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.”
It’s Paul Chat #3, yall!
J discusses the tools Paul Brooks provided for a sweet, sweet shotgun-riding experience.