The following is a story based on characters in the Start Wars universe. While it is my own work, I own none of the rights to the characters, other source material and have no affiliation with Lucas Arts or the Disney Corporation. What follows is a fictional none profit writing exercise set in the Star Wars universe. Enjoy!
The corridor was dark, dank and it smelt. While these things would offend a new comer to the beings posted there they had long since become inconsequential. The only sounds in the large passageway were those of creatures quietly breathing and the odd shuffle of a guard changing position. The seeming serenity of the situation was broken by the sound of large servo motors firing up as the door at the end of the corridor slowly began to rise. Gradually light began to flood in and fill the empty space revealing the features of a wide passage cut out of the red rock.
The door completed around half its travel before the outline of a black clad figure became visable on the other side. Not waiting until the door was fully open the figure began to calmly and purposefully walk forward into the corridor, flanked on either side by phalanx of white armour clad troops, armed with blaster rifles and marching in unison. Halfway down the corridor two of the Gamorrean guards stepped out from their postings to cross their weapons, barring the dark figures progress. The figure and their highly armed escort paused. When it became clear the guards were not willing to move the figure casually pointed at one of the Gamorreans, who instantly began choking and fell back towards the wall. The figure then repeated the process with the second guard and before the pair had even fallen to the floor the company had moved on deeper into the palace.
Bib Fortuna was the first to notice the arrival of the unwelcome guests as they reached the entrance hall and passed into the throne room. Quickly, he left the side of his master to head off the uninvited intruders.
“What do you want? You are not welcome here.”
No sooner had the words left his lips then he is choking on them. The pale skinned Twi’lek’s feet rose from the floor as he clutches at the invisible grip that had suddenly taken hold of his throat. And then that menacing robotic voice.
“You will take me to Jabba now.”
Bib choked and spat and struggled to form the words. When they finally did come his voice had risen two octaves to become a pitiful high-pitched squeak. “I will take you to Jabba now.”
As soon as these words passed his lips he found himself instantly released and proceeded to crumple to the floor. Bib took a second to regain his composure. Slowly the Twi’lek got to his feet, massaging his now red throat as he wrapped his head tail back around his shoulder. He stared at the emotionless black mask with a sneer before turning to lead the newcomers into the throne room proper.
As Vader and his company of elite 501st Stormtroopers entered the room, the mood palpably changed. The music ceased and beings all around shuffled in nervous tension. Some even made a move to leave before anything happened. They were free to go. Vader didn’t care about any of those beings, he was singularly focused on his goal. He knew what he wanted and he didn’t mean to leave without it.
Bib Fortuna reached the side of his master and was now frantically tapping the side of the great bulbous head to raise the slug from his slumber. As Jabba regained consciousness his eyes began to open slowly before snapping wide the with surprise. Waking up to the image of the ever imposing Darth Vader and a company of Stormtroopers arranged in a semicircle around you would have been enough to surprise anybody, let alone one of the most notorious crime bosses in the entire galaxy.
“Master, Lord Vader is here and demands a moment of your time.”
The giant Hutt’s head turned as much as it could to face his Majordomo and he spoke in a deep resonating Huttese. “I can see that Fortuna. We shall discuss this matter further later, privately.”
This made the Twi’lek visibly blanch before he bowed deeply and made his exit. Then Jabba turned his attention to his visitors. “Lord Vader, this is an unexpected pleasure. I was unaware we had business?”
“We have no business Hutt. I have come for Captain Solo, that is all.”
Jabba was silent as he took in the scene and assessed the situation. Too many variables. Too many guns. Jabba had plenty of traps and surprises at his disposal. There was one in the floor in front of his levitating platform that he was rather partial to. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t be effective in this case. Only Vader stood on the trapdoor and were it to open only he and a couple of the Stormtroopers would disappear down into it. Leaving the others to open fire and kill him before he had time to react. Besides, he was not overly keen to kill the Emperors favorite pet if it could be avoided. No, another strategy had to be formed. Thankfully he had every faith that is faithful, if somewhat inept, Majordomo would know what to do.
“As I was led to understand it, your business with the unfortunate Captain Solo was concluded. But I am sure we can reach a deal that will be profitable for all parties involved.” Jabba gestured towards his right with one of his stumpy hands and the illumination in a dark shaded part of the throne room slowly increased revealing Han Solo, still frozen in carbonite. Neither Vader or any of his troops turned to acknowledge the frozen figure.
Vader placed his fists on his hips, pulling back his cape as he did so revealing the lightsaber at his belt. “There will be no deal. This is what will happen. I am taking Captain Solo with me. If you cooperate and don’t interfere you may live through this. The Desilijic clan has operated against the interests of the Empire without interference for too long. Your time will be coming to an end soon. I am more than willing to speed up that process.”
On Vader’s final words the Stormtroopers automatically brought their weapons to bare on Jabba. In another shady corner of throne room, the bounty hunter Boba Fett leant against one of the outer walls. His hand calmly sank down to the pistol still hosted at his hip.
Jabba began to laugh. A laugh so deep it could be felt deep within the chest of everyone present.
“Lord Vader I expected more from you. The stories I have heard of your ruthlessness and prowess in battle are almost legend. I must say I am most disappointed. If you think that even you can come to my home and insult me in such a way you are gravely mistaken.”
At his words, doors all around the perimeter of the throne room pushed open and masses of the Hutt’s Gamorrean guards began to flood in from all angles. Patrons and low paid employees began to panic and attempted to flee as a myriad of green pig-shaped guards entered the room. Unfortunately, most were crushed by the sheer bulk of the slow-witted bodyguards as the personal army came to the aid of their employer.
While Gamorrean’s were not known for their vast intelligence, they were certainly known for their aggression and fighting skill. This made them the ideal army for higher. Keep them well fed and they would work for a pittance and remain completely loyal, provided the food didn’t run out.
Two rows of the green skinned aliens emerged from the rear of Jabba’s raised hover sled to form a circle of protection around him. Space was already tight at the front of the throne thanks to the corpulent size of the slug, so introducing twenty or more oversized bodyguards clad in a bizarre array of armour and armed with everything from battleaxes to repeat blasters resulted in nothing more than a sweaty, fleshy cram.
As two of the guards jostled for position a fight broke out with one head-butting the other, sending the unfortunate victim flying backwards into Jabba’s dais. One of the stumbling beast’s tusks hit the giant slugs feeding bowls and they immediately smashed, raining sticky fluid and ill-fated little amphibians directly on to the control panel that rested next to Jabba at all times. The panel sparked and a surge of power could be seen visibly shooting down some of the connecting wires and disappearing into the floor under the dais to cause god only knows what disruption.
The Hutt bellowed and clobbered the poor half beaten Gamorrean hard in the side of the head, causing him to disappear under a mass of feet. That did the trick. All the rest of the guards got the message and fell silent and still, eyeing Vader and his troops with menace from all sides.
The room was completely still and quiet. The calm before the storm. A pounding sound could be heard from under the throne rooms floor above the rhythmic breathing of all its inhabitance.
“This is your last chance Jabba, released Solo to me or be destroyed.”
The beast chuckled once more before delivering his order. “Kill them all.”
Chaos erupted. The firing started and a sea of bulky green flesh charged in from all sides. Jabba tapped a button on his sparkling control panel. He started at the shock of electricity that jolted from the buttons and shot up his arm, then was instantly relieved to see the shield spring to life around his dais in time to deflect a precisely aimed blaster bolt that ricocheted into the melee that ensued in front of him, striking one of his own guards in the backside. Jabba tapped at another button and could be seen shaking with laughter as his entire hover sled began to slowly move backward, taking the crime lord to safety. But the escape attempt was short lived as the control pad sparked, spat out a big puff of black smoke and the dais came to a shuddering stop. Fortunately for the Hutt, the shield held. That didn’t ease his panic.
Vader was the very picture of calm malevolence. He did not need to order his troops. He did not need to tell them what to do. They already knew. Acting instantly, by the numbers, each alternate Stormtrooper pivoted to face a different direction and all dropped to their knees, to increase stability and giving them a 360° field fire in order to repel all attackers.
Vader himself raised his arms in front of him and unleashed a wave force energy, instantly separating the group of Gamorreans surrounding Jabba and scattering them in different directions. He began to walk forward as his light sabre sprang from his belt into his waiting palm, igniting in the instant. It was glorious.
The first two fell to their own blaster bolts, skillfully deflected from the shaft of his lightsaber back towards their point of origin. One of the hefty creatures regained their footing and charged towards Vader. He stopped the creature dead and used the force to lift it from the floor, directing it as a blubbery shield against incoming blaster fire from some of his colleagues. The dark lord of the Sith didn’t even break stride. His lightsaber was a beautiful flourish red death, cutting down enemy after enemy as they approached.
Once he had cleared the immediate threat Vader force pushed the now bloodied and charred remains of his floating Gamorrean shield across the length of the throne room into three of his fellow guards. The force of the strike was enough to shatter them all where they stood, snapping bones and rupturing organs as the group hit the wall with a sickening thud, strong enough to crack the duracrete. The slug just watched.
Vader’s sword arm was suddenly jolted and his lightsaber fell to the floor. Boba Fett had decided to join the fight. He had always been an unknown factor as far as Vader was concerned. He had theorised that the bounty hunter’s involvement would depend on how well Hutt paid. Clearly he paid well.
Fett pulled at the grappling cable that he had just fired at Vader from his wrist gauntlet. He pulled hard enough that he should have easily wrenched the man’s arm from its socket, let alone knock him off balance. Vader didn’t move an inch. Instead he gestured with his free hand and the lightsaber that had extinguished on the floor was sent spinning towards Fett, igniting halfway through its travel. The Mandalorian quickly rolled to his right, releasing the grapple wire as he did. The saber cut a deep swath through the palace wall half a second after he had evacuated the area, before returning in a wide arc back towards Vader’s outstretched hand. Unfortunately, the evasive roll had taken Fett to within almost an arm’s length of the line Stormtroopers still deeply engrossed in the battle with Jabba the Hutt’s personal army.
The smell of ozone and scorched flesh was palpable even through the air filters in his Mandalorian helmet. He watched with a casual indifference as one of the troopers in the line was viciously gored by the tusks of charging a guard. Commendably the Gamorrean must’ve taken at least five direct hits from the trooper’s laser pistol and didn’t go down. The Gamorrean proceeded to take the trooper to the floor, ramming his huge head into the unfortunate man’s gut before being joined by a counterpart and the pair pulling the unfortunate armoured man into two pieces with their bare hands. The two pig shapes guards then fell to a hail of blaster fire from the other troopers.
The two Stormtroopers closest to Fett noticed his present. He raised his arm as the two swung round to bring their weapons to bare on him. The press of a button on his wrist gauntlet unleashed a torrent of flame. The unfortunate pair didn’t last long in the intense heat, boiled alive inside their armour.
Boba Fett turned to see Vader stalking towards him. Casually cutting down two more guards as he did. Quickly he drew his blaster and unleashed a swift volley at the Emperor’s lackey. Vader effortlessly deflecting the bolts from the blade of his lightsaber. Vader’s first swing took the end of that weapon, rendering it useless in his hand. His second came in to take the bounty hunters head, only to be blocked by a swiftly raised wrist gauntlet. If Vader had been shocked at the fact that Fett’s Mando Iron armour could block the blade of his lightsaber he didn’t show it, nor did he hesitate whirling his blade to come at the bounty hunter from a different angle, in a wide sweeping arc which, if it had struck home, would have slipped between the gaps in his armour and cleaved the man in two. Fortunately, Fett rolled with the incoming strike to come up to the side of the dark Lord in a fighting stance, knife in hand.
The haze of the surrounding battle faded in to nothingness as the pair exchanged blows. Fett deflecting and parrying as best he could with the small Mandalorian dagger while receiving glancing shots from his armour plating. Fett was slow to react to an overhand slash that he barely managed to parry without losing his head and unfortunately didn’t notice that Vader had followed up with a fist from his free hand. Taking the blow and twisting with it was the only thing that saved the bounty hunters life.
The follow up thrust from the lightsaber made Vader overextend slightly and press his balance. Recovering quickly, Fett got inside the other man’s guard and managed to score a hit, dragging his blade across Vader’s flank, causing the man to moan in pain. He continued to spin all the way around until he ended up facing Vader once more and leapt towards him in order to deliver the coup de grace.
That should have been the end of it. He had an opening, you didn’t give Boba Fett an opening in a fight and live to tell of it. Unless something unexpected happened. It did. The floor shook, knocking Fett off balance and sending him to his knees. The pair stood and regarded each other, preparing to engage once more. The room shook again, more violently and the pair backed away from one another while keeping their guard up. Fighting all around the room seemed to have paused as confused Stormtroopers, palace guards and the few that remained of Jabba’s hangers on attempted to reassess the situation.
The answer came as swift as it was terrifying. The ground directly in front of Jabba’s hover sled erupted from underneath. Reinforced permacrete flew in all directions. Two Gamorreans and a Stormtrooper fell shrieking in to the newly created hole as the rest of the rooms residents made for the exits or the furthest edges of the room. The screams of those who fell had nothing to compared to the horror that was now dragging itself slowly but surely through the floor.
Panic erupted once more as the Rancor hauled itself up in to the throne room. Squeals erupted from all corners of the room as the palace guards, almost as one, frantically made for the exits, climbing over one another and crushing those unfortunate enough to cross their path.
Boba Fett and Darth Vader were pushed back towards the rear of the room as the beast pulled itself upright, flexing and stretching its extremities before unleashing an ear splitting roar. The two combatants stood ready, equally as wary of each other as they were the new threat. Jabba could be seen behind the Rancor, frantically hitting the buttons on his control panel to no effect while shouting orders in Huttese at his fleeing guards. Even his loyal Majordomo had fled.
The Rancor, a female, small for its species, eyed the pair now in front of it, seemingly assessing the easiest meal option. It settled on Vader, the cut on his left flank sparked and ran with blood. Another roar preceded the heavy clawed hand that shot out, faster than expected, to take hold of the beast’s dinner. Vader rolled to his left to avoid the creatures grasp. At the same time, Fett dropped to one knee, lent forward and fired the missile situated in the top of his jet pack. The missile streaked across the room and exploded on the Rancor’s left shoulder. The large reptile stumbled backwards with a scream of pain and almost fell back down the hole it had originally emerged from.
Vader came up on to one knee, saw his opening and used a force augmented leap to jump towards Fett, bringing his lightsaber down two handed arch. The bounty hunter parried the blow off to the side with his blade and drove an elbow in to the wound on Vader’s side. The Sith grunted in pain and staggered back a step, recovering in time to jump backwards as the Rancor bought its two huge fists down in an attempt to crush the pair.
Vader pushed forward and thrust his lightsaber in to the back of one of the monster’s hands, burying it to the hilt. Fett, who had also jumped backwards, scooped up one of the blaster rifles that were strewn about the throne room. He took a couple of pot shots at the Rancor’s face as it reeled in pain, before switching his aim to Vader. Two of the shots were deflected in to the Rancor torso while the next two came off the glowing read blade to head straight back towards where they came. One struck home, burning a hole in Fett’s left shoulder, causing him to drop the weapon.
The pair met again, Fett coming in with a slash and quick thrust combo with his small blade that were parred with equal skill. One more quick flurry of attack and defense were all there was time for before the Rancor was on them again, the mild distraction of crushing an unfortunate Stormtrooper to death quickly taken care of. The beast swept a hand along the floor, knocking aside furniture and bodies as if they were nothing, on its way to crust the two combatants. Vader made ready to leap over the incoming arm as Fett fired explosive darts from his wrist gauntlet at the Dark Lords feet. The tiny explosions were enough to knock him off balance as the huge hand came in, knocking Vader across the room to land hard against the far wall.
Now it was Boba Fett’s turn to jump. But he didn’t jump away. With a nimbleness belying the man’s size, he leapt on to the creature’s arm. Vader extended a hand, calling his saber back to him and without pause, hurled it in a flat spin towards the running bounty hunter. Fett took two steps and jumped, the red blade passed under his feet as the jump took him from the Rancor’s elbow to its shoulder. The lightsaber cut a deep gash across the beast’s chest at the same time Fett plunged his Mando blade in to the creature’s neck.
The ill-fated Rancor’s arms flailed as it began to stumble backwards. Fett used the deeply embedded knife to flip on to the beast’s front as it began to fall back in to the hole it had originally came from before extracting the bade in a torrent of blood. Vader got to his feet. Fett ran down the Rancor’s front at it fell back and jumped towards Vader, set to bring his blade down in a two handed arch that would split the Sith Lord in two. Vader braced himself and pushed forward with both hands. The force push caught Fett mid-air and flung the Mandalorian backwards with enough power to send him crashing through the wall at the rear of the throne room.
Everything fell suddenly silent. The Rancor, gone. The Bounty Hunter, gone. Most of Jabba’s Gamorrean guards were dead or had fled in terror. The last standing members of the 501st set about helping their injured colleges as Vader approached the end of the pit to face Jabba on the other side. The giant slug crossed his arms across what passed for a chest in his species and tried to project a calm demeanor. Vader could sense in the force that he was anything but, even while still behind the safety of his personal shield. He was right not to be. Vader called his lightsaber back to him and it effortlessly clipped itself to his belt.
“Well Lord Vader, that was most entertaining. I see my disappointment was most unfounded.”
Vader began pushing buttons on his chest mounted respirator control unit. Jabba continued.
“Your reputation is indeed well founded. But what you have cost me today will not be forgotten quickly. The next time we meet I assure you, the outcome will be very different.”
An alarm sounded from the control panel in Vader’s suit. One more press from his black gloved hand and the alarm ceased. Vader took a final deep breath and the respirator unit shut down. The air around Vader began to shimmer as the Sith Lords anger built.
“Now, take Captain Solo and leave my palace. I recommend you hurry before my allies arrive.”
The slug would not be alive by the time his allies arrived, if they arrived, not if Vader had anything to do with it. His prostatic limbs were protected, immune to magnetism and electrical overload, but his respirator and mask were vulnerable. He had powered them down and engaged their surge protection, now he gathered the darkside to him.
The lightning was organic. Produced in the few parts of him that were still man, and not machine. He allowed the surge to build until the air around him crackled and sparked with power. Then he thrust both of his hands forward and channeled it entirely at his enemy.
Multiple thick streams of blue and purple lightning, a physical manifestation of the darkside, leapt from the Dark Lords fingers. Jabba’s eyes went wide and his arms flailed as the lightning struck and spread right across his protective shield. The shield began to glow brightly. Vader let out a scream as the power flowing through him intensified and the lightning grew stronger and more erratic. Tendrils leapt from the shield to strike the walls and ceiling of the throne room, causing cracks and pieces of duracrete to fall to the floor.
The shield flared bright and then failed. The Hutt screamed as the lightning wrapped itself around him, charring flesh and boiling bodily fluids. The slug’s agony was short lived as the last support gave and the entire end of the throne room collapsed, burying the corpulent crime boss and his hover sled entirely under tons of rubble.
Vader fell to the floor with the roof. Supporting himself on all fours he felt completely spent. With one hand he reached up and reinitialised his respirator and mask electronics. The familiar rhythmic breathing once again broke the silence of the room. It took him only a couple of breaths to compose himself. A couple more and he was on his feet once more. Without pause he turned and strode confidently out of the room.