Boba Fett: A Practical Man
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|Cover artist||Steven D. Anderson|
|Preceded by||Crisis at Crystal Reef|
|Followed by||Vector Prime|
Boba Fett: A Practical Man is an e-novella by Karen Traviss, which was published online in August 2006 by Del Rey Books. It focuses on what led Boba Fett and the Mandalorians to fend off the Yuuzhan Vong invaders during the devastating Yuuzhan Vong War. The eBook contains an additional 3-page preview of Betrayal, a 4-page preview of Bloodlines, a 7-page interview with Aaron Allston, and a 9-page interview with Karen Traviss.
The story opens in the lower levels of Coruscant in 24 ABY (After the Battle of Yavin), only a few months prior to the Yuuzhan Vong Invasion. Boba Fett has just chased down another bounty, a Rodian art dealer who sold fake works to Gebbu the Hutt.
Meanwhile, on Nar Shaddaa, Nom Anor, posing under the alias Udelen, recruits a Mandalorian named Goran Beviin to assassinate a politician on Ter Abbes, a grim industrial planet off the Perlemian Trade Route. Bevin quickly realizes that if the man is killed it will trigger a civil war, but even after he voices his misgivings to Boba he still carries out the mission.
Nom Anor notes that Bevin did an efficient job of removing the target and plans to meet Fett for the second time on Mandalore and the capital city, Kedalbe. Nom Anor notes that Mandalore is already on his list of a world that will be harder to subdue.
Anor arrives on the planet, again under the alias of Udelen and provides Fett with the location of a rendezvous where he and a select number of Fett's troops are to meet. Anor plans to reveal his true nature to Fett as the location lies along the main invasion route the Yuuzhan Vong will take into the galaxy.
As the Mandalorian fleet awaits the arrival of their client, Bevin becomes impatient and scouts around for Udelen. He soon encounters what he assumes to be an asteroid, but is actually a Yuuzhan Vong ship. Unsure of what to make of their new arrivals, the Mandalorians enter battle formation and wait.
Soon though, Nom Anor makes contact with Fett and asks him to board the lead ship for a face to face meeting. Once aboard the miid ro'ik warship Fett orders Bevin to discreetly gather any samples he can, while Fett runs scans with his helmet. While touring the ship, Anor explains the Yuuzhan Vong vision for the galaxy and how the Mandalorians will play a part in shaping it and both Fett and Bevin witness first hand the plans the Vong have for the humans they capture. Anor then gives Fett the plans for the next mission he has planned for the Mandalorians, to secure a landing zone on Birgis, in exchange for their continued service the Mandalore sector will be left alone. Fett knows this is a lie and that the Vong will come for them eventually, he plans to ensure he's ready when that day comes.
Fett plans to use the inside track he now has to do as much damage to the invaders as possible, while he appears to help them he will do all he can to hinder them at the same time. Nom Anor amends his report, instead believing that enslaving the Mandalorians is the best way of dealing with them.
One week after the invasion of Helska 4, the Mandalorians assault the spaceport on Birgis. Fett, Bevin and Cham, another Mandalorian warrior, spearhead the assault. Fett hopes to use this moment to pass on vital intel to the New Republic. Passing the intel on to a pilot during the assault, Fett only hopes that the Republic won't blow their cover. Typically, the Yuuzhan Vong leave no survivors at the spaceport.
New Holgha, however, the Vong's next target remains unevacuated, the Republic hasn't acted on the intel, obviously not trusting its source. With the planets defenses sabotaged and its troops relocated elsewhere, the world falls without a serious fight. Instead, the Republic diverted troops to Pedd 4 and now New Holgha suffers, as Fett observes a miit ro'ik digest everything around it for fuel, he is reminded of the Sarlacc.
As he contemplates a better and more reliable way to pass intel to the Republic, a Vong warrior asks him to assist in killing a Jedi. While Bevin stalls the Vong, Fett and a few others subdue the Jedi, who is skeptical at first, but then believes Fett and agrees to take the information off planet. As the Jedi leaves for his hidden ship, Bevin arrives, followed by the Vong warrior. When he asks what happened to the Jedi, Fett and the others kill him, with Bevin using his crushgaunts to kill the warrior. While the others collect samples from the dead warrior, Bevin scalps him for a trophy.
Briika, a Mandalorian female warrior, is fatally wounded in the encounter though and dies when she reaches Slave 1. Bevin, keeping a promise he made to her, adopts Dinua, Briika's daughter as his own.
Nom Anor lays plans to accelerate the coming invasion of Mandalore, he believes that the reports of the Mandalorians savagery have been greatly exaggerated. He still plans to use them, keeping them undercover from the rest of the Vong warriors, but ultimately he plans to erase their culture from the galaxy.
Fett, traveling across Mandalore space reflects that his plan is so far working fine. The Republic believe the Mandalorians are in league with the Vong, while his own engineers are working on weapons designed specifically to fight them. Then an X-Wing drops into pursuit course, but when it makes contact through one of Fett's own intel nodes he stays his trigger finger.
The Jedi he saved on New Holgha, a man named Kubariet asks to meet face to face. Working with New Republic Intelligence, Kubariet confirms that Fett has a deal, the Mandalorians will continue to masquerade as Vong mercenaries while at the same time passing intel to the Republic. Before he leaves, Kubariet asks if Fett will spare a few of his best commandos to act as a kind of new Cuy'val Dar to train planetary militias to fight the Vong.
Kubariet gives Fett a secure datachip, if he wants to pass on intel then he can only do it through the Jedi, in return Fett hands over 'spare parts' he's collected from the Vong. When Kubariet asks if there's anything more he can do for Fett he tells him to make sure everyone knows that a Mandalorian named Briika Jeban died saving a citizen of the New Republic.
When Kubariet asks who she saved, Fett simply says: 'You, Jedi, you.'
- Boba Fett; Mandalorian Mand'alor and bounty hunter (human male)
- Briika Jeban; Mandalorian bounty hunter and mercenary (human female)
- Bur'lorr; subaltern (Yuuzhan Vong male)
- Cham Detta; Mandalorian bounty hunter and mercenary (human male)
- Da'Gara; prefect (Yuuzhan Vong male)
- Dinua Jeban; Mandalorian bounty hunter and mercenary (human female)
- Gebbu; (Hutt hermaphrodite) (Mentioned only)
- Goran Beviin; Mandalorian bounty hunter and mercenary (human male)
- Jabba Desilijic Tiure; crime lord (Hutt hermaphrodite) (Mentioned only)
- Jango Fett; Mandalorian bounty hunter, father of Boba Fett, deceased (human male) (Mentioned only)
- Jaster Mereel (Mentioned only)
- Kubariet; Jedi Knight (humanoid male)
- Medrit; Mandalorian, spouse of Goran Beviin (Mentioned only)
- Nom Anor; executor and spy (Yuuzhan Vong male)
- Palpatine; Galactic Emperor, Galactic Empire, deceased (human male) (Mentioned only)
- Suvar Detta; Mandalorian bounty hunter and mercenary (human male)
- Taun We; cloner (Kaminoan female) (Mentioned only)
- Tholote B'Leph; opposition leader, (male)
- Tiroc Vhon; Mandalorian bounty hunter and mercenary (human male)
- Udelen; Nom Anor's alias (male humanoid)
- Vergere; (Fosh female) (Mentioned only)
- Wac Bur; (Rodian male)
- Yun-Harla; Goddess of Deception (Yuuzhan Vong deity) (Mentioned only)
- Boba Fett E-novella Coming Soon - StarWars.com announcement
- "First look: A Practical Man" - StarWars.com
- TheForce.Net - Book Review