Real Work

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Real Work

by sacredlilac 

The anticipation of ripping open the package tucked snug between his vest and skin was burning through Boba Fett with an intensity that was making him almost reckless. He'd caught enough bounties just by recognising that furtive "look over your shoulder" nervousness, though, so he forced himself to walk a bit slower and look from one side of the road to the other in challenge. The many eyes tracking him slunk slightly farther back into the shadows.

But the package had finally arrived! His fingers tightened on his blaster to stop the itch to press his chest and make sure it was still there.

Everyone knew he had a nose for quality, and more often than not had something good on him or a line on something good, which made following him worthwhile. Only newbie idiots took him on anymore, because no matter how many would-be thieves he'd blasted into smears across the quadrant's buildings, some cocky grunt always wanted to be the one to try take him down. Everyone else watched and waited for him to slip up. Something he was intensely vigilant would never happen.

So whenever Boba's personal packages came in, he employed Xansha to pick up and transport them safely. With his preferred courier off-planet until tomorrow, though, and Boba's meeting with Jabba for details on the latest bounties tonight, that only left this afternoon to get the package before Boba left. He wasn't willing to wait until he got back this time.

His heart rate picked up as Ninto's cantina came in sight.

Ninto has been his first handler after he'd woken up from the cloning process. No one paid Ninto much mind. He was just a grunt to them.

To Boba, though, Ninto had shown him life. Ninto read to him, explained philosophy, theology, strategy. Because Ninto believed Boba was more than a clone. Ninto believed Boba was a full-being in his own right. What's more, he got Boba to believe it too.

Boba pushed open the cantina door and stepped through. As his eyes took a moment to adjust to the dim interior, the familiar smells of grime and the rotgut Ninto sold assaulted his nostrils. The pungent aroma of rotting garbage showed the trash compactor was out of commission again.

But that's how Ninto liked it. Meant the few patrons were the lowest, most desperate life forms who didn't care what swill Ninto served or the environment they drank it in. They just cared it was cheap, and that it kept coming.

Since it was common knowledge Ninto had Boba's protection, every now and then someone would try to shelter there. Ninto would call, and Boba would come collar the numbskull and collect the bounty on them or sell them to Jabba or whoever.

Boba nodded at his lifelong caregiver behind the counter who had started pulling Boba's drink from a tap as soon as he stepped through the door. By the time Boba had wound around the rickety tables, Ninto was just placing a tall glass on the sticky counter. As per usual, Ninto handed Boba a bowl of food.

With a nod, Boba took the bowl and glass and headed to a small private room in the back. The three regulars didn't even glance at him as he brushed past their tables.

Boba tipped up his helmet for the retina scan and quickly stepped through the door that slid open. The room was only five by five, big enough for a tiny table and two chairs.

When he pressed the button to close the door, he also hit another secret button that had been activated with his retina scan that started a holographic projection. He stepped to the side, presumably to go around the table and sit down, but in reality getting out of sight so his projected self went and sat down and began to eat and drink. The image would finish the meal, then tip the chair back against the wall and appear to go to sleep.

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