put the memories away, she had a mission after all and a target that wouldn't wait for her indefinitely. She scanned the area for the ship she wanted, eyes passing over the flying hunks of bantha fodder to light upon the one that contained her prize. Passing off the information she had gathered on the contract she walked over to collect. Ah, beautiful ...
Once again she was dealing with some unkempt nerf herder in a cantina that didn't realize she knew he was lying. That if she didn't feel like being nice she could have just taken what she wanted from his ship without him knowing. Becoming more annoyed with his cocky demeanor and the ego that he spread thicker than Hutt slime she thought, Few months locked in his cabin with that Wookie friend of his would knock that out of him. Maybe she would put a time lock on his cabin doors when she left this meeting...
She looked down at her Strill. Stoker looked back with a look that said, "Can I bite him yet?" The light shined off the metal augments on his body, additions and improvements that had been made over the years to make him into the fierce weapon he was. Bored she stood up, walking out of the room, the arrogant fool talking to the hologram she'd cast, now sitting in the chair she had left a moment ago. If only he knew who she was...but then, there were very few who really knew.
Walking out to the deck she recalled finding Stoker as a pup. Stoker's partly mechanical body was something she was selfishly proud of. The metal underbelly curved underneath the chest and over the shoulders of the beast. The Strill was more a machine really, a companion on her space walk-abouts than a regular animal at this point.
Her reputation remained a quiet thing, that uneasy feeling in dark, that feeling you're being watched. Some people sent messages into the void, not knowing who or what would reply. She picked her jobs when the whim took her. She had always served herself first; this Empire and New Republic business just meant new ships and things to study. She was the silent virus lurking in the tech - a true citizen of space. Loyalty was to her thirst for knowledge, her hunger for artifacts and to grow her network of information. Occasionally she would treat some to new suits or ships when she was impressed. That one that escaped the Sarlaac...he was amusing...one of my best customers.
The light on her helmet’s dash panel flashed. Speaking of... A message from Boba. She read the text, thinking it over. Help him with this little conflict of his and he would give her the prison ship he had acquired. A tempting offer: he needed her tech and stealth skills; she wanted the nearly untouched Lictor and the ancient ship was almost mint. The Empire knew the value of it at least, until Boba and his crew stole it. The message scrolled over her datapad:
Still running, pristine condition. Someone of your talents would appreciate the value of such a piece.
It was a business transaction - she liked it. She looked across at Stoker, "Well, this should be interesting."
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