Hey guys! I always find it too challenging to pick one story and stick at it, so I’m going to be writing a bunch of short stories set during the Star Wars saga with my favourite characters. Here’s my first attempt. I hope you enjoy, and I’d love some feedback. ———— A Pirate’s Bounty A Cad Bane Short Story “We’re going down, Todo!” rasped Cad Bane “Oh no!” cried Todo 360. “We’re done for!” The Justifier broke through the planet’s atmosphere rocketing towards the surface, leaving behind trails of smoke. Debris began peeling off the ship as flames emerged. “Lousy pirates caught me by surprise!” grumbled Bane. “Ain’t no way this would’ve happened face to face.” The planet’s rough terrain only appeared in flashes through the smoke and flames covering the cockpit. Bane was practically flying blind. “Grab onto something, Todo!” warned Bane. “This ain’t gonna be pretty.” “I hate these types of landings!” groaned Todo. The Justifier crashed into the planet’s surface, colliding with a large rocky mesa. After tumbling for several violent seconds, the ship came to a grinding halt. What was once an undisturbed, uncivilised plain, was now home to scattered debris and scorching fire. Bane kicked the ship’s damaged door down and emerged amongst the smoke. “I hate pirates,” he scoffed, while straightening his hat. The bounty hunter and his droid set out to find the nearest settlement as there was no chance of the ship flying any time soon. But that wasn’t their only problem. The pirates would surely be approaching the crash site to finish what they started at any moment. Hours had passed. The sun poured down on the barren land, distorting the horizon into a mirage of ripples. The bounty hunter was the only life form for miles. Bane’s blue skin was drying up, and his pace was gradually slowing. “My scanners are picking up incoming ships!” wailed Todo. “Those blasted pirates!” seethed Bane, using what little energy he had to speak. “Head for the rock over there!” The two of them raced for the largest landmark in sight, crouching behind it as still as the rest of the land. It wasn’t exactly the best place to hide, but what other options did they have? Lucky for the duo, the two pirate fighters flew past the rock, unaware of them. They were safe for now. “This is good news,” said Bane. “How is this even the slightest bit of good news? We couldn’t be in a worse situation!” cried the droid. “Quite the opposite,” said Bane, confidently. “Those are pirates and this is their home, Florrum. They’ve just pointed us in the direction of the nearest town.” “Ooh! You are brilliant, Bane!” complimented Todo. The pair eventually spotted a settlement. They approached with the setting orange sun trailing behind. The evening breeze flickered Bane’s coat ever so slightly. It was a quiet town with few buildings. Weequay citizens were sparsely scattered around, chatting and relaxing while there was still light out. The bounty hunter approached the nearest man. “I’m looking for the mechanic,” demanded Bane. The man pointed at a small wooden building. One lone Weequay stood outside, goggles on and head down, welding what looked to be parts of a ship. Bane approached. “My ship needs repairing. Came down hard out in the desert.” “Is that so?” asked the mechanic. The look of suspicion grew under his goggles. “How’d ya manage that? If ya don’t mind me askin’.” “Was bein’ chased over the planet. Some goons got a lucky shot on me,” replied Bane. “We don’t get many folks ‘round these parts. Especially not in those get ups.” said the mechanic, pointing a tool at Bane’s coat. Bane felt the mechanic’s suspicion growing. “I got a question for ya’ too. Dead or alive?” “Excuse me?” hesitated the mechanic. “Dead… or alive?” Bane repeated with a scowl. “Raka Dondo, ain’t it? There’s a 50,000 credit bounty on ya’ head. I’m here to collect.” It was no accident that Cad Bane had come to Florrum searching for a mechanic. The bounty hunt was coming to an end. “Not so fast, blue face!” barked someone across the street. The two Weequay pirates who had been pursuing Bane stood with their blasters aimed at him. “We’d almost given up lookin’ for ya’.” The two started approaching, until all four men were facing each other in a circle. The bounty hunter, the mechanic, and the pirates each took turns scowling at one another. “A bounty ya’ say?” smirked a pirate. “Maybe we’ll just kill you then claim the credits on him too!” The blood orange sun slouched lower. Each second felt like a minute. The concentration on all four men was unbreakable. Sweat dripped down Raka’s forehead, and both pirate’s trigger fingers were itching, while Bane remained a statue. Within a split second, Bane dropped to the ground with a forward roll and blasted both pirates as he stood up. Raka then reached behind his back revealing his own blaster, but was not fast enough to challenge the deadliest bounty hunter in the galaxy. The mechanic fell where he stood with a shot through his chest. “Well, that answers that. Dead it is,” finished Bane.