The Masked One must die.
The command had spread quickly throughout the whole of Sadask'ha, announced in the vidfeeds on the giant holoscreens in the upper district. Pontiffa, the face of clan Gherilijic to the populace, had called for the head of the Masked One.
The bloated Hutt's face filled the holoscreens, spittle flying from his blubbery mouth as he spoke.
" Kajidic Gherilijic will offer the substantial bounty of 150,000 credits..." The holoscreen cut to a feed from the Exchange battle, showing the Masked One force his lightsaber through a Rodian's chest...
"For this foul crimminal, an individual known as Hu'Deka Sol...The Masked One! Dead or alive!."
From the ramshackle cantinas and abandoned streets, every manner of sentient being, garbed in ragged clothing and bearing improvised weapons, began to rise.
The alleyways were soon filled with bounty gangs, clusters of haggard aliens and greedy eyes. Blasterfire rung out where mistaken individuals exchanged fire with red-cloaked sentients, yet the dark tide continued to rise....
HUN and his compatriots stood on the edge of the third level, staring down at the districts below, superimposed against the Smugglers Moon filling a quarter of the twilight sky.
Moa gripped his Vibro-Pike closely, and turned to face Kane. "So...it seems our assignment has changed."
Kane did not reply, instead reloading his weapon and keeping his eyes on the streets below, slowly filling with the bounty militia. He turned to face HUN. "Why are the Hutts opening the bounty for everyone? I thought we were exclusive." He cocked the weapon loudly for empathis.
"The Masked One---signed his death warrant by crossing Tussok. We still have exclusive rights to any other Forcer in Sadask'ha."
A sudden wind rose, billowing HUNs trenchcoat out behind him.
"Well...as long as they don't get in the way." Kane replied.
Moa grabbed Kane by his arm and pulled him off to the side. HUN and Tal Rith did not move.
"Look," Moa growled, jabbing his finger into Kane's chest for empathis. "I don't like being left out of the circle here...how exactly are we getting ANY closer to finding our bounty by following this guy around?"
Kane sheathed his weapon, and was silent for a moment. Finally, he replied. "Moa, something's not right with the Hutts...there's something much, much bigger going on."
"Huh...look, I understand why we're working for Tussok." Moa spun his Vibro-Pike casually. " But...krif, why are we hunting Jedi when we should be focusing on finding the bounty?"
Kane stared out towards the distant spaceport docks, barely able to make out the shape of their vessel. "Hmm...right now, we don't have the slightest clue where she is." Kane thought for a moment. "...I guess it's time for Glith and Tanuka to earn their shares."
He pulled a holocomm unit out of his jacket, and dialed for the ship. Moments later, a Verpine visage flared to life, glowing faintly blue in the darkness.
Glith sighed. "Finally...we were beginning to worry about you. Te'dac is recovering well, he should be up in a day or two. What's the situation?"
Kane replied. "Alright...This bounty is going to take longer to pin down than we thought. There's some kind of...faction war or something going on with the Hutts, behind the scenes. Nobody on the streets seems aware, but...it could get ugly pretty soon. At least, that's what my impression is." He paused. "Right now, Moa, Tal Rith, and myself are working with HUN to....more or less, gain favor with the Trandoshan. And possibly pick up some good credits on the way." He grinned solemnly. "right now, you and Tanuka need to use your connections here and figure out what the krif is going on. Figure out who actually has our bounty."
Glith laughed, a harsh, alien sound. "So much easier said than done, Kane. But we'll get right on it. I know a few people....who know some people...heh. Give us a while. Glith out."
The hologram sputtered and dissappeared.
Tal Rith stood on HUN's right, his mask dissapating vapor into the cold night. They both watched the slowly growing crowds below, fanning out across the city in search of the Masked One. Tal Rith sighed, turning to face HUN.
"I hope you don't mind me asking...but what exactly are you?"
HUN slowly lifted his head, and Tal Rith felt a cold shudder as two faintly glowing photoreceptors turned to face him. "You---are not the first to ask. And will not be---the first to know."
Tal Rith was persistent. "I have heard rumors about you...that you slew 12, well-trained bounty hunters that had you cornered, that you...killed dozens of mercenaries in Kubba's Palace." He grew sober. "That you could kill all of us so very easily."
HUN punched in some characters. "Appearances---can be decieving, Kel Dor. Yes I am---very much capable of rending you---meatbags apart, but I am not---invincible."
Tal Rith stood silently for a moment. "...are you a droid, then?"
"You called us meatbags...heh. So you're a droid. An assassin droid, I would guess."
HUN turned to face him fully, towering about the Kel Dor's masked face. "You cannot even BEGIN---to understand what I am. Do not---so quickly rush to conclusions, bounty hunter. You are so very, very limited in your knowledge of this universe---be content to know, that there are things beyond---what you see. Spirits. Unseen darkness. Ghosts. The things that go bump---in the night. Angels. Daemons. War and destruction on higher planes---dimensions of thought, of space, of reality---the nature of the Force itself."
Tal Rith stood silent.
"You are limited. You know nothing---of the universe." HUN turned away, and approached Moa and Kane.
"It is time---I have found our targets."
Even amist the growing chaos of the bounty militia, the roaming gangs of hunters taking the opportunity to settle old vendettas, the violence filling the streets...everything stopped for the four Bounty Hunters.
They walked down the avenue side by side, HUN's dominating form, Kane's cool detachment, Moa's bloodhungry eyes, and the grim silence of Tal Rith, forcing the gangbangers and scum aside. An epic sight, with the moon still superimposed against their intimidating outline...four hunters with Jedi in their sights.
Last edited by BalanceSheet (Saturday, October 28, 2006 11:31 pm)
"If you don't want me to eat you.....SAY SOMETHING."