The Other Bounty Hunter of Ord Mantell
“How we doin'?” Han yelled from where he was pinned down behind a bunch of crates. Blaster fire splattered off the other side of the stack, and he ducked down even farther.
“Same as always!” Luke responded from behind his own stack of crates. “At least Leia got the droids to the Falcon!”
“Well, I wish she'd give us some cover fire!”
“Rawr!” Chewbacca roared his agreement as he fired his bowcaster over the tops of the crates.
Han looked up at Chewie, “How many do you think there are?”
The wookie shrugged and let out an uncertain sounding grumble.
“That many, huh?”
Luke was busy leaning around the corner of his pile of crates blasting away. He suddenly dived forward and rolled up behind another stack of crates a little farther down the docking platform, “What?!”
At that moment, there was a low rumble from the Falcon, the sound of the engines spinning up, and... the sound of them shutting down.
“Han! I thought you said you fixed that!”
“It's not my fault!”
Chewie roared agreement with Luke.
“What?” Han shrugged, standing up to high while doing so and causing another round of blaster fire in his direction. Chewie yanked him down and fired his 'caster around the side of the crates. There was a scream off in the distance.
“Chewie!” Luke yelled. “Give me cover fire!”
Chewbacca raised his blaster up over the tops of the crates and started blasting away. Tiny explosions went off in the distance as the bowcaster's powerful bolts pelted down. Luke dashed and dived around two more stacks of crates before answering fire was directed his way.
“Kid's gonna get himself killed...”
“What do you know? That wasn't my fault, either.”
A couple of blaster shots rang off in the distance, then they heard the sound of Luke's lightsaber igniting and a scream.
Chewie let out a low chuckle.
“Shut up. It's just luck.”
Han and Chewie both let loose a few rounds of blaster before Chewie ducked back down to reload his bowcaster.
“Get to the ship. Help Leia get her started up.”
Chewie took off at a loping run while Han opened up with cover fire. There was another scream from the direction that Luke had taken, and Han mumbled, “Hope that was one of the bad guys...” He slumped back down behind the crates.
After waiting several moments, Han peeked around the edge of the boxes. Just as he was taking aim at one of the thugs the bounty hunter had hired, a voice said from behind him, “You're that kid with the Deathmark, ain't ya?”
Han dropped and spun, firing blindly, but a blaster over his shoulder convinced him to raise his hands. He quirked up one side of his mouth into a roguish grin, “You got me...” But the site that met his eyes stole the rest of his words.
Leveling a blaster at him, stood a man in a blazing white, sequined jump suit complete with cape, his hair puffed up on one side. His teeth gleamed as bright as the jump suit, and he answered Han with his own roguish grin. Han had to shield his eyes from the glare off of the suit, though, so he didn't catch the answering grin.
“Hey, there, Son... You shot at me.”
Han gave a little shrug, “You shot first.”
The man jabbed his blaster at Han, “Actually, you shot first. I shot second.”
Han paused, nodded, “Okay... but you snuck up on me.”
“Sorry about that... this, uh, this time hopper doohickey... well, it has a mind of its own.”
“Look here, Son,” the man in white said, waving his gun around abstractedly, “I'm just here to help.”
“Then why'd you shoot at me?”
“I told you. Because you shot first.”
A new voice joined in at that point, a rough voice from a very scarred face, “What do we have here?” The scarred face looked over the man in white, “And... what are you?”
Low chuckles erupted from all around, and Han and the other man found that while they'd been talking they'd been surrounded by the bounty hunter of Ord Mantell and his thugs.
The man in white shifted the aim of his blaster to the bounty hunter, Han just kept his hands raised, his own blaster hanging loosely from his fingers, and said, “I'm a bounty hunter same as you. Seems I've caught this fella fair and square.”
The scarred faced bounty hunter laughed, his pointy ears twitching slightly as he did so, “Dressed like that!” The gathered thugs laughed, too. “Are you sure you're not the entertainment? How do expect to sneak up on anyone like that?”
“Hey, ma-an, don't step on my blue suede shoes. I got the drop on this one, didn't I? That was more than you could do.”
The yellow eyes of the bounty hunter shifted quickly to the feet of the man in white, “Your boots are white.”
“I know what color my boots are. Why are we talking about my boots?”
A grimace formed on the slightly snouty countenance of the bounty hunter, “You said they were blue.”
“Ma-an... you ain't nothin' but a hound dog. I didn't say anything about my boots.”
Han opened his mouth to speak, but the man in white said, “You keep your mouth shut there, Son.” Han snapped his jaw shut.
“Look... whatever you are, I'm taking this bounty. I've got you surrounded, but I'm not getting paid for you, just for Solo, so, “and he gestured with his blaster, “if you just put that thing away, we'll let you walk out of here.”
The man in white shifted, causing a thousand little flashes of light off of his suit, “I told you I caught him fair and square.”
“And I'm taking him from you fair and square,” grated out the rather squat bounty hunter.
“See... you're stepping all over my blue suede shoes, and I don't like it when people, or... things..., step on my blue suede shoes.” He shifted again as he gestured at the squat, pointy-eared bounty hunter with the scarred face.
The bounty hunter glanced down at the man-in-white's shoes again.
And that's when a blaster bolt left a hole in his chest.
Before the thugs could respond, more blaster bolts rained down from above and Luke landed in their midst, lightsaber singing. The thugs ran.
Han glanced down at the smoking muzzle of the blaster in the man-in-white's hand, “You shot him.”
The man in white gave that roguish grin, “Yeah, I guess I shot first that time.”
Luke deactivated his lightsaber as Han leveled his blaster at the man in white.
Luke waved Han off, “He's okay, Han.”
Blaster still pointed at the man in white, he said, “I'm just being safe. He said he was here to collect the Deathmark on my head.”
“Hell, Son, I just said that to get you out of this mess you were in. I said I was here to help, didn't I?” To prove his point, he holstered his blaster.
Chewbacca dropped down next to Han and grumbled at him. Han answered, “You're sure?”
Looking uncertain, Han put away his own blaster.
Off in the distance, the sound of the Falcon's engines started cycling again. Then the sound of them failing. Followed by them catching and the engine coming to life.
“Hey, there, Son... You better get that looked at.”
Han grimaced, “Thanks...”
“Just trying to help.”
“C'mon, Han, let's go,” Luke said as he held out his hand to the stranger. “Thanks.”
The three companions turned to go, leaving the man in white standing alone. As the rounded the corner of the crates, Han turned back, “Hey... I didn't catch your name.”
“Elvis... but you can call me The King.”
Han gave his sideways grin, “Okay... well, thanks, King.”
“Hey, it was nothing.”
“You're pretty good in a fight... why don't you come with us?”
“Thank you very much... but you ain't seen nothin'. I didn't even get out my karate.”
Han blinked, “What?”
Elvis kicked on foot into the air and made a slashing motion with his right hand, “I have a black belt.”
“Oh... well... thanks again...”
Han walked on around the crates but, then, felt as if he should make the offer one more time and turned back.
Elvis was gone.