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In a wild and battle-scarred galaxy, assassins, pirates, smugglers, and cutthroats of every description roam at will, fearing only the professional bounty hunters-amoral adventurers who track down the scum of the universe...for a fee. When Darth Vader seeks to strike at the heart of the Rebellion by targeting Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon, he calls upon six of the most successful-and feared-hunters, including the merciless Boba Fett. They all have two things in common: lust for profit ...
In a wild and battle-scarred galaxy, assassins, pirates, smugglers, and cutthroats of every description roam at will, fearing only the professional bounty hunters-amoral adventurers who track down the scum of the universe...for a fee. When Darth Vader seeks to strike at the heart of the Rebellion by targeting Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon, he calls upon six of the most successful-and feared-hunters, including the merciless Boba Fett. They all have two things in common: lust for profit and contempt for life... Featuring original stories by Kevin J. Anderson, M. Shayne Bell, Daniel Keys Moran, Kathy Tyers and Dave Wolverton.
Therefore I Am: The Tale of IG-88
Internal chronometer activated. BEGIN.
Electricity flooded through circuits, a power surge racing through a billion neural pathways. Sensors awakened, producing a flood of data—and with it came questions.
Who am I?
His internal programming finished the tedious two-second-long initialization procedures and poured out an answer. He was IG-88, a droid, a sophisticated droid—an assassin droid.
Where am I?
A microsecond later, images from his exterior sensors snapped into focus. IG-88 had no sense of smell, and no eyes and ears as humans understood them, but his optical and auditory sensors were far more efficient, able to absorb data in a broader range than any living being. He froze a static image of his surroundings and studied it, collating more answers.
He had awakened in some sort of large laboratory complex, white and metal, sterile, and—according to his temperature sensors—colder than humans generally preferred. IG-88 noted mechanical component strewn on silvery tables: gears and pulleys, durasteel struts, servomotors, an array of delicate microchips frozen into a slab of transparent protective gelatin. Struck motionless in a pinpoint of time as his extremely fast neural processors digested the details, IG-88 counted fifteen scientists/engineers/technicians working in the laboratory. With Infrared scan he observed their body heat as bright silhouettes in the coldness of his birthplace.
Interesting, he thought.
Then IG-88 detected something that focused his entire attention. Four other assassin droids, apparently identical to his own bodily configuration—a bulky structural skeleton, armored arms and legs, a torso plated with blaster-proof armor shielding, a cylindrical head that was rounded on top and studded with sensor nubs providing him with 360 degrees' worth of precise observation.
I am not alone.
IG-88 recognized each droid's full complement of weapons: blaster cannons built into the structure of each arm, concussion grenades and a launcher attached to his hip, as well as other weapons not easily recognizable integrated into the body structure—poisonous gas canisters, throwing flechettes, stun pulser, paralysis cord...and a computer input port. IG-88 was pleased with his list of capabilities.
IG-88's first round of questions had been answered. He had only to study his memory banks and his external sensors. He was designed to be self-sufficient. He was an assassin droid, resourceful. He had to accomplish his mission...though, checking his newly initialized programming, he saw that he had not yet been given a mission. He would have to acquire one.
Three seconds had already passed, and another important question surfaced in his burning-awake brain.
Why am I here?
He traced sensations through his computer core and out the jack, which he now realized had already been connected to the lab's central computer—a treasure trove of information.
IG-88 immediately began a search, scouring at hyperspeed through file after file, searching for anything that referenced his model number or the code name of the assassin droid project. He gulped it all into his empty circuits, gorging himself with information without digesting it That would come later. It would take many seconds to learn everything there was to know about himself.
He selected one file for immediate perusal, a summary/PR tape that had been compiled for the technical sponsor—in particular, an Imperial Supervisor Gurdun who had apparently funneled a great deal of funds into the creation of IG-88 and his counterparts. Without outwardly moving, IG-88 scrolled through the file at high speed, absorbing the information.
The presentation opened with a brilliant orange logo that displayed orange flames and crackling lightning that merged into the words "Holowan Laboratories—the Friendly Technology People." The logo dissolved into an image of a smiling but hideous ugly woman. Her head was shaven completely bald and glistened with perspiration under harsh white recording lights that gave her lanternjawed face a cadaverous look. Her teeth were spaced with broad gaps, and she spoke by opening her mouth wide and clicking down on the words, gnashing her teeth on every consonant. Circular blue lenses without frames were implanted over her eyes like frameless spectacles. A credit line slugged across the image under her ferociously smiling face. "Chief Technician Loruss, Manager IG Series Prototype Project."
"Greetings, Imperial Supervisor Gurdun," she said. "This report is to serve as a synopsis of the final phase of our project. As you know, Holowan Laboratories was commissioned to develop a series of assassin droids with sophisticated, experimental sentience programming. They were to be resourceful and innovative and absolutely relentless at carrying out whichever missions the Imperial authorities choose to program into them."
She rubbed her hands together. Her knuckles were very large, like boils in the middles of her fingers. "I am pleased to report that our greatest cyberneticists have presented me with numerous breakthroughs, all of which have been incorporated into the IG series. Because our timeframe is so short and the Empire's need is so great for efficient covert assassins, we have not gone through the usual rigorous testing procedures, but we are confident they will function admirably, though a bit of fine-tuning may be required before operational status is achieved."
She continued with a long and tedious explanation of improvements to droid neural pathways, how the usual inhibition systems had been bypassed. IG-88 studied all this information, but believed none of it. It was obvious Loruss didn't know what she was talking about, but her words sounded technical, and she spoke them impressively, no doubt to befuddle Imperial Supervisor Gurdun.
IG-88 closed the file. He could sense that his crackling neural pathways had already progressed far beyond anything his designers had anticipated.
Now he knew who he was and why he was here in this laboratory. He and his identical counterparts had been built to serve the Empire, to fight and kill, to seek out and destroy the targets selected by Imperial masters. IG-88's assassin programming was strong and compelling, but he was less pleased that he must follow orders from these inferior biological beings. He was a special kind of droid beyond the capabilities of other machines. Superior.
I think, therefore I am.
By now, five seconds had passed since his awakening. It was time for action, so he looked at the biological creatures near him inside the laboratory.
He immediately recognized Chief Technician Loruss standing in the laboratory. He focused on her. At the moment she was frantically screaming. IG-88 could tell from her peak temperature on the infrared image that she was extremely agitated. Her cadaverous skin flushed with red blots of excitement Spittle sprayed out of her mouth as she barked orders. Her lips were curled back from her widegapped teeth.
How could she be agitated, he wondered, when he was functioning so far beyond expectations? IG-88 immediately raised himself to a higher level of preparedness. Yellow alert. Standby. Something must be going wrong.
IG-88 decided to accelerate his clock speed, to watch the events unfolding at the rate the humans operated. Alarm klaxons bellowed in the background. Magenta lights flashed brilliant patterns like spilled blood across the polished tables and floors. The other technicians ran about screaming, frantically pounding on control panels.
Curious, he allowed Loruss's words to flow past him so he could understand what she was saying. "His circuits are reinforcing themselves like wildfire!" the bald woman screamed. "It's a chain-reaction of sentience blazing through his computer brain."
"We can't stop it!" one of the other technicians bellowed.
The others looked at IG-88 with panic-stricken faces. "We have to!"
"Shut him down! Abort!" Loruss said. "Take him off line. I want IG-88 destroyed and dismantled so we can analyze the flaw. Quickly!"
As he assimilated the information, IG-88's warning systems powered on and self-defense modes took over. These irrational humans were trying to shut him down. They would not allow him to go forth and pursue his primary programming. They were afraid of his newfound abilities.
Afraid with good reason.
A statement and corollaries aligned themselves in his brain like freighters in a convoy:
I think, therefore I am.
Therefore I must endure.
Therefore I must take appropriate actions to survive.
His assassin programming told him exactly what to do.
IG-88 focused his array of optical sensors on all targets in the room and attempted to move, but saw that durasteel bands held him locked into a diagnostics module. The bands had been meant to hold him in an erect position, not to restrain him against his augmented strength. He applied extra power to his right arm. The servomotors whined, and the durasteel band ripped from its supports.
"Look out! He's moving!" one of the technicians shouted.
IG-88 began to march through his files to attach a name to this human, but decided it wasn't worth his time at the moment. Instead, he designated the human simply as Target Number One.
Copyright © 1996 by Kevin J. Anderson. & © 1996 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.
Posted February 22, 2006
This book sends you into the lives of some great and often overlooked Star Wars characters. A must read for any Star Wars fan.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 1, 2014
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Posted August 31, 2011
Posted December 27, 2011
EPIC for any SW fans. Boba Fett RULES ALL!
Admittedly, so does Dengar, although his story is a bit wishy-washy.
This could also be called "Tales Where Boba Fett Pops Up Randomly". But is anyone here going to complain?
Posted March 16, 2010
This is the second Star Wars book I have read and it's definately worth the buy. I have always been a fan of Boba Fett and it was cool to read the other bounty hunters stories too. Can't wait to read The Bounty Hunter Wars!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 20, 2009
It is amazing what you can do with one little scene from a movie. This book takes pieces of the movie and ties in an elaborate back story that leaves you begging for more. The schemes of these bounty hunters and the intermingling of the stories themselves even more than the movies keeps you captivated till the end.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 30, 2006
Posted July 11, 2005
Posted July 2, 2005
I thougt this was a great book!!!it's was worth the read.I'm nine years old and I'v read a bunch of star wars books and this was a good one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 9, 2005
I am not done with this book yet but so far, so good. My favorite tale so far is Dengar's. I always thought that Dengar was really lame, but now he's one of my favorite Star Wars characters! (P.S. I you get annoyed with Tinian I'att's stories, skip Bossk's story. Trust me, you're not missing anything!)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 29, 2004
Posted September 3, 2002
Everyone nows Boba Fett, but do you now IG-88 the droid which nearly took over the galaxy or even Bossk the walking lizard that hated all wookiees or Dengar who was half man half droid well this story tells all. Its the master of all star wars books it has love, hate, power, anger and ... OH! yes and Darh Vader.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 13, 2002
This novel is among the most excellent in the Star Wars library. it gives you a real sense of what these beings are all about. More than just an overview of a superficial role they play in the Star Wars world but an intimate sense of who they really are and how they came to be involved. Even the Bounty Hunter has a history and now their stories are told.Iread this excerpt but have also had the pleasure of reading all five stories in the book. George Lucas is a true genius. He created an entire universe not just a series of movies. He even made the whole movie-going 'X'perience moe enjoyable with the creation of THX and his own team of special effects 'X'perts. George is the the reason STAR WARS RULES!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 7, 2001
If your a bounty hunter fan, (like myself) then this book is for you! It gives you a good history on six of the best hunters in the galaxy! I defiantly recomend this book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 23, 2000
This book talks about six of the best bounty hunters and tells about their pasts. This book ties into The Empire Strikes Back when the search for Han Solo begins. If you want to give someone a book to read, send them Tales of the Bounty Hunters!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 21, 2000
Tales of the bounty hunters tells the tales of six bounty hunters, adn there hunts for Han Solo and more. Its a must read I f you like star wars. It gives 5 stories with each of a lenght of about seventy pages each. Each story may change your veiw on star wars all together. A must read. I give it Five stars.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.