Welcome to the HSP House-Wide Run-On, brought to you by Dr. Elincia Rei.
Nar Shaddaa was at war. However, this war was not of armies and tanks, of starships and space stations. This war was waged in the underworld, in the Refugee Sector, in the gang culture of the Smugglers’ Moon. In the aftermath of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, a newly formed Hutt Cartel administered the system, safety and security of the sector in the hands of the precise and authoritarian Wakka the Hutt. Despite the grip with which the Hutt attempted to rule over his dominion, Nar Shaddaa will always be Nar Shaddaa, and gang culture was rife in the underworld.
The criminal syndicate Black Nova were the biggest and the baddest, responsible for numerous high profile heists, assassinations, and generally being a giant poisonous thorn in Wakka the Hutt’s enormous side, their elimination was his highest priority. The much smaller Hellhounds, comprised of impoverished alien species known for their aggressiveness and training of vicious animals, were their closest rivals, but always dominated in any gang conflict, they resigned themselves to petty crime and had always been seen as a lower priority by the authorities. The other major gang in the sector were the Wall Breakers. The Wall Breakers were an odd bunch. Their primary aim was conquest of the whole of Nar Shaddaa. They just didn’t know how to accomplish this and failed harebrained scheme after harebrained scheme. By the Hutt, by the Black Nova, and by the people, they were generally seen as crazy eccentrics, which made them very sad, as they claimed to be in possession of a rare and mystical power.
“The sudden disappearance of a weapons cache worth millions of credits from under Wakka the Hutt’s nose threatens to destabilise the underworld,” the smooth female voice of the Nar Shaddaa Holonet News Network sounded across the moon. “The Hellhounds are suspected to be responsible and Wakka’s forces are investigating.”
Fire and restrained anger burned in the dark eyes of Darin Kass. Now was the time for calculated response, not rash action. The intimidating presence of the giant by human standards was balanced by a cunning and calculating mind that had landed him in the most powerful position in the underworld. ‘How have the Hellhounds pulled this one off?’ he seethed. This was his biggest threat since usurping command of the Black Suns. “If the Hellhounds have that cache they could cause us all huge problems,” he communicated to every man under his command. “We need more information as soon as possible. Find out what happened, where that cache is and secure it for ourselves. If you encounter any of Wakka’s men, shoot on sight. They won’t abandon their campaign against us just for this.”
A crash of scaled Trandoshan fist echoed against the oblivious metal of the reinforced durasteel crate. “PASSWORD DENIED?” Kras screamed at the box which showed no signs of giving in to his raised voice. “We need that password now! Find someone with it!” he barked aggressively at no-one in particular with no clear plan in mind.
“This conflict presents us with a great opportunity to assume control,” said Sela Dor, her purple eyes farmed by an odd mess of cyan hair that clashed messily against her long white leather coat. “The narrator has introduced us as the goofy guys. We will use the chaos to dominate Nar Shaddaa, and redeem ourselves in the eyes of the readers!”
“How do we plan to do that?” a lieutenant questioned.
“We could destroy the world!” Sela suggested enthusiastically.
“And then what happens?”
“I haven’t thought that far ahead yet but making a strong start to this campaign is essential to maintain our status in the plot, and establish ourselves as main characters. I have no intention of being relegated to a comic relief side plot. Do you?”
Meanwhile, in the Cocytus system, the data mining algorithms of Dr. Elincia Rei had flagged the missing weapons cache as potentially important to the house aims. Immediately, she passed on the message to the Quaestor. Soon, another force would be present on the Smugglers’ Moon, seeking the weapons cache.