[It is a period of intergalactic turmoil, with the elimination of the senate and rebel terrorists destroying imperial property, the galaxy is balanced on a knifes edge.
The Empire attempts to maintain control of the galaxy but many of the non-core systems are not receiving the aid they need to function.
Without honest work and a decent paycheck, many of the Empire’s once honorable citizens, police, diplomats and tradesman now seek other forms of income on the edge of the empire. . . . ]
As the crawl ends the camera pans down showing comets floating through space. The sound of cantina music can be heard faintly in the background. Two large comets collide with a slight clink. As the camera pulls away we see that the comets are actually ice in a drink. We pan from the drink revealing the rest of the smokey cantina, an empty stage and a few patrons are in the bar. The shot settles on a trio of individuals at a round corner booth, Two humans dressed vastly different from one another and a massive Ithorian in combat gear.
The human dressed nicely swirls the ice in his expensive glass of water. “I appreciate your services, both of you, but I hope you’ll understand that I am in the same predicament. We are out of cash and—”
“-but you said you’d pay me to protect you. I protected you and now I need payment.” The Ithorian butted in.
The other human held up a hand, “Easy Tendau. Hear him out. It looks to me that your just lucky you got out of there alive.”
“Thank you, Alister. You bring up an excellent point.” Sipping from his glass and turning back to Tendau, “We were lucky to get out of there at all. Even though you were only my hired guard, That nasty Togruta was after me. He wouldn’t have let you off the hook just because you were only a mercenary.”
Tendau hums to himself in contemplation. The man swirls his ice once more before continuing, “As it turned out, Tendau, we both needed to flee. Which brings us to our current situation. I, as your former employer, am no longer in a position to keep bodyguards.” After a long pause and a sip from his glass, “essentially, you worked for a private employer who went bankrupt. And like any employer in that situation it doesn’t mean that he is obligated to continue paying his employees.” Another sip, “don’t worry, you’re not fired-” Tendau tenses, “-you’re merely ‘laid off’ from your previous position.” He says as he finishes his glass.
“You were gracious enough to shelter us in our time of need,” He says gesturing to Alister, “and we thank you for that. Had you two not worked together in the past I’m afraid I just wouldn’t trust you. Folks in this part of the galaxy can be quite sketch. No offense, but Tattooine aint the kind of place to raise a kid.”
“I hear ya,” Alister says as he nurses the last of his whiskey, “I came here thinkin’ Teemo needed another gun, competition’s too fierce at Jabba’s, but as it turns out the Hutt who needs mercs is the one who refuses to pay a decent wage!”
“Exactly. As I said, we are all in the same predicament. We are all three in dire need of work. I suggest we work together to find something mutually beneficial to the three of us. Personally, working under a crime lord is not advisable. Having just got out of that explosive work environment I’m not looking forward to going back just yet. I was actually a big deal in our organization, but even that didn’t save me.”
“Well big deal, what do you suggest. You don’t look much of a merc. Big talker though.”
“I suggest heading to a local starport and catch work on a ship. We each have our skills to contribute as the crew of a freelance merchant vessel. They need negotiator’s as much as they need hired guns and helping hands.”
Alister nods in acknowledgement. Solid plan, he thought to himself, big talker here might just strike us a good contract. “Starport, eh? What did you say your name was?”
Tendau, having spent some time pondering the man’s words, turns to Halian, “Very well. Perhaps you don’t owe me money.”
“That’s good to hear. Now all we need is a ship.”
The cantina doors open and Sol Rook comes sauntering in with a purpose. His droid JO hovering over his shoulder trips the droid sensor as they enter.
“Hey you, no droids!” The bartender barks.
“I’ll buy him a drink!” Sol responds indignantly. The bartender doesn’t push it. “Two cheap whiskeys,” he says as he slides into a barstool, JO hovering nearby.
The Sullustan he was travelling with, Bralys, had lagged behind with his slow little legs. Having caught up, he stumbles into the cantina and braces himself against the wall and lets his eyes adjust. Their Wookiee companion blows by him and stomps into the room, having waited patiently for Braly, Dhyrn surveys the room for drinks to be had and patrons to be brawled. His eyes scan over to a booth on the far wall. After hovering over an unusually bulky Ithorian and some guy with a dumb human haircut, his eyes land on the thin yet nicely dressed man sitting with them.
HAAAAAAAGGHHRRRR!!! he bellows and charges the man.
Sol’s hand shoots to his holster. He reacts in time to see the Wookiee grab a man from his booth, lift him in the air, and whirl him around in the most ferocious yet adorable bear hug.
“Dhyrn you spastic space monkey! What did I tell you about hugging strangers?” However, Sol is surprised when the Wookiee lets go and the two don’t look like strangers. The man laughs and pats Dhyrn’s arm affectionately and not in the way that stranger’s normally do when they’re attack-hugged by Dhyrn. Sol is only further aghasted when the Sullustan approaches the same table and clasps arms with the merc in armored clothing. The two seem to be ecstatic that they found each other again. “… Huh. Well JO, I guess we’ll join them.”
Sol takes his two drinks and pulls up a chair. He exchanges a look with the Ithorian who seems equally perplexed at the dual reunions going on around them. Turning to the Bralys, Sol asks, “Hey Bralys, who’s your fr-”
“Ooh you brought us drinks!” Bralys takes Sol’s drinks and gives both to Alister. Sol lets out a sigh, takes a seat, and sends JO back for more drinks.
“I take it you know each other?”
“I worked for Alister’s dad. He had a mildly unpopular mechanic shop that I took over after a while. I knew Alister since he was a wee little baby.” Bralys explained. Sol made a mental note to inquire about how long Sullustan’s live. Bralys and Allister looked about the same age to Sol.
As if to answer some unspoken question, “I just worked on shipping orders and deliveries. Not much of a wrencher,” Alister interjected.
“Shipping orders and deliveries…” Sol said. I like the sound of that, Sol thought. “My name is Sol by the way.”
“He’s the bounty hunter who captured me. He’s a good guy.” Noticing Alister’s painfully concerned look, “He was going to turn me in, but he didn’t. We flew here instead,” Bralys explains soothingly.
Halian raises an eyebrow. “Flew? I take it you have … a ship?” He asks, shelving his conversation with Dhyrn.
“He does,” Bralys answers, “It’s nice. Very dimly lit.”
Reaching his hand out to Halian, “Sol Rook, Captain of the Yet-To-Be-Named.”
“Halian Lorect,” he says grasping the man’s hand, “Captain, did you say? Funny you should arrive. We were just talking about…” He trails off as a man enters the cantina flanked by two fat Gammorians with beating sticks. “Well now, what have we here,” he mutters.
Sol steals a quick glance at the door before continuing. “Yeah, Captain. I’m passing through looking for work. I mostly do bounty hunting but our recent addition to the crew convinced us to not be so picky. How do you know Dhyrn?”
The two Gammorians sit at the bar while the human they entered with scans the room.
“I used to work as aide and seneschal for Madame D’Lavna, the pirate queen. Dhyrn was a slave and a arranged for him to have a chance at fighting for his freedom. We keep in touch from time to time. How did you come to work together?”
“Found him in a bar on Socorro. He picked a fight and we both ended up in the ditch. Neither of us died so now we work together.”
“Impressive. I’d love to talk to you more about this “work” you speak of, but it seems it will have to wait." Halian nods behind Sol as the man with the Gammorians approaches the table."
“Pull up a chair,” Sol tells the man.
“Solomon Rock?” He asks.
“Right, Rook. You just docked in a few minutes ago, but there’s a problem with your ship. Teemo wants to talk to you.”
The table fell quiet. Sol sighed heavily and attempted to hide the look of dread on his face. “Well,” he said putting on a calm face, “looks like I have a meeting with a Hutt. I don’t suppose you’d care to join us?” Sol asked sarcastically.
“I’d love to,” Halian responded smirking. Sol stopped in his tracks, stunned that someone would willingly walk into the firing line of a Hutt. He studied Halian’s face for clues to his motivation. Calm, well dressed, well crafted image, well spoken, at home in a dive cantina, took interest in my ship. Con-man? Maybe. Definitely an opportunist in need of an opportunity—
Picking up on Sol’s hesitance, Halian explained, “I have experience in negotiating with crime lords. I was once in the employment of a certain pirate queen and now I am in need of a more mobile base of operations. I will accompany you and help you with your Hutt problem, then we’ll talk of a more permanent arrangement.”
“Oh yeah you can come,” Bralys answered before Sol could make a decision. “Alister is coming too. We have a lot to catch up on. He’s a great guy, I missed him. Hey Tendau, it was Tendau right? You should come too. I’d hate to leave you alone and take all your friends. You never know, we might have a chance to make money! Either that or get killed. Huts can be like that. But you never know, I got a good feeling about this meeting.” Bralys rambles on as the group follows Jasun outside. Sol lingers a moment rubbing his temples before he joins the crowd outside.
“Hey! Who’s paying for those drinks?” The bartender barks.
“Ah… oh. Right.” Sol stumbles, remembering his distinct absence of credits. “Yeah Jasun said he’d take care of it. He’s doing something for Teemo, you could ask him about it later. The Hutt’s waiting,” he lies, feeling good about possibly getting back at the jerk who interrupted his day.
“Sure thing. Teemo has a tab open for things like that. I’ll put it on his bill.” Sol chokes with regret and hopes he can get out of town before this comes back at him.
Walking out of the cantina he finds a crowd. Less than half the group consists of Sol’s newfound acquaintances and allies. The rest are Teemo’s thugs and security droids. One of the thugs stands out from the rest quite literally by standing eye to eye with the Wookiee; Barabbas, a heavily armed Barabel glares at Sol. All the more intimidating given the scaly man’s spiked armor.
“What took you so long? Teemo’s waiting,” The barabel hissed.
“Payed the drinks. Yep, just paid ‘em myself. Teemo’s waiting, you say?”
“Oh it’s fine,” Bralys interrupted, seemingly unaware of the danger posed by a man like Barabbas. “I’m sure he’s a patient guy. Hey, I noticed your security droids look like crap. Mind if I give them a tune up while we walk?”
“By my scales, these droids are crap! We got them as a part of a larger deal. We thought it was a steal, but we were had. Damn quarren. I ripped his spine out. Hahaha. Go right ahead. I tried fixing the motivators but my claws are too large!”
Bralys fuddled with the security droids as they walked across the plateau city. Tattoine’s twin suns beat down on his little sullustan head as he explained proper droid maintenance. Barabbas was taking notes on a datapad as they walked through the outer gate of Teemo’s palace.
Situated on a hill overlooking his domain, Teemo’s estate is surrounded on all sides by sheer cliff face. Only a narrow walkway bridges the gap between the plateau city of Mos Shuuta and the grand entrance to the audience chamber. The chamber itself mirrors that of his palace. Just as he overlooks his domain, Teemo’s lounge-throne is held on a high balcony overlooking his audience. Two large marble staircases flank the room and circle up to the high chamber. In the center of the chasm between Teemo and his subjects is a chemically treated “water” fountain. Mostly chemicals, it sparkles as it perpetually flows and displays Teemo’s abundance. A small platform extends partially over the fountain “waters.” Serving as pulpit by which lesser beings address the lord of the palace, in effect it’s more of a cross between a courthouse podium and a pirate’s plank.
Barabbas gives Bralys a cold look as he leaves them at the platform. Mounting the stairs, the armored warrior his place at his master’s side. Sol stands in the center of the platform as the others form up behind him—all feeling small under the Hutt’s presence. Various patrons of Teemo’s court observe in murmured silence while gentile music ignores the tension in the room.
Teemo’s deep and eerie laugh echoes through the chamber, “SOL-O-MON…” The pronunciation of his name shakes Sol to his bones.
A protocol droid approaches the edge of the balcony. Teemo mutters in huttese and the droid elaborates in galactic basic.
“The insurmountable Teemo has called you here to answer for your folly.” The droid let the words sink in before continuing. “It seems that your negligence in maintaining your vessel has caused the gratuitous injury of one of Teemo’s employees.”
“Negligence? You should have seen it when I got it. I’ll show you negligence…” Bralys mutters to himself.
Continuing, “when the accident occurred we followed standard protocol and filed a report on your ship. Upon running your registered ID we found that the ship was once Imperial property, was stolen, and then was used for illegal drugmaking. As such, we followed protocol and searched the ship for illegal goods,” the droid explained.
Damn it! Cursed under his breath. Who knows what they’ll consider ‘illegal.’
“Having seized your contraband we have determined that its cost is insufficient to cover compensation for the injured worker. If you’ll look to your left you’ll see the worker in question.”
Out of a side door and in obvious pain, a dockworker wheels himself out and into a spotlight. His leg is in a large cast and his arm is in a sling. The man is holding the most pathetic look on his face in attempt to show the audience his discomfort.
Sol holds his face in his palm. We’re being played! He thought to himself. I can’t believe the Hutt would play such a cheap trick. How the hell do we get out of it?
The droid continues his explanation, “If you look to your right,” he says gesturing, “You’ll see the piece of your ship that has fallen so carelessly unmaintained.” Out of a corridor, as though it mattered for them to sell their case, two men wheel out a large piece of bulkhead. It is clearly from the ship since it contains piece of the ship’s bow markings.
“Why would you pull that off our ship?”
The music stops. Everyone stares at Bralys.
“OOOHH-DAAA CHUDA HAAAAHHH!” Teemo bellows in huttese, face red with outrage. Sol looks on helpless as Bralys keeps muttering accusations, “Now I have to put that back on. I’m going to have to spend so much time putting-” thankfully Alister’s hand clasps the little man’s mouth shut.
“The everwise Teemo demands that you explain why you would make such an offensive accusation against your benevolent host,” the droid translates.
Sol is speechless. His mind races for an explanation, yet he’s unable to think through being so flustered at the injustice of the situation. Desparately, he looks to Halian for the aid he promised. Halian, seemingly unphased by the situation, steps forward and addresses the flustered hutt.
“Great and powerful Teemo. As a previous client of the pirate queen D’Lavna, I’ve seen and encountered many of your powerful warriors and seen how your great wisdom plays out in the various endeavors you partake. We simply ask for your patience an favor in understanding what has happened here. We only seek to resolve this in your best interest.”
Bralys angrily shakes his head, but the hutt sinks into his chair and the music resumes. After whispering to his aides, the droid addresses the crowd,
“Teemo is ingratiated to your respect and is willing to be understanding and happy to come to a compromise. You see, your ship has been identified as the Breaking Blue, which has been flagged as a criminal vessel.”
Damn, Sol thought, I really need to change the registry.
“We searched it according to standard operating procedure under Imperial law. We confiscated several illegal items from your ship. However, the gracious Teemo is willing to forgo a criminal investigation if you would be willing to perform a simple task for him.”
“What is that task, oh gracious and wise Teemo,” Halian asks reverently. Without word from Teemo, the droid explains,
“The Boonta Eve Podrace is scheduled for boonta eve. Unfortunately, meteorologists have predicted
heavy sandstorms nearing the day of the race. The race may be postponed for several days if the track is buried in sand. The issue is that Teemo’s pod-jocky has a contract that ends on boonta eve. Teemo would be without a racer for the big event, and he has a lot riding on the outcome of the race. There are several ways in which you can accomplish this task, Barabbas will fill you in on the details.”
Halian gives a deep and respectful bow. “What a generous offer. We thank you and gladly accept this challenge.”
Teemo waves his hand in dismissal.
“I don’t understand,” Alister asks as they are escorted out, “do they want us to fight a sandstorm?”
“Wow, Halian. You flew WAY up the hutt butthole!”
“The hutthole,” Bralys mutters between complaints, never one to pass a good setup. The haggard group stand in the empty courtyard. Rough Tattooine boulders litter the area. Bralys sulks on a rock while Sol paces, shocked things went so well.
“Seriously,” Sol continues, “that was some expert ass kissing. You really got us out of trouble back there.”
“Good,” Halian responds, leaning up against a tall pointed slab. “I wanted you to see that I can be of help to you in whatever business you dabble in.”
Sol stops and strokes his stubble.
“Yeah, I noticed you left me hanging until I were neck deep and couldn’t dig out.” He gives Halian a sideways look. Wondering if the man would be more trouble down the road.
Halian only smiles.
“Nothing I couldn’t handle, Solomon,” he reassures the captain. “I was watching the situation carefully and would never have let it get too dangerous. I merely wanted to see how you handled yourself before I intervened.”
“Yeah? How’d I do?” Sol asks.
“Not bad. You knew enough to keep your mouth shut. The same can’t be said for Bralys. Had he not shot you in the foot you might have not needed my help.”
“I’ll shoot you in the foot,” Bralys mutters.
“Well,” Sol starts, ignoring Bralys, “You’ve proved yourself useful.” He gazes at the odd bunch scattered among the rubble. “You say you need a ship? Well, let’s see what our options are for this job. If y’all want to help see this to the end then I’ll at least give you a ride. But if you want, we can talk about signing you on a contract. I mostly have experience in bounty hunting, but we’re going to try our hand at tradesmanship. I’ll need deckhands as much as I need a proper negotiator.”
Some nod in acknowledgement, all look up as Barabbas makes his way over.
[The rest of this Log is just a rough thrown together recap of the events. I’ll go back later and write it out narratively. We just need something to serve as a reminder of whats happened so far.]
“Ssssup bitchessss,” Barabby says as he meets up with the group.
Barabbas tells us about the Pod Racer and how we shouldn’t bust his kneecaps. Then he talls us about the GI Joe weather machine his mechanic was working on. Braly and Barabby take a look at it and decide they can get it working with a few parts. Barabby knows a guy….
Macho the Sicilian Toydarian has the parts we need. But he also has my GORRAM SENSOR ARRAY! W work out a deal and get the parts for the GI Joe machine, then we work out a deal where we can help him get more business from other racers, and earn more respect from Teemy-da-H. So we agree to skulduggerously piss in some engines and head back to our Barabuddy Barabby-da-B.
We finish fixing up the GI Joe machine and Bar-B turns it on. We get all static charged and Dhyrn doesn’t like it. But yay, it works.
That night, Dhyrn decides to do something winningly. SO he, Halz McTalkerson, and the Ex-Fascist go to the bar-tina. Cantina. That’s what it’s called. Not bar-tina. That’s silly.
In the Cantavern, Dhyrn orders drinks and almost loses at drinking. So he challenges an Aqualish to a drink-off. The Aqualish has a fancy hat on, so Dhyrn might have a chance.
Dhyrn realizes he’s losing, so he punches the Drunqualish. He misses and knocks off his hat.
It’s on. DRUNKEN BAR BRAWL!!!
They shove each other a bit then collapse in each other’s arms. It’s cute.
Hally and the Fascist take them back to the ship.
At 6am I sound the alarm. “Wake up, it’s time to make money!”
A few hours later, Dhyrn wakes up.
Meanwhile, at the same place…
A storm begins to brew… It’s the big one. So big that .0001% humid Tattooine develops clouds solely for the purpose of being stormy.
We throw around several really great ideas, then we decide to do a needlessly reckless one because it’s cool. Strapping the GI Joe machine to a skiff, we haul it into the ship and hook it up to a long chain. Dhyrn takes us up into the eye of the storm. Bralys opens the cargo bay door and gets sucked out. He grabs on to something and just hangs there. We try and get him onto the skiff, but he politely refuses. Tendau, the beefthorian, rudely saves him from a horrible death. I’ll have to write him a demerit for that.
In the eye of the storm, we hang four hundred feet behind the ship for some reason, and we turn on the GI Joe machine. Science breaks the storm and turns it into a little ball of dense storminess. It’s fun.
Outside the storm, Dhyrn, Halz, and the Fascist drag the tethered storm off it’s course and towards the Jundland Wastes. Cuz fuck Sandpeople, amirigh?
The storm rages ooooooon. The sand never bothered me anyway. But flying chunks of desert debris bother me quite a bit. The sandperson buncing off our hull wasn’t bad, but high centering on his bantha was disgusting. We almost lost Bralys.
Then we got attacked by a Sarlaac. In the freaking air, a juvenile Sarlacc attatched itself to the back of the skiff. That jerk. I had to cut our skiff in half to get rid of it. Then I went all Kevin Bacon, “can you fly motherfucker! Can you fly?” Everyone thought I was awesome. Everyone.
Tendau the beefthorian almost passed out, but he held onto Bralys until they dragged us back up. When we told Teemo the good news, Halzy McTalkerson made us sound awesome. Then we mentioned that we lost half his skiff. Teemo graciously only charged us for the half we lost.