"Murderer! Filthy murderer! You slaughter the people of this village only to reach me! Will you kill all the women and children as well?!" Aaray rolled her eyes. "No, just you." she said. "Halt." said a voice. Aaray turned, another Evocii approached them from the corner. Aaray's brows furrowed. How has she not seen him before? "This does not have to end in bloodshed. Let us solve this in a calm and peaceful manner." said the mysterious Evocii. "Save your breath spirit healer." replied Huttsbane. The two Evocii were an odd sight, the spirit healer wore a long yellow robe, a plaid orange and brown plaid scarf around his shoulders and chest, and a vibroblade on his back. Huttsbane had a white eyepatch on his left eye along with the same scarf as the spirit healer. "This brute is going to kill us and all that we love!" yelled Huttsbane. The spirit healer turned to Aaray. "Is this true, young one?" "Didn't you hear anything while you were in the corner?" replied the Zabrak, growing more confused by the minute. "No. I was meditating. It clears the conscience and frees the soul. Now, is it true?" Aaray shook her head. "Of course not!" she yelled, a little too loudly. "I need his head." she gestured towards Huttsbane. "I don't want to hurt your people. A man cheated me out and killed my friends so he could win a competition, killing eyepatch here will get me into that competition so I can get revenge." The spirit healer let out a heavy sigh and shook his head. "I do not approve of your idea of revenge young one, but if it will spare the good people of this village, we have no choice." He turned to Huttsbane. "Huttsbane, dear friend, if you wish to continue the rebellion of this village, you will sacrifice yourself." Before Aaray could tell the two Evocii that she had no intention of hurting any of their people, Huttsbane started yelling. "No! Nal Hutta was ours until the Hutts took it from us! I will NOT give them the pleasure of my death! We WILL take back Nal Hutta!" Aaray rolled her eyes. 'They wonder why Nal Hutta was taken from them so easily, over confident much?' she thought. The spirit healer let out a heavy sigh. "Then I'm sorry my friend, you leave me no choice." With that, he took out his vibroblade, and stabbed Huttsbane.
Aaray looked up at the Evocii in shock and awe. "These people must survive. Even if we lose the fight to take back Nal Hutta, this village must stand strong. Nal Hutta has become a rough place to live for Evocii, they have nowhere else to go." He knelt down and took a ring off of Huttsbane's finger. He then rised, grabbed Aaray's wrist, opened her fist, and placed the ring on her palm. "Take it. A trophy." said the spirit healer. "Wh-why?" replied Aaray, still in shock and confusion. "Because you are different from the others. You do not kill simply for the pleasure of killing. You do not find us revolting just because we look the way we do. You are a diamond in the rough." The Zabrak simply nodded, she didn't know what to say. "Go." said the spirit healer. "Take his head." He handed her a hunting knife. Aaray knelt down and put on the gloves she brought with her, then started the process of decapitating the corpse. It was a gruesome process, blood splattering all over Aaray. 'Thank the stars I'm not afraid of blood.' thought Aaray. 'Doesn't look like the spirit healers doing all that well though.' It was true, by the look on his face you could tell he was having a hard time keeping himself sewn together. After several minutes the process was done and Aaray put the head in a sack and headed out the door. "Hunter." called the Evocii as Aaray was just out the door. Aaray turned to face him. He bowed to the bounty hunter and gave her a solemn look. "I hope you avenge your friends." "Thank you." whispered Aaray in response. As the Spirit healer turned away, it was her turn to call him. "Spirit healer?" "Hmm?" "When you came out, you said meditation clears the conscience, dare I ask what you need clearing of?" He gave Aaray a solemn look. "Huttsbane is not the only to bloody this weapon young one." Aaray nodded and fled the village.
At a taxi, Aaray looked down at the ring the spirit healer had given her. It was gold, with a blood red diamond in the middle. It made her curious. "Destination?" said the taxi droid. "Nem'ro's palace. Hurry." "Will do master. I shall set the coordinates and your taxi will automatically take you there." "Thank you." replied Aaray.
Dozens of thoughts mixing through her head during the taxi ride, Aaray just sort of drifted off. Until her holocom buzzed at her pant pocket. "Come on..........." grunted the Zabrak. She finally pulled the holocom out of her pocket and turned it on. "Hey girl," said a holographic Mako. "Hey Mako, im on a speeder to Nem'ro's, so I may be spotty." replied Aaray. "Oh. I'll make this quick then." said the cyborg. "I dug up everything I could on Tarro Blood, after he was disqualified, he was the talk of the galaxy. Everybody was talking about him, no Mandalorian in their right mind would stay away from him so their honor wouldn't be stained." "Wow, that bad?" "Yeah, insane right? Anyway, he told lies saying that he had reasons for cheating." Aaray smirked and couldn't help but chuckle. "You mean like, I don't know............ winning?" Mako laughed. "Besides that, he claimed he did it for romantic reasons." Aaray's eyes widened. "What woman would have a romantic relationship with him?" "Guess for his looks, then she saw what he was like. Blood claimed that he entered the Great Hunt to impress his ex-lover and win her back, so he cheated to assure his victory." "Think she was impressed?" joked Aaray. "Very funny. He said her name was Thendys Nooris, and no one's heard of her." Aaray's brows furrowed, Tarro was just getting weirder and weirder. "I MAY be crazy, but after he cheated and whatever caused them to break up, I'm not sure entering the Hunt again and doing the same thing would impress her." Mako shrugged. "Guess he wanted to regain his honor or something." "I don't know what else it'd be." replied the Zabrak. "By the way, what was that you said about you guessing Nooris would go for him because of his looks?" Aaray said with a grin. "I- Ugh I hate you. As much as I hate the guy, can't deny is not bad to look at." "Ah, kiss and kill for you?" The slicer quickly changed the subject as she saw a grin spread across Aaray's face." I forgot to tell you, I was walking around today, and I found this bone faced creep following me around." "Hmmmm, Kaleesh?" "I guess." "I've had some green Rodian girl following me around too....." "Weird, think they're together?" asked the slicer. "I don't think so, best keep an eye out though." "Will do. Oh, I found a place to bury, um, Braden and Jory. I know you'd probably want to relax, and I'm sorry, but I was thinking that if Nem'ro lets you have a breather we could bury them later." Aaray gave her friend a solemn look. "Of course, I Braden and Jory are a little more important then me being able to sit around in the cantina keeping up on the latest Nal Hutta gossip." Mako smiled. but the smile only stayed a moment as it changed to a look that purely said 'Oh my gosh!'. "I forgot!" she explained. "I found out something about Nem'ro, apparently-" The holo fizzled. "Apparently-"said a very hard-to-understand Mako. The screen fixxled again, then went dead. Aaray swore fiercely, one of her biggest pet peeves was this, losing connection in the middle of a conversation.
She spent the rest of the ride thinking about Huttbane's ring and the spirit healer. The spirit healer had called her a diamond in the rough. 'Suppose he means from gangsters.' thought Aaray, for she didn't see how she could be special in any way. About twenty minutes after the disconnection with Mako, Aaray reached Nem'ro's palace. The Zabrak headed toward the back to Nem'ro's spot, but was halted by a Mon Calamari. "Aaray........ I wanted to talk to ya...." Aaray turned, it was her boss, Twal Tuno. 'Dammit!' thought Aaray.'It's already hard enough finding a spot for me and Mako to sleep at night, then there's Nem'ro and the sponsorship, and on top of all that crap we have to dance for pervy gangsters just to get a meal down our throats until Nem'ro pays for it when he sponsors me. I don't know why we even need a place to sleep at night, we never get to sleep!' "Yeah, Twal?" said Aaray, finding it diffucult to keep the annoyance out of her voice. It wasn't that she didn't like Twal, he was a good guy, it was the job she hated. "I got a load o' customers bookin' dancers this evenin', I wanted to confirm you and Mako'll be comin' t'nite." 'CRAP!' thought Aaray, thanking her skin was red so her anger wouldn't show. 'I forgot it was a work night! I'm busy doing Nem'ro's 'errands'!' "Yeah, uh, give me a minute to make sure Mako's alright with it." She then ran off into the corner and turned on the holocom. A holographic Mako popped up only moments later. "What's up?" asked the cyborg. "Mako," said Aaray. "Twal has alot of people booking dancers, but I have Nem'ro and the sponsorship to take care of, can you handle it?" Mako groaned. "Fine." "Hey Mako, where'd ya go girl?!" yelled a voice. Aaray couldnt help a smug smile. "Couldn't have Tarro so you settle for him eh?" Mako frowned. "Ugh, I'm never going to live that down.........Fine, I was doing a little flirting, I'm sorry I feel so bad. You're out there risking your neck and i'm sitting here on my ass-" "Mako, Mako, it's ok. You're stressed, flirt a little, it's ok." "You sure?" "If it wasn't I'd say." Without waiting for a response, she clicked off the holocom. Aaray ran back, told Twal that Mako would be there, and headed off to Nem'ro.
"The mighty Huttsbane's head on my floor!" roared Nem'ro. "That will teach people not to mess with Nem'ro the Hutt! I must admit bounty hunter, I had not expected you to succeed as well as you did." Aaray grinned. She loved it when she outdid herself, especially when her client underestimated her. "Never expect anything but the best from me." she replied. "I'll remember you saying that for the first time you fail." snapped the Hutt. "Now, your next target is a man named Yalt, he was a worker of mine until he betrayed me and went to work for Fa'athra. I want you to-" "Lemme guess." said Aaray. "His head. On the floor. Right?" Nem'ro roared with laughter and Carnus smirked. "You know me so well bounty hunter!" laughed the Hutt. "Yes. I want his head on the floor. But not mine." Aaray's brows furrowed. "Then who's?" she replied. "Yalt's wife works in the cantina. I want you to take Yalt's head to her." Aaray gave Nem'ro a fierce look with her piercing orange Zabrak eyes. "That's not what I do Nem'ro!" she said, perhaps too loudly. "No, it's not." explained Nem'ro. "But it's what you will do. If you want me to sponsor you, that is." Aaray moaned. She really didn't want to do this.
Aaray only spoke when spoken to the rest of the conversation. She was relieved beyond belief when it was over. She practically ran for the door just so she could trudge through the swamp, fiend off Fa'athra's thugs and get this over with. "Wait." said a husky voice. Aaray turned. It was Carnus, looking up at Nem'ro. "Permission to speak, master?" "Granted." replied the Hutt. Carnus turned back to the Zabrak. "Bounty hunter -Aaray, correct?- I underestimated you. You outdid yourself, I should not have said the things I said before. I applaud you." Aaray blinked. Then simply stared. She had never seen a Houk with manners........... or good grammar. "I hate to break up the lovebirds, but Aaray had to go retrieve a traitor's head." said Nem'ro, breakig Aaray's thoughts. Both she and Carnus rolled their eyes in annoyance and the cheeziness of Nem'ro. "Collect your pay for Huttsbane's bounty from Juda on the way out." explained Carnus. "Appreciated." replied the Zabrak. 'Things just keep getting weirder on Nal Hutta, it makes me hate it even more, and I didn't think that was possible.' thought Aaray as she headed out.
"Here you go. One-hundred fifty credits for the bounty of Huttsbane." said Juda. 'She's quite a perky twi'lek.I've never seen a slave so joyful' thought Aaray. It was true, Juda was an awfully bubbly person. "I heard some healer ran from the house they found Huttsbane's body in. He ran out shortly after you did, weird huh?" explained the twi'lek. "Where did he run to?" asked Aaray, growing worried. Juda shrugged. "Nobody knows. But my guess is he ran because he couldn't face the people. Because he couldn't help Huttsbane. Coward." Juda shook her head in dissaproval, her spotted green lekku swinging back and forth. "He wasn't in the house with you, was he?" asked Juda. "No, of course not." replied th Zabrak, perhaps too quickly. Juda raised an eyebrow. Yes, too quickly. Aaray sighed. "Can I trust you?" Juda nodded suspiciously. "Ok." said Aaray. "He was in the house, he was meditating or something. I killed Huttsbane and ran out, he creeped me out so I just stayed away." lied the Zabrak. She touched her curious ring, wondering why the spirit healer would have run away. "Well," replied the Twi'lek. "That explains why he would run away, if you snuck out and nobody saw you, all signs would point to him." Aaray nodded.'It says alot I lie this well from practice.' she thought."Well, I have to go." said the Zabrak. "Good luck!"she head Juda yell to her. 'Come on, it's gonna be a long day.' thought Aaray as she trudged out into the swamp.