Okay, this is a quick short taking place during the ongoing series Fate of the Jedi. Several events from the novel Allies will be shown and referenced, so for those of you who've read it, you'll understand.
* * *
Seventeen-year-old Vevec Skirata glared through the scope of his Verpine sniper rifle, his visor pressed closely to the glass. Ahead was a Naboo-native animal, a kaadu.
Vevec’s grandfather–Ba’buir–Ordo Skirata was in Theed, trading live nuna for provisions. Clan Skirata had lived in the sanctuary of Kyrimorut for over sixty years now, and Vevec’s childhood had been spent there. While Ordo had gone shopping, he’d let Vevec go hunting.
So here he was in the swamp, aiming his perfectly calibrated rifle at the heart of an unsuspecting kaadu…
There was a sound nearby, and Vevec grunted as the kaadu took off. He sighed and lowered his rifle. Turning, he found a yellow-armored female a few steps behind him. Anyone living on Mandalore in the past three years had heard of Mirta Gev Orade.
Formerly Mirta Gev, she was supposedly the granddaughter of Mand’alor Boba Fett. Rumor had it she had married Ghes Orade just before Darth Caedus’ tyrannical rule had been brought to an end.
“Hey kid,” Mirta said.
“Hi,” he replied curtly.
“Don’t be like that,” she said.
“You spooked my kaadu.”
Vevec paused, looking at her holstered WESTAR-34 pistols. She took after Jango, or so Vevec had been told. He raised an eyebrow and removed his helmet.
“What are you doing here?” he asked.
“Supply run,” Mirta replied. “So, are you going to tell me your name?”
“Vevec,” he replied. “Vevec Skirata.”
“Hmm. Any relation to Jaing Skirata?”
“My great uncle.”
“Mirta Gev, I know. So, where’s Ghes?”
“Doing the same thing you did. Hunting kaadu.”
Vevec turned and scanned the area. The kaadu seemed to have gone by now, and he didn’t think there was much chance of it returning.
Suddenly, Mirta’s comlink beeped. She pulled it from her belt and an image of Boba Fett appeared. Mirta smiled at him, but Vevec thought it was slightly forced. He’d heard of the torture she’d gone through, and he could only assume she was still getting over it.
“Mirta,” Boba said. “Have you heard?”
“Daala’s hired us out to blockade the Jedi Temple.”
Mirta’s lips pursed in thought. Vevec tried not to eavesdrop, but she was standing too close to avoid listening.
“Are we taking it?” Mirta asked.
“Not us specifically,” Fett replied. “Blockade’s already in progress.” He hesitated, and then turned to look at something. “Turn your helmet to the local holonews.”
Mirta did, and on instinct, so did Vevec. The man sounded too shabla much like Grandpa Ordo. Vevec blinked, tuning in to the holonews. An image of the Jedi Temple appeared. Several Mandalorians in tanks or on foot surrounded the Temple, various weapons raised.
As Vevec watched, a young female Jedi, maybe three years older than he, walked from the Temple and toward the Mandalorian that seemed to be the leader of the group. They exchanged words, and the nervous reporter kept on babbling.
Javis Tyrr, Vevec thought.
Suddenly, there was the whine of a blaster, and the Jedi fell, dead. Vevec heard Mirta suck in her breath, and he knew he had done the same. The Mandalorian yelled something toward the Temple, and Tyrr went on with his incessant report.
“Shab, Ba’buir,” said Mirta. “She was just a kid!”
Vevec realized that not only had the Jedi been a few years older than him, she’d also been a few years younger than Mirta. The two girls could have been friends in another life.
“Yeah,” Boba replied. “Beviin and Vevut are practically hemorrhaging, coming up with various ways to kill that Mandalorian who shot her.”
“That guy has all the earmarks of Death Watch,” Vevec commented.
“Eh?” Boba muttered. “Who’s that?”
“Oh,” replied Mirta. “He’s Vevec Skirata. Ordo Skirata’s grandson.”
“Ah.” Boba waited for a moment. “Tell your grandfather I said hi, and that I’m still stronger than him.”
“Didn’t he use to dunk your head in–?”
“I let him.”
With that, the comlink went dead. Mirta glanced at Vevec, gave a sloppy salute, and jet-packed off, probably to find Ghes. Vevec put his helmet on and walked back toward where he’d parked his rented speeder. He’d need to be back to Theed, soon.
And no doubt Ordo would be interested in what he’d seen.
* * *
Boba Fett sat back and watched the recording again. Daala was a friend, and there was no way he’d have said no to her request…but if he’d known the Jedi would have sent out a Padawan to negotiate, he would’ve sent someone less violent than Belok Rhal.
Much as he hated to admit it, the Skirata kid may have been right. Boba had thought he’d squashed the Death Watch remnants years ago–or Shysa had. But not even the craziest di’kut would’ve shot a kid on the steps of her home. It was just sick.
Boba needed to have a talk with Rhal.
He figured that if he didn’t get to Rhal first, it would be a contest between the Jedi, Mirta, and Goran Beviin. Of course, if Beviin reached Rhal, then a few dozen other Mandalorians–probably including Novoc Vevut and Jaing Skirata–would be with him.
No. Daala was already reassigning Rhal to a slavery dispute in the Outer Rim. The man had a job to do, and so did Boba. Boba’s was to keep pursuers off Rhal until his contract was complete.
Boba reached for his comlink.
A scowl crossed Ordo’s face as his comlink buzzed, and the scowl was complete when he saw the caller’s ID.
“Skirata,” he said.
“Hey, Ordo. How you doing?”
“Cut to the chase,” Ordo said bluntly. “What’s up?”
“I’m sure your grandson has told you by now.”
Ordo sighed. Boba Fett had never been good at this kind of thing.
“Of course he has,” Ordo replied.
“I need you to do something,” Boba said.
“I need you to make sure–”
Ordo continued listening as he piloted his modified five-person fighter off Naboo. Vevec was in the back, probably using the ‘fresher. Ordo wanted this call to be over before he got back.
“–He’s just made a lot of enemies by killing the girl,” Boba continued. “But he still has a contract with Daala. If he doesn’t come through, I look bad. So–”
Ordo punched in Mandalore’s hyperspace coordinates but did not make the jump. The communication would be cut off by the jump, and even Ordo wasn’t rude enough to do that to the Mand’alor.
“–You to keep his followers off his tail.”
Ordo nearly fell out of his seat in surprise. This man–this Belok Rhal–had just killed a young woman in cold blood, and Boba wanted him to protect the chakaar?
“Ordo,” Boba started.
“Don’t say that like we’re old friends,” Ordo replied. “You know that we aren’t.”
“All right,” Boba said. “What do you want?”
“I don’t want anything,” Ordo replied, and hung up.
Boba tossed the comlink down in frustration. Okay, that was one dead lead. Aw, shab, who was he going to get to watch Rhal’s back? He couldn’t ask Mirta in good conscience, not with the way she reacted to Rhal’s attack. And Beviin would likely kill Boba just for asking.
He sat there for probably twenty minutes, agonizing over whom to send. And the more he thought about it, the more he decided against it. Of course Rhal didn’t need a bodyguard! He was a Mando! Why had Boba even thought of sending one?
Feeling much better, Boba went to sleep.
Vevec and Ordo sat side-by-side in the cockpit of Ordo’s fighter, looking at the holoscreen. The three-day hyperspace journey to Mandalore was almost over, and they had hopped out of hyperspace briefly to get news on Belok Rhal.
Apparently, he’d been arrested on some backwater Outer Rim world. Good enough for him, Vevec thought. The mad deserved worse. But bad men rarely got what they deserved.
As the fighter jumped back into hyperspace, Vevec smiled to himself. As long as Belok Rhal was behind bars, Vevec was happy. As Ordo jumped back into hyperspace, Vevec thought he saw a smile on his Ba’buir’s face, too.