The Slave Traders of Tatooine
Original Star Wars Fan Fiction by "Free Trader"
Part I: One More Time . . .
The Rebellion was over. Emperor Palpatine was dead, reportedly killed by his supposedly loyal “Dark Lord of the Sith”, Darth Vader. Vader too was dead. So apparently were Tiana Antipodal, her sister, and countless other rebel fighters who’d given their lives in the cause of freedom at the Battle of Endor.
Yeah, the Rebellion was over, but it seemed that the galaxy was more in turmoil than ever. The former Rebel Alliance had assumed power and constituted a “New Republic” in the Core worlds, but a lot of planets in the Outer Rim were still in the hands of what was left of the Empire – or worse. With the collapse of central authority, just about every Sector Moff, Imperial Governor, warlord and tinhorn despot decided that they weren’t about to let a bunch of so-called do-gooders ruin their sweet deal. Then you had what was left of the Imperial Navy still trying to restore the Empire. Add scores of ex-privateers from both sides who’d gone back to plain ol’ piracy, and you had a mess on a truly cosmic scale.
As Grus Gyre understood it, it was one such ex-privateer who’d kidnapped the wife of a newly-appointed diplomat while she was en-route to join her husband on Coruscant. Looking at the holographic image of the girl, it was easy for Grus to understand why: Valeria Ontodore had “collar meat” written all over her. She was young and very attractive with a flawless face, blond hair, blue eyes, and a gorgeous curvaceous body. (Can you say “trophy wife”?) You didn’t have to be a kajira trader to figure out Valeria would fetch a high price on the auction block.
Admiral Ajax (yeah, he was an admiral now in the New Republic Navy) had asked Grus to rescue Valeria and return her to her husband. Grus winced at the request, since it meant: (A.) Getting involved in politics, and; (B.) Associating with the sort of “scum and villainy” he’d been trying to distance himself from ever since he bought his previous starship, the Red Silk, from the (in)famous Gorean slave trader Ral Peleton. It seemed that in acquiring Ral’s ship, Grus had also acquired the reputation of being at the very least a successful slave smuggler and more likely a slave trader. The fact that he had an (ex) Twi’lek slave who still insisted on calling him “Master” as his “cabin girl” only reinforced his undeserved image. That image proved convenient to certain individuals in New Republic Intelligence, and they’d made sure that it was maintained much to Grus’ chagrin. As Ajax put it, Grus might be able to shed that shady image if he rescued Valeria from a life of slavery and returned her safely to her husband. It sounded a bit like blackmail to Grus, but what was he supposed to do under the circumstances? After all, hadn’t it been Ajax’ boys who’d installed the Class 1 hyperdrive on Grus’ current ship, the Ruptured Duck, free of charge? Besides, it was supposedly a simple, straightforward job. The privateer hadn’t gone out of his way to cover his tracks and Intelligence traced him to Tatooine without too much difficulty. No cloak and dagger stuff needed this time – all Grus had to do was be the person a lot of people believed he was and purchase Valeria from the slave market in Mos Espa. Once Valeria was back in her husband’s loving arms, Ajax would see to it that Grus’ name was cleared.
Drolen Narlig, The Ruptured Duck’s Nalroni First Mate, almost changed Grus’ mind about going through with the mission until Grus mentioned the 5,000 credit reward – plus expenses - Ajax was offering. Suddenly, Drolen was all gung-ho for another run out to Tatooine.
"Ah, c'mon Grus," Drolen practically pleaded. "You can handle a slave auction just one more time!""One more time," Grus thought. He sensed little red warning lights going off in his mental cockpit, but chose to ignore them.
Later on, he would wish he hadn’t.
The above story includes terminology and concepts from the "Gor" series of science fiction novels by John Norman. STAR WARS is TM and © 1996 by Lucasfilm Ltd. Any use of copyrighted material or trademarks anywhere in this story should not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights or trademarks. This original story is the intellectual property of Free Trader and is intended for personal, non-commercial entertainment only.