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Travels of a Hutt: Part I

 
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Travels of a Hutt: Part I
 PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:51 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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This is a story set around the time of the New Sith Wars, during the reign of the Dark Underlord of the Sith. The Jedi continue to do battle with the Sith but beyond that the galaxy goes on as usual. It is during this time, one like any other, that a young Hutt leaves his father's side to begin his life. Like all Hutt's before him, he dreams of creating an empire. Women, credits, and power have their allure, but mostly he wants to make his father proud. And so this story unfolds...

“Travels of a Hutt”
Nal Hutta: Hutt homeworld

Within the massive halls of Nogga the Hutt’s palace, father and son say their goodbyes.

“It is time, my son, for you to seek out your fortune, to establish your own empire as I have done.” Boomed Nogga, his voice echoing in the vast, vaulted ceilings.

Tarsulla looked up at his father with big, bulging eyes. “I will add honor to your name father, I will serve our clan well.”

Nogga unleashed a huge grin that swallowed his gigantic head. His turquoise skin rolled in great wrinkles as he beamed at his son.

“I know you will son.” Replied Nogga. “Spend your money wisely and you will go far. Cease those who are of service so as to multiply your fortunes but do not forget to pay them. Remember, a mercenary cost money, but a friend is free.”

The young Hutt listened attentively to his father’s advice. More than anything in the galaxy, he wanted to please his father.

Having slithered down the great halls, the two Hutts arrived at the landing platform on the terrace. High above the endless swamps, Tarsulla gazed at the green landscape before him.

He would miss the beauty of the bogs, but he would make do.

From above, a sleek, bronze shuttle eased down onto the platform, its repulsors blasting away clouds of dust.

Tarsulla turned to his father. “Well, it is time for me to go…farewell father.” His eyes welled with moisture. He fought to hold back a tear.

Nogga leaned in and gave his son a warm, slimy hug. His stubby arms patting the sides of his son’s slender frame.

“Remember to eat son, you are far too skinny. It’s unhealthy.” He jested.

The young Hutt grinned, turned toward the shuttle, and wormed his way forward. Two Vondran servants loaded his luggage onto the craft. As he reached the boarding ramp, he gave one last look at his father before leaving.

And so began his journey, one that would take him to greatness among the Hutt Clans.
However the rise of a Hutt is never an easy one. Many obstacles were laid before him. And so begins his tale…

Chapter 1: “Starting Out”

The ride to Nar Shaddaa was a short one. A simple shuttle ride to Nal Hutta’s moon, no more than 10 standard minutes. Tarsulla got a quick look at his beautiful, bog ridden world amongst the stars before he was quickly engulfed by the thick smog cover of the ‘Smuggler’s Moon.’

“We are approaching landing bay 2c42, Nogga’s private pad. Touch down in five.” Quipped the shuttle’s pilot.

Tarsulla wriggled on his hydrofoam cushion. He was anxious to begin his life’s work. And he was also very nervous.

Gently the silver plated shuttle eased onto the spacious landing platform. Its sleek ramp jutted out as the engines’ whine died down.

As he slid down the ramp, Tarsulla noticed the armed guards. Some were patrolling the perimeter, others standing by doors and entryways, and four were waiting for him on the pad.

“Greetings Tarsulla.” Replied a stout, armor clad, Weequay. “We’ve been waiting. Follow us, we’ll show you your quarters.”

Bowing his massive head as far as he could, which wasn’t much, Tarsulla accented to the Weequay’s request and glided behind his armed escort.

“My name is Sol, while you are within the walls of this compound I will look after you. But once you leave you’re on your own.” The Weequay spoke in a rough, gravelly voice as he turned his attention to his fellow guards.

The other three, also Weequays, fanned out around the Hutt, providing a circle of protection.

Uneasily, Tarsulla pondered the nature of this security. “Is this necessary?” He asked.

Sol’s rough, deeply wrinkled face emitted a harsh grin. “The Hutts rule this world but they compete amongst themselves. They don’t like competition and right now your open game.” The other Weequays chuckled to themselves.

Carefully, Tarsulla mulled over these new events. He had never thought about the danger of beginning his new empire, at least not so early in the game. His bulging eyes glanced around at the distant roof tops and windows. Each one seemed like the perfect spot for a sniper.

His muscles spasmed in a brief moment of discomfort.

Sol seemed to notice. “Don’t worry, it’s very difficult to kill a Hutt with one shot. More likely they’d try and blow you up.’ The grizzled Weequay let loose another sinister smile.

Thinks were beginning to look bad.

* * *

Tarsulla’s quarters were impressive. A spacious audience chamber led to a shielded balcony where the view was magnificent. Kilometers of sky lanes and skyscrapers could be seen as far as the drifting smog banks would permit. People wandered across skywalks and turbolifts in a constant swirl of motion. The city was teeming.

“A guard will be outside your door at all times. A droid will be here in a few moments, he will attend to your needs.” Sol turned and headed for the door.

Hesitantly, Tarsulla almost stopped him to ask where he was going but thought better of it. Obviously the Weequay had better things to do than baby sit some Hutt. So be it. Hopefully the droid would be of more help.

Right now, he was hungry.

* * *

Two hours passed before the droid arrived.

A moment indeed. Grumbled Tarsulla.

“I am at your service, o’ gracious one.” Replied the tinny voice of the droid.

Tarsulla eyed the droid and found himself dumbfounded. He couldn’t tell what kind of a droid it was.

Definitely not a protocol droid. He thought.

“What kind of droid are you? You don’t look like any protocol droid I’ve ever seen.” He replied.

The dark blue, almost black, droid tilted back it what appeared to be amusement. “Why I am an interrogation droid, but I assure you I am very capable in handling the needs of a prominent Hutt, such as your self.”

Interrogation droid! Tarsulla was stunned. “How did-”

But before he could finish, the droid interrupted him. “I know what you are thinking, how did an interrogation droid ever end up in the role of protocol.” The droid’s eye sensors seemed to intensify their brightness for a moment, much like a blink. “Your father, the great Nogga, found my interpersonal skills to be quite amusing. Since my main function is as interrogation, I am familiar in many forms of communication, including physical mannerisms and brain wave activity. And unlike protocol droids, I am free to use hostile force if necessary or if commanded to do so.”

Tarsulla could have sworn the droid boasted of his capabilities with a tone of pride.

“Alright, what is your name?”

“My name is 61MDK.” Replied the droid in his cheery mechanical voice.

“Well MDK, I’m hungry. Can you cook?” Asked Tarsulla, his stomach was starving.

“Why certainly. What would you like?”

Without an instance of hesitation, Tarsulla said, “scuzzi spits.”

“Ah yes, that is Huttese for scurrier tips. I’ll have the chef scrounge some up. Would you like any particular sauce or maybe desert with that?” Inquired MDK.

“Sweet sauce and Pyollian cake, uh two Pyollian cakes.” Drool seeped out of the Hutt’s mouth at the mere thought of food.

“Very well. I’ll be back shortly with your dinner.” MDK scooted out the doorway and down the hall.

Now I need to plan. Thought Tarsulla. First thing first, I need a place.

Gracefully the Hutt slid across the smooth polished floor and over to the data terminal in the wall. With his stubby little arms, he punched away at the keys.

-Search- real estate

-One moment please…

As the results fanned out on the screen, Tarsulla quickly chose the first tab. Navigating through the site, he found a listing of available locations.

Garage, shop, tenet, tenet, warehouse, ah, Perfect! Old cantina, slight repair, discount. Tarsulla skimmed over the words skipping down to the price: 32,000 credits.

Now the question was whether he could afford it.

He pulled out a data stick and placed it into the terminal. A window popped up displaying the Munn Intergalactic Banking logo. Entering his pass code, he accessed his account.

Over the years his father had set up a savings account for his son. Traditionally all Hutts would leave their parent’s side and venture forth into the galaxy and each was given a small sustenance to begin their fledgling empires. But no one ever discussed the amounts of such sustenance.

Looking at the bank account, Tarsulla was relieved to see that no less than 400,000 credits were at his disposal. More than enough. He was elated.

In a blur of motion, he completed a transfer of credits to purchase the cantina. After filling out several forms, the transaction was complete and the terminal notified him that the Official Galactic Records of Ownership had updated their archives to acknowledge the purchase.

“Perfectly according to plan.” Beamed the Hutt, smug in the ease of his actions.

The door slid open and MDK entered with his food. A long cart rolled into the dining area, carrying along with it the spicy aroma of sautéed scurrier tips.

Making his way towards the banquet of food, Tarsulla noticed several other droids carrying in two crates.

Ah, my luggage. I’d almost forgot.

Without out another thought, he dove into the delicious bits of grilled meat. Each juicy chunk was drenched in a thick sweet sauce that rolled down the Hutt’s bottomless throat. His short fingers groped into the piles of meat, stuffing it into his face.

MDK watched in fascination as the Hutt gorged himself in the steaming mounds of food. It never ceased to amaze him that the quantities ingested that would kill any normal being seemed to have no effect at all on a Hutt. If a metric ton of food was dumped from a speeder truck, some how a Hutt’s gargantuan stomach would find room for it. Even poison seemed to do little to upset their appetite.

After pillaging through half of the delicacies before him, Tarsulla seemed to slow his eating, having quenched the bulk of his rapturous hunger.

“MDK, as a Hutt beginning my empire I have made my first purchase, a cantina. I will be needing to construct whatever repairs and modifications that may be necessary and after that I will need employees and supplies for the business.” He paused in though. “And I will also need security.”

“And you need help in doing these things.” Added MDK.

Tarsulla nodded, another handful of scurrier tips went into his mouth.

“First you will need a manager, someone with experience in running such an establishment. I will inquire to see what sort of sentients are available and will have them come here for interviews. After that, you can work with him to acquire the rest. As for security, I think I can round up some possibilities.” MDK’s voice hummed in anticipation. The art of dealing pain was one of his specialties, who better to thin out the ranks of security personnel.

“This will work perfectly, MDK. You are truly a marvel.” Boomed Tarsulla in his rich, hearty voice. “I can see why my father chose your.”

The droid was pleased with the compliment. His eye sensors glowed in response.

* * *

The next day MDK arrived with the first wave of potential cantina managers.

“Good morning your excellency. Are you ready to start the interviews?” Asked MDK.

“Yes let us begin.” Replied Tarsulla.

Having already planned out today’s activities, Tarsulla arranged a raised dais in the audience chamber so he could command and air of power during the interviews.

The entrance door slid open and a pale skinned Umbaran entered the room.

Dressed in a simple lavender tunic and trousers, the being seemed comfortably at ease. “My name is Ral Tanos, I heard you were interested in hiring a manager for a cantina.”

Silence followed the crisp, articulate enunciation of the Umbaran’s words. Tarsulla allowed that silence to continue just long enough to unsettle the seemingly confident Umbaran.

In perfect basic Tarsulla asked, “Well Mr. Tanos, what kind of experience have you had in this field?”

Taking a moment to formulate his answer, Mr. Tanos replied, “I operated an establishment on Coruscant for three years. In so, I was in charge of the cantina and the business' gambling facilities. After that, I went on to open up my own cantina which was successful for seven years. I sold the cantina for a large sum and took a much needed vacation. I am now ready to get back in the business, as they say.”

“It sounds like you know what you’re doing.” Replied Tarsulla. “Out of interest, where did you take your vacation?”

“Kendamar.”

“Ahh…the Kendamari Casinos are very nice I hear.” Chided Tarsulla. “Guess the house took more than you would of liked huh?”

Tanos blushed.

“So how much would your services normally run?”

Tanos gazed at the ceiling trying to put a proper figure to what he thought he was worth. “Per week 5,000 credits.”

“Oh, but that was on Coruscant. Here on the Mid Rim prices are much more reasonable.” Tarsulla savored his moment. “I think 1,500 credits is very lucrative. More than enough for you to continue to play the tables and still pay off your loans to the Hutts.”

Tarsulla had hit the nail on the head. Tanos was an addict. He sold his business, gambled the credits in the casinos, and lost it all. But like any addict, he couldn’t quit. So he took a loan from the Hutts running the Kendamari Casinos and now was desperate for credits.

“Two thousand.” He countered.

Very desperate. “Fifteen hundred…plus another five hundred in credit at the tables.”

“Deal.”

A bead of sweet rolled off the Umbaran’s bald scalp. The desire, the need to gamble, was making him shake. Such a skilled and talented being brought so low, Tarsulla almost felt pity. Almost.

“You start work tomorrow. We’ll go over the property and discuss plans.” Tarsulla motioned Tanos forward. “I think we will do very well together my friend.”

The Hutt reached inside of the red silk vest he was wearing and pulled out a billfold of paper credits.

“Take this as a gift of friendship.” Tarsulla watch a smile stretch across the Umbaran’s chalky, white face, “Don’t spend it all at one place.”

Greedy shaking hands snatched the handful of credits. “Good doing business, your excellency.” Tanos replied, eager to get rid of the credits now burning a hole in his pocket.

Tanos slipped out the door.

MDK approached Tarsulla. “Would you like to see anyone else?”

“No, I think the Umbaran will do.” A big grin spilled across his pale green face. “His people’s talent with mind control will come in handy; I think.”

“What about security personnel, would you like to see any of them now?” Asked MDK.

“How many do you have outside?”

“Three, but I-“ MDK was cut off before he could finish.

“Just hire them.” A big yawn creeped out of the Hutt’s mouth. “I think I’m going to take a nap.”

“Very well, master.” The droids blue jointed limbs squeaked as MDK left the suite.

* * *

The next day Tarsulla and Tanos rode out to the cantina in one of Nogga’s landspeeders. Sol was kind enough to lend one out, seeing that the Hutt was in some need of protection.

The three guards Tarsulla ended up hiring were something less than desirable.

One was a Rodian. Most of his kind were known to be good hunters. In turn hunters had skills that were well suited for work as a bodyguard. He could handle a gun, kill or maim when needed, and would possess some degree of fitness.

Then there was a Gammorean. A stocky, muscular brute of average height. Not particularly bright but Gammoreans did make efficient brawlers. In a hand-to-hand situation, they were hard to beat.

Lastly was a Wookiee. Tall, strong, and notorious for their unbridled fury, a Wookiee was a prized warrior to have on your side. People would often back down from a fight at the mere sight of a Wookiee.

But there was something slightly off about them. The Rodian, for instance, had a bright red mohawk and a plethora of facial jewelry. He looked more like a punk teenager than a bodyguard. And the Wookiee had only one good eye, the other was glazed over in a pearly white film. His hair was also clumpy with bald spots, as if he had mange.

As far as the Gammorean…well he actually appeared to be normal. But even a Givin wouldn’t give two out of three odds on this bunch.

Regardless, Tarsulla and his entourage made their way to the catina.

“This doesn’t look so bad.” Replied the Hutt as he gazed over the front of the establishment.

Big glass panes, tinted pitch black, covered the building’s exterior. A large neon sign hanged above the door spelling out ‘Drensul’s Pub’ in Huttese. Two windows were cracked and another completely shattered, but beyond that, it looked promising.

“Let’s take a look inside.” Tarsulla eyed both ends of the street. “Bensha, you stay out here and guard the door.”

The Wookiee bobbed his head in agreement while unslinging an old, modified, Czerka blaster rifle.

Sliding through the entrance, Tarsulla carefully inspected the inside layout.

A long bar stretched the entire length of the left wall, nearly 25 meters in all. Numerous padded bar stools sat in front of the bar, some of them lying on their side. The floor was a glossy black surface with a mirror polish. Above it was a high ceiling crisscrossed with lighting fixtures. An open area to the right looked to be a dance floor but there wasn’t any stage. Oddly enough there wasn’t any tables or booths either.

“Your excellency, it seems we’ll be needing to order some furniture.” Commented Tanos.

Tarsulla agreed. “We’ll make that are first order of business.” He slid toward the middle of the room and pointed toward the right wall. “I think a stage would do nicely over there, we can set booths in the back and tables out in front of the bar area.”

They all looked around, nodding their heads, and as a group, headed for the back.

Through a set of double doors was the kitchen area. Silver metal counters and tables mixed in with white durasteel cabinets and no less than 20 industrial stoves made up the bulk of the room. A red tiled floor complemented the white interior.

Tarsulla looked over at Tanos. “The kitchen looks good.”

“We’ll need pots, pans, utensils, etcetera, plus all the consumables.” Tanos pointed toward a large gray metal door on the back wall. “That must lead into the freezers.”

Opening the door, a frigid breeze slammed into the group.

Inside the walk-in freezer was a simple white interior. Meat hooks hanged from the ceiling and metal shelving stood in neat little rows off to the side.

After inspecting the rest of the building, including bathrooms, closets, offices, and the like, the Hutt and his entourage went back to front sidewalk.

[All clear], roared Bensha.

Tarsulla looked at Tanos. “What did he say?”
“I believe he said there’s someone over there.” Tanos pointed a finger at the building across the street.

Boosting his sluggish form up a full half meter in height, Tarsulla took action. “Roke, go check out that building. See what’s over there.”

The red mohawked Rodian strolled across the street with a big, phrik plated blaster in hand.

[That’s not what I said.] Bensha stuggled to make the Umbaran understand. The aging Wookiee gripped Tanos’ shoulders, [the coast is clear, there is nobody in that building.]

Eyes growing wide, Tanos’ voice trembled as he spoke. “Bensha says there’s a…beast…inside the building…I’m not sure what he means.”

Shifting anxiously, Tarsulla boomed “Roke, stop!” The Hutt turned to Xu, the Gammorean, “go help him, this could be trouble.”

Now the Rodian and Gammorean approached the building together. Roke took one side of the door, while Xu, armed with a shockhammer, clinged to the other side. Xu bashed the door in with his heavy sledge and Roke darted in, rolling for cover.

Moving room to room, the duo looked for intruders. Opening doors and tossing around furniture, they were unable to find anything out of the ordinary. But then, out of the corner of Roke’s eye, something moved.

“What’s that?” Asked Roke.

Looking around, Xu noticed movement in the shadows of the dimly lit room. He turned toward Roke, patted his shockhammer in his hands, and gave a low grunt.

Roke raised his BlasTech and took steady aim on the dark silhouette.

Two red beams seared across the room as the blaster fired, kicking up chunks of the floor as they hit.

The ‘thing’ darted across the floor toward Xu.

Lifting up his shockhammer, the Gammorean slammed the heavy sledge down, narrowly missing the target.

“Quick! Don’t let it get away!” Cried Roke.

* * *

Blaster bolts bounced around inside the building’s first floor. Muffled crashes sent dust and debris floating out the broken windows. Flashes of light could be seen through the crummy, soot stained permaglass of the building.

At first, Bensha continued to grumble about the Umbaran’s misinterpretation. Now, seeing all the ruckus across the street, the old Wook began to laugh.

Tarsulla watched his wrecking crew with satisfaction. His two hired guns were doing a magnificent job. Whatever was in there didn’t stand a chance. Soon he added his own deep chuckles to the Wookiees gargled humor. Even Tanos managed a smile.

The building in front of them was being thoroughly demolished.

* * *

“What was that!” Barked Roke as he hugged a corner in the hallway.

Xu looked over at his comrade and shrugged.

“There, there!” Roke pointed at ‘thing’ moving in the dim light of the hall. “Look at those teeth!”

In a hoarse roar, Xu charged forward, swinging his clumsy shockhammer in the air. With a mighty blow, he brought the sledge down onto the floor. A loud crunch echoed as the plasteel tiles shattered from the weapon’s blow, spitting shrapnel out in all directions.

“You missed!” Roke shouted, pointing at the scurrying object as it zoomed into a nearby room.

The Rodian ran in, gun blazing, bolts flying wild. Chunks or permacrete fell off the walls as red beams streaked across the room. Along the floor the ‘thing’ continued to dash around wildly for its life.

“Stand still you little-” Roke was cut off by the thunder of his blaster.

Dodging behind boxes, the elusive ‘thing’ managed to avoid the blaster fire.

Xu came in just as the shooting halted. Reaching into his belt pouches, Roke pulled out a new blaster cartridge and shoved it into the BlasTech’s hollow grip.

Suddenly, amidst the haze of the burning room, the shadowy object turned toward the two aliens. The creature belched a horrid screech and charged towards them.

Fumbling with his power pack, Roke struggled to reload his blaster.

Looking at the speed of the oncoming beast, Xu knew he needed to act fast. He took his shockhammer and hurled it out toward a nearby column. The sledge collided with the durasteel beam, folding it over, and collapsing it. With the destruction of the column, the entire ceiling fell in bringing down tons of plaster, permacrete, and hydrofoam.

The sewer rat was dead.

As the dust settled, Xu and Roke slowly rose to their feet, picking off chunks of the second floor. A wicked smile crept across the Rodian’s snout. Xu smiled too. The beast was slain.

“I think we got it.” Replied Roke in a nasally voice.

Rummaging through the debris, Xu found his shockhammer. Above him was a giant, gaping hole in the second floor.

“Come on,” urged Roke, “let’s get outta’ here.”

The two smash brothers proudly exited the building, leaving a swath of destruction behind them.

“Good work!” Bellowed Tarsulla, “now that everything is all clear-“

Bensha roared enthusiastically.

Without prompt, Tanos interpreted. “He concurs, your excellency.”

“Well then, let’s go. We have work to do.” And so the motley crew left. A good day’s work gone to pass, a building on the verge of collapse, and a lone rat put to rest.

Chapter 2: “Open for Business”

Four weeks later…

It was night time on Nar Shaddaa, and due to the ever consistent smog banks, it was pitch black. Yet along the myriad skylanes and skywalks, one place stood out as a beaming jewel of life.

“Briikase Bunko” glowed in striking neon green letters arching above the main doors of Tarsulla’s new cantina/gambling den.

It was like a magnet drawing in flies, hundreds of credit carrying flies drawn out in endless lines.

The building they flocked to boomed to the beat of an audacious Bith Band. Inside the place was truly alive.

Ten bartenders served drinks of all kinds to the diverse host of customers. Tentacles, claws, and hands reached out for the chosen poisons, knocking back the potent concoctions, and stumbling off their stools.

In front of the bar, people enjoyed friendly games of pazaak, sabacc, and dejarik. Towards the back was a dining area teeming with delicious gourmet meals. However, the heart of the party was off to the left.

A sparkling, illuminated stage blasted music at nearly 300 beings that had joined together in a moving, dancing, mob of thrill seekers. Humans, Sullustans, Duros, Devaronians, Nimbanels, and Toydarians swayed, stomped, and hovered to the beat. Everyone was living in the moment.

Tarsulla watched from his private booth next to the bar. “Excellent work Ral!” The Hutt let loose with a massive grin. “We’ll be the biggest attraction in this sector by the end of the week!”

A pale smile slipped across the Umbaran’s face. “In two weeks we’ll be the biggest thing on the whole Mid Rim!” Shouted Tanos over the music.

The meager Hutt bathed in his moment of glory. His empire was coming to fruition.

“Has the band arrived?” Asked Tarsulla.

“They’ll be on after two more songs, the Bith band still has to complete their set.” Replied Tanos.

The band. The band.

After outfitting his catina and hiring all the employees, plus some of the best cooks in the Inner Rim, there were still plenty of credits to go around. Tarsulla had decided to drop a hefty load on entertainment. So for his opening night gig, he hired the most famous group in the entire Republic, the Hyperspace Bandits.

Tarsulla looked over to his side. Standing in a set of black plated Mandalorian armor was Roke. His red mohawed head scanned all beings within 10 meters of his boss. On the other side of his booth was Xu, clad in his traditional Gammorean armor, he wielded a massive shockhammer that hummed with power.

“How’s Bensha doing outside?” Inquired Tarsulla.

“I’ll go take a look.”

Tanos weaved his way through the jam packed crowd. Various species mingled in his way, but he managed to get to the front doors, nonetheless.

Outside the towering Wookiee commanded the entrance security staff, which consisted of three humans and a Nimbanel. Their task was to manage the intake of prospective customers and party goers. They had to keep track of how many people had entered and left and whether their was room for new attendees.

In all his years of life, Bensha had been many things. First he was a son. He left his homeworld as a copilot for the Duros Shipping Co. Eventually he made enough money to buy his own ship and opened up a trade as a courier. Naturally this work bordered on the illegal. When the authorities confiscated his ship, he quickly went into work as a bounty hunter, hoping to earn enough credits to get his ship out of the impound. However, things didn’t go too well. After loosing an eye with a vicious Dug, Bensha quit the business. Odd and end jobs kept him going for a while until he found employment as a bodyguard.

So here he was, 236 years in the making, standing outside a booming club, tossing out the riff raff.

“Hey man, lay off…ahhh!”

The old Wook effortlessly raised the tiny human, grabbing him by a leg and an arm, and chucked him out into the center of the skywalk. [Who’s next?] He bellowed.

“Uh, Mr. Bensha…are things going well?” The Umbaran tentatively asked.

[Swell.] Bensha grunted approvingly, a toothy grin appeared on his shaggy face.

“Good. Just checking.” Tanos eyed the long line at the door. “That’s a lot of people…we might be able to squeeze in a few more…maybe some of the more attractive ones.”

Looking down the line, Bensha eyed a smooth, mahogany coated female Wookiee. He humfphed in agreement.

“All right, use your best judgment.” Tanos eyeballed the line again. “Keep an eye out for a female Umbaran.” A sly smirk creased his gloomy face.

Bensha chuckled and patted the grim looking fellow on the shoulder. [No problem.]

Slipping back inside, Tanos disappeared.

[Qzentas, go fetch that girl there-] Bensha aimed his big paw in the general direction. [-the female Wookiee.]

“Right on boss.” Replied the human.

Qzentas shuffled down the line and spoke a few words with the Wookiee. She nodded her head, smiled, then looked to her friend, a petite brunette human. Qzentas said something else and both girls followed him back to the door.

[Good evening ladies.] Purred Bensha as the beautiful, six breasted female Wookiee passed by, a beaming smile on her face.

Her scent carried him away, back to fond memories of Kashyyyk...

An elbow nudged him in the hip. “Hey boss, I’ll cover for ya’ if ya’ wanna go in.” Qzentas cast a conspiratal wink.

As Bensha was mulling over the idea, a rather bulky, feline looking Togorian cut through the line and approached him.

“His excellency, Cazza Vosadii Baco, has a message for your boss, Tarsulla.”

The black furred Togorian stood eye to eye with Bensha. For a moment, the two hulking beings measured their statures in silent competition. Both of them were of equal size and build, but the Togorian was much younger.

[Hold on.] Bensha grumbled. He put a hand to the comlink in his ear. [Roke, this is Bensha, copy.]

“What’s up?” Squeaked Roke.

[Gotta guy comin’ in, Togorian, keep an eye on em.] He looked back at the Togarian. [You’re clear.]

The Togorian walked around Bensha and into the bristling club. Twenty meters away, Roke kept an eye on the towering Togorian. Absent mindedly, he rubbed the handle of his phrik plated blaster. The soothing metal helped to calm his nerves a little, but he still wanted to blow the creature’s head off.

Slowly the Togorian made his way through the crowd and toward Tarsulla’s private booth area.

The Hutt sat upon a bed of red form-fitting cushions. Xu stood off to one side, menacingly tapping his shockhammer into his green, pudgy palms.

As the Togorian approached, Roke stopped him. “Hold it buddy, state your business before the boss.”

The Togorian turned to face the Hutt. “I speak for his excellency, Cazza Vosadii Baco, I have a message.”

Tarsulla’s voice boomed over the noise of the crowd. “Let him through, Roke, let us hear what Cazza has to say.”

Stepping forward, the Togorain addressed the Hutt. “The great Cazza has a proposition for you.”

Tarsulla listened, bowing his head to continue.

“Your business here will obviously become a very profitable venture, one of great potential.” The Togorain turned around, taking in the full view of the club. “From the looks of it, my master will be very pleased with it.”

“What do you mean by that?” Asked Tarsulla, an uneasy feeling creeping into his giant gut.

“Why this cantina would make an excellent gift for my master.” A white fanged smile parted through the Togorain’s black fur.

“A gift!” Yelled Tarsulla. “Are you mad? I ought to-”

“Be careful, young Hutt, you are not the one in power here. This moon is ruled by Hutts who have earned their right to power.” The Togorian crossed his muscular arms against his chest. “Cazza is your superior. Grant him this establishment as a gift of courtesy and he will forgive your act of transgression. You will be given a place in his empire-”

Now it was Tarsulla’s turn to cut him off. “Transgression! I’ll show you transgression.” He reached down behind his dining tray and pulled out a hefty vibro-ax. “Mee stoopa!”

The Huttese phrase for you fool, was quickly followed by the sickening crunch of the Togorian’s extremely dense bones. Without pause, the humming vibro-ax split the Togarian from right shoulder to left thigh. The two halves slid to the floor. A large crimson puddle spilled out beneath them.

Tarsulla fumed over the body, his large bulk pulsing in anger.

Roke grabbed two servers and quickly put them to work on cleaning up the mess. Surprisingly no one gave any notice to the dead body on the floor. Everyone nearby was too busy spending their credits in high stakes games of pazaak.

As the two servers returned with trash bags and a mop, Roke carefully stood off to Tarsulla’s side. “Uh, boss? What should we do?”

His fury was starting to die down to a nice calm animosity. “I can’t believe this fool thought he could barge into my place, with complete disrespect, and demand that I hand over my catina as a gift!”

Slowly reality seeped back into the Hutt’s gargantuan head. Cazza would retaliate.

“This means war, boys. We’re going to need to hire some more guns.” Then, of all things, a smile curved across Tarsulla’s face. But no ordinary smile. This was a crescent moon of death and malice. “And I know the perfect people for the job.”

* * *

The next day Tarsulla took an airspeeder to the 1004 Jotland Blvd, headquarters for the Bounty Hunter’s Guild on Nar Shaddaa.

It was a tall building of mirrored blue permaglass. Inside a deep azure carpet rolled underneath the Hutt’s hurried undulations. The turbolift took him to the upper offices, which were adorned with exotic wooden furniture and soothing artificial waterfalls.

Patiently Tarsulla waited as the receptionist carried out his request. Due to the nature of his business, a special adjutant was sent out to meet with him.

“Mr. Tarsulla, I was told you would like to request the services of the Morgley brothers. Is this correct?” Inquired the frail looking Muun.

“Yes.”

“And do you know how much they cost?”

“Money is no object in this matter.” Replied Tarsulla, a dry anger lined his words.

“Very well. The guild will draw up a contract for their services, which we will go over. Both parties will sign the document and the credits will be transferred. Once the transfer is complete, the Morgley Brothers will fulfill their terms of the deal as stated in the contract. Are you sure you wish to go through with this, Mr. Tarsulla?”

“I am.”

“Then follow me, right this way.” The Muun led Tarsulla through two intricately carved doors and into a small conference room. “I will be right back with the paper work and a legal droid who can help you go over the wording of the document.”

Three minutes later, the Muun returned. He handed Tarsulla the paperwork.

“These two pages go over the standard terms of service and liability, these two are your normal legal jargon, and this one-” He pushed the piece of flimsiplast across the table. “-this one is where you state the nature of the work you would like done. This part is highly confidential and is to be read by no one outside the guild. It is purely for the purposes of fulfilling the work you need performed.”

Glancing briefly at first four pages, Tarsulla quickly filled in the blanks and signed the documents. He then had the droid carefully fill out the fifth page of the contract.

Eliminate Cazza Vosadii Baco.

The Muun looked over the completed documentation. “Ah, I see…a termination contract. This should be no problem.” He reached over and picked up a dedicated comm line. “Yes I need an estimate on Cazza Vosadii Baco please.”

Tapping his fingers, he waited for a response. “Termination…yes…level three services…uh huh…okay, thank you very much.” He put the comm back and turned his focus toward Tarsulla. “We have evaluated the contract at 250,000 credits. Are you prepared to transfer the funds?”

A quarter of a million credits was a lot of money. The sum made Tarsulla stagger a minute. Yet his hesitation was burned away by the slow heat of vengeance. He pulled out a credit stick and plugged it into the desk’s computer terminal. Punching in the proper clearance keys, he accessed his account’s transfer screen and typed in the amount.

“What is the account number?” Tarsulla asked.

The Muun rattled off a series of numbers. The tapping of keys followed punctuated by the success beep of the terminal. Transfer complete.

Slowly the Muun rose from his seat and leaned forward. “It was a pleasure doing business with you, Mr. Tarsulla. If you have any questions feel free to call me and remember that if anything should go wrong, the contract if fully insured with contingency teams at the ready. One way or another, this contract will be completed.”

Tarsulla held out his stubby arm and shook the Muun’s hand. Now it was only a matter of time.

The Morgley Brothers were on their way.

WARNING: Some graphic violence.

Chapter 3: "Gank the Hutt"

Jakk, Zin, Carros, Vallun, and Terrik Morgley were brothers. They had the same mother and father, they grew up under the same household, and had lived out the majority of their lives together as a team. Where ever one went, they all went. If one got in trouble, his brothers were at his side in an instant to bail him out. As a team they were unstoppable. They could have been successful pilots, engineers, or peacekeepers.

Instead they became mercenaries. But then again, all of their kind did.

The Morgley Brothers were Ganks, a highly technologically adept insectoid species renown for the exemplary skills of teamwork.

Ganks never worked alone. That was their edge.

If you managed to target one, there was always another Gank ready to put the knife to your throat. Whenever you spotted one, there were always two or three others hidden in the shadows. Quite simply, you couldn’t get the drop on a Gank without them getting the drop on you. Stealth just didn’t work.

But the Ganks were known for something else too, bloodlust.

The normal mercenary often finds himself in a position where he must employ lethal measures. Being a rational, sound being of some morals, he tries to do his job with a sense of efficiency. Most men pride themselves on a clean kill.

Not Ganks.

When a Gank approaches a target, one who he intends to kill, he starts by stunning the target. Maybe a blow to the kneecap or a cut to a tendon. This allows him to strike his opponent again. Now he strikes for effect. Nothing lethal, at least nothing quick. Instead he aims to inflict pain. He does this not for some since of justice or vengeance, but because it brings them…happiness.

Somehow the screams bring joy to their black, frozen hearts. That is why people don’t call them Ganks. They call them Gank Killers.

A dull orange shuttle sets down on Nar Shaddaa. The engines are boiling after a long jump from Ruusan. The air simmers in its wake.

With a dull clank, the boarding ramp drops down onto the duracrete landing pad. Metal boots stroll down without a sound. Rubberized soles guard their approach.

Instantly their spherical, ovoid helmets take in a full 360 degree image of their surroundings. Sound, movement, and smell is recorded and marked for reference. Numbers and text roll by seamlessly with the images.

The five armored men fan out.

* * *

Cazza the Hutt’s skyscraper:

A hundred and thirty stories above the wasteland surface of Nar Shaddaa sits a massive Hutt. His obese girth wallows over an overburden repulsor sled. The tiny servos strain to support the weight.

“Bring the dancers.” Commands the yellow skinned Hutt.

Two Gungans bow in submission, quickly scurrying out the door to due their master’s bidding. They return with five beautiful dancers.
“Dance.” Bellows the vile slug.

The stench of his words carry across the room. They hit with the sickly sweet smell of a garbage dump.

The women due as they are commanded. They have no choice. Slaves do or they are beaten. If that doesn’t work, they die.

And so the five gorgeous women slip into elegant sets of motion. With expert skill, they flow in lithe contortions, smoothly transferring their body into new positions. Their grace is unmatched.

And wasted.

The Hutt they dance for merely thumps his tail to the rhythmic beat of the music. He finds no pleasure in their alluring forms. They are all too skinny for his taste. But he makes them dance, nonetheless.

Because he can.

In fact the only thing that truly brings him pleasure any more is bending his will over others. Making his servants follow every order without question. Forcing some of these most talented and attractive women in the galaxy to obey his filthiest desire. And best of all, to make the optimistic youth of the youngest generation realize that they dreams are nothing more than that. They will never amount to anything because all their aspirations have already been taken.

All they dream is already his.

“Food.” He orders.

Dutifully, his servants bow as they again leave through the chamber’s doors.

Just as they succumb to my commands, so will Tarsulla. His withered brain squirms in delight as the though swells in his mind.

For five hundred years Cazza the Hutt as lived on Nar Shaddaa. He came here looking to build an empire and he succeeded. From the lowliest of all positions, he brown nosed his way to the top. Under his tutelage, the council of three was formed.

Over a hundred and fifty years have passed. Nar Shaddaa, for better or worse, prospered. The major export: illegal services and merchandise. Guarded by the council of three, Nar Shaddaa became number one in the business.

Overseeing everything was Cazza.

Two long carts rolled into the room, laden with piles of food. The Gungans placed the banquet within reach of their master before returning to their positions at the door.

With stunning speed and agility, the Hutt snatched morsels of food, and stuffed it into his enormous mouth. In less than sixty seconds, eight kilos of sustenance disappeared into the Hutt’s gaping maw.

A fat worm grew even fatter.

As the wet, smacking gums of the slug gorged on food, the dancers continued to sway to the elegant chimes of an Alderaanian folk tune.

An angelic Corellian spun to the crescendo of blaring horns and harps. Her long blonde hair swirled in majesty. White, scanty cloth blurred with her creamy skin as she twirled like a dust devil.

The oily, lumpy fat folds of Cazza the Hutt stretched as his stomach expanded, making room for seconds. A putrid fart burped in affirmation. More food was shoveled in.

Heavenly lutes filled the air with an uplifting adagio. Circling around, the dancers bowed towards a common central point. Taking the center floor, a red skinned Zeltron glided into a series of sensual flux. Every move breathtaking. Every breath timeless.

A swollen tongue rolled in ecstasy as desert was brought out for the lethargic slug. Chocolate covered wrynyams. His favorite.

Cutting through the lofty notes of the lutes was the distinct cracking of the wrynyams chocolate covered carapaces.

Drool poured down the corners of Cazza’s mouth.

Heavy basso drums jumped into the melody, followed by the staccato thumps of conga drums. The deep, punctuated beat flow through the Hutt’s portly frame, quaking within his layers of fat. Cazza was so taking by the sound that he began clapping his hands.

The drums grew louder. An explosion ripped through the doorway.

A massive fireball erupted through the chamber’s heavy durasteel blast doors, throwing the two Gungans to the floor. The shockwave blew out the rooms high story windows sending showers of razor sharp glass out into the skylanes.

Through a cloud of billowing smoke, two armor clad commandos charged into the room.

Cazza was dumbstruck. His dancers huddled into a corner, shaking in fear. The two Gungans were dead. And his guards were no where to be seen.

“Any minute my guards will be here. There is no way you can escape.” Cried the massive, squirming Hutt.

The Gank killers calmly approached the bloated worm, blaster rifles at the ready. Their emotionless stares were concealed underneath spheroid helmets.

An electronic voice rang out from one of the Ganks. “They’re dead.”

In shock, Cazza blurted, “what do you mean?”

“All of them.” Replied the synthesized voice.

All of them.

One hundred and thirty seven stories of dead bodyguards and neutralized security systems. Nearly a battalion of Nikto, Gammorean, and Klatoonian security personnel. Two elite squads of Ubese mercenaries. A baby rancor. And the chief of his defense forces, a half crazed Force user from Fondor.

All dead.

He couldn’t believe it. He wouldn’t believe it.

Then one of them spoke. “They say Hutts are blaster proof. I always wanted to test that.”

The other one replied. “Let’s see.”

Five crimson beams flashed into the corpulent sac of flesh that comprised the Hutt’s body. Intense, burning rays of energy slammed into Cazza’s oily, fatty hide. Each bolt seared through the skin and deep into the fatty tissue but no critical damage was inflicted.

Nevertheless, Cazza screamed in pain. It sounded like a krayt dragon giving birth to twins.

“Guess it’s true, they are blaster proof.” Replied the tall Gank.

The shorter one stepped closer, amped up the power setting on his blaster, and let loose another volley.

Another gut wrenching scream followed. Tendrils of smoke rose from the Hutt’s writhing body.

“Yep.” The short one slung his rifle on his shoulder.

“Pl…pll…pllleeeassse.” Slurred Cazza, trying to set aside the scorching pain. “I’ll give you whatever you want…money…women-” he waived a stubby arm towards the girls cowering in the corner.

The short arm disappeared in a flash of red. Parts of it splattered to the ground.

“Good shot.” Chirped the short Gank.

“Thanks.” Replied the tall one.

Cazza knew the end was near. Yet he prayed to his Hutt gods that it would come quicker.

Vallun Morgley, the tall one, strolled over to the Hutt with the steady ease of a seasoned killer. His gaze peered at the superficial blaster wounds, then at the seared stump of an arm. Lastly he looked at the women huddled together at the far end of the room. His blood began to boil.

“So, you like bossing people around huh? Think slaves are nice little toys?” His questions stabbed at the Hutt’s fearful, bulging eyes. “Well I like toys too. This one’s my favorite.”

He reached behind him and pulled out a long, wicked looking vibroblade. A fully serrated, 45 cm blade gleamed in the light. Slowly, he rotated the polished blade, showing off it’s vicious curved edge.

Cazza followed the blade as it neared him. He almost didn’t react. Then common sense struck like a thunderbolt.

With remarkable agility, the hulking Hutt whipped his giant tail toward Vallun. A split second before the tail’s lethal force impacted his chest, Terrik’s voice crackled on his comm.

“Jump.”

No hesitation. Pure reflex. Vallun leapt into the air, narrowly missing the blunt trauma of the Hutt’s crushing tail. His legs rolled off the hit, giving in to the blow as the rest of him flew through the air. Crashing down behind the Hutt, he rapidly regained his focus.

Terrik, the short one, saw the twitch of the Hutt’s muscles. He could see the reflexive pull back of the tail preparing to snap forward. His warning came just in the nick of time. Luckily Vallun was able to roll over the deadly strike.

The first thought that came to his mind was blast the slug. Except his rifle was still slung to his back. So he reached down to his quick draw holster and pulled out a bola launcher. A sharp crack zipped out two heavy slugs binded by a durasteel razor wire.

The slugs wrapped around the Hutt’s neck, tightening the wire around its throat. Cazza’s eyes bulged in agony.

Running up onto the Hutt’s raised dias, he grabbed the ends of the entwined bola. His metal gauntlet hand twisted the ends, cutting off the circulation to Cazza’s head. The worm gasped for air.

“Ahh so Hutts have to breath.” Terrik smirked.

Cazza lurched in pain as Vallun stuck the thrumming vibroblade into its back.

“Whaddaya know, it’s all fat!” Exclaimed Vallun as he splayed through the layers of flesh.

Now the tormentors had him at their mercy.

Meanwhile, Carros and Jakk held off the reinforcements.

* * *
One hundred and sixteenth floor, upper welcoming desk of Cazza Towers:

“How may of them are there?” Shouted Carros as he ripped off a series of blaster bolts.

The red jeweled beams whizzed over the top of his barricade pounding through a stack of charred furniture.

Jakk peeked above the plasteel desk they were hiding behind. “Looks like six.”

Five green bolts of energy flew by his head. He promptly returned to his cover.

“Six?” Quipped Carros. “We already hosed down fifty. Plus the sixty or seventy on the bottom floor.” He shot off another burst of fire. “I’m talking about total.”

Bending around the side of the desk, Jakk squeezed off two well place shots. One bolt took off half of a Klatooinian’s browed face, the other one caught fire on a Nikto’s chest plate.

“Total, I’d say…two hundred tops.” Replied Jakk, a sheepish grin on his face.

Carros couldn’t see the grin. All he saw was the reflection of his own glossy, ovoid helmet. “At least we’re getting close.” A grenade clanked down between them. “Poodoo!” He deftly snatched the explosive sphere and tossed back towards the piles of furniture.

A thunderous explosion left their ears ringing. Splinters engulfed the room.

“I think I got’em.” Yelled Carros.

“What!” Cried Jakk.

“I said I got’em!”

“I can’t hear you stoopa!” Jakk screamed.

The ringing drowned out everything.

Uneasily, Jakk tried to stand up. The room swirled before him, and he abruptly fell back down. Carros grabbed the desk and pulled himself up. His head swam in pain, but he managed to stay on his feet.

Piles of furniture had been transformed into a blackened crater. Pieces of bodies lied here and there amongst the shards of precious greel wood. The defenders were neutralized.

“Good work.” Jakk replied, toeing a Gammorean’s upper torso, looking for salvageable ears.

“What?”

“Nevermind.”

* * *

Deep within the bowels of the skyscraper’s sublevels was the building’s security command center. Reinforce with five meters of permacrete, it could withstand orbital bombardment. In case of an emergency, Cazza the Hutt could ride down a private turbolift that would take him directly into the confines of this bunker.

But at the moment, he was indisposed.

A nervous being paced in front of the closed circuit security monitors. The screens showing the ground floor reception hall and upper floor gallery were littered with bodies. Cazza’s main audience chamber showed two armor clad assassins disemboweling the Hutt at their leasure.

Chaos was in charge.

“Jonas, what’s the status on the relief team?” Asked Hergoff.

“Dead sir. Both Ubese teams are down too.” Replied the surveillance officer.

“What about the rancor?” He placed his hands on the terminal, leaning down to study the readouts.
“It’s still at hand, sit. Last ditch defensive measure.” The officer responed.

Jonas rubbed the hilt of his blastsword. The worn leather grip began to ease his nerves. It was a familiar comfort.

“May the Force have mercy on us.” He mumbled.

* * *

When the Morgley Brothers stormed Cazza’s Towers, they did so in two waves. Vallun and Terrik went in first, followed by Jakk and Carros.

Zin, on the other hand, was forced to crawl in through the sewers and infiltrate the building’s heavily guarded sublevels. It was a stinking job. Literally.

Yet he did so without complaint.

He was the youngest of the brothers and the most dedicated. Speaking rarely, he preferred the more difficult tasks, thus speaking through actions. There was no challenge too daunting for him. Everything was fair game.

Including Jedi.

Of course his mark wasn’t exactly a Jedi. The Fondorian, Jonas Whilhon, was Force sensitive, but his parents refused to hand him over to the Jedi. Instead he grew up like a normal child, but with special powers. Sometimes objects flew to his hand. Other times his lightning quick reflexes and prophetic intuition gave him an absolute advantage over his adversaries.

As a child his adversaries were merely the opposing team at school or childhood bullies. Now his adversaries were the enemies of Cazza the Hutt.

But Zin could care less. The Force was just another obstacle on his road to success. Besides, there were ways of dealing with Force users.

* * *

“Sir, that anomaly we’ve been monitoring on sublevel 2, well now it’s on sub 3.” Replied the officer.

“Have you been able to get a scan of it yet?” Jonas asked.

“Not yet sir. Every time it approaches one of our sensors it goes down.”

“How many sensors are left between it and us?” A jittery fear invaded his tone.

“Two…uh, make that one, sir.”

Both of them watched as the last sensor went offline.

“I think it’s time to unleash the rancor.” Jonas turned toward a metal door.

He tapped in a series of letters in the security keypad, unlocking the door. Inside a small, domesticated baby rancor whimpered in its sleep.

Jonas reached out with his mind and nudged the creature’s thoughts. Its large black eyes opened. It waited for the command.

“Sir, someone is breaching the blast door!” Yelled the officer, reaching for his holstered blaster.

Delicately, Jonas sent an image to the rancor. He showed it a threat trying to break through the door.

The beast acknowledged the command and shuffled to the large, heavy blast doors.

“Open the doors, quickly!” Jonas snapped.

The officer complied, hitting a manual power switch. With a whoosh, the doors slid open, revealing an armor clad assassin holding a plasma torch.

“Attack!” Jonas screamed, as much verbally as with the Force.

Lunging forward, the rancor charged Zin.

* * *
What in the worlds? The puzzled thought lingered in his brain long enough to be fatal.

A quick snap roll brought him out of it. The rancor charged by, claw gouging wildly, jaws snapping in the air.

Zin pulled out two heavy blasters, one in each hand. Cutting loose, he sent five sizzling blue beams into the rancor’s side.

The beast screamed but did not die. Instead it turned in a mad rush, leaping upon Zin before he could react.

Powerful claws tore through his armor with raw strength. Its head reached forward and clasped his spherical helmet within its jaws. Teeth pierced into the thin plating, scraping along the top of his skull.

Wrangling one arm free, he stabbed the muzzle of the blaster underneath the rancor’s bottom jaw and fired. He kept firing until the massive weight of the creature collapsed down on him, pinning him to the floor.

With all his might, he heaved the beast off, rolling it to the side. To his surprise blaster bolts pelted his chest.

“I got him, sir!” Yelled the security officer. “I got him!”

Zin staggered from the blow but took aim anyways. His single blue bolt soared across the room, driving into the officer’s forehead. Her body dropped to behind the terminal station.

Out of nowhere something crashed into his wrist. Zin looked over to see the Fondorian pulling a sword out of the metal grating in the floor. His blade was stuck.

Pointing his blaster at the helpless ‘Jedi,’ Zin squeezed the firing stud. Nothing happened. He tried again. Nothing. Finally he looked at what was wrong.

His hand wasn’t there.

In complete shock, he didn’t notice that the impact he felt was the severing of his wrist. His hand lied on the ground, his blaster held in a death grip.

He looked for his other blaster which was lying next to the dead rancor. Snatching it up, he aimed and fired. Again, nothing.

This time the blaster was broke. Somehow the rancor crushed it with its teeth.

By now Jonas had freed his blastsword and was using it like a lance. Zin rolled sideways, trying to dodge the blow. The tip of the sword cracked with a blast of energy. An orange bolt screamed by him, barely grazing his shoulder.

“I’ve got you now assassin. You’ll pay for what you’ve-” Jonas brought the sword down, over handed, in a two hand grip. “-done!”

Pulling out his boot knife, Zin jabbed the blade in the Fondorians thigh. It sank to the hilt.

“Ahhh! My led!” Jonas screamed.

A flying kick slammed into Jonas’ wounded leg, taking him down to the floor. Zin rushed in for the kill, stomping on the man’s head.

The fight was over.

* * *
Cazza the Hutt was in bad shape. Gaping wounds bled up and down his long body. His eyes were swollen shut, one burned shut. Inside his body felt like it was on fire. Pain coursed through his body in waves. He could feel his life slipping away.

“Times up Terrik, I think he’s a goner now.” Replied Vallun, a slight inflection in his electronic voice.

Terrik pulled out a Merr-Sonn Munitions Class-A thermal detonator. Using his other hands, he pried open the Hutt’s mouth and stuffed in the detonator.

Turning around, he yelled to the ladies. “Better get out of here, this place is gonna’ blow!”

All five women screamed as they hurried out the doors toward one of the turbolifts.

“Come on, let’s get outta here!” Vallun ran after the women.

Terrik followed suit.

* * *

Jakk and Carros watched in oblivious wonder as five extremely gorgeous women ran by them, piled into the nearest turbolift, and disappeared.

“Man, we missed out on all the fun.” Jakk snickered.

Then Vallun and Terrik ran by, leaping into a turbolift. As the doors closed, Vallun gave a mocking wave.

“I think we better book.” Carros looked over at Jakk and both of them ran for the last turbolift.

* * *

Zin staggered his way out of the basement and back to the main reception hall. The high vaulted ceilings and grand sized furniture made it seem like a cathedral or some palace at of the holos. However, the bloodied bodies strewn all over the place kind of took away the grandeur of the room.

A chime rang out behind him. Reflexively, he went for the blaster he scavenged off the security officer, bringing it up to eye level. As the turbolift doors opened, five stunning women piled out, running for their lives.

Stunned, he watched them run across the bodies, undeterred, and straight out the front doors.

“Huh.” He muttered.

Then another chime, another turbolift. This time two of his brothers ran out. One of them waved.

“That’s weird.” He thought out loud.

The third turbolift chimed and opened. His other two brothers ran by, not noticing him.

He finally got the idea.

* * *

Ten people spilled out of the towering skyscraper, running out into the skylane, charging down the street. Airspeeders zoomed by, watching the panicking pedestrians without second thoughts, blissfully going on with their business.

Then the building fell down. All one hundred and thirty seven stories.

Tons upon tons of permacrete, durasteel, and hydrofoam crashed down from above. Skylanes shattered from the force of impact. Airspeeders collided with the soaring debris exploding in mid air. People ran in terror and were engulfed in a cloud of debris.

From the distance, five armor clad beings stood in quiet observation.

The Hutt was dead and they were still alive. Minimal civilian casualties, contract fulfilled. All in a day’s work.

The guild would be pleased.

Chapter 4: “Time to go”

Tarsulla the Hutt sat in thought among the empty tables of his cantina. By nightfall the club would be packed and business would be booming again. On his opening night alone, he had raked in an impressive 53,000 credits. His empire was on its way.

And yet, he was living on borrowed time.

Cazza Vosadii Baco was a powerful Hutt crime lord on Nar Shaddaa. He had gathered the Hutt’s together into a ruling council, thus tripling the profits of all operation on the Smuggler’s Moon. But due to his harsh treatment and oppressive rule, no one here would miss him. Certainly not the other Hutts on the council. Right now they would be splitting up Cazza’s empire.

No, the problem was the Vosadii clan. Of all species, none carried a grudge like a Hutt. Their vengeance is short, swift, and brutal. However, patience was not one of their virtues.

The Vosadii clan would spend a veritable fortune on bounty hunters and assassins, all with one goal in mind: kill Tarsulla the Hutt. There was no way to sooth their lust for blood. At least not at the moment.

His only hope was to run and hide. If he could manage to hang out long enough, the Vosadii clan’s tempers would cool. They would forget all about Cazza. Their minds would turn back to profit. When that happened, he could come back and offer a peace tribute. Something to calm the waters.

But right now, he needed to hide.

“Tanos, come over here.” Tasulla gestured with his stubby arms, his voice echoing in the empty club.

Ral Tanos heard his boss’ booming voice from across the room. Tarsulla admired his Majordomo at a distance. Tanos was splendidly dressed in a fine, dark blue, heavy shimmer silk tunic with matching pants. Black boots and belt blended seamlessly with the dark clothing which contrasted greatly with his pale white skin.

“Yes boss?”

Tarsulla gazed down at the Umbaran. “You know that I hired some people to take care of Cazza. I’ve just heard that the business has been ‘taken care of.’ But that doesn’t mean that are problems have come to an end.” His deep, resonate voice was downtrodden. “Cazza’s clan, the Vosadiis, will seek revenge. They’ll want my head. So I must leave.”

Ral was stunned at the news. Things we’re going so well, he was making enough to pay off his debts and still have enough to play the tables, plus he was actually enjoying the old feeling of command. Here he was actually accomplishing something. And now it was all coming to an end-

“That is why I wanted to speak with you.” Tarsulla inched closer. “Ral, I want you to keep the business going. You’ll run everything in my absence. The cantina, the restaurant, and the gambling tables.” He gestured around the room. “I’m not sure how long I’ll have to go. It will take some time for the Vosadii’s blood to cool, maybe a few years, maybe more. Until then I can’t return, we can’t even speak. Bounty hunters will be looking for me. Before the end of the week, they’ll be talking to you. I’ll leave Bensha, Roke, and Xu here for protection. Tell the bounty hunters I went to Coruscant. Don’t hide anything from them and don’t show them weakness.”

Fear spread across Tanos’ face. His pallid skin darkened.

“You’ll be fine Ral. I have faith in you. Just don’t gamble this place into the ground, huh?” Tarsulla chuckled, Tanos actually managed a smile. “That’s better. I don’t think the guild will bother you too much. I’m going to tell them where I’m going.”

“What?” Ral blurted. “You can’t do that boss, they’ll catch you-”

Tarsulla waved the comment away. “Nonsense. I’ll be there and gone before they even start. Besides, I think I know a way to outrun them.” A twinkle sparkled in the Hutt’s massive eyes.

“Ok boss. Whatever you say.” Ral’s gaze turned to the floor. “I know I’ve got a gambling problem in all, but I promise-” His eyes came back up. “-I won’t run this place broke or loose it in some sabacc game. It’ll all still be here when you return. You have my word.” Ral put a hand across his chest, making a fist, signifying his oath.

The Umbarans didn’t take their oaths lightly.

The Hutt nodded his head in acceptance. “Good. Now let’s have a drink before I go. I believe we still have half a bottle of Grada Choholl…”

“Right on it, boss.” Tanos went behind the bar and returned with a bottle of Cassandran Choholl, one of the finest liquors in the Galaxy.

He poured a glass for himself and handed the bottle to Tarsulla. The Hutt tipped the bottle up, chugging the remainder of its rich, spicy nectar. Ral took a sip of his and together the two partners enjoyed one last moment of success.

* * *

Two weeks later…

Mos Eisley, Krayt Cantina:

At the end of the bar sat a Hutt. A large glass of garrmorl sweating in front of him. The bartender wiped his hands and picked up the Hutt’s cedit chip.

“Anything else I can get for ya?” The Advozse asked, leaning his elbows on the bar.

Tarsulla took a sip from his glass. “I’m looking to join up on a crew.”

“Huh, never took a Hutt as a freighter type. Anything in particular?”

“Well…I need a…beginner’s spot.”
_________________

"I believe toys resonate with us as humans, we can hold them them, it's tactile, real! They are totems for our extended beliefs and imaginations. A fetish for ideas that hold as much interest and passion as old religious relics for some. We display them in our homes. They show who we are. They are signals for similar thinking people. A way we connect with each other...and I guess thats why I do toys. That connection." -Ashley Wood


Last edited by Darth Skuldren on Tue May 13, 2008 12:19 pm; edited 1 time in total


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  Darth Skuldren
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The bartender rubbed his horn in thought. “Nothing new about learner the trade. I know a few people looking for crew hands.” He looked over his shoulder toward some private booths. “Eh, he’s not here right now but he’ll be in later…I’ll send word your interested. Guy name Jeral s’been trying to find a descent copilot going on a couple months now. I’d try him first.”

“Well…” Tarsulla took another sip from his glass. “…I guess you’d better run me up a tab then while I wait.”

As the hours passed, the denizens of the bar came and went. Species of all types could be seen. A Zeuolin prostitute was making her rounds with the customers as a Squib sifted through their pockets. About a dozen humans worked their way in, probably the first shift of Mos Eisley’s locals getting off work.

“Brother, may I interest you in a bit of enlightenment?” Asked a Koorivar, sliding up in a chair next to Tarsulla.

“Enlightenment?” Tarsulla echoed. “This is a bar, priest, not a church.”

“Ah, but what better place to seek out those in need.” Replied the strange looking alien.

“You may be right.” The Hutt downed the remainder of his glass. “So what gods do you speak for?”

The Koorivar shifted in his red hued robes, looking around to make sure his conversation was private. “Bogan.”

“Bog-” He stopped short of completing the word. “You mean-” Tarsulla’s voice lowered to a whisper, “-Sith?”

The Koorivar shook his head in affirmation. “The Holy Crusade must be fought brother, and we must do are part to help. It’s not too late to make your contribution.”

“The wars of the Jedi and Sith are none of my concern. I’m a business man.” Replied the Hutt.

A stern look washed over the alien’s green hued face. “In the battle of light and dark we all matter. And even a businessmen such as yourself can be of service. There is plenty of money to be made in the service of our masters.”

A moment of silence passed between the two. Their thoughts bounced around the mulled conversations of the cantina. Finally the bartender approached Tarsulla.

“Need another my friend?”

“Yes.” Tarsulla spoke absently, his gaze quickly snapped back at the Koorivar. “And no.” He emphasized the last word so deeply that the alien shuddered.

“Perhaps I could paint you a better picture. How would 10,000 credits sound?” The Koorivar probed.

“No.” Tarsulla repeated. “In war its bad business to choose a side, especially the loosing side.”

“Loosing side!” Steam had entered the Koorivar’s words. “We’re the ones winning the war. We’ve even defied death itself!” He cried.

“Hah, you call your ‘Dark Underlord’ a defier of death…more like a walking skeleton.” He chided the zealous Koorivar. “You and your ‘Black Nights’ can go try and take on the Jedi, but…what…like for the fourth time. I think I’d hedge my bets on the Jedi. They’ve always won in the past, unlike your side.”

Having had enough, the Koorivar stormed out of his seat and to the other end of the cantina.

The Advozse bartender sat down another frosted glass of garrmorl. “Problem?”

“Nah, just another recruiter in the war.” Tarsulla shrugged it off.

“Yeah, so many of the blasted things they had to go and call this one the New Sith War. Damn schisms. Why can’t the Jedi keep their boys in line?”

Lifting up his glass in a toast, “To Jedi order.” Tarsulla rumbled.

The bartender grabbed a bottle of Correlian ale, popped the top and clinked his bottle on the Hutt’s glass. “To order…and peace.”

Solemnly, the two guzzled their drinks.

Around midnight, a lone Duros walked through the cantina’s doors. He wore a blue jump suit, clad in pockets, with a simple black vest. Walking up to the bar, he ordered a drink. The bartender exchanged a few words with him, handed him his drink, and carried on with another customer.

The Duros headed toward Tarsulla.

“Tibby says your looking for work?” The Duros took a stool next to the Hutt. “Might be interested in hiring ya’ on.”

“I’ve never flown a ship before, would that be a problem?” Tarsulla asked.

“Nah, no problem out all. Man’s got to start somewhere.” The Duros eyed the Hutt. “Name’s Jeral, Jeral Skost, Capt’n of the Wandering Woostoid.” He held out his long, blue fingered hand.

The Hutt stretched out and shook it. “I’m Tarsulla.”

“Well Tarsulla, I’m glad to meet you.” Jeral took a long swig of his ale. “You look awfully small for a Hutt, if you don’t mind me sayin.”

“We grow with age. In time I might gain the image of my ancestors.” He put both of his hands on his belly, giving it a friendly pat.

“Least this ways we won’t have too much trouble in the cockpit. Only so much room you know…but I think I can rig something up for ya.” Jeral took another drink and looked around.

His eye caught the Zeuolin.

“My my, look at that one.” He cooed.

Tarsulla gave the Duros a friendly jab. “Watch out for the Squib.”

“The wha-” Then he noticed her furry little pal. “Ooh, he’s good. They been doin’ this all night?”

“Yep.”

Jeral finished his drink. “Maybe we oughta do somethin?” A wry smile zipped across Jeral’s face.

Tarsulla mirrored his grin. “Whaddya got in mind?”

The two of them leaned forward, sharing hushed whispers.

“So, you game?” Jeral teased.

Tarsulla wriggled forward, heading for the girl.

“Excuse me miss, I’ve couldn’t help but notice that you’ve been alone all night. Perhaps I could provide you some company?” The Hutt proposed, his basic was crisp and mannered.

“Oh my, a gentlemen. Why I would be honored to have your company.” She waved her hand slightly, down by her side, in some form a signal. “Perhaps we could go somewhere more private?” A seductive grin spread along her bright, red lips.

With her other arm, she took Tarsulla by the hand and led out the back. Behind the cantina was an empty alley. The suns had long set and now darkness enfolded the city.

The Zeuolin took Tarsulla off to the side. She leaned in and kissed his large mouth, her hands rubbing along his sides. During their embrace, she unclasped her top, revealing her modest bosom.

Just as she was beginning to fire up the young Hutt, a small voice squeaked behind him. “Stop right there, slug!”

The Zeuolin quickly covered herself and gasped in surprise. Tarsulla simply turned and looked at his perpetrator.

The pint size Squib stood in utter calm. In his hands was a gun roughly half the size of its owner.

“Hand over your creds or I vape you, full disintegration!”

“No troubles here,” he reached inside his vest, pulling out a handful of credits. “Just take the money.”

A high pitched discharge erupted behind the Hutt. The Squib leaned around to see what happened. Tarsulla swung his tail forward in a rapid strike, slapping the little alien off his feet. The big hand cannon flew across the alley.

Looking behind him, Tarsulla saw the Zeuolin sprawled on the ground, a nasty looking vibroblade in her hand.

“She was gonna get ya’ right in the back, my friend.” Jeral smiled, slipping his blaster back in his holster. “Uh, is the Squid all right?”

Tarsulla slid over and checked his pulse. “Still breathing. What about her?”

Jeral took his hands out of the woman’s purse with a handful of wallets. “Just stunned her, she’ll wake up with a head ach,” he waved the wallets. “And no money to show.” His grin grew even wider.

“We make a pretty good team, so, say fifty fifty?” The Hutt asked.

Jeral looked at the wallets and hesitated. “Cap’n usually gets seventy percent of the take…”

“And if it wasn’t for me, the captain would be lying there and not her.” Tarsulla retorted.

“Right you are. Deal. Fifty fifty…partner.”

The two men walked out of the alley in high spirits.

Tonight they had earned each other’s trust.
_________________

"I believe toys resonate with us as humans, we can hold them them, it's tactile, real! They are totems for our extended beliefs and imaginations. A fetish for ideas that hold as much interest and passion as old religious relics for some. We display them in our homes. They show who we are. They are signals for similar thinking people. A way we connect with each other...and I guess thats why I do toys. That connection." -Ashley Wood


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