- I have finished editing the story will regularly be posting bits of the story. Please feel free to offer constructive criticism in the comments. I know this will not be perfect and I will have made mistakes. Thank you in advance. Please, please, please leave feedback. Honest feedback.
THE PLANET Tatooine engulfed the entire viewport when we reverted from hyperspace. Tatooine was a hot and barren world whose colors consisted of multiple shades of brown and orbited two suns. There were two surface types on Tatooine: sand and rock. Why people insisted on living here made absolutely no sense to me.
We had come out of hyperspace just beyond the reach of Tatooine’s gravity well. Muehlenkha, Staphon, and I stared in astonishment, disbelieving that people could actually survive on a planet that had farms solely dedicated to producing nothing but water. Moisture farms. Incredulous. I could just imagine the conversations here. Are you thirsty? I just grew some fresh water.
After requesting and receiving landing clearance from the Mos Eisley spaceport, I deftly piloted my starship into Tatooine’s scorching atmosphere. I put the ship down in Docking Bay 15 as I had been instructed to do.
“What’s the plan, young Afcuyo?” Staphon questioned.
“There is no plan for now,” I answered. “I, however, am going to rent a speeder, and go visit the bedraggled gastropod.”
“Sure thing, young man,” Staphon nonchalantly replied. Then: “Bedraggled gastropod?”
“Yeah. I like using big words on my prey. It makes them think I’m smarter than them; that I can outwit them. ”
“You can’t even outwit me, baby!” Staphon exclaimed.
I rolled my eyes. “Shaved wookie hair could outwit you. Try not to break anything while I’m gone.”
I rose from the pilot’s seat, hitting the controls to the boarding ramp as I rose. I strode down the ramp, and then paused to behold my surroundings. Sand was ever present. The spaceport was covered sand. It even seemed to be constructed of sand. The docking bay was circular and enclosed, with only one entryway. Everything I needed could be found right here in the bay before I left. There were umbilical ports to refuel my ship, a supply shop, showers (much more accommodating than those on my vessel), and refresher stations. Almost like a hotel, only without beds.
I stopped at the sales office in the entry alcove, and paid the docking fee. I also rented a speeder, and purchased a datapad with a map of Mos Eisley and its surrounding areas. Utilizing my rented speeder, exited the docking bay, and began to traverse the notorious thoroughfares of Mos Eisley.
Fortunately, having resided on Nar Shaddaa for years on end, I was accustomed to being in the presence of a vast diversity of species. It’s decidedly intimidating if you’re not accustomed to it. There were about twenty different species that I could easily identify. I also noticed a few I didn’t recognize.
I decided to head west from the docking bay. There seemed to be a larger concentration of sentients in this direction. I didn’t travel far before I came across a disreputable looking edifice with a crooked sign above the entrance that simply read: Cantina. This appeared to be the infamous Mos Eisley cantina. I parked the speeder, and decided to check it out.
There wasn’t a soul in the galaxy who hadn’t heard horror stories in regards to the Mos Eisley cantina. Judging by rumor alone, this is miniscule shack is the single deadliest building in the galaxy. I highly doubted that claim, but all the same I timidly set foot in the cantina, not knowing what to expect. I proceeded down the steps of the entry alcove then glanced curiously around the cantina. The room was filled with a dizzying array of vibrant aliens and humans alike. Before me I saw business transactions taking place, and inebriated patrons having a good time. Off in the right-hand corner of the cantina, Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes were playing in perfect harmony, although it didn’t seem like the kind of music this particular brand of clientele would enjoy. But who was I to judge?
I decided to head straight to the bar. The bartender, Wuher was his name if I remembered correctly, regarded me as if I was wasting his time.
“You gonna order somethin’ or are ya just gonna stare at me all day?” he asked boorishly.
“Well I don’t find that prospect at all inviting,” I retorted. Controlling my sarcasm was sometimes a difficult task, especially when I was rubbed the wrong way. Wuher had rubbed me the wrong way. “I actually need directions, if you don’t mind.”
“This is a cantina, not an information booth,” Wuher growled. “Order something or get lost.”
“Yes, I understand that.” Really, I could be quite understanding. Everyone liked me; they just hadn’t realized it yet. “But Jabba told me that the virtuous citizens of Mos Eisley would happily provide me with coordinates to his palace.” Jabba hadn’t really said that to me, but Wuher wouldn’t know that.
“Jabba sent for you, eh?” Wuher’s demeanor changed slightly. The power an overweight worm with a berserk pituitary gland – did Hutts have those? – could have was astonishing.
I nodded. “Yes. If all goes well, I’ll have a job from him by the end of the day.” I wasn’t quite sure why I’d told Wuher that. I sounded like a child discussing a reward for good behavior. Like he would care.
“I’ll file that under ‘I don’t give a mynock’s tail.’ But if it will get you out of my face, I’ll give you the damned directions.”
I think I just made a new friend. “Well aren’t you just a mountain of personality?” I said sarcastically. Extremely sarcastically. “Are we friends now? We just had our breakthrough moment, didn’t we? How about a hug?” My mouth occasionally got me into trouble. I wasn’t sure why.
Wuher regarded me with a befuddled look. “Huh?”
I shook my head. “Never mind. You said you knew the coordinates?”
“Sure.” Wuher finally gave me the coordinates to Jabba’s Palace.
“Now get outta here!” We glared at each other disdainfully before I turned to exit the cantina. Making friends is just so much fun.
I sauntered back to my rental speeder and hopped in. I entered the coordinates which Wuher had provided into the speeder’s built-in navigation system and a route automatically appeared on the map. I followed the provided directions from the navigation system. Once I was outside Mos Eisley I programmed the autopilot to guide the speeder to its intended destination.
The ghastly palace of Jabba the Hutt was perched on the brink of Dune Sea. The immense structure was situated on the precipice of a sheer cliff that dropped several hundred meters below into the merciless Dune Sea. I studied the Dune Sea as I approached, in awe of its splendor. Mesmerized, I gazed at mountain upon mountain of sand as far as the eye could see.
The palace itself consisted of three main structures. All three were cylindrical in shape, which seemed to be set in a triangular pattern. The rust brown, durasteel walls were coated with a thick layer of Tatooine sand. The terrain around the palace was not navigable. The uneven formation of rock surrounding the looming palace prevented anyone from approaching the palace except through the path that led almost straight to the massive durasteel door that served as the main entrance.
After disembarking from the speeder, I approached said durasteel door. I noticed there were no buttons to press or any other means to advise those inside that I was here, at least none that I could readily see. I shrugged, and then knocked on the colossal door.
Almost immediately, a mechanical appendage with a spherical head at the tip shot out of a concealed orifice on the door. I took an involuntary step back. The spherical head then opened to reveal a large photoreceptor, and it started blabbering in Huttese.
“I am here to speak with Jabba the Hutt,” I told. . .whatever this device was.
“Are you expected?” the contraption inquired, still speaking Huttese.
“Most definitely,” I confirmed. “I am here at the behest of Jabba.”
With that, the droid vanished back into the door just as fast as it had appeared. Then, groaning and creaking, the gargantuan door started to rise. I entered when the door had risen high enough for me to pass through the opening without having to duck.
When I had reached the end of the main corridor, I found a pasty-skinned Twi’lek there to meet me. The alien mumbled something in what I could only assume was the Twi’lek language.
“I apologize. I’ve yet to learn your glorious language.” I expressed with false regret. I could make a killing as an actor if I could only find an agent.
“I hope, then, you at least understand the tongue of my master,” the Twi’lek said in Huttese.
“I most certainly do,” I assured him.
“Wonderful. My name is Bib Fortuna. I am Jabba’s majordomo. I will escort you to Jabba’s main audience chamber.”
I gestured forward with his hands. “By all means.”
Bib Fortuna led the way, and I merely followed. Fortuna led me through the doorway on the left at the end of the main hallway. We then proceeded down another hallway that morphed into a descending, spiral staircase.
Jabba’s main audience chamber was grimy and pungent, and those were the nicest things I could say for it. For some profane reason, all Hutts had a preternatural preference for grime and foul odors. If it was nasty, a Hutt would probably love it. Jabba, unfortunately, was no exception. I nearly heaved when I took in my first lungful of air after I had entered the room.
Lined around the walls of Jabba’s audience chamber were a diverse collection of humans and non-humans alike. Bounty hunters and body guards, I presumed. Most of the sentients didn’t seem to notice the smell. I, on the other hand, doubt that I could ever become accustomed to such a fetid stench.
“Afcuyo, my boy!” Jabba boomed in Huttese when I entered.
“Hello, your Excellency.” Again with the flattery. You would think he would tire of it. I surely grew tired of having to find new ways to extol him.
“I would once again like to express my gratitude for taking care of the Cregan Kon situation. You did great work.”
“You’ve more than shown your gratitude, Jabba,” I told him. “Perhaps you wouldn’t mind enlightening me as to why I’ve been summoned?”
Jabba’s laughter echoed loudly throughout the chamber. “Straight to business. That’s what I like that about you.”
I don’t mind good conversation, but I really just didn’t want to be subjected to this overpowering stench any longer than necessary. Instead of making this likely fatal admission, I nodded my head in agreement. “Yes. I am the very epitome of straightforwardness. So, do you have another poor soul for me to eradicate?”
Jabba laughed once more. “Afcuyo, my boy, you must take great pride in your work. To answer your question; I do. A certain Corellian has interfered with my business recently, and I want him to learn the folly of such actions. I want him alive, however, to be tortured at my leisure.”
Ugh. Live bounties are a pain in the neck. I momentarily considered declining, but I didn’t want to push my luck. I was not quite reputable or renowned enough to pick and choose my bounties. Besides, there was still the fact that declining would likely upset Jabba. That was a problem I could ill-afford. Instead, I said, “Consider it done. Just supply me with what information you can, and I’ll ensure that this fool is dealt the fate he’s chosen.”
Jabba’s eyes darted to his majordomo, and Fortuna brought a datapad with my quarry’s information on it.
“Dash Rendar has displeased me significantly,” Jabba announced. “He and another human named Skywalker are currently en route to Bothawui. Rendar is your main target, but if you happen to come across this Luke Skywalker, you may terminate him. There is a considerable bounty on his head I would have collected if not for Rendar’s interference. The fools left a message droid in the hut in which they were dwelling. My techs were able to decode it. They are to go to Bothawui and meet Koth Melan, a Bothan, at the Intergalactic Trade Mission. They left only a day ago. You should be able to catch up quickly. All other relevant information is now on your datapad. ”
“I will not fail, mighty Jabba” I promised. “I will return when I have this Rendar character in my custody.”
“I anticipate your success, Afcuyo.” Jabba said in such a tone that implied that failure was not optional. This is getting old.