With a low rumble the Aqualish, Bule Konossa brought his furry hand to the tusks dominating his bulbous face to suppress the burp from his last mug of ale. The Pa’lowick on his arm didn’t seem to mind. Her stubby frame cleaved to him with her long spindly arm wrapped around his. Her form was a round body hidden beneath the heavy fur coat which nearly buried her neckless head. The long snout of her mouth brought large red lips to Bule’s hairy cheek. His grin was concealed by his tusks. Already within the first hour of meeting the Pa’lowick, he’d forgotten her name but he could tell he was in for a treat once they reached his ship. The two stumbled drunkenly down the expanse of the dark cavernous corridor.
The club was built inside the mountain, as close to the mining operations as possible for higher traffic from the tired, thirsty, horny laborers. Vino’s club offered it all, supplied by the few dealers and pirates that frequented, knowing that the Nautolan running the place would reward well to those that would go out of their way of the common hyperspace trade lanes to reach the planet of Elom. Bule was one of them.
The Pa’lowick reached her free arm up to his furry chin and stroked it. “Bule Boo, I hope your speeder has a closed cab, I can hear the wind from in here.” Bule’s bulbous black eyes looked down on the Pa’lowick as he spoke in his own tongue a series of muffled barks, groans and growls. From his hip, a digital voice spoke from a translating device as his gaze lingered.
“Of course. We’ll be back at my ship in no time, Pretty lips.” Bule reached the shield door and pressed a button on the control panel. As the door slowly opened sideways, the grey glow of the snow clouds poured into the dim cavern. Harsh wind whipped at them. The Pa’lowick let out a squeak and Bule tugged his fur-lined jacket closer around him as they stepped outside. The cliff was cleared away for speeder parking and access to the mine shafts inside the mountain. Bule made his way to the line of speeders, approaching his maroon, sharp nosed V-35 Courier. Bule reached to his belt for the security remote but paused.
“Bule Boo, what’s wrong? Its freezing,” the Pa’lowick said.
Angry barks and growls erupted from the Aqualish as he waved a fury hand. A moment later and the digital voice projected the translation. “Hey, Bucket-nut! That’s my speeder you’re sitting on.”
Leaning against the speeder was a figure shrouded from his neck to his knees by a tan cape wrapped around his torso. From behind a red helmet, the figure looked up, a thin polarized black visor glared at the odd pair standing in the snow. A vented vocalizer projected a scrambled voice.
Bule let off another verse of barks and growls followed by his translating unit. “Are you deaf? Get off my speeder.” Bule shoved the Pa’lowick off of his arm to reach to the blaster pistol on his hip. The figure paid no mind to the threat.
“I’m here about the bounty for Hondo Ohnaka.”
Bule frowned, his hand still poised on the grip of his holstered blaster as he tilted his head and barked again. “You want the contract?” the translator unit buzzed.
“Not your contract.” The figure stood up and from behind his cape, his hand emerged, leveling a chrome Westar-34 blaster pistol. “Ohnaka’s contract for you.”
The Pa’lowick squealed as she hid behind Bule’s large frame. The Aqualish’s barks of protest were cut short by the abrupt ring of the blaster. As Bule clutched at the smoking blaster wound in his chest, the translating unit caught up. “Wait, don’t be-.” The Pa’lowick squealed some more as she looked down at the Aqualish with large eyes and shuddering lips.
The assassin sauntered forward to stand over Bule who was groaning. Bule stared down the barrel of the dingily kept chrome blaster. He struggled to breath out another bark of insults before the assassin pulled the trigger and fired a bolt in between the Aqualish’s bulbous black eyes.
The Pa’lowick looked from the assassin to the trailing black smoke of the head wound and back to the assassin whom already had begun to walk away. “That’s it? That’s all you came here to do? Who do you think you are?” The assassin kept walking back to his speeder bike parked at the end of the line.
The Pa’lowick’s words ricocheted within the walls of his mind; not her voice, he didn’t care about her voice or her for that matter—she wasn’t the job. He did have name. In his mind it surfaced to meet the challenge that ran rampant. For some short years, he went by the name ‘Jaster.’ It worked for him for now—and far better than his given name. That wasn’t who he was. He’d grown out of it. Jaster holstered his Westar-34 on his thigh then mounted the bike and sped over the cliff and down the winding trail of the mountain.