@Nyota's Heart, @Briannakin, @Jedi_Lover, @NightWatcher91, @Gemma, @JadeLotus, I'm glad you're enjoying it! Chapter 3 Jaina saw Fett beginning to slow, and she put on an extra burst of speed. The man turned and fired a shot at her from his blaster; she caught it on her saffron blade and deflected it to the ground. Fett stopped in his tracks and trained his blaster on her. Jaina leapt over his head, landed behind him, and pointed her blade at him. Then she caught the sound of several rocket packs. More Mandalorians! One of them tossed Fett an electrosword. They landed around Jaina, four of them. Each of them trained a blaster on her. "Give it up, Jedi," Fett said. "What do you want, Fett?" Jaina asked. "Why'd you attack us?" "My family's honor must be restored. Your father sent mine into the sarlacc pit. He must be avenged. I will take that vengeance out with your blood." Jaina prepared herself to move in any direction, reaching out her Force senses so she could anticipate which Mandalorian would fire first. Maybe if she could keep Fett talking, then Damien or Ben could catch up and assist her. She had no doubt she could take Fett on her own, or even most of the Mandalorians, but all together, surrounding her, they had a definite advantage. Jaina wasn't as good a combatant as Uncle Luke or Aunt Mara, so she'd have to play this to her strengths. "Is it honorable to ambush us?" Jaina asked. "A straight up fight, head-to-head, would've been more honorable." Fett hesitated. "You use your Jedi powers to cheat your way out of a true fight. It is not dishonorable for me to ambush you, because you use advantages we do not have, as well." Jaina shrugged. "That's never stopped Mandalorians before. Jango Fett, your grandfather, was willing to engage Obi-Wan Kenobi in a fair fight. Even Mace Windu." "Windu killed my grandfather." "At least he killed him in honorable combat. I'll tell you what. No Force powers, no reinforcements, just you and me, one-on-one. How's that?" Fett's eyes darkened. "Step back," he said to his warriors. "I'll take her myself." The Mandalorians obeyed immediately, lowering their blasters and holstering them. They spread out to make room for Fett and Jaina to fight. Jaina spun her lightsaber and held it in a two-handed grip, the hilt just in front of her belly, the blade pointing out at an upward angle. Fett took his sword in a two-handed grip as well, but he kept his guard high, the hilt next to his right shoulder, the blade pointed straight up. "For Clan Fett!" the man said. He charged. Jaina quickly blocked his blow and spun it aside. He came back at her, slashing low to cut her in half. Jaina spun aside, avoiding the crackling blade, and turned around to bring her lightsaber down toward his head. Fett brought his sword up high and blocked the blow, and then slashed at Jaina's legs. She leapt over the sword and snap-kicked him in the chest while she was still in the air. She landed on her feet and advanced on Fett. She slashed at him. Growling, Fett grabbed her arm and swung it aside, and jerked his head forward into hers. Jaina groaned as his forehead impacted with her nose. She fell to the ground and winced as sand and blood filled her mouth. Spitting, she quickly rolled away just as the tip of Fett's sword stabbed into the ground where she'd been lying. Hopping nimbly to her feet, Jaina paused for a moment, heaving out several hard breaths. Fett was good, no doubts. Better than many Jedi that Jaina had sparred with. He was easily as good as Damien. Fett redoubled his attack on her, stabbing at her with his blade. Jaina caught his blade from below and pushed upward, leaving his belly open. She slashed at him and her blade passed through his robes, but only singed the armor plates underneath. Fett growled and swung his sword again; Jaina dodged and punched him in the face. His lip split and he groaned. "Now we're even," Jaina said with a falsely sweet smile, wiping blood from her nose. Fett chuckled darkly. He was about to resume attacking...Jaina sensed someone else closing in. She groaned and shut her eyes, knowing what was about to happen. Fett whirled in time to see Damien leaping over the head of one of the Mandalorians, slashing downward. The Mandalorian turned in surprise, but too late; the blade cleanly decapitated him. "You said no reinforcements!" Fett growled. "I–I didn't know he was coming," Jaina said. "Really!" Fett shook his head. "Kill them!" The three remaining Mandalorians opened fire. Once again immersing herself in the Force, Jaina quickly reflected the bolts with her lightsaber, and she and Damien made short work of the attackers. When they were finished, there was no sign of Fett. Jaina gave Damien a longsuffering but slightly peeved look. He replied with a chagrined smile. "Thought you needed help," he said sheepishly. She shrugged. "I had it sorted." * * * Back on the Star Destroyer Retaliation, two hours later, Ben stood in the interrogation room with the Mandalorian prisoner, who now was dressed only in the tan jumpsuit he'd worn underneath his armor. The prisoner also had a bacta tourniquet over the stump where his right hand had once been. The prisoner was a human male with warm skin, blue eyes, and unruly brown hair. He seemed rather young; he couldn't have been more than a year older than Ben. "How did you know the Retaliation would be passing into the system?" Ben asked. The Mando, who'd identified himself as Farus Saxon, shrugged. "I don't know. Alor'ad Fett didn't tell us. He recruited us because he wanted to restore his family's honor, and we were the best warriors Mandalore had to offer. He didn't tell us how he got the information, only that he wanted us there and that we should be prepared to fight Jedi. Clearly, we weren't ready enough." "So Fett didn't tell you anything except who you'd be fighting." "Yes." Ben sighed. "Well, do you know anything about the sabotage to the Retaliation?" "I know only that Fett assured us that the ship would make an unexpected stop in the Tatoo system, and that was where we would engage the Jedi. I did not know how he knew this." Ben sensed that Saxon wasn't lying. Reluctantly, he turned and opened the door, nodding to the guards outside. The New Republic troopers wore gray pants, red shirts, black vests, and white-and-black fleet trooper helmets. Each carried a DH-17 blaster. They entered, gestured to Saxon, and led him from the room. Sighing, Ben ran a hand through his red hair and considered what he knew. The Mandalorians, except for Fett, had not known about the sabotage. They had not known of the Retaliation's mission. It was possible that Fett himself had been the one responsible for the sabotage, but that was unlikely. Sabotaging a Star Destroyer's engines could, hypothetically, be done by one person, but it would be very difficult to do, let alone to avoid detection while doing it. More likely, there had been multiple saboteurs, and they'd infiltrated the ship just before it'd departed from Coruscant. Which meant that Fett wasn't working alone. "Any luck?" Ben looked up. Mara stood in the doorway, smiling at her son. Ben returned the smile, walked up the short stairway to the door, and embraced her. Then, shutting the door, he led her down the hallway away from the empty interrogation room. "No luck, I'm afraid," he replied. "All I know is that Fett didn't tell his men anymore than they needed to know, and apparently that wasn't much. Also that Fett knew where we'd be going and what route we'd be taking, which makes it unlikely that he is working alone." Mara nodded. "Well, we'll figure it out. In the meantime, that funny little hunched creature got Kuat to ship us parts. They'll arrive later today; the ship should be ready to run before this time tomorrow." Ben brightened. "Good. I wish we'd been able to catch Fett, though." "Don't worry," Mara replied. "I doubt we've seen the last of him."