Chapter 14: A Deal with Tyrannus
Nightshroud: Ok so this took a while, but I wanted to make sure it was good. I hope you guys liked it. I'm sorry it took so long. I actually got the whole chapter done a few days after the last post, but I couldn't seem to get the epilogue down, and then everything with school was out of control term has been crazy busy, and I just haven't had time. Well I hope you don't hate me and will really like this final chapter. Enjoy!
"Congratulations, bounty hunter."
Jango whipped around in a flash, his gun aimed at the intruder's head. It only took a moment for him to recognize the speaker, and he lowered his gun and answered with surprise, "Tyrannus."
"I'm impressed," Dooku said, walking over toward Vosa's body. "No ordinary man can defeat one trained in the Jedi arts, especially one trained by me."
Jango was very surprised to hear that Vosa was Dooku's apprentice, but decided to let the man finish. Dooku stooped and brushed his hand over Vosa's face, gently closing her eyelids.
"Komari Vosa was once an excellent pupil, if a bit….unstable."
"You knew Vosa was here," Jango said as pieces of the puzzle began to fall in place.
"I thought she might one day prove a valuable ally. Instead, she became a liability," he said casually. Something was definitely out of place, though, and Jango was going to make sure he found out exactly what he was missing.
"If you could have easily killed her before, why put a price on her head?"
Dooku smiled, as if the question were quite obvious. "To find you. This contest brought you to me."
Jango wasn't sure where this man was leading with this, but he decided he had enough of this black pit. "I'll collect the reward now."
"Of course, of course," Dooku said, pacing. "Five million, was it? Or much more, if you'll come with me to Kamino..to be cloned."
Jango took off his helmet, and looked curiously at the elderly Sith.
"You want to clone me?"
"Imagine," Dooku said, waving his arm. "An army of clones, the training of which you will oversee. They will be modified to grow at twice the rate of ordinary men, and be programmed for absolute loyalty. They will be magnificent, perfect warriors...like you."
Jango was finding the man's ambition quite intriguing, but he wasn't about to budge yet. "What makes you think I'd be interested?"
"A chance at immortality, to pass your ways to an army of warriors crafted in your image, a great deal of money. How could a man such as you not be interested?" Dooku said, the last part more of a rhetorical question than anything else. Jango had to admit, the man had him pretty well figured out. But there was something still missing in all those exciting, life changing events.
"Get Vosa, collect your reward. Just…find something…something to live for besides the money. You deserve more."
Jango was going to find something to live for, if not for himself, then for Roz. He wanted to give something to someone like Jaster Mereel gave to him. Then the idea came to him.
"I'll accept your offer, Tyrannus…on one condition," he said, leaning forward and holding up one finger.
"And that is?" Dooku asked.
"I want the first clone for myself. Unmodified."
This piqued Dooku's interested greatly. "Might I inquire as to why?"
"You might," Jango replied, dead-ending the conversation. Dooku had to smile to himself. This bounty hunter was intriguing indeed.
"Very well, we have a deal, Jango Fett," he said, extending his hand. Jango took his hand and shook it.
Zam wished she could fall asleep, but her nerves and worry had formed a nauseating weight in the pit of her stomach. If Jango lost...
Zam shook her head. Jango was the greatest bounty hunter she had ever seen. He would do this. Suddenly she heard footsteps in the hallway. She gripped her blaster and groaned as she turned her body to face the doorway. Suddenly, the person walked through the doorway and fixed their eyes on her.
"I hope you're not planning on using that."
"Jango!" she cried, dropping her blaster. He let a small smile escape, and knelt down to her level.
"Are you okay?" he asked. She nodded, and he mumbled a "good" and put his helmet back on. Before she could ask any questions, he picked her up bridal-style, causing her to blush furiously.
"Let's get out of this tomb," he said.
"I landed Slave I behind the lair. I figured it would make for an easier escape."
She was expecting him to get mad at her for piloting his precious ship, but he merely nodded his head and said, "Good thinking."
They walked wordlessly out of the lair and out into the open air. The rain had stopped, and the morning sun was just peeping out of the clouds, and Slave I sat in front of them like a welcome escape. Zam sighed contentedly and looked up at Jango.
"Guess you got her, huh?"
"You could say that," he answered nonchalantly.
"So, we're going to split the bounty 50/50, right?" she asked, flashing up at him her most charming smile. Jango couldn't help but smile underneath his helmet.
"Don't push your luck, Zam," he said in an amused voice while shaking his head.
Zam finished strapping herself in as Jango piloted Slave I out of the burial moon's atmosphere. She looked over at Jango and sighed lightly. She was a bit sad the big chase was finally over, but at least she was here with him, and that was what she really wanted.
"So, where are you headed?" Zam asked. Jango looked out the viewport at Kohlma, letting thoughts of his joureny, of Vosa, of Montross...of Roz...all flood into his head. This was it. The chase was finally over, and it was time to begin anew, this time with something to truly live for.
"Jango?" she asked again softly.
"To Kamino," he replied. Zam looked puzzled.
"Kamino? I've never heard of it."
"Not many have. It's a planet of a secretive group of cloners. The galaxy's best."
"But...why are you going there?" she asked. Jango was silent for a moment. It probably wasn't a good idea to spread information about this top secret project around. But Zam had been there through it all, and she was the only one left in his life.
"To be cloned, of course. Tyrannus needs a template for his clone army. I agreed."
Zam digested that information for a few minutes.
"Do you know what this army is going to be used for?" she asked.
"Does it matter?" he replied. She looked away from him and stared out the viewport without saying anything. Jango turned his back and resumed piloting.
"It's not for the money," he replied quietly. Zam looked over, startled.
"It's a chance to rebuild the Mandalorians...a chance to better someone's life besides my own."
"If it means anything, my life is better for you," Zam said. "This galaxy-wide treasure hunt was the most excitement I've ever had."
She heard Jango make a noise of satisfaction. "That's good to hear."
Jango sank into silence. It was the most exciting point in his career as a bounty hunter, but it was littered with too many bad memories. He hoped starting on the clone army right away would distract him sufficiently, but he wasn't so sure.
"Zam, would you like to Kamino for now?"
Zam looked at him, a bit surprised. "You want me to come with you?"
"Phrase it how you like," he replied. Zam rolled her eyes. He would never admit to that attention no matter what.
"Yeah, it sounds like the best option I've got right now."
Jango nodded his head and punched in the hyperdrive coordinates for Kamino. Zam suddenly thought of something.
"Wait, Jango, does this mean you're not going to be chasing bounties anymore? I mean with the 5 mil in credits and this new gig lined up, you don't really need to."
Jango had already thought of this before she mentioned in, back when Tyrannus had first proposed the idea. "I'll still keep my hand in the trade, if only to keep my skills sharpened. But I'll be more selective in the jobs and prices."
Zam was relieved to hear him say as much. "Well, I guess there's more opportunities for us to work together then," she said hopefully.
"I suppose," he answered. Zam decided to go all in before she lost the chance again.
"We work pretty well together, don't you think? What do you say, Jango? I think we'd make great partners," she said, then quickly added. "Business partners, of course."
Jango turned his head to look at her, and she smiled.
"Partners?" she asked, extending her hand. He looked at it, then smiled slightly at her and shook her hand.
Nightshroud: The end! I hope you guys liked it. I'm really sad that this is over. I had so much fun working with this. I loved this story and I really enjoyed all of your reviews. Thank you all for reading, and Merry Christmas!