Darth Vader, one of the most powerful beings in the galaxy by almost any form of measurement, stood once again in the sands of Tatooine. The planet repulsed him. The sand interfered with his life support systems, going so far down as to irritate what remained of his skin. He hated it. He loved it. This world, so far from civizilation and home to some of the most vile life forms he would ever be likely to meet, made him strong in the Dark Side. And so, he tolerated it.
The entire 501st Stormtrooper Legion was on the planet with him. This was more than an extraction- this was a lesson. He had troopers visiting every Hutt, every despot or crime lord, under the twin suns. This might tip his hand, but he doubted it. The few crime cartels who were not aware that Vader knew of them would be more intimidated by his presence than likely to make any good use of the knowledge. He would not be surprised if one or two of the worms tried to use his influence to sell out one of their rivals, however. All in all, they disgusted him.
The Executioner himself, of course, was going to visit the big worm in the dessert- Jabba the Hutt. As he approached Jabba’s palace on foot, his mind wandered on the reasons he had come. Reave, Traviss, Luceno. These names and more passed through his mind. But there was more than names. There were personalities, and skills. Hobbies. These were people, a fact that Vader understood far more deeply than any Hutt. Where were they now? Doing hard labor for the Hutt? Rotting in an underground dungeon? If the Hutt was really stupid, some of them might have even died- the Sith Lord had heard Jabba had a fondness for gladiatorial battles involving a pet rancor, a stunted creature that had made its way to the Hutt after some foul deal.
As Lord Vader passed, sentients and droids ran frightened. The Hutt’s power, while vast, was not enough to give even the weakest minded of his followers the foolhardiness to stand in the Sith Lord’s path. The only sound in the chamber was Vader’s boots against the stone floor- even the struggling slaves and spice-addled underlings present had stoppd to watch. Vader was not one for theatrics, but he was certain that today would be a show none of them would forget.
“Jabba.” While Vader was completely fluent in Huttese, he chose to speak Basic. It had been years since he had had need to speak any other language, and he refused to pander to the Hutt’s ridiculous ego, which included refusing to acknowledge any titles that lesser beings had bestowed upon the Hutt. The only authority to which Vader answered was the Emperor, and Jabba would remember that or pay dearly. “You know why I am here.” Lorda Jabba, of course, did. The Hutt was devious and calculating, and a being that lived to his age and power did not forget such details. He was also wise enough to know that feigning ignorance would do him no good here. Instead, he fell to the Hutts’ old standby- intimidation. “Dobra doe Lorda wata, Vader.” The Hutt growled. “Dobra ne nolia ta D’emperiolo pawa wata.”
Vader was outraged. I do not respect Imperial power here. With a silent comm order, Vader activated two dozen holoprojectors throughout the room. All of these projectors had been planted by or were in the posession of stormtroopers of the 501st Legion, and were answered by at least one trooper of the same, in the presence of another Hutt or crime lord. “The power of the Emperor is ultimate even here, Hutt,” Vader said in his most reproachful tone. “There are more than enough stormtroopers on this rock to sieze the illegal wealth on this planet.” He paused, and added, “if I so commanded.”