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On Tatooine

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Summer on Tattoine". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: When the group fleeing Naboo for Coruscant land on Tatooine to find replacement parts for their ship they find a place quite different than any of them expected.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Star Wars > Buffy-Centered(Current Donor)thetwitmachineFR1816,53011343,43717 Feb 1317 Feb 13Yes
I don't own any part of Star Wars or Buffy the Vampire slayer.

No one has proofread this story but me, and I'm mostly blind to that sort of thing, so please let me know if there are giant mistakes.

/* indicates the speech is translated from another language

Mos Espa

The speeder zipped towards Mos Espa, sand billowing in its wake. Qui-Gon had never liked the desert planet – it held a hard life to any but the most corrupt of its citizens. Slavery, crime, and murder were rampant and normal, and what little order the Hutts maintained was strictly to keep the other criminals in line. Those who wanted to avoid the dangers of Tatooine’s cities lived in isolated homesteads, eking out a living by selling water pulled from the nearly dry air. It seemed to him a planet not really fit to be settled, populated by criminals and those with no other choice.

A strange...wrinkle in the Force drew him out of his contemplation, just as Obi-wan swung the speeder to the side, dodging a large laserbolt that Qui-Gon thought would have struck the front of their craft. The bolt had come from Mos Eisley, from the rooftop of a three story structure near the city perimeter. Trusting Obi-Wan to take care of dodging any future shots, Qui-Gon brought his set of macrobinoculars up to his eyes. The rooftop looking like it was set up for a war - sandbags lined the perimeter. Several forms were huddles under the cover of the sandbags, rifles pointed in their direction. Still, no one had fired again.

"Obi-wan, stop the speeder. We have several beings pointing sniper rifles at us. I fear our choice is to either turn around and go back to the ship, or see if we can determine what they want and why they are shooting at us. Keep your hands visible, all of you." Everyone in the speeder complied. Artoo beeped indignantly, but was ignored. No follow up shots were fired, so Qui-Gon assumed he had made the right decision.

Shortly a pair of craft came towards them from the city. The larger craft’s obvious rag tag nature became more apparent as it closed the distance. It might have started its life three speeders, but they had been taken apart and the primary propulsion systems were now mated to a large armored platform with what looked like a medium sized manual turbolaser battery. While it wouldn’t be fighting any starships or even fighter craft, it would probably blow apart most ground-based craft short of a tank, and maybe even a tank. Qui-Gon wasn’t sure exactly what was going on, but he felt it couldn’t be an accident that they had landed here now. The Force was guiding them.

“I feel uneasy about this, Master. We are at their mercy, and we don’t know who they are.”

“Trust in the Force, Obi-Wan. All will be well.”

The flying turbolaser battery kept station near them, weapon aimed but otherwise silent. The second craft was a small grey ship. It stopped behind the weapon platform, and someone jumped out of a lower hatch to the ground. As the person approached Qui-Gon realized it was wearing what appeared to be a desert camouflage uniform.

As it approached closer, Qui-Gon realized it wasn’t even a person – someone had dressed an odd looking humanoid droid in camouflage. He was relieved that it looked nothing like any of the Trade Federation droids, but there was something ominous in the casual way it held a blaster rifle in its black durasteel hands, pointed not quite at them.

“Question: Who are you and what business do you have in Moss Espa? Be aware that I am capable of lie detection.”

“I am Qui-Gon Jinn. We are peaceful travelers and never intended to stop on Tatooine, but our hyperdrive generator has failed and we need a replacement.” All technically true.

“Response: You will accompany me to the city in my ship. You will follow my orders carefully. Any deviation from this will result in…tragic circumstances. My Master wishes to speak with you. One of my subordinates will bring your land speeder.”

Qui-Gon nodded. “Of course we will accompany you. May I ask you what exactly is happening on Tatooine? Things didn’t seem quite this strained when I was here last, although that was years ago.”

The droid began moving back towards its grey ship, with Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Artoo, and the queen’s handmaiden following behind it. “Observation: Things on Tatooine are never quiet. My master is in a small argument over territory with another major political faction. Recently my master has been making some progress. Relations are…strained.”

“How much territory does your master now control?”

“The only resistance left is Jabba the Hutt, and he has lost everything except the area immediately around his palace.”

This was very interesting news to Qui-Gon. A single Hutt had managed to wrest control of Tatooine, and without letting anyone off-planet know? This sort of power play tended to cause ripples throughout the seedy underside of the republic. The Hutt responsible would find themselves both immensely powerful but also the target of many bigger fish looking to snap up the now consolidated criminal empire.

The droid’s grey ship was really just a standard atmospheric-only covered speeder, with additional armor and a few weapons somehow bolted and welded into place. The seating was still comfortable and standard. The craft zipped towards the center of Mos Espa, landing on a rooftop near the center of the city that didn’t seem to differentiate itself from the rest of the rooftops around it.

They were escorted down through a rooftop hatch, into the main building itself. It was large, filled with a great many people all talking about logistics and troop movements. Troops dressed in desert camouflage and holding blaster rifles could be seen walking down the hallways at regular intervals, as well as other stationed at choke points in the building. Obi Wan noted that for all the security they hadn’t been searched and still had their weapons and communicators.

They were taken down several sets of stairs. Qui-Gon estimated that they were probably in a third level basement. They reached a large set of double doors, and the droid stopped and pointed them to chairs lining the walls. “Declaration: We will wait here until we are called.”

They sat, and Qui-Gon took the minute they had to talk. “Whoever is beyond those doors is exceedingly powerful on this planet. Be on your best behavior, regardless of their demands,” This he said with a nod to Obi-Wan. “and handmaiden, please don’t worry we will get you safely back to the ship.”

“Instruction: You will enter through the double doors. You will walk towards the red line on the floor and look forwards. You will not turn around unless told to, and you will wait until you are spoken to. Any attempt at violence will be met harshly and with lethal and overwhelming Force. Do you understand?”

Everyone agreed, nervously.

“Statement: Good. Proceed through the doors.”

The room was a large hexagon, cloaked in darkness and hanging fabrics. A single dim red light hung from the center of the room, right above the red line they had been told to stand near. They walked to the line and waited.

“I need your ship. Which of you owns it?” The voice came from behind them. Humanoid, female. Definitely not a Hutt.

“With all due respect, we are on an important trip to Coruscant. Tens of thousands of sentient beings may die if we do not make it there on time.” Qui Gon responded.

“How did you plan on getting to Coruscant with a damaged ship? You obviously have no spare, or you wouldn’t have been out with an astromech droid. You are looking for replacement parts. I have many that would fit your ship. I need its use for one week. I ask again, which of you owns the ship?”

The handmaiden spoke. “My mistress owns the ship. She is still onboard. Perhaps you can work something out with her?”

“Yes, I could see that working. But it’s unnecessary, isn’t it? The ship’s owner is right in front of me. There is no need to hide your identity, I know you are not who you pretend to be. I wish you no harm, unless you are slavers.”

“We are not slavers, slavery is illegal where we come from and we are happy it is that way.” This was Obi Wan, young, impetuous, and seemingly frustrated by the interrogation.

“Good. This is a change that I have brought to Tatooine. Slavery is illegal here as well, now. All slaves have been freed, and those who mistreated slaves have been…dealt with. Only Jabba remains of the slime that once controlled this planet. He is trapped, but to deliver the finishing stroke I need your ship.”

“What do you need the ship for?”

“Jabba has fortified his palace. I have ordered spacecraft capable of destroying the palace, but their delivery is months away and I need to destroy Jabba now, before he can call for help from off-planet. I need to land a small Force of soldiers within range of his defenses. I have a plan to disable his defenses, but I need a backup in case it doesn’t work. Your ship has the necessary speed, cargo room, and shields. After the raid I will give you whatever parts you require and you will be free to leave. If the ship is otherwise damaged I will replace it, and provide you alternate transportation to Coruscant within two weeks.”

“If I said no? You would have me risk my ship when I am on a desperate mission for my people. I cannot afford to be caught up in your conflict.” The handmaiden had changed her demeanor, now, and was speaking more confidently. Qui-Gon smiled ruefully to himself – of course the queen hadn’t been happy to stay on the ship. The handmaidens were all body doubles and even with the Force it was nearly impossible to tell them apart.

“That would be unfortunate. I would have to consider how badly I needed Jabba dead against how strongly my morals felt about taking your ship. I have blocked his ability to call help for now, but the longer I wait the more likely he is to find another means. I cannot afford to wait months for the ships I ordered to arrive. Jabba must be dead before anyone out there,” she waved her hand towards to ceiling, “notices Tatooine.”

Qui-Gon stretched his senses, using the Force to see what he could pick up about the woman talking behind them. He felt nothing – not even her physical presence. She had somehow masked herself from the Force entirely.

“Perhaps we could arrive at another solution? We are diplomats – we could negotiate for Jabba to leave the planet and cede it to you. I’m sure he knows how precarious his situation is.” Obi Wan attempted to be reasonable.

The woman was angry now, and her voice was cold. “Jabba the Hutt is an evil bloated slug, responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of slaves here on Tatooine and countless other crimes around the galaxy. Jabba won’t be leaving Tatooine, and there will be no negotiations. I’ve given you an offer – the use of your ship for a week in exchange for the repairs you need. I’ll give you five minutes to think it over.” Her footsteps beat a sharp, receding staccato on the polished stone floors.

When Qui Gon was reasonably sure they were alone, he stood up, and turned towards the disguised queen. “Your Majesty, the ship is yours. This is your decision to make.”

Padme Amidala was no fool. The Jedi might say it was her decision, but she knew the Jedi for manipulation. Better to just be forward about things. She turned to Qui Gon.

“What did you detect about this woman through the Force? Was she telling the truth?”

“I detected nothing, not even her presence. If I hadn’t heard her footsteps I would not have known she was there at all. I must warn you, Your Majesty, that whoever she is she was capable of taking this planet from the Hutts, and she’s probably killed at least four of them while doing it. That makes her dangerous, but that also means using your ship against Jabba may make you a target for Hutt retaliation.”

“I will hear your suggestions, if you have any.” She was using her queen tone. Imperious, commanding, emotionless.

“I counsel caution, always. Our mission is to accompany you to Tatooine. Perhaps someone else on this planet has a hyperdrive generator we can purchase.”

The woman’s voice rang out, and none of them had heard her approach. “You will find none for sale. I have complete control over ship parts on this planet as part of my siege on Jabba’s palace and the interdiction on technology that would allow him to call for help.”

The queen was not pleased. “So this is not a negotiation, then. We agree to your terms or we remain on Tatooine. That is hardly bargaining in good faith.”

“That’s your bad luck. I didn’t damage your ship and I haven’t changed any rules to force you to remain on Tatooine – nobody is allowed those parts until Jabba is dead. It is a matter of life and death for thousands of people who had the courage to fight to overthrow the Hutts. You can either allow us to use your ship, or wait until I find another way to get my people close to Jabba without being slaughtered by his perimeter defenses.”

Nobody spoke for several minutes, and then the Queen took a breath.

“I accept your proposal, on the condition that my people are allowed to help plan the part of your operation that involves my ship. They know the ship and its capabilities best.”

“Acceptable, so long as we can come to security arrangements to ensure no word of the plan reaches the Hutt.”

“Then I believe we have an agreement. Can we turn around, now?”

“Yes.”

They turned around, getting their first glimpse of the woman who had conquered Tatooine. She was small, Qui-Gon noted, perhaps the same size as the Nabooian Queen. She was dressed for utility, wearing a set of composite combat armor colored in odd slashes of tan and light brown. There was a blaster at her hip and a sword hung at her back. If she had been wearing a helmet Qui-Gon was sure he wouldn’t even be able to tell her gender.

Without the helmet, though, he saw her short cut blond hair, small nose, and green eyes. A faint scar ran down her cheek, perhaps not even noticeable to someone without Force enhanced vision. Her lips were pursed. Her eyes, though beautiful, were hard.

“Everyone here calls me Summer, and you can as well. What are your names?”

“I am Qui-Gon Jinn, a Jedi Knight. This is my padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

“I am Padme Amidala, Queen of Naboo. My planet is under siege by the Trade Federation, and they are slaughtering thousands of innocents each day. I am on a mission to Coruscant, to appeal for intervention by the Republic. These Jedi are supposed to protect me.”

“I have heard of the Jedi before, from slaves who had hopes of Republic intervention freeing them. I believe you’re the first representatives of the Republic anyone has seen on Tatooine. Tell me, are stories of supernatural Jedi ability true?”

“It is hard to say without knowing the stories, but we have some small abilities.” Qui-Gon answered demurely.

“They say that you are excellent warriors, and that you have abilities that are supernatural, and that you carry special weapons only the Jedi have.”

“That is true, for the most part, although not all Jedi are as good as others. I will show you our weapon, if you wish, but I don’t want to set off any highly strung instincts or alarms.”

“Perhaps another time. Maybe we could spar, once we have made arrangements for what is to happen. Queen Amidala, I will give you coordinates of a secure location to send to your ship. We will load supplies and do a mechanical inspection of your craft there. If all goes well the assault will happen two days from now, and in three days you can be on your way. I will also need to know how many people you have on your ship, so that I can arrange accommodation for you while the ship is in use. We can talk while we walk to the Planning Room.”

“Of course. The ship’s crew…”

***

Qui-Gon Jinn sat in a comfortable padded chair, watching as the Queen, Summer, and Captain Panaka argued assault tactics over a holographic model of the area surrounding Jabba’s palace. He chose to stay out of the discussion, not wanting to risk direct involvement against the Hutts if not necessary. As far as he could tell Panaka and Summer knew what they were doing.

Most of his attention was spent watching Summer. Her missing Force presence was disturbing, yet every so often he felt…something. It was most disturbing. Clouding the Force was a Sith ability, but this wasn’t that. She simply wasn’t there. He closed his eyes, seeing only with the Force.

“I have two infiltration teams in location at these positions already.” Summer pointed at an area near some of the defensive cannon emplacement Jabba had placed as a perimeter around his palace. “I will use my own ships to drop off a small force of soldiers near these guns. The infiltration teams will destroy or take control of these two guns, and that force will enter there.”

“After Jabba commits his troops to stopping that group, I will use your ship to bypass these guns at the other side of his compound and drop a larger force right at his palace. Depending on how many of his people Jabba commits against the first attack, my large force will either breach Jabba’s palace, or split with half entering the palace and the other half attacking Jabba’s men from the rear.”

“Why bypass those guns, instead of others?”

“The infiltration team has told us that those are the weakest and oldest of Jabba’s perimeter emplacements, and are often in poor repair. They are least likely to damage your ship and thus the most successful route of attack. If he hides in his palace I should be able to wipe out his surface forces entirely, making your ship very safe.”

Obi-Wan entered the room, coming to a stop near Qui-Gon but not sitting in the chair beside his. “The Naboo are settled in their rooms. Summer’s people have made several improvements to the Royal Barge’s defensive systems, including a shield upgrade and an entirely redundant shielding system that is currently taking up what meager living space there was. It isn’t pretty, but the ship is now much more likely to survive unharmed.”

“Good. Sit, Padawan. It is important to know when inaction is as important as action. For now our fate is in the hands of the Force. The best thing you could do now is to sit quietly with your ears open and learn what you can.”

Obi-Wan nodded. “Of course, Master.”

“What have you learned about the situation here on Tatooine? I know you have spent some time outside.”

“The situation seems much like Summer has said. Slavery has been abolished. Each city sends representatives to their legislature, which is currently drafting the planetary constitution. Currently Summer is in control of the legislature under “emergency powers”, but as far as I can tell she singlehandedly put their government together.”

Summer had apparently heard them whispering. “I’ll be stepping down as soon as Jabba is dead. I’m built for fighting and war. I was terrible as a slave and I’d be a terrible politician.”

Obi-Wan was incredulous. “You were a slave?”

“Technically I was owned by Gardulla the Hutt. We started the revolution with weapons she was storing on Tatooine that were supposed to be sold to criminal organizations out in the galaxy. I’m happy to say she was the first Hutt to die, and she didn’t die pretty.”

“What will you do after this is over?”

“I don’t know. Travel the galaxy, maybe. I’ve only been on two planets in my whole life. There’s a lot out there I’ve never even heard of. Compared to most of the people even here on Tatooine I’m uneducated and inexperienced. This little war against the Hutts is bigger than anything I’d ever dreamed I’d be doing.”

A woman walked into the room pushing a cart with covered trays. “Lunch is ready, Ma’am.” Qui-Gon frowned at the level of fear he felt from the woman. Why was she afraid of Summer?

Buffy shook her head. “Thanks, Essy, but I’ve told you a million times to call me Summer. Just leave the cart there, we’ll eat when we’re ready.”

Essy ducked her head, and gave a quick “Yes, Ma’am.”, and then fled the room as fast as she could without appearing to run.

Summer frowned. Essy was shy, but the running was new. Maybe she was afraid of the Jedi? No, nobody knew they were Jedi, aside from a select few, which Essy was not. She reached down to her belt and brought her communicator up. “This is Summer. I need someone to keep an eye on Essy. If she attempts to leave, stop her. Be careful, something isn’t right.”

Qui-Gon looked at Buffy in surprise. “What do you mean, something isn’t right?”

“I’m not sure, but her behavior was off.” Summer approached the cart the woman had brought in carefully, inspecting it visually. The cart itself looked normal, but with the trays on the cart covered the woman could have brought anything into the room. Summer raised her radio again. “I need a diagnostic droid in the planning room that can detect explosives, poison, or biological contaminants.” She turned to Qui-Gon. “Let’s put some distance between this cart and us, just in case.”

They moved to the hallway outside the room. A few minutes later a small bipedal droid made its way into the room, beeping as it communicated to someone over the radio. Several moments after that Summer’s communicator chimed.

“This is Summer.”

“You were right. The food was poisoned. You would all have been dead by nightfall. I’ve got Essy in custody, but you’re going to have go figure out what to do with her.”

“I want to know why she did it. Throw her in a cell and interrogate her.”

“Sure thing.”

“And Thuku, start off polite. I’d bet she was blackmailed. Have someone check on her family, see if any are missing. I’d bet you 100 credits to 1 that Jabba is behind this.”

“I wouldn’t take that bet against you.” The communicator chimed to indicate the other party had signed off.

Qui-Gon felt a brief flicker in the Force, which distracted him as Summer let out a yell of frustration and punched the stone wall beside her, her gloved fist obliterating the rock and actually entering the room on the other side. He was stunned momentarily, his hand immediately on his lightsaber though it remained on his belt. What he felt through the Force in that instant was terrible. It was agony like nothing he had ever imagined, darkness so absolute no light could illuminate it and no being could hope to survive it. But as quickly as it had appeared it was gone, retreating back into the woman who had freed Tatooine from the Hutts.

He watched the small woman withdraw her gloved hand from the pulverized stone. Obi-Wan was looking at her nervously, but not the nervousness of a Jedi who had felt the flicker of the dark side that Qui-Gon had felt, merely the nervousness of a man who had seen a petite woman impossibly put her fist through a stone wall. The Queen gazed at them all coolly, assessing. She was a politician, and would never show the fear Qui-Gon could feel in the Force.

***

“So the assault is at dawn, and none of us are going.” Obi-Wan whispered to his master as they stood on the roof of Summer’s command building, watching the twin suns of Tatooine set.

“Even if we could somehow justify it, I do not think Summer is interested in our presence there. The Queen was told in no uncertain terms that she would be staying here, so we are staying here as well. That is not what troubles me, though.”

“What does, Master? Do you not think she will agree to her part of the bargain?”

“Oh, she will keep it if she is at all able. No, what worries me was something I felt yesterday, when our host put her fist through a wall in anger. I felt an echo in the Force of a great darkness.”

“You think she is Sith?”

“No, I did not mean I felt the dark side of the Force in her. I mean she holds within herself the echo of a great tragedy. When a great tragedy occurs and many lives are lost, it can create a wound in the fabric Force. It happens in places of great tragedy – Taris is one, and many remnants of the Sith are similar. Occasionally they form in people who have survived such events. I do not know what Summer has lived through to cause such a wound to be created within herself, nor how she has lived with it inside of her. I have only heard of it happening to those who are Force sensitive, and most are either cut off from the Force or fall to the Dark Side very quickly.”

“So you think Summer is force sensitive?”

“Perhaps she was, at one point. I do not know if she could touch the force with that wound in her. It might be sapping her ability to feel the force. It might even be sapping her life energy, or that of those around her. Or perhaps she can feel the force, but she does not know it. In that case she will probably fall, with that inside of her.”

“What should we do, Master?”

“We will offer her our aid, and bring her to the Council if we can. But this is Tatooine, and neither the Republic nor the Council has any influence here beyond what we can achieve ourselves. I’m sure that with what little of her history we know she would not be interested in putting herself at the mercy of others, especially a Council of Jedi she does not care about.”

“But if she falls…”

“We will do what we can, but we must trust in the will of the Force. I will speak to her before we leave for Coruscant.”

“So we wait?”

“Indeed, we wait.”

***

Aggrak had been manning his station for 7 hours, and his shift was almost over. The Gamorrean was tired and hungry, which wasn’t rare, but after another shift manning the turbolaser battery during this siege, he was getting truly tired of this planet and its sand. He grunted to himself, mostly in reproach. He had never meant to be on Tatooine this long. As a mercenary he was used to working for the highest bidder for as long as that bidder needed him, but he hadn’t anticipated his employer losing and worse, the enemy getting control of all interplanetary transportation and communication equipment.

Jabba the Hutt was the last of the Hutts left alive on Tatooine, and even Aggrak could see the giant slug creature’s days were numbered. Somehow the population of Tatooine had been armed and trained, and they were all gunning for Jabba and his mercenaries, which unfortunately included Aggrak. Worse, Aggrak couldn’t figure out a way to switch sides like he normally would in this situation. He might not be smart but his survival instinct told him that if nothing changed pretty soon he’d be as dead as Jabba.

Aggrak lifted his macrobinoculars to his face, scanning the horizon for incoming ships. The tower he manned had a four barrel turbolaser, and it was his job to shoot down any incoming ships and afterwards clean up any ground troops. He felt safe, here. There was no one else in the tower, he could see for tens of kilometers in any direction, and he had one of the most powerful weapons on the planet under his control. Even better, up here he didn’t have to deal with Jabba or the other mercenaries.

Aggrak didn’t even realize he was dying until the vibroblade that had pierced his torso right at his heart cut downwards, emptying his abdominal cavity at his feet with a wet sounding splat. The Gamorrean squeeled, although not with any great volume, as he collapsed to the ground, unable to fight back or alert the others to the presence of resistance fighters.

Behind the felled carcass, Omar Eltos, former slave and now special forces assassin, smiled as he sat at the turbolaser controls and turned the big weapon on the defensive tower to his left.

“This is Jawa-2, we have cleared the opposition and have control of the target.”

The second infiltration team had already taken control of the tower to the right. After destroying the other towers in range they would turn the weapons on the two small camps of mercenaries in range, the weapon’s heat vision mode lighting up sleeping mercenaries with ease.

“All teams, this is Summer-1. You are weapons free. Engage the enemy.”

His grin grew wider, showing teeth, as he pressed down on the trigger studs and the tower hummed while the quad barreled laser at its top screamed as it went into rapid fire.

***

Jabba the Hutt was brought suddenly out of sleep by the klaxon ringing through his palace’s hallways. His bloated fingers reached for the datapad beside his sleeping platform. The rebels were finally attacking, it seemed. He had expected it for some time, but according to the datapad they had actually managed to take control of two of the perimeter guns, and had used them to destroy the adjacent guns and the camped mercenaries nearby. He attempted to use his controls to cut power to the turrets, but when that failed he realized the rebels must have cut the control cables between the towers and his palace.

No matter. Jabba had not become one of the most powerful Hutts in the galaxy without knowing a thing or two about ruthlessness. The mercenaries topside had been nothing but a screening element, and a warning bell. Certainly the loss of the perimeter guns would matter in the short term, but he could replace them once the attack was repulsed with spares he had ordered long ago.

Jabba pushed several buttons on his terminal, directing the mercenary commanders under his control to sit tight and wait for the situation up top to develop. There was no use throwing away men to feed to his own turbolaser batteries. Instead they would wait here, in the many subterranean chambers underneath his palace, and wait for the enemy to come to them. He would teach these humans what it meant to go to war with Hutts.

***

Summer hissed as she watched her display and listened to the situation reports as they came in. Her troops had crushed the resistance above ground quickly as most of the mercenaries in the perimeter turrets surrendered, but it seemed Jabba had dug in with the majority of his forces underground, and was waiting for her throw her people into the meat-grinder she was sure he had prepared below.

He was going to be surprised, though, and Summer only hoped he lived long enough for her to kill him personally. Today, like many of the days before it on Tatooine, was going to be a bad day to be a Hutt.

“He’s hiding. Come in through the gap and deploy the drill, but be careful about his defenses. I want that machine set up in five minutes, and then everyone deploy according to plan 2. The volunteers can move up and start working on the main doors.”

Padme’s Royal Cruiser flew through the gap in the protective turrets, although Summer’s people now controlled the entire perimeter defense system. It touched down and the silver cargo bay door lowered, deploying a force of soldiers carrying crates of equipment. In minutes they had unloaded dozens of boxes. As soon as the all the boxes had been unloaded the ship immediately lifted off, heading towards Mos Espa. The ship would head back to her command center, and as soon as she gave the all clear the Jedi could leave.

It seemed she hadn’t needed their ship at all, although there was no way she could have known that in advance. Jabba had made the same mistake he’d been making this entire time. He thought his Palace was sufficiently reinforced and well guarded to stop any attack. If he had supported his force here on the surface he might have possibly stopped her, but now it was inevitable. Summer smiled as she watched the soldiers begin to set up her secret weapon, its part coming together from the crates.

All that was left, now, was Jabba.

***

Jabba Desilijic Tiure was starting to get nervous, though he didn’t show it to the five Mandalorian mercenaries who had taken up various positions around his personal chambers. The rebels hadn’t actually come racing into his palace, into the ambushes and traps he’d set up. Instead they were up on the surface, doing something, but Jabba no longer had people or cameras up top to see what. It was after ten minutes of nothing that Jabba realized that he had made a mistake – as protected by his palace and mercenaries as he was, he was also trapped, and it seems the rebel commander, Summer, and anticipated his move.

He heard an odd rumble and wondered if the rebels had finally started attacking the upper positions. He consulted the datapad in front of him, but none of the sensors or ambush teams were reporting anything in the upper halls. What did that sound mean, then? Perhaps he would have a group of the lesser needed mercenaries stage a topside attack, to get the rebels motivated. There were too many of them anyways, ever since this rebellion had trapped him on Tatooine.

A sudden flash blinded him, and blaster fire sounded as one of the walls of his underground chamber crumpled inwards with a spray of molten sand. Heavily armored resistance troops were pouring into the chamber behind large shields, those in the back ranks exchanging fire with the quickly dwindling Mandalorian mercenaries. A mercenary threw a grenade towards the resistance troops, and the resulting explosion killed three, but more poured from the opening into what looked like a metal tunnel to the surface.

In minutes the shooting had stopped. The rebels had killed three of the Mandalorians and disabled the other two. Jabba was on his platform, nervously looking around as more and more fighters poured into the room.

“Jabba the Hutt. We meet at last.” The human who stood in front of him looked no different than any of the other fighters. Her armor was plain, her helmet worn and scuffed with the wear of a hundred battles. But the satisfaction in her voice was clear.

/* And now that we have met what are your plans, human? */ Jabba replied, his short arms waving slightly from his nervousness.

“Oh I hadn’t decided that yet, really. I’m the kind of girl who takes things one at a time. Like Hutts, for instance. One at a time worked just fine.”

/* You have taken Tatooine, but there are many more Hutts in the galaxy. When word of the murder of Hutts on here reaches them, they will be looking for you. If you let me leave Tatooine I will promise to not seek revenge, and to protect you from them. */

“I’m not really worried about all the Hutts out there.” She waved her hand towards the sky. “You see, there’s something I need from you, Jabba. Something only you can provide.”

/* Anything, for my life. */

“That’s the problem, Jabba. The thing I want from you,” The human unsheathed a vibrosword, falling into a cutting stance. “it’s your life. Goodbye, Jabba.”

The sword flashed downwards, cutting through the skin folds around the Hutt’s neck. Jabba arms went to his neck and slug like tail waved around as the fatal wound began pouring blood. The human just stood there, watching him bleed to death, her face hidden by the helmet. It wasn’t quick. Hutts are large creatures, with a lot of blood. It took minutes for him to bleed out.

As his vision began to fade he wondered how he had been brought down by a rag tag army of humans, to die like this, shamefully. His family would avenge him, though. He had made sure of it. Even though he wouldn’t survive word would be sent, when communication opened, and the human named Summer would be hunted down and killed. Nobody killed Hutts without retribution.

The human watched the bloated thing that had caused so much pain finally collapse. She pierced its head with her sword, to make sure that it was dead. She turned to the soldiers behind her.

“I’m going to see if we can get them to surrender. If we can’t, we’re going to use gas to flush them out. I want you six,” She pointed at the nearest soldiers “, to transport this piece of shit uptop, take copious pictures, and then burn the body. Jabba the Hutt was killed for his crimes against the people of Tatooine, so let’s make sure the people of Tatooine see. Any questions?”

“No Ma’am.”

“Good. Get moving.”

She walked towards the prefabricated mining tunnel they had used to get through the sand, straight into the chamber. The last of the Hutts on Tatooine was gone, and she was free. She had spent 12 years on Tatooine, first as a slave, then just surviving, and then somehow she had kicked off a planet-wide rebellion. 12 years of her life in which she hadn’t noticeably aged a day.

Now she could leave it to the people here to decide their future. Her future, whatever it was, lay somewhere out there, in the black of space. She could feel something - destiny, she might call it, or fate, pushing her towards the stars. And she would go. There was nothing here on Tatooine to hold her anymore. The entire galaxy was in front of her, and she had yet to make her mark on it.

The End

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