The Conclave: That time on Reach of the Empire when Boba Fett bombed the Bounty Hunters’ Guild.

Hall of Hunters <Bounty Hunters’ Guild: Ord Mantell>

You are standing in a vast vaulted chamber once used for the storage of heavy military equipment. Most of the chamber is dark, but there is a light that shines down from overhead on a wide circle at the chamber’s center. At the center of the circle, under the light, is a crystal obelisk. Around the rim of the circle are statues of the most famous (or infamous) hunters in the history of the Guild. This chamber is used by Guild members for occasional gatherings, where matters of interest to all bounty hunters may be discussed, or Guild members may be disciplined. 

Glassy eyes reflecting the single shaft of light illuminating the obelisk, the Rodian bounty hunter Greedo steps into the Hall of Hunters. His gun is holstered, but within easy reach of his sucker-tipped hand as he approaches the obelisk.

Boba Fett strides into the hall, his helmetted visage sweeping back and forth briefly to take in the surroundings.

Waiting in the Hall, Rio is in a position to observe most of the area. He seems to be trying to keep an eye on everybody who comes by, trying to pick out any of the more famous hunters who have been trickling in.

Boba Fett strides into the center of the room, and the obelisk. He faces it for a moment, his features unreadable behind the mask of his mandalorian armor. At length he turns around, pointedly turning his back on the obelisk.

Bindah Morposs plods out of the armory. He carries a round helm under his arm, revealing his muddy-brown face with its large tusks and four glossy eyes. The Aqualish leans his bulk against a wall, silent as a shadow as he studies the notorious bounty hunter Boba Fett.

Greedo turns his tubular snout so his large, greenish-blue eyes can fix on the hunter in the Mandalorian armor. “You are a disgrace to this Guild, Boba Fett.” 

Boba Fett steps toward Greedo, until they stand less than two feet apart. He looks down at the diminuitive Rodian, and crosses his arms across his chest. His voice, filtered through the helmet speakers, is tight and emotionless. “Am I?” he asks.

Hearing the name ‘Fett’, Rio looks up, but can’t make out what’s going on as the the spot he chose, while allowing a good overview of the hall, is directly behind the obelisk from where the words are coming. Standing up, he begins moving to the side, to get a better view of what’s occurring.

Staring up at Boba Fett, Greedo’s sucker-tipped fingers drift closer to the holstered blaster at his side. He actually takes a step closer, bringing their proximity to about a foot. His head bobs left and right, his snout puckering as he speaks in Basic: “You violated our tenets. You killed a fellow hunter. That is unacceptable. I am sure my colleagues would agree in this.”

“Or is creed a disgrace to Hunters?” Bindah offers, gaze following Fett. His voice is low, gravely and malicious. “It protect the weak. No have need for weak, only strong.”

Boba Fett does not look directly at Bindah Morposs, but steps away from Greedo. He walks, slowly, around the obelisk, in a circle, facing outward, and gestures to the rest of the conclave. “Let the Guild be heard,” comes that flat, filtered voice again.

Greedo puckers his mouth and bobs his head back and forth, pointing a suckered finger at Fett. “He has violated our creed. He must be expelled from the Guild.”

Rio settles down once more now that he can observe the speakers more clearly. He glances at the other assembled hunters, but makes no comments of his own.

Bindah Morposs’s snort is dismissive. “Is there one among us who no violate creed?” he asks gruffly, continuing before anyone can answer, “Creed is old. Ineffective.”

“The creed has served us for many years!” Greedo protests, turning from Fett to the Aqualish hunter. “We must not change it on a whim and we must not make exceptions for those who endanger the safe conduct of our profession. We operate outside most law, but make no mistake: The Empire tolerates us only because we *do* govern ourselves internally.”

Boba Fett turns again to face Greedo. “Expelled? Because of that fool?” A short, harsh laugh emerges from his helmet speakers.

Several other hunters, gathered in the shadows, murmur in agreement with Greedo.

Snarl Varr has slunk into the hall, and seated himself on his haunches in the extreme rear, with as much space as possible between the shistavanen and the nearest other. His wolvish snout twitches as he sniffs the air, before gray eyes turn to watch the discussion, disinterested.

Bindah Morposs brushes the ends of his tusks with a black gauntlet, four black eyes descending upon the Rodian. “Empire tolerates because Empire needs. Empire no sully itself with Nar Shaddaa’s depths. We provide law beyond reach of Empire.”

Boba Fett stops pacing, and turns to face the obelisk again. “Just words,” he says. Then he turns back to face the conclave. “The Rodian, Meebo, crossed me. I gave him a warning. Now he’s dead.” The armored hunter makes an almost imperceptible shrug. “I would do it again.”

“The Empire can do without us if we become a nuisance,” the Rodian hoots, turning back toward Boba Fett. “You deserve expulsion not because my hunt brother was a Rodian, but because you slayed a fellow hunter. Jabba the Hutt ordered you to compete with Meebo to determine his worthiness as a hunter. Meebo’s death was unnecessary and senseless. It goes against all we stand for as a guild. You are a talented hunter, but you are not worthy of this guild. We are incompatible.”

“We have our own laws, our own codes. Over and above the Empire,” Rio states from where he’s sitting. “They could care less whether we kill each other, just like the crime lords who used us against each other years before. We have to protect outselves, police ourselves, and decide when a part of us is more cancerous than useful.”

Snarl Varr eyes another hunter near him nervously, and growls with silent agreement, whether with Fett or with Greedo.

Bindah Morposs nods solemnly to the human. “Meebo was hindrance, Fett purged us. Deserving of thanks, no expulsion.”

From the shadows, a murmuring passes through the hunters of the conclave. One shouts out, without letting his face be seen, “No hunter is above the Creed! No one!”

Boba Fett walks over to face Greedo again, this time leaving less than a foot between them. He looks down at the Rodian again, and says, loud enough for all to hear, “I am the best of you. A Guild without me is a joke.”

“And if Fett decides *you* are a hindrance, Aqualish, will it be acceptable for *you* to perish in his gunsights?” the Rodian demands, snout puckering and head tilting left and right as he takes a few steps toward Bindah Morposs. “You swore to abide by this creed you so casually seek to dismiss. Believe me: It has stayed the hand of other hunters with grudges against the likes of you. Perhaps you too are incompatible with the Guild. If you wish, turn in your permit and hunt as a loner. See how long you last without the backing of this Guild.”

“We are not Meebo,” the heavily armored Aqualish remarks, drawing his arms over his breastplate. “No make mistake like Meebo, no hinder.”

Snarl Varr shuffles forwards, curiousity overcoming distrust of the other creatures as he strains for a better look. Craning his neck to watch over the heads of the other hunters, he growls something thoughtfully, muttering to himself in his own language.

A gnarled-looking man, his body disfigured and face scarred, his head and neck wrapped in white and beige cloth, steps forward near the obelisk and proclaims: “I am with Greedo in this. We face enough obstacles without having to watch constantly over our shoulders for other hunters. Expel Boba Fett.”

“The Creed has been broken,” Rio states. “There is a price to be paid. It need not be expulsion, and losing a great asset might hurt us even more. Is there another way we can try this hunter’s worth? Some task that only the greatest of hunters might succeed at, or die trying. If he dies, then he’s too weak, and falls to his own philosophy.”

“The most sacred of our creeds has been broken,” Greedo replies, snout puckering as he looks toward Rio. “Such a severe breach deserves the most severe punishment we can provide. Expulsion is fair, and better than he deserves.”

From the shadows, a tall, metallic form steps forward; its silver-gray, elongated head stands out from the red light of its eye emitters. It swivels its head toward Fett. “Creed brings order,” comes the mechanical voice of IG-88. “Disorder is undesireable. Fett must be made example.”

Boba Fett turns to face the conclave again. “I will accept no punishment for eliminating that fool.”

The Trandoshan bounty hunter Bossk growls and snorts as he swivels his snout to stare at Fett. “You have no choice. Accept. Creed is creed.”

Bindah Morposs raises the helm over his head, slides it down and snaps it into place with an audible click. Once more silent, his red visor sweeps across the hall.

IG-88 raises itself up to its full height, its metallic, articulated legs rising to their full extension. The assasin droid intones in its mechanical voice, “Illogical for one hunter to hold himself above the guild. Example must be made.”

Greedo bobs his tubular snout in agreement with the mechanoid hunter.

Boba Fett walks several steps from the center of the chamber. He steps toward Bossk, and says to the Trandoshan, “I have a choice. If the Guild will not have me, I will not have the Guild.”

Greedo chortles, his head tilting left and right as he says, “You see the way of it, and wish to short-circuit the process? You have danced along the fringes of our creed since you joined the Guild, Fett. You used the Guild as a convenience, as a shield. Now, the Guild decides you are too dangerous to remain among us – we will no longer be your shield – so you wish to leave pre-emptively.” He spreads his sucker-tipped hands wide. “Go. It is what we want. No longer will you disgrace us with your methods.”

Rio finally hears enough to make his decision. “Expulsion,” he says.

There are several shouts from the background,

“Yes! No hunter is above our law!”

“If Fett will not be judged, then he must go!”

“We cannot permit such defiance!”

The bandage-wrapped hunter, Dengar, nods in assent. “Expulsion.”

Boba Fett looks around at the gathering of bounty hunters. “How successful do you think you will be without me? I hunt by skill alone, with no rules. You will be bound by your creed. Which of us will prosper?”

“The Guild prospered long before the galaxy heard its first glimmerings of the great Boba Fett,” the Rodian hoots, lowering his arms. “It will prosper long after you have faded into anonymity.”

IG-88 agrees in its mechanical monotone, “We are many. Fett is one.”

Snarl Varr barks assent from in back, amid the crowd of agreement. “Agrreed.”

Bindah Morposs’s shoulders rise and fall. He growls softly, then turns and pads into the armory.

“Then you make an enemy of me today,” Fett says, and he turns toward the illuminated obelisk. In a flash, he raises his right arm toward the obelisk and flexes his wrist.

Greedo reaches for his blaster, ready to draw if necessary.

A whipcord lashes out from Boba Fett’s arm and lashes itself around the shining obelisk, upon which the Bounty Hunters’ Creed is engraved.

Rio tenses, unsure how much stress the obelisk can take.

Boba Fett grips the cord with both hands and gives it a sharp tug. As the obelisk was simply resting balanced on the floor, it quickly tilts, topples, and then falls. When it strikes the ground, it shatters into a thousand shards.

“This guild will burn,” Fett says, and he turns to exit the chamber.

Greedo stares at the fragmented obelisk, then turns to watch Fett go. “I will see you dead before this ends.”

“We offer him peace and he chooses war,” Rio says, though his voice is scarcely heard over the nearby hunters.

Boba Fett exits the chamber without another word.

There is a loud murmuring in the chamber now, and many outraged shouts. Some hunters, however, stare silently at the fallen obelisk, and exit on their own without further comment.

Greedo kicks one of the shards, standing in the shaft of light that once illuminated the obelisk when it remained standing. His snout twitches, his suckered fingers touch the holster bearing his blaster. He then turns to watch the crowd of hunters filtering out.

The shistavanen pushes his way slowly through the moving crowd to the front, stooping to sniff at the shards of crystal, then glances at greedo with a curious yip.

Rio bends down to scoop up a small crystal shard. Holding it up to the light, he gazes into it, then slips it into one of his pockets, before moving back towards some of the other hunters who are still discussing the events of the Conclave.

“If you see him,” the Rodian says in that sing-song tone of his, “kill him.”

By Brody

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