Master of the Sabbacc Table

Tarrsk stepped into the lounge of the base and was instantly greeted by the cheers of people inside. Looking to his left, he spotted a group of people huddled around a table. Curious, Tarrsk made his way over to the table to see Deel, Arani, and Nyarchagga engrossed in a game of Sabbacc. Actually, Deel wasn’t so much involved with the game anymore as he was involved in the betting that was taking place on the side.

“What’s all this?” he asked as he came to stand behind Nyarchagga.

“What does it look like?” said Deel as he looked at the Trandoshan with a toothy grin. “We’re having a friendly game of Sabbacc, and your friend is giving Arani a run for her money, for a change.”

Tarrsk glanced down at the table and saw the looks on both Arani and Nyarchagga’s faces. They were looking confident, but he could see the tension in their bodies. “Aren’t you two supposed to be in briefing right now?” asked Tarrsk.

Deel laughed. “Are you kidding? This is the greatest game I’ve ever seen. No one’s ever beaten Arani, and the stakes are high. It’s an all or nothing game. Who cares about briefing. We’ll let Sia-Lan and the others tell us what to do on the way out.”

Tarrsk sneered at the lack of concern that Deel had, but the Twi’lek was no longer paying any attention to him. He was engrossed in the game once more as was everyone else.

Nyarchagga grinned slyly. “Your game is up, Arani,” he said with a chuckle. “You’re going to lose the shirt on your back this time.”

Arani laughed. “You overestimate your hand, Dug.” And then she made yet another wager. “That’s my last credit, and if you win, I’ll be your love slave.”

Nyarchagga’s eyes widened in disbelief. “What?”

Arani laughed even harder. “I’m kidding. Can’t you take a joke?”

Nyarchagga’s eyes narrowed. He hated being the butt end of a joke. “Only when it’s funny,” he retorted.

“Ooo,” said Arani as her smile widened. “Good one. I only wish your hand was better than your come-backs.” She then laid down her hand.

Nyarchagga’s eyes widened in horror for a moment. Arani leaned back confidently as she smiled victoriously. “Read ‘em and weep,” she said.

Nyarchagga looked up at her then and his look of horror suddenly turned into a mischievous grin. He cocked his head sideways and let out a chuckle as if mocking her. “I’m going to enjoy watching you dance, my love slave,” Nyarchagga said as he burst into a belly-laugh. Laying his cards down, Arani and everyone else around stared in awe. The Dug’s hand beat Arani’s by one point. That meant that Arani had just lost everything she had.

“Whoa!” said Deel in amazement. “I didn’t think I’d ever live to see this day. I’m just glad I got out while I did.”

Arani’s face was as white as a sheet. “I can’t believe I lost,” she kept saying over and over.

Nyarchagga collected everything and stared at Arani’s expression with thought. “Good game,” he said as he offered his hand to her.

Arani looked up at him still in awe. Then, all of a sudden, she scooted out of her seat and dropped to her knees before the Dug. “I am not worthy, oh master of the Sabbacc table. I never thought this day would come, but now I give myself to you body and soul.”

Nyarchagga and everyone around broke out in hysterical laughter at Arani’s display of humility. “May you deal well with me,” she added and looked up with a playful look on her face. Then she too burst out in laughter and stood to her feet. Taking Nyarchagga’s hand, or rather his foot, she shook it and congratulated him once again.

“Well,” she said as she turned to face Deel. “I guess it’s time for us to go. We’ve got a mission to go on. See you Nyarchagga. Don’t spend all my money in one place.”

As she began to slip through the crowd, however, Nyarchagga called after both her and Deel. “I wasn’t playing for the money,” he said to them as they turned back to face him. Both were amazed to see the Dug pushing their credit chips into piles.

“What are you doing?” asked Arani curiously.

“I’m giving you your money back,” he stated plainly.

“But you won it fair and square,” Deel stated in confusion.

“How’s that,” said Nyarchagga. “I just happened to be the one that cheated the best.”

Deel and Arani exchanged glances. “No way,” they said. “I can’t take that back.”

“Fine,” said Nyarchagga. “I’ll just leave it here on the table and take my own money. Whoever wants it here can take it.”

And with that, Nyarchagga jumped out of his chair and scrambled across the floor toward the door. “Nice game,” he said and disappeared out the door.

Deel and Arani looked at each other and then at their money in bewilderment. Then, as they looked around at everyone else standing around, they suddenly realized that the others near them didn’t have the same convictions as the Dug. Rushing to the table, they fought off as many of the others in the lounge as they could to get their own money back.

In the back of the crowd, Tarrsk watched the Dug leave and considered what he’d done. In all fairness, he could have taken everything and left much more wealthy. Smiling, he decided that he’d underestimated the Dug in the past. Money obviously meant nothing to him.

“Well,” he said as he walked over to the serving droid to get something to eat. “I guess I should learn a valuable lesson here. You can’t judge a Dug by its devious grin.” Taking a bite out of something that looked like meat, Tarrsk gazed back toward the door where Nyarchagga had disappeared and smiled once more. “I guess I should apply that to everyone, even if it is Satchal. He might be the Dark Jedi, and he might not. Either way, I should give him a chance to prove himself.”

The End

0 comments about this story Feed