A fairly long time ago, in a galaxy with an awful lot of humans,
Two Mercs, Two Slaves, and a Jedi.
Not a year has passed since the fall of the GALACTIC REPUBLIC, and the evil EMPIRE has still not been able to quell the remaining CONFEDERATE forces. Alpha Prototype, a seemingly invincible tactical droid, still RAVANGES cropland throughout the galaxy. CESSEL INDUSTRIES, the notorious suppliers of the BRETHREN OF THE STARS, and the FIRST REBELS, a allyship between remaining C.I.S., JEDI, and rebel forces, hamper the EMPIRE’S growth.
Meanwhile on the planet TATOOINE, the infamous crime lord JABBA THE HUTT struggles to keep control over his BOUNTY HUNTERS, SLICERS, and MERCS……………
Prologue: Hand of Steal
He had really done it this time. Theeg Hand of Steal had swindled his last smuggler, bamboozled his last bounty hunter, manipulated his last merc, and hustled his last hutt. The two guards that drug him along were both clad in armor and had stun blasters at their sides. They held onto Theeg as if he might try to slip them at any point; like that would matter, just about everyone important on Tatooine wanted him dead. The Gramorian guards that he passed grunted hateful words at him in their crude language. Since he was going to die, Theeg was perfectly calm. He knew that this would be his last day on the binary planet that he hated so much if he did not keep a level head. Taking a last look at the two wicked stars as he passed by a window, Theeg could think only of his sweet Stella sitting in the spaceport waiting for him. He shuddered at the thought of what these Tatooine brutes might due to her. “If o-only she could f-f-fly from here without me,” he whispered in his usual stutter. He passed by a man with bandages covering most of his head. Dengar spat at Theeg as he was dragged past. Acting in similar ways, several other notorious individuals slung profanities at Theeg. “I’ve r-r-r-really done it this t-time,” he stammered.
There he was; he Theeg, being held before Jabba the Hutt. Jabba looked at him amused.
“You know why you have been brought here,” Jabba boomed in Huttish.
“M-m-most r-roundest of Huts. If you c-could tell me why I h-have b-been dragged here when I have d-done you nothing wr-r-rong,” Theeg stuttered back in Galactic Standard Language.
“When you are in a room, trinkets cease to be. When you enter port, bounty hunters lose their credits. When you go to the canteena, the most expensive drinks disappear without having been bought.” The great hutt boomed back.
“Has any of what’s b-been stolen b-belonged to you?” Theeg questioned not looking into Jabba’s eyes. Jabba looked at Theeg. Theeg could tell Jabba saw what he was leading to. “I admit to st-tealing all that was gone, b-but not what of yours was st-tolen. W-while I would gladly ch-cheat my friends and anger the deadliest mercs, never would I d-do so to the worst person to anger in the galaxy.” Theeg pompously proclaimed.
“Look behind you….. What do you see?”
As Theeg turned his head he noticed how much of a crowd had crept in behind him. At least half of the greatest bounty hunters stoically stared at him as if saying “give me back the detonator you swiped from my vest”. Almost twenty smugglers smirked at him giving him that look that meant “Now you will pay for that spice you stole with your life.” All of these dangerous men Theeg had slighted. It was a joke! Who cares if a single credit is snached from you pocket as a jest. “T-they m-must not see it th-that way”
Theeg turned around after a second or so and looked right into Jabba’s face speaking perfect Huttese, “Behind me I see three things: I see the doorway that is my only escape from here…. I see the faces of a hundred people that think being eaten by a rancor is not a painful enough death……. I also see an opportunity.” Jabba's smile faded upon hearing that last word. “If you could just send those mean people from the room,” Theeg boomed in the Hutt language.
“Fuuta daa! Hiinta, yaado!” said the great Hutt. His works did not need translated for the audience that did not understand Huttese.
“Now that the room is clear of surplus ears, what do you say to a little scheming?”
“You have one minute,” Jabba boomed.
“Obviously I can not stay on Tatooine; I’d be hunted down before this day is done. Clearly I need to go somewhere where no bounty hunter would follow. Your arch-enemies, the Brethren of the Stars, are holed up at Nassauwassau. Send me there as your spy on the Brethren. They could not help but to hire someone like me as a crew hand.”
“As soon as I left you off of a leash you would disappear to Coruscant, never to return. You are neither loyal nor foolish, one of which I require from all of my lackies.”
“You don’t shoot the monkey lizard that laid the kyber egg! If you kill me you will have lost a great asset, the greatest slicer on the planet, perhaps even in the sector?”
“You may be a ‘decent’ slicer, but you are a terrible friend,” said Jabba. Those were the last words said before Theeg was dragged away.
For the next hour Jabba and his court arranged Theeg’s execution while Captain Gristle and two of Jabba's most trustworthy goons took Theeg with them to find his stash. Being a sensible scumbag, Theeg buried his plunder in the Great Barron, the one place on Tatooine no sand person would ever be found. The speeder whizzed through the sand as Theeg contemplated his escape. These thugs were some of the best shots, so running was out. They were also loyal, so no bribes. “Here,” Theeg moaned as the speeder approached his stash. He fell on the sand as the guards pushed him out of the speeder. “S-stand back unless you want to s-spring a t-trap,” Theeg stated as he shoveled in the ground like a womp rat. He pulled the crate out of the hole and activated a keypad that caused a small box to pop off the crate while the lid cracked open.
The two lackeys carried the crate some distance from Theeg. Gristle’s gun rested upon Theeg’s head while Theeg’s hands rested behind his neck. “Move and the only people you will be talking to will be the womp rats, except you will not be saying anything!” the captain threatened though he kept glancing at the crate to see what profit Theeg had made. Moving as quietly as a dianoga, Theeg slid his hand to Gristle’s grenade belt and pressed the trigger on one of the detonators. Upon hearing the ‘beep! beep!’ of demolitions, Gristle, like all mercs had learned to, jumped from the sound covering his face with one hand. In seconds his face was one of the few parts of his body that was distinguishable. The two thugs turned towards Theeg, and would have stunned him in seconds had he not cast three impact grenades that were in the small box toward them. One of the brutes had his arms blown off, and was killed instantly. The other was injured, but had survived the blasts, a condition that Theeg soon remedied with a blast from Gristle’s gun. Theeg looked upon the three corpses for a long while. “H-here’s w-where the f-f-fun starts,” Theeg stuttered. “My l-l-l-love is st-till in p-port, an-n-nd I d-dought that sh-she is u-u-unmolested.” Theeg put Gristle’s armor upon himself, and his clothes upon Gristle and, using a paint kit, made the two swap faces as well. He loaded the three mercs into the speeder, and set out for Mos Eisley.
In town, the thugs he was expecting to be there were waiting, one fat, one emaciated, the other an alien. “You three,” Theeg shouted to the guards emulating Gristle’s voice, “Old Theeg had a few tricks, but not good ‘nough ones.”
“Since when do you not call us by name?” the fat one said looking at the three bodies in the speeder.
“Uhhh… Greodo, tell him to shut it before he ends up like Theeg,” Theeg quickly said recognising the alien.
“Cheena wanni yatta, Roden, hiat reada,” the Rodian said smirking.
“One of us has to stay behind, Gristle, you old bantha,” the fat one, ‘Roden’ Theeg guessed, said.
“Roden and Greodo, come with me,” said Theeg as he began to fly the speeder forward.
“Not even going to say bye to your own assistant?” the emaciated one said.
“Bye to my own assistant,” Theeg shouted as Roden and Greodo climbed in the speeder.
“Hiante wanna ducha para Theeg?” the Rodian questioned.
“Tried to detonate me. I moved faster than him though. Threw one of my imploders. Bit of overkill, that.” Theeg improvised. It seemed to answer the Rodian’s question though. “G-gotta learn R-r-rodian some d-day.” Theeg thought to himself.
As Theeg wizzed into the space docks, Boba Fett stood waiting. Theeg took a breath of air and began to spin a lie. “Sorry Boab, the sorry scaver tried to slip the rope, and ended up hanging himself on it.”
“You said you were capable. You said there would be no disintegrations,” the armor clad warrior stated.
“I was. That’s why I’m still kicking.”
Boba waited for a minute before saying, “So what are you doing with his merch?”
“The few most worthless trincets he snached from the many most dangerous people and his hideous and unfairly obtained ship are going up for sail tomorrow. Say, if you want something of his to remember him by just rip off a finger or so. He is hardly disintegrated by the way,” Theeg said imitating one of Gristle’s long flowery sentences, Boba stepped aside and walked away from the port toward the cantina satisfied with the death of the slicer.
“So boss, what now,” said Roden after waiting for a while for Theeg to do something.
“Lets go,” Theeg returned.
Theeg’s lovely ship sat up ahead; its smooth hull, its elegant design. It was a modified YT-1000, built by a Calamarian to look like one of their iconic cruisers. Two guards stood at the entrance staring at Theeg questioningly.
“Password,” one of them said.
“I was nearly blown up by a belt of thermal imploders,” Theeg bluffed, “do you REALLY think I have time to answer passwords before going to the hospital with extra spitle added?”
“Funny…. using the password in a sentence about why you don’t want to answer the password,” the merc answered. “We’ve been waiting to search the ship for about two hours now, just to let you know.”
“And with that attitude you’ll be waiting another hour, but I am in a bit of a hurry. Bring Theeg’s cache onboard. Roden, Greodo take their places.”
“Ha, like we need to put all of his valuables in one place!” the thug accused.
“Do you ALWAYS disobey orders? I do not want some thief as petty as Theeg was snatching that crate as I’m searching this death trap.”
“As you say….Cap.”
Theeg unlocked the ship using the key that Gristle had on him. He purposely took longer than normal so it would look like he was not familiar with this ship. “You, go to the cockpit. You, come with me,” Theeg commanded the two mercs. The talkative merc followed Theeg as they searched the dormitory. Inside there was one perfectly made bed alongside two empty beds with dust covers cloaking them. The merc looked under one of these cloths and never looked at anything again. Theeg walked from the dormitory to the cockpit, wiping the blood off his knife. The thug in the cockpit chimed up as soon as Theeg entered.
“Hey boss, looky what Theeg had,” said the merc holding up a portrait of the ship’s old owner, a elderly fish called Anthiakc.
Theeg snatched the portrait saying, “Fool, this portrait is what makes this ship so valuable. Without this, the ship is nothing to the Cala; but with it, it's a priceless artifact!” The thug smirked, but Theeg quickly ended that with a few thrusts of his knife.
Theeg knew he needed to act quickly. Boba might have been fooled, but IG-88 had been in that port, and as far as Theeg knew, IG was watching the ship. He quickly activated lockdown and powered on the shields. The shields were quiet so no one should have heard them. He began typing in the coordinates for a hyperspace jump. As soon as the jump was set, Theeg turned on the engines. Within seconds, the space port was filled with the sound of blaster fire and demolitions going off. Stella quickly pulled out of the port and began to whizz through the sky. Several starcraft were following in hot pursuit, but Theeg did not worry. His Stella was a Mon Cala ship; her shields would hold. He soared through the atmosphere and into space. Hutt ships clumsily tried to capture him in tractor beams, but only managed to pull the Slave I, the Punishing One, and the IG-2000 in, which led to quite a bit of confusion as those bounty hunters performed evasive maneuvers. As Theeg entered hyperspace he knew that his ship would be tracked. “B-but th-that's the easy part,” he reassured himself. After all, what could stop him now? The Society?