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9/30/2007 6:21:28 PM
Prologue “ Fett ” Slave I - Firespray Class Interceptor 3 Months After the Events of “Hard Merchandise” Orbit of Kamino Boba Fett stared out the transparisteel at Kamino. He remembered that he was born here, although, it held no sentimentality to him. Nothing did. That was the reason why he succeeded where so many others have failed. Sentiments and emotions were items that needed to be discarded; they only held you back. He had finally tracked down the Slave I and proceeded to steal it back from the Rebellion, now the New Republic. Beep! Fett glanced down at the monitor. This system was meant to tell him when a significant bounty had been posted on someone. He looked at the readout and something happened that seldom happened to the Galaxy’s greatest bounty hunter: He was surprised. Anyone else would have believed that the system was malfunctioning, but this was impossible because Fett himself had built and programmed the system himself. It was correct. Someone had posted a bounty of more than 40 million credits on someone. The name of the bounty was Bossk. Why anyone would pay 40 million credits for lowlife scum like Bossk was beyond Fett, but 40 million credits would be well worth it. The bounty description also had the last known whereabouts of Bossk: he was scavenging parts from the remains of the battle above Endor. He input the command into the nav. computer and waited for the hyperspace drive to engage. * * * * * Scimitar - Broadsword Class Interceptor Orbit of the Fourth Moon of Endor Bossk smiled and could almost taste the blood of his nemesis as he heard Fett decide to come looking for him at Endor. Finally, Bossk thought, “ I finally am one step ahead of the great Boba Fett! You may have humiliated and been ahead of me for all of these years, but this time you don’t stand a chance. If I cannot kill you, and I admit that I can’t, I will make it so that I and no one else in this galaxy ever has to deal with you again.” And, then again, if Fett does somehow worm his way out of this, he had his secret weapon. Today will be the last day Boba Fett ever sees. Chapter One “ James ” 0616 Hours, August 30, 2552 (Military Calendar) Epsilon Eridani System Reach Station Gamma “Take cover,” James heard the Master Chief say. “Almost there!” Spartan-125 said to himself. The explosives were almost off the nose of the pelican. “Blue-two, I said fall back.” Just one more clamp and . . . The needler round embedded itself in James’ pack. He felt a moment of sheer acceleration, then he was gone, rocketing out into space because of the explosive decompression of his ruptured pack. “I can’t control it!” James wheezed. “There’s too many of them!” And then he was gone. The last thing he remembered was seeing dozens of elites with energy swords closing in on him. * * * * * Time Stamp: Unknown-Error Onboard Unknown Covenant Ship Unknown Coordinates Pain. That was his world. Everything he knew. Everything from his toes to his cybernetic arm was burning with an intense, fiery pain. Blood dripped from his head into his eyes, impairing his vision. He strained his neck to look down and saw that he was bound by yellow-green bands of light around his arms, legs, torso, and neck to a metallic purple table. “The bands must be some kind of torture device, which dumped enough energy into one’s body to leave him alive, yet incapacitated.” He mused. He vaguely remembered being forcefully dragged into a covenant ship, being stripped of his armor, and then being viciously beaten into unconsciousness. “Huuuuman.” Said a rough, gravelly voice from above and behind him. “Tell us the coordinates of your planet and you may survive this encounter.” James responded simply “No. I would rather die than help you find Earth.” The voice said to a gold - armored Elite. “Have you been able to crack the encryption codes in his ‘MJOLNIR’ armor yet?” “No, your Excellency.” The Elite responded. “Very well.” Said the voice. “ Take him to detention block Omega.” The Elite nodded to two black - armored Elites, who then injected him with a liquid that made his body go limp. The energy bands were deactivated, and his body was dragged to the Omega detention block, and carelessly thrown into a cell. One of the Elites moved to a control panel to the left of the cell, and a force field promptly appeared. “Wouldn’t touch that if I were you.” The other Elite said. The Elites proceeded to exit the room, leaving Spartan - 125 alone in the detention block. He waited in the corner of the purple - tinged cell and began to plan his escape. Chapter Two “ Joshua ” 0711 Hours, August 30, 2552 (Military Calendar) Epsilon Eridani System Longhorn Valley, Planet Reach The Covenant cruiser came to life, and let go a dozen bolts of deadly plasma. One bolt connected with Joshua’s Banshee, and nearly incapacitated the craft. Joshua’s banshee, without plummeted like a brick toward the roiling covenant battalion. The EMP wave from the plasma cannon had killed the banshee’s systems, and his personal shields. He knew that when he hit the ground, if the fall didn’t kill him, the horde of Covenant might. He braced for impact, but the impact still tossed him from the craft, violently shattering his right femur and several of his ribs. Laying on his back, he saw Fred and Kelly flying into the ship’s grav lift, then speeding away as the nuke slowly floated up into the ship. He jumped up and started sprinting toward the canyon walls, looking for some way to shield himself from the imminent explosion. “There!” He thought, a cave entrance in the wall. He kept dashing toward the cave, and, without looking back, heard the war cries of thousands of angry covenant. Spartan -079 made it to the cave, just as three bolts of plasma on overload sliced into his backside. The first shot totally drained his slowly recharging shields and raised the internal temperature of his suit by 60 degrees. The second struck right after the first and burned through armor and started to singe his flesh. He had just enough time to wince as the third shot hit him in the lower right torso. This impact, although very painful, would save Joshua’s life. The force of the impact pitched him off a precipice and into a chasm. Then the nuke detonated, illuminating the whole of the cave, allowing Spartan - 079 to see the floor of the chasm, a moment before he hit it, face-first. The intangibly bright light swiftly went dark. * * * * *

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