At Zorba the Hutt's Palace

Nar Hekka was one of the many habitable planets in the Hutt sector of space. Located hear a dim red star at the edge o the Y’toub System, Nar Hekka had very little indigenous life. However, due to the intervention of the Hutts, several plant and animal species have been imported to the world, resulting in a beautiful planet covered with gardens, parks, and arboretums. Much of the habitable area of the planet wass covered by a transparent dome that altered the incoming red light and created a blue sky tinged with violet. It was in this dome that Zorba had his Pleasure Palace.

Zorba, being several hundred years older than his son Jabba, and therefore much more wealthy, had a much grander and more opulent palace. The palace itself was circular in shape, with several large buildings surrounding a large courtyard built in the shape of an amphitheatre.

As Jin Tai Lo, Satchel Paige, and Brin’tac Kyen’tir approached the main entrance to the palace, the two Gran guards readied their weapons, eying the newcomers as they drew nearer.

“I’m not sure I can do this, Master Lo,” Brin’tac whispered nervously. “I’m used to dealing with snobby senators, not cutthroat gangsters.”

The Jedi Master laid a calming hand on his shoulder. “Be at peace, Councilor. All will go according to plan.”

Brin’tac took a deep breath and stepped toward the triple-eyed guards. “We are here with a business proposition for your master,” he said in Huttese.

One of the Gran stepped back to the wall and pressed a switch. Suddenly, the holographic form of a dark-haired human dressed in black appeared. “Welcome to Zorba’s Pleasure Palace. I am Cesar Quinn, Zorba’s majordomo. How may I help you?”

Brin’tac face the hologram. “We have come to make an offer for the release of the Dug Nyarchagga.”

Cesar looked sideways away from the holo-camera. He turned back to face the group and said, “Zorba grants you permission to enter, but you must leave your weapons at the main gate. When your business is completed, they will be returned to you. A guard contingent will escort you to His Excellency’s throne room.”

As he finished speaking, the hologram disappeared and the Gran stepped aside as the large double doors mechanically swung inward. A minute later, six Gammorian guards approached and surrounded the group.

The guards led the three friends into a large, rectangular throne room made of marble and decorated with fine gold and gems. Six large, white pillars supported the ceiling, three on each side. Decorating the walls were various paintings of Zorba’s many exploits. The room was filled with a multitude of beings of questionable character. At the far end of the room, seated on a floating platform, sat an enormous Hutt. Zorba was slowly stroking his braided beard and looking down at a humanoid figure bathed in light from a large skylight. Standing next to Zorba was Cesar Quinn, who glanced at the group as they entered.

Zorba’s bellowing voice filled the hall as he addressed the figure below him. “Ganto pinya la kook’ni, banto ‘unker.”

Brin’tac leaned near the two Jedi. “He said, ‘You’ve failed me too many times, bounty hunter’.”

Suddenly, Satchel inhaled sharply. “That’s Kal-faj!”

“Yes,” Brin’tac confirmed. “It seems that she has not done very well lately in her chosen profession. Hutts do not look favorably upon employees who fail frequently.”

Cesar Quinn spoke. “Bounty hunter, for failing in your assigned duties and breaking your agreed upon contract with the Great Zorba the Hutt, you are hereby sentenced to death. Take her to the dungeon until her execution.”

Two squid-head Quarren hauled Kal-faj away as she pleaded for her life. Zorba ignored her pleadings and motioned for the guards to bring the group forward. As they approached, Brin’tac caught sight of a Wee-quay leaning against a pillar, grinning.

Once they reached the skylight, they immediately knew the reason for it. Anyone who stood in the light was instantly blinded. Everything and everyone else in the room became nothing more than shadows and vague shapes.

“Issa kabowampa,” bellowed Zorba.

“Your Excellency,” Brin’tac replied, his fur flattening nervously, “we…have come to offer a gre—large sum of credits for the fre—release of the Dug Nyarchagga.” Brin’tac paused as Jin Tai Lo whispered into his ear. The Bothan turned and gave the Jedi Master a quizzical look, then turned back to the Hutt. “Furthermore, for an additional sum, we would…like to ask for the privilege of…disposing of the bounty hunter Kal-faj.”

The Hutt sat back and gave a puzzled look. Then Zorba leaned foreward and spoke slowly in broken Common.

“You cause me much problems. You cost me many credits. You destroy my property and injure my guards. You cost me much in lost revenue. You kill Nad Dresnin. Now, you want do business and buy my property and rob me of pleasure? No, no bargain.”

As he finished, he pressed a button causing an electric-shock net to drop onto the group. The two Jedi quickly dove to the side, but the blindness created by the skylight caused them to miscalculate. The last thing they remembered was the laughter of the vile Hutt.



The End

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