In a small building, down a hall, in a poorly-lit room, five sat.
Not so quietly waiting.
“‘I Ate My Mate!'” shrieked a B’omarr monk from the center of the room, with it’s shrill, mechanically synthesize voice.
“That’s rubbish! ‘The Sequential Passage of Chronological Intervals’ is much better,” argued a thin Rodian who represented the 4th Ward.
“That song is a nightmare,” a translator droid gently spoke. By the motions and chittering of her tiny Jawa owner, it was not in the intended tone.
There was a loud fumbling at the door and everyone fell silent. The B’omarr skittered to the lectern as the door clumsily opened and a large bear toppled into the room on all fours. “Please rise as the honorable Mayor Gunbear enters the room.”
All rose from their seats. A Rodian, a Jawa, a Human, and a duel-headed Troig (each head representing different Wards remarkably distant from one another).
“Rrrgrrgghhhh rrhhghrrrrrr,” muttered the Mayor as he pulled himself onto his hind legs and walked to the lectern, gesturing for the B’omarr to take its seat across the room. Everyone took their seats.
“Grruumff rrgaaargarh rrrgggrraafffg rrrgg.” The room lay silent.
“mmmgrrrgh rrrrruuhrfrgh. Rrgraaargh ergggrrrmrrg rrrgrh grrruuumffgrr,” said the Mayor, motioning around the room with his powerful paw.
Loxcian, raised his hand. The Mayor acknowledged the almost Hutt-sized human who tried to rise as he spoke but opted for a more reasonable sitting posture.
“Mayor, I appreciate your wanting to get right to business. We all have responsibilities to attend to.” He shifted to a slightly more comfortable, declined position. “If we don’t do something about the Tatooine Tree in Anchorhead soon we are going to see more and more incidents like the slaughter last week.”
“Cut it down,” interjected the Rodian. “We can’t keep paying the Conservationist Guard to gun down everyone who comes within sight of it.”
The B’omarr monk perked erect. “That’s ludicrous! That Tatooine Tree is one of the last in the Galaxy. The last outside of any Arboretum. Cutting it down would be against the historical interests of Tatooine.”
“Gggraaargmf ugrrrhumgrrg,” agreed the Mayor.
“But what are we supposed to do then? We can’t afford to protect it. It’s a pointless relic of a time that no longer exists,” Loxcian poked. “The B’omarr have no clue what is important any longer. We don’t need it. We don’t want it.”
“HOW DARE YOU!” screeched the Monk.
“The Conservationist Guard are bleeding this city dry. Why don’t we just pay them less?” suggested the translator droid on behalf of the Jawa.
“I agree,” said one head of the Triog. “If we merely lowered the credit agreement by 7% we could funnel that money down more important avenues,” added the second.
“Grrrarg Gruuugh mmmummrggh?” asked the Mayor, pointedly.
“Well..us,” answered the first head. “All of us,” finished the second.
The room sat quiet. Then murmurs of agreement began to rise.
“My constituency do like the tree but…”
“The Guard isn’t doing anything anyway.”
“It’s not THAT great of a landmark, really.”
“How much can rechargeable blasters cost anyway?”
“Honestly I’ve always thought it was ugly.”
Mayor Gunbear looked across the room, eyeing each politician. Sizing them.
“How about you Mayor? What are your thoughts?”
The Mayor stared silently for a moment longer then reached into his thick fur and pulled out a blaster.
“Now Mayor,” objected the fat Human. But he quickly went silent when the Mayor grazed his arm with a bolt.
The large bear leaped over the lectern and everyone who could scatter, scattered.
Mayor Gunbear swiftly caught the first head of the Triog and sank his sharp teeth into it’s fleshy neck, pulling it’s whole body to the ground, second head in tow. The Triog flipped over the bristled body of the Mayor. He snapped it’s neck in a single motion and the life fell from the eyes of the first head.
The room dropped to a tense quiet as Gunbear drew himself up on all fours and began lapping at the growing pool of blood on the floor. The Troig’s second head looked on in silent horror.
“Sir?” the surviving head finally whispered. “Does this mean I have to cover both wards?”
The Mayor raised a single eye to the living half of his prey.
“Yes. Of course. I am honored.”……..”And his wages? Will I-”
“Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrg,” the bear growled intimidatingly.
“Of course. Of course. The Conservationist Guard will be well funded now. Very well funded.”
“Dad, I’m gonna have two eggs just scrambled.”
A man and his son sat in a diner. It was the weekend and he had custody. He enjoyed the time he was able to spend with his son. Even if it was a heart-wretching reminder of his collapsed marriage.
“Morning boys, are you ready to order?” a waitress asked as she approached the booth.
“I know what I want.” said the boy. He had blonde hair, and looked to be about 7 years old. He was actually 8 and his name was Alex. He had the biggest, most beautiful blue eyes she had ever seen.
“What will you have then, Sweetie?”
“I want two eggs please. Just scrambled.”
“Oh my, two eggs?” the waitress asked, sounding facetiously concerned. “I’m afraid we don’t have any eggs in the kitchen.”
The boy frowned and his eyes grew even bigger as he looked up at the woman. “Okaaaaaay.”
“It’s alright Alex,” the boys Dad chimed in. “You like hashbrowns. You can get some hashbrowns.”
“I don’t really want hashbrowns today.”
The waitress looked down at the doe-eyed boy and then back at the cook behind the counter. The cook looked busy toasting and frying things, but he was paying close attention to the waitress and her table. He looked back at the waitress and gave a subtle nod.
“I’ll tell you what Sweetie,” she said as she leaned over toward Alex. “I think we might have some eggs down in the basement. Would you mind looking for me? I’m really busy right now.”
Alex got excited. He liked to help in the kitchen and this was a REAL kitchen. “Can I Dad?”
The father looked at the waitress. “Sure, why not?”
The waitress took Alex by the hand and walked him over to a door in the back of the diner. She opened it and let him walk in.
“Be careful Alex.” The Dad called. ”Don’t drop any of the eggs!”
“You’ll be fine.” The waitress whispered to Alex as she gently pushed him further through the door and closed it behind him. Locking it.
The father stood up.
“Did you just lock that door?!”
The waitress stood against the door, guarding it.
“Let him out. What’s in there?! LET HIM OUT!” The father yelled as he ran toward the waitress and the door.
“Stay back!” Hissed the waitress and she pulled out a crooked knife.
“Come any closer and I’ll send you to hell!”
Not losing a beat, he charged the waitress, pushed her passed the door and punched her square in the face. She went limp.
He unlatched the door and swung it up. His son was walking back up the stairs.
“Look Dad, eggs!” Alex said as he looked up at his father, presenting the two eggs he had found in the basement.
The father stood completely still, horrified. The eggs were covered in blood, and they weren’t eggs. They were the two biggest, most beautiful blue eyes he had ever seen.
Alex collapsed on the stairs, blood oozing from the holes his eyes had once filled. The father knelt down and held his son. He screamed.
“WHAT IS HAPPENING?!”
The door closed and everything became dark. Forever.
A young woman shook her husband awake.
“It won’t stop. He won’t stop! Why does he have to work on that damn launch pad at this hour?
“I don’t know, Honey. Call the police if it’s bothering you that much.”
“You know they won’t do anything about it. They never have.”
“Just try to drown it out. Here, rest my pillow over your head.”
He handed her his pillow.
“Thank you,” she whispered as she smiled adoringly at him. “He’s so sweet,” she thought.
As the man rustled back into a comfortable sleeping position, resting his head upon the bicep of an outstretched arm, a series of loud bangs rang out. The woman screamed and the man fell off the bed.
Galen Leivold was a retired veteran of half a dozen wars. Some thought of him more as a washed up mercenary. He didn’t care. He had stashed enough credits to live the waning-half of his life in one of the more favorable neighborhoods of Mos Eisley and he was comfortable. That’s all that mattered.
He was a pilot back in his fighting days and when he quickly grew bored of retired life he went looking for hobbies. He tried Lugjack, Sabacc, even Blob Racing but each attempt to keep his aging mind agile eventually faded. Until one Dual Noon when he saw the most beautiful space vessel he’d ever seen.
It was a Mon Calimari scout vessel. The kind he’d once seen as a child over 60 years ago. It wasn’t a new model, but a classic. He’d dreamed about owning a ship like it and fixing it up.
He wanted to buy it. He had the money but no place to put it. He would need to have a launch pad installed. He could build it. He was handy and it would be another hobby of sorts.
With the shutdown of Tatooine’s government, the Mayor’s hours had grown long. No government employee was allowed to work, but he didn’t care. This was his city. He wasn’t going to let it fall apart just because some out-of-touch politicians couldn’t agree on evaporator regulations or blaster control.
Early in the morning the phone rang.
“Grrrrrrrrgumf?” The Mayor answered.
He slammed down the phone and ran out of the building. There was a disturbance of the peace, and he wasn’t going to let it slide.
Galen was laying down some of the thermo tiles for his launch pad. These were supposed to hold up under the extreme heat from the engines of even a mid-sized spacecraft.
Part of the fencing near the front of his compound shook then slammed to the ground. A giant bear charged through the opening. Growling and roaring. Saliva falling from it’s mouth like booze being thrown in a bar fight.
As the Mayor charged, he raised a blaster rifle from his coat. Then, becoming fully erect, pulled a rocketed projectile launcher from his fur.
*BANG* *BLAM* *BANG*
All three shots hit Galen. It burned. The blaster had scorched his chest and throat, and the rocket had removed his legs from his torso.
As he lay there, he imagined he was flying in is scout ship. Cruising through the galaxy, impressing those who had told him he was worthless. Galen could feel a tickling sensation in his stomach. It must have been the sand shrimp he had for dinner.
The young man and woman looked down through the window into their neighbor’s yard. A large bear was rummaging it’s nose inside the ribcage of their obnoxious neighbor.
“I’m glad I called the Mayor” the young woman said as she rested her head upon the man’s shoulder.
“No Sir. I didn’t put that on your desk. I don’t know where it would have come from. No one has been here.” Miss Baxter peed a little bit. She was scared.
The Mayor pawed at the envelope that had appeared on his desk. Something was fishy and it wasn’t just the sushi he had for lunch.
“No one came in while you were out, I swear. Did you check your windows? Maybe they-“ BOOM!
The envelope exploded. The small explosion knocked the Mayor back against Miss Baxter and slammed her against the wall but shielded her for most of the blast.
“Grrrraaaammmmrrr!” moaned the Mayor as he pulled himself half-way up off the floor. He hurt. All of the hair on his right arm and chest were singed and blackened. His skin was exposed. The sensation of even the lightest draft of air stung like a hot iron.
“Rrowwwrrnnnn?” he called to Miss Baxter.
“I’m OK. I think I’m OK. My head hurts but I think I’m OK.”
The room was creaking and settling. There was a new “window” in the lobby of the office. Dirt and ash covered everything. Just over the smells of gunpowder and Miss Baxter’s urine the Mayor could sense something foreign, something in the hall.
The Mayor burst through the door and into the hallway just in time to see a figure scuttle into the elevator. He bound toward the stairwell on all fours, though favoring his wounded arm.
1, 2, 9 flights of stairs he leapt down, slamming into the walls at each turn. His eyes were bloodshot. With each floor he became more furious, more ravenous.
The elevator slid open in the lobby of the government building. The figure peeked out, thin and green, a Rodian assassin. No one saw him because, as the Rodian stuck his head out, the Mayor crashed through the stairwell door, leapt over the lounge area, and pounced into elevator.
He raised his powerful paw and swatted the would-be assassin across the shoulder, knocking him down and tearing away green flesh. Serrating the muscle tissue that remained. From within his coat, the Mayor pulled out an overclocked blaster. It was something he had been tinkering with and he was more than pleased to try it out.
“Grrwwwarrrrrgggrrraaaahh?!” the Mayor roared. “Grrwwwarrrrrgggrrraaaahh?!!”
“NO! I won’t tell you who. But hear this. Hear this before you tear me apart, you monster!”
The Mayor had carved claws into the tip of the blaster so blood began to drip down the face of the Rodian as he pressed the tip against his forehead.
“This city will burn, Mayor. You say you’re changing this place for the better. You say you’re going to upgrade the public works and streamline the transit system. But no one wants it!”
The Mayor twisted the blaster, carving a blood-spewing circle into the Rodian’s head.
“This city is a hive of scum and villainy and it’s better off that way. It’s better off being worse. This city will burn, Mayor…and you will burn with it.” BANG!
The Rodian slumped over and the Mayor lapped up the blood from the floor. It tasted metallic but also sweet. Rodian blood was good.
He stirred his bowl of Honey Berry Crunch as he watched the evening’s fireworks. He liked the way the colors sparkled across the city. The smell of the gunpowder made him feel strong; reminded him how powerful he was.
The intercom spoke.
<<Mr. Allen from the Transit Authority is here to see you, Mr. Mayor.>>
“Gwrraaarrrrr arrg.” He grumbled at it.
<<Of course, Sir.>>
The Mayor set his bowl down on his desk and picked up his gun. A man in the forests of Jankok gave him the gun years before. It was a normal hunting rifle but he was drawn to the sheen and glisten of the barrel. The smell of the gunpowder made him erect.
As he stumbled upright toward the door, he drug the gun across the floor. It scraped against the tile as he burst out of his office.
“Grrawwwr grawwrrr” he growled, raising the gun toward Mr. Allen.
“Please! No!” Mr. Allen shouted as he slid out of the lobby chair and onto his knees. “It wasn’t my fault!”
“GWRAGGGLR!” The Mayor roared as he took steady aim.
“I swear! The budget has been so tight. We can’t afford to increase the bus OR train activity during rush hour. It’s just not possible.”
A horrible stench of shit wafted up from Mr. Allen and the Mayor shook his head in disgust.
“It’s a logistical Nigh–”
“Grraggrr Gwaaaaargr!” The Mayor barked as he pulled the trigger and put four rounds into Mr. Allen’s belly.
The Mayor leaned down. The dying politician could feel the warm breath of the Mayor as he pressed his nose against forehead.
Mr. Allen wimpered, “please.”
In one swift motion the Mayor bit off the face of the Politian and swallowed it.
He turned toward his secretary, “Grwwrrrrr?” he asked.
“Of course, Sir. I’ll bring you your salmon, right away.”