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"Night in Sarlacc's"

Another night, another incident, another Fett legend.

  • Story by Patricia Goon
  • Estimated reading time: 4 minutes (826 words)
  • Updated January 26, 2008

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In the bar, things were as they often were. Customers came and went, boisterous but not bullish, there were inordinately frequent 'excuse mes' and 'beg your pardons' in half a score of languages, and extravagant courtesies were being observed between occupiers of the tables and users of the bar -- all pretty normal for Sarlacc Bar, one of the toughest but most polite drinking holes in the quadrant.

The reason for it being so sat in his usual corner, back to the wall, observing the social politics around him silently. Boba Fett was in Sarlacc that night, and the large, smoky, dingy room hummed with the awareness it always displayed when it was known that the bounty hunter was around. At his usual table.

The unspoken understanding was this: hang around if you must, gawk if you really couldn't help yourself (but subtly), and under all circumstances ignore the bounty hunter. Pretend he wasn't there, that you could not see him ("Fett who?"), and keep both your alcohol intake and your noise output within acceptable limits. That way everyone would be happy, and very possibly, no one would get hurt.

The regulars, and especially the bar-owner, who had seen Boba Fett come and go from Sarlacc Bar over several years, liked having the bounty hunter there. He made Sarlacc's the safest place to be if you disliked trouble. When Fett was around everyone seemed to be on their best behaviour, no one seemed particularly inclined to get overly drunk or loud or mean, and basic courtesies between total strangers went up several notches. Even debts were settled quietly.

It was a usual night in Sarlacc's, because Fett was in town.

The bar-owner was very pleased with his rough, tough, well-mannered crowd of customers, and all was well with his world.

Until the Ojr`pans arrived.

There were five of them, and that wouldn't have been too bad, except that they had arrived because they were following a female, and that female had come into Sarlacc's. And even that wouldn't have been so bad, except for the fact that the female happened to be, as it was rumoured, Boba Fett's friend. His only friend.

The Ojr`pans, being new in town, did not know this. As the girl hurried in, followed seconds later by a laughing, hooting pack of five Ojr`panian males with all ten of their sexual appendages fully erect on their chests, a quiet settled almost instantly over the 200-strong crowd. The bar-owner, watching the girl scoot over, panting, to Fett's table, thought: Force, please don't let too many die tonight.

The girl was small, thin, and she was barely chest-high to the hulking Ojr`pans. One sleeve was torn, and pale gray oatmeal-like stuff was splattered over one side of her face. Ojr`pan semen. The bar-owner thought: Fellows, you are dead AND stupid.

The girl ran straight to Boba Fett, but she surprised even the regulars. Reaching the bounty hunter, who was on his feet, she tried to wrestle his blaster from his hip, and then, when she couldn't get it free, turned her attention to the knife in his arm scabbard. Fett silently drew the blaster and handed it to her. Customers scattered, leaving the drunken Ojr`pans in a group in the middle of the floor. She grabbed the gun, turned, and with sudden and terrible deliberation, shot their legs out from under them. Their shrieks were horrible, the blood surprisingly little -- but the smell of laser-fried flesh was horrific.

Boba Fett stepped over to the writhing, screaming orchid-men on the floor and looked at them for a long moment. For a mad second the bar-owner thought he was going to spare them. Then the bounty hunter stepped over and between the men, his hands moving so quickly no one could see clearly what he was doing, but Sarlacc Bar, as one, heard the sickly wet snaps. When he had stepped over the last man, all five were dead.

The bar was now funereal. Ojr`pans were a carnivorous race of orchid-homonoids, notorious for their twin sexual organs and a fibrous exoskeleton supposed to be able to prevent, presumably, the sort of thing Fett had just done. The exoskeleton had evolved as a defence when the orchids, in millenia past, had been picked to near extinction by both humanoids and plant-eaters. There was always that tale of the Wookiee no one had ever met but everybody had heard of who did the deed, but, until tonight, the bar-owner could not recall anyone who had seen an Ojr`pan killed by hand.

As Fett made his way out of the bar, a path clearing like magic before him, people began to pick up their drinks again. The bodies would be disposed of, and the incident would be added to the wealth of lore surrounding the bounty hunter. The night was still early. Regulars now had a bit of news to spread about. The Ojr`pans' bane, Fett's friend, had left.

It had been a different night in Sarlacc's, because Fett was in town.

––fin––

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