Stories of the Republic

Moon before Swine

Postby Rekto the Hutt » Wed May 30, 2018 7:51 am

Ever taciturn Jomonji relished the return home. The God had been angry, solar flares had prevented space travel in the system for several standard days before he could finally take the window of opportunity and jump along the Spur from Ques. Over the waiting time Sistar Run had quickly got congested by anxious traders, both Hutt-licenced and otherwise, not able to pick up their mineral cargoes from Sriluur. Hutt patience was in short supply lately, especially among the Desilijic, ever since the security breaches on the Smuggler’s Moon during the peace negotiations. After Kidaja had got gassed during the infamous wedding they had to show power, else the other kajidic would soon dent their turf. To some extent they had already done that, with Besadii and Qunalaac increasing visibility on some fringe worlds along key hyperlanes. On Ques, Jomonji heard a Trandoshan joking that the only good side of Dango the Hutt these days is out of her vision scope. The joke was told in hiss-hushed voice, with some paranoid looks cast around. When the Hutts were tightening measures and cutting loose ends, there were bound to be random casualties.

Jomonji was not keen to let his clan to be one of them. From their small lunar paradise on Ruul, the Bulqs were used to reaping the benefits of operations conducted down on the scorched surface of Sriluur, and the black sliver of space was the only thing that was preventing Weequay have-nots from letting their envy turn violent onto the Weequay haves. For their role in water trade and for the eyesore lushness of their home, the Bulq were perennially cursed before Quay by clans down there. To the point of using middlemen to bring their water cargo down to the Cupric Islands, amid the acidic southern seas. Bulq freighters always returned soiled with excrements angry mob had hurled at them and had to be thoroughly washed. Jomonji often wondered how it was possible for the Hutts to keep their own privilege in plain sight without serious attempts to undermine them ever succeeding? What combination of violence, affluence, subterfuge and shrewdness yielded that?

Those were very pertinent questions to his Clan. Ruul had caught Hutt attention, and Jomonji was feeling the subtle pull of kajidic logic about to suck up their relative autonomy like a tractor beam. The kind of discussions he had had with a man of the Besadii, and a prominent vigo of the Black Sun on Nar Shaadaa, painted a bleak future if they dared oppose the rules of the game in the Hutt Space. He saw no other way than to try to dance to the tune in the correct corner of the slug ballroom, with just the right partner. Not heavy enough to be stomped on by, not light enough to be pushed around by others. A feat in itself to find one, it was not enough. It was just a beginning of a complex ritual of enticing such a Hutt to dance with the Bulq Clan. Fortunately, Jomonji had some baits down his sleeve.

Born to humidity, never wanting for water, he sometimes found it hard to understand the mindset of his fellow worshippers of Quay. He lacked their edge-of-the-glaive disposition to reality, with things ending precisely where they were cut short. His pheromones were lost on them, and vice versa. He was finding greater wordlessness with his Falleen lover on Nar Shaddaa than with the other Weequay down there. But even though he lacked their uncompromising fierceness, he had the guile they didn’t, an instinctual understanding of the world around. And so he firmly believed that it was with him, and not the desert-goers, that the future of his culture lay. If it required some quid pro quo with the Hutts, so be it.

It was infinitely better than letting Ruul be another Rugosa.

He had heard that story many times before. Hutts loved telling it as a cautionary tale. Of a moon of Toydaria that had once been a beautiful oceanic touristic world until the Lords of Nal Hutta took issue with how Toydarians were not sharing the benefits of the enterprise. And released something that evaporated the oceans, stripping the moon to the bare coral, terraforming it into a swampy perversion of its former shape, symbolically marking it theirs. He hadn’t exactly believed it was that bad until he saw Rugosa himself. After that he never needed much imagination to see how Ruul could be unscrupulously devastated by whatever Hutts might release from Qunaalac-controlled ships. There must have been some terrible goo out there that would just strip the moon from its vegetation, with the Hutts having the access to it. And if not, time-honoured orbital scalding was always an option. Even if the Hutts preferred less direct approach in general, once in a while they just might indulge imparting a lesson on how you control what you can destroy.

Comm-blipping tore Jomonji out of his meditative analyses. His sister’s holo-figure sprang out of the reciever soon after. Pheromones didn’t speak over comms, so they had to converse in their caustic native tongue. It sounded odd in his ears after using Huttese for all his conversations for quite a while.

“Hurry up, honoured brother.” She said, a grimace of her lipless mouth betraying annoyance and disconcertion. “The Hutt arrived from Sespe before the Quay’s Rage and has been waiting for you ever since. He’s grown impatient.” But then, she smiled and rolled her eyes, bucking hands at her hips. A sense of sardonic irony was another improvement on the exo-Weequay the typical Sriluurian mostly lacked. “Have mercy on our provisions and hurry up.”

Jomonji nodded. He would have a good laugh once it was over. Knowing what he knew, he found it harder to smile than his sister. “On my way. I promise to be convincingly apologetic.”


The Hutt was saying nothing as Jomonji Bulq was speaking. Neither was he silent nor he seemed attentive though, mawing down the puffer pig to the squelching and clicking of his large tongue. He had wished for a puffer pig specifically, somehow knowing the Bulq were maintaining a small flock for the purpose of mining operations on Sriluur. Small, because they were expensive. And critically useful, one critter easily outperforming sophisticated ore detectors. This one had had a name and a handler fond of it. Jomonji suspected to the point of certainty that the Hutt before him knew all of that, and had made the pick precisely because of those reasons. There was a self-satisfied glint in his large lime orbs as he was sucking and licking marrow from inside the pig’s femur with the long, prehensile tongue that seemed capable of reaching anywhere.

“Repeat it.” The Hutt grumbled in Huttese. He didn’t deign to speak in Basic, or in any other language than his own. The weight of understanding was always on the interlocutor.

“All of it?”

“I was focused on the meal. Feel glad I’ve enjoyed it so that I mostly disregarded your prattle.”

Jomonji angstily thought he’d better did. Hosting the Vanderijar had already strained their hospitality. He didn’t fully control himself when he said his next words.

“We’re taking sacrifices to please you.” He snapped with a touch of anger, a small oddity for a rather stoic Weequay.

That actually pleased the Hutt. “Good. Inferior beings don’t value future gains if they haven’t made some sacrifices first. Talk before I start thinking about another pig.”

It shifted Jomonji’s mindset immediately. He realised that the Hutt was interested, and his outrageous dining demands were signs of tentative endorsement. He might have been looking for a similar opportunity himself, and the Bulq reaching out to him were making it only better because now they would owe him.

“You surely know, great Rekto, both the Besadii and the Desilijic are cornering a few mineral markets right now, an Sriluur will soon be caught in the middle.”

“And you feel like a monkey-lizard stuck between two Hutts.”

“Qunaalac have no love for either, so…”

“You’ve had this idea of pitting Hutts against Hutts to maybe escape your stranglehold.”

The Weequay got silent for a moment. Put this way, it did not seem like a great idea. “Aren’t things a bit more complex than that?”

Rekto laughed gutturally, some of his spit splattering around. Where it fell on anything organic like wood or fibre, it left a mark. Hutts could digest almost anything through the power of their enzymes. Jomonji noticed and mentally added it to the ‘sacrifices list’.

“Often. I don’t like complex though. Best plans are simple plans. Few things can go wrong.” Rekto licked his double chin.

“I guess it’s simple. We want to diversify. Get our ores straight to arms producers.”

“But you’ll be swatted if you try to bypass Nar Shaddaa. Those are not your ores. You get water down there, but the Clans hate you for the succulent moon you hold, for the time being. You pay a lot for security. You are not too convenient as brokers.”

For the time being?! The Weequay’s eyes flickered with anger. Rekto was not known for his great standing with his own kajidic. His younger brother was the likelier heir of the Vanderijar. “But so are y…”

Rekto erupted in another spitting laughter, but something sinister rolled along with it, ringing in the low timbre, alerting Jomonji to not overdoing being witty, or let his temper loose. The Hutt before him was not an ordinary one, if such a thing as an ordinary Hutt ever existed. He did not rely on some inept Klatooinian, hired guns or pet monstrosities to do the killing. If his reputation did hold any water he probably could crush or strangle the Weequay in a short fight. His unclothed body, while bulgy as for any adult Hutt, showed the shades of firm strings of muscles, and the proficiency with which Rekto had cleaned the pig bones despite not having teeth was telling a story Jomonji didn’t want to dwell on. Assuming the worst was the best option. He instinctively glanced at the bundle on the floor.

“Ah, the gift for me. A nice, small bribe. Give it.” Rekto quipped, letting the lids go up on his lime eyes.

The lance was actually charged. Why shouldn’t it be, in case the Hutt would like to try it out? Was it a subconscious security measure Jomonji had taken? It didn’t make much sense at all now. The slug rarely could be stopped with one shot. He reached for the bundle and presented it to Rekto.
“It’s yours. A piece of Quay craftsmanship. Our lances are superior in range and accuracy to whatever packs the same punch in this category. They’re not for inept shooters, but for many others…” Jomonji found himself looking at the barrel. The Hutt tossed the cloth and rotated the gun at him in virtually no time. He kept his expression intact. The change was in pheromones the Hutt could not detect. “The secret is in alloys made under Quay.” It surprised the host to notice how he shifted to religious mindset in the presence of a threat. He may have thought of himself cosmopolitan, even galactic middle class, but he still was a descendant of bandigo hunters and desert wanderers to whom there was nothing more sacred than their solar god. “It will serve you well on Bankor. If you decide to take matters in your hands.”

“What did the Black Sun vigo tell you exactly?” Rekto kept his aim, the red dot dancing on the grey skin.

“That… that there was no way for them to restore their position anytime soon. The network Ras Urdo had controlled collapsed and the organisation is now divided and scattered, some working with Mandalorian warlords, some with all sides. They want to cut their losses. We discussed salvaging operations.”

“You try to reassure me the Black Sun won’t interfere. But you don’t know that.”

“No, I don’t.” The Weequay had to admit.

“Good it doesn’t matter much. No takeover is without opposition. Making examples out of old masters is the best way to seal it. Chopped-off heads, spilled blood and scattered entrails crown a lasting rule.” The Hutt grinned, lowering the rifle. Jomonji released air.

“So, do you want to do it, great Rekto?”

“I’ve been to wars. Frontlines are enjoyable.”

Not a line of thinking expected from a Hutt, a species of backstage dealers. This Qunaalac-bred Vanderijar was indeed an oddity with his hands-on approach to violence, and apparent proficiency with bringing it about. Still, it didn’t sound like a full commitment. “I mean, do we have a deal?”

“So you subject the Bulq Clan to me and beg to become an initial member of the new syndicate that will be my legacy?”

Taken aback by the blunt question, Jomonji chuckled. But this was how Hutts rolled, so he had expected something like that. “I mean, great Rekto, we want to help you establish your legacy and organisation. We think you’re…” How to phrase that in Huttese. “…uniquely predisposed.”

Rekto slithered forth until he towered over the Weequay.

“Help is what you can do to yourself when your Falleen babe is not around. You serve me or you do not. I am going to Bankor either way. I want the Republic to owe me. Once I rally a syndicate I’ll come back here. If you’ve served me well by then, for a roasted puffer pig. If you haven’t, for the moon.”

It looked like there was something like an ordinary Hutt after all, Jomonji thought bitterly. His impulse was to be cocky, but he overcame it. Rekto could probably convince this kajidic or another to support him in plucking the moon for a shared profit. They were never clueless and always ready to use any predicament to their advantage.

“…We’ll see what can be done then.” He finally said, having second thoughts.

The Hutt grinned Hutt-wide and just patted the man on the arm, ending it in a painful, wet squeeze. “You’re lucky I fancy your sister. Send her to my rooms in underwear from these famous Sriluurian copper alloys and I’ll take it as a sign that you are really doing what can be done.”

Jomonji said nothing, locking his ossified jaw, focused on curbing the urge to lash out against the Hutt, dreading the moment he would rein in his anger, for this would be the moment when he’d start considering the demand. He watched Rekto slither away with the weapon of the Weequay in hand. What else he’d have to give up to secure his Clan’s well-being? There seemed to be no end to corruption to whatever the Hutts touched. After all would be said and done, and the future of Ruul and his family secured, would he still be able to relish returning home?
Rekto Vanderijar Qunre | Heir | Hitslug | Gangster | Shock Hutt | The Worst

Ancestal Vibroax, Traditional Hutt Armour, Weequay Blaster Lance, Cryoban Projector, Military Pack, Stimpaks

chooses to speak solely in Huttese
Rekto the Hutt
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