morally_cryptic: (argues a lot)
Anakin Skywalker ([personal profile] morally_cryptic) wrote2016-05-05 08:14 pm

the timeline strikes back [for fettchquest]

They're in the middle of a war. He spends a lot (a lot) of time on the front lines of battle. He rather expects to be defying death on a daily basis, it's all a part of the job description. Hell, even if there wasn't a war on and there was no title of 'general' attached to his name it was still somewhere in the Jedi job description. But mostly it's droids trying to kill him. Sure, there's the rare pirate or Sith or gundark but mostly? Droids.

At first, the idea that someone out there was specifically targeting him hadn't quite pierced his awareness. A few stray blaster bolts or even thermal detonator on a battlefield doesn't make much of a dent even when they get almost too close. Lost among the noise. But first there was the dead body no one could account for. Whoever it was was definitely not a part of the Republic forces and didn't seem to belong to the Seps either but someone had certainly made sure to very professionally put a clean shot through their skull. Even that might not have seemed too strange if the dead man hadn't been carrying a holoimage of Anakin and no other identifying information.

The next time it's noticed is when one of the clones doesn't quite seem to fit in place. He's caught before he gets much more than a chance to lay eyes on Skywalker since the other clones in his squadron can tell even despite the armor that he doesn't fit in. Stupid, Anakin thinks, for the inflitrator to really believe the clones, or Anakin himself for that matter, can't tell one from the other whether they're wearing armor or not. The man was just lucky he hadn't actually killed the clone whose armor he stole or they wouldn't have merely imprisoned him for interrogation. Unfortunately, he managed to die before the interrogation actually happened. While Anakin doesn't lose too much sleep over the man's death, the fact that it happened with no explanation while the man was in his custody was an entirely different matter.

Once is just something unusual. Two is a coincidence. But the third time happens when he's flying his starfighter back to the Resolute after a successful engagement and a ship that doesn't quite match any model he's ever seen comes out of nowhere to attack him. The last time something like that had happened, it had been Ventress but this pilot was no Dark acolyte much less a Force-user. Competent behind the stick, maybe, but certainly not good enough to give him a real challenge. The resulting fireball when he shoots his opponent down comes as a surprise, though, as he'd been fairly certain he'd made a surgical strike in piercing the cockpit. He'd wanted, at least, to be able to study the ship and whatever data it carried but instead all he's left with is a floating mess of shrapnel. All he could conclude was that they'd been flying with a kill switch enabled.

Three times is most definitely a pattern, and one strong enough that he's called back before the Council to explain the pattern of events. Even the Chancellor, he's told, has taken an interest. But all Anakin hears is that he's to be confined to the capital until further notice. As if he can't look after himself.

"It's not like they don't need every good general they can get out there," he fumes later to Padme, "it's not like I'm not risking my life every single day. I suppose I should just be happy they didn't order me to stay within the Temple too like some youngling..." Needless to say, it wasn't one of their more pleasant visits and of course he'll regret not making the most of the time he had with her later.

He's right, though, they can't in good conscience force him to stay on Coruscant with the war going as it is. And in some ways he's no safer there than anywhere else. That thought is driven home when the next attack takes place on the very steps of the Temple itself and once again the attacker dies before he can be made to talk. Or in this case, before he's even taken into custody. For a brief moment, Anakin remembers that night he and Obi-Wan had chased the bounty hunter who'd tried to assassinate Padme and how the Changeling had died just as she'd been about to tell them who'd hired her. It's with that thought still echoing in his mind that he catches a glimpse of the failed assassin's assassin. Mandalorian armor? While Jango Fett hadn't been the only one with claim to such a style (and certainly the clones' armor was patterned off it in many ways), it was unusual enough to be interesting. Especially since Fett was dead and Death Watch more or less dealt with.

Whoever the mystery Mandalorian is, he's got too much of a head start for Anakin to catch up with him but the next time someone tries to kill him --this was just getting ridiculous now-- Anakin focuses less on his own attacker and more on his mystery...benefactor? Either that or the one who's paying all of these people to murder him and then ensuring they're dead before they can talk. Whichever. So about the same time the latest attacker is falling to the Mandalorian's aim, Anakin is throwing a push of Force energy at him. With any luck, he'll be stunned and Anakin can beat the information out of him they can have a little chat.

[ooc: That got slightly longer than intended but I hope it works! I figure for that second one while random dude from the future can't fit in among clones in clone armor well...Fett's a clone, if a unique one, if anyone's going to infiltrate them that way it'd be him. So I could totally see one of the attacker's guards being Boba in a borrowed set of armor with no one the wiser]
fettchquest: (u dead)

[personal profile] fettchquest 2016-05-06 03:45 pm (UTC)(link)
{ooc: It's perfect! Also, going to go with "The Devoted" as the alias our mysterious anti-Empire organization. /waves hands nebulously}

This is getting tiresome.

Fett doesn’t know where the Devoted are getting their assassins, but so far, their plans have ranged from predictable to idiotic. The predictable ones give Fett little trouble. Most die before Vader -- Anakin, now -- even sees them. It’s the idiotic ones that get in the way; they die even easier, sometimes before Fett even has to deal with them, but they also tend to do so after blundering into his charge’s view. And that is not what Vader had asked for. Vader has asked for discretion. Even warned Fett that if too much damage was done to the timeline, he'd lose his way back to the present. Maybe, as Vader had so impassively speculated, Fett would be wiped out of existence entirely. Fett had bristled at the conjecture before, but now that Anakin clearly knows he’s a target and has been relocated to the capital rather than the battlefield, Fett wonders how much damage has already been done. It is with something uncomfortably close to apprehension that he wonders whether the disquiet he feels is due to his failure or his own timeline already beginning to unravel.

Still, Vader had made it clear that protecting his former self was the priority. Which means when one of the assassins manages to make it all the way to the Temple steps (and Fett could blast himself for letting that slip by him), he risks taking a shot even if it means blowing his cover. He can practically feel the Jedi’s eyes on him as he makes a getaway and as aggravating as it is, Fett hopes he has enough good sense to realize they’re on the same side and to leave it at that.

No such luck. Fett picks off Anakin’s next assailant with a well-aimed blaster bolt from the shadows of one of Coruscant’s many alleys and for a moment thinks he might actually be able to make a clean getaway this time -- until the Jedi under his protection turns to look straight at him and lashes out his arm in an all-too familiar gesture. Fett only has a fraction of a second before the blast of Force energy hits him but that’s more than enough. Fett doesn’t try to repel it. That would only increase the likelihood of a successful stun. Instead, he lets it push him back and if it hits harder than he expected, rolling to disperse the force of the blast is still just as instinctive. Just as instinctive as it is for him to draw his blaster as he rights himself, aimed at the Jedi and only a trigger’s pull away from ending him and -- no. The blaster lowers jerkily towards the ground. Not his mission.

The sudden rush of anger at the thought of running from a fight is quelled quickly enough. Fett knows better than to let emotion or pride get in the way of a job. And he knows better than to brashly attack Vader of all people, even if the Sith is still in a stage of chrysalis now. Still, the jarring hesitation before he turns and retreats deeper into the maze of alleys is enough that Anakin might still have a chance of catching him. If he’s fast enough.
fettchquest: (STEALTH)

[personal profile] fettchquest 2016-05-07 05:18 pm (UTC)(link)
.{ooc: A big, beautiful, terrifying butterfly :P}

Fett isn’t used to being chased. Most people in his own timeline have enough common sense not to rush at him and Fett certainly doesn’t run from those foolhardy or suicidal enough to try. But these are unique circumstances: he can’t kill his pursuer or bring him to any harm -- technically, he shouldn’t have any contact with him full-stop, though the fact that Fett’s being pursued at all is a testament to his failure in that aspect of the mission.

And then Vader is shouting after him and there’s a jarring half-second of uncertainty as Fett is caught between two direct orders. Lord Vader had not provided any protocol for the contingency of his younger self issuing commands. The confusion only takes the briefest moment to resolve; in the face of ambiguity, the older Vader’s injunctions must take priority. But that fractional hesitation might just give Anakin enough time to catch up before Fett finds somewhere open enough to resort to using his jetpack…
fettchquest: (scuffed)

[personal profile] fettchquest 2016-05-07 08:25 pm (UTC)(link)
As the Jedi tackles him to the ground, Fett can indeed think of many ways to make him regret it, ranging from twisting around and smashing a fist into his temple to activating his jetpack and scorching him off. Unfortunately, he’s stuck between orders once again, this time both of them from Lord Vader: do not harm and do not contact. Escape means harm. Not escaping means contact. And he doesn’t have a lot of time before the Jedi makes the decision for him.

Contact, then. Fett’s already broken that rule and it seems more permissible to break it again rather than branch out to the second. Even if he would prefer to deck his attacker instead.

But just because he has to communicate doesn’t mean it has to be substantive. Instead of speaking a word, he simply stops struggling -- despite the fact that every instinct he has is telling him not only to fight back but to utterly destroy the Jedi for daring to lay hands on him -- and does what he can to twist towards his attacker and raise an open gloved hand. Not fighting. Stop. Whatever the younger Vader wants to read the gesture as, if it gets him to give Fett some space to maneuver -- either physically or diplomatically -- it’s good enough for the bounty hunter’s purposes.
fettchquest: (peaceful)

[personal profile] fettchquest 2016-05-08 01:53 pm (UTC)(link)
The Jedi doesn’t give him enough room to escape (not without resorting to attack), but it’s at least enough that Fett can turn to face the man fully. For a moment, Fett remains silent and Anakin might get the feeling of being inspected. There’s nothing about him that reads as Vader -- not his appearance, his voice, or his way of speaking. If it weren’t for Fett’s trust in his own competence, he might doubt he was looking at the same man at all.

Fett’s voice is as composed as ever, the preceding pause the only indicator of his reluctance to speak. “Someone wants you dead,” he intones flatly. “And it isn’t me.”
fettchquest: (few words)

he's "vader" when he's giving orders and "jedi" when they're fighting xD

[personal profile] fettchquest 2016-05-09 03:15 pm (UTC)(link)
The Separatists. Good. Fett already has a scapegoat for the source of the assassins. Not that it makes the next query any easier to answer.

“Someone who values their privacy,” he answers curtly. “Given how much they're paying for your protection, you owe them that much.”
fettchquest: (over the shoulder)

[personal profile] fettchquest 2016-05-12 12:29 am (UTC)(link)
As you wish. [Fett has no objection to staying in sight; given that he’s already speaking to the younger Vader without any cataclysmic consequences, making further attempts to conceal his presence would be pointless. In fact, doing away with that limitation would likely make the job easier -- it’s one less restraint to worry about and it could allow for some degree of coordination in eliminating the would-be assassins. The one inconvenience is that further contact means more questions. And more questions call for more lies.

Such as this one.]
My name is Jaster Mereel. [He hasn’t used that alias for almost two decades now. How appropriate that he should find renewed use for it in the past. He watches Anakin’s reaction carefully behind the visor of his helmet. They say Force-users can sense lies. Let’s see how true those rumors really are.]
fettchquest: (peaceful)

sorry for the delay!

[personal profile] fettchquest 2016-05-21 07:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Fett doesn’t miss the skepticism in his charge’s voice, but as long as he tolerates the lie without asking more questions, it doesn’t matter whether or not he believes it.

“We share an interest in your continued survival. That’s all you need to know.” A very keen interest, given that Fett’s return to his own time and possibly even his existence itself are dependent on Vader’s survival. It’s a stronger foundation than most alliances have, anyway.

“If we’re done here…” He makes to move away from the Jedi so he can rise to his feet. Fett doesn’t like being restrained and he likes incursions on his personal space even less.
fettchquest: (missing something?)

[personal profile] fettchquest 2016-05-23 09:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Fett’s eyes narrow at the order and he almost refuses on instinct. In his own timeline, his helmet might as well be his true face; it’s all anybody sees of him and all they need to most of the time. He hasn’t removed it in someone else’s presence in decades and he certainly doesn’t do it at request.

...And yet if he did remove it now, what would the Jedi see? Not Boba Fett or even a bounty hunter, but a clone. It would create new questions, to be sure. But it would also eliminate many of the more inconvenient ones. And, given that the clones in this timeline still belong to the Republic? It could deflect some of the Jedi’s obvious distrust. Strategically, it would make more sense than leaving it on.

Still doesn’t mean Fett is particularly amenable to the idea and the stall drags on just long enough to be awkward before he breaks the silence. “Very well.” His voice is still several degrees below expressive, but his tone could still be reasonably described as “grudging.” It may be necessary for the mission, but it doesn’t make removing his helmet at command rankle any less.

Gloved hands come up on either side of the helmet, twist to the side, and then pull it away. The sudden surge of Coruscant’s unfiltered air and sound is like a flood of discomfort, but Fett’s face remains as impassive as the visor of his helmet.

He looks, of course, like any other clone of his father. He’ll let the Jedi use that much to fill in the blanks in whichever way makes sense to him.
fettchquest: (SQUINT)

heh, i know! but fett doesn't :3

[personal profile] fettchquest 2016-05-30 06:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Fett’s expression remains indifferent, though he doesn’t miss the irony of Vader making such a statement about himself. Indeed, from what he’s seen so far, Anakin differs from Vader in more than just his appearance. Reckless, informal, and… strangely lenient, if that comment is his only reaction to someone he believes is a deserter. The discrepancy works to Fett’s advantage.

“I assume that’s all you wanted to see,” Fett says gruffly as he moves to put his helmet back on. He’s already feeling uncomfortably exposed without it.
fettchquest: (peaceful)

[personal profile] fettchquest 2016-06-01 04:52 pm (UTC)(link)
He puts the helmet back into place, the HUD flickering back to life and Coruscant’s noise once again filtering down to the necessities. Fett rarely looks truly at ease, but he at least looks somewhat less tense with a visor hiding his face once again.

“We don’t,” Fett answers. “My employer wasn’t eager to answer questions.” He hadn’t been planning on actually speaking to the younger Vader, which means he didn’t come with a lie prepared in advance. Fortunately, a lack of curiosity isn’t an uncommon trait among bounty hunters. Indeed, it’s often a marketable one.

“We shouldn’t stay out in the open.” The words are accompanied by a shallow bow of the head in Anakin’s direction. The meaning is clear. Lead on.