C I R C U M T O R E
“<Scrub harder, girl!>” boomed Orbaa, the shell hut crime lord, in his native tongue. “<I can’t see myself in it.>”
Inaya did as she was told. Leaning forward, she grunted with effort as she continued to polish the massive set of armor to a high sheen. It was not just any piece of armor; it was Orbaa’s new shell – specially made to fit the form of the hutt that was overflowing his current set. Most would agree that it was not a pretty sight. It was a rare occasion and Orbaa had seen to it that he would have a most memorable celebration to mark it. Circumtore was full of Orbaa’s fellow shell hutt brethren, most as greedy and enormous as he – and though they lacked the size, slavers, smugglers, and rough-sorts called this place home, too. But today, you might not know it, as the hangar and reception area had been made ready to receive guests of all kinds.
The slave girl had been at it all day, working to make the armor presentable. Her small hands ached something awful, but she wouldn’t utter even the slightest complaint, she knew better than that. Inaya knew full well that the shell hutt was standing over her shoulder, so she didn’t chance a glance behind. But, she could tell by the reflection that Orbaa wasn’t pleased. The distorted image before her made the hutt’s sneer all the more spine-chilling. As she braced for more yelling, an attendant interrupted.
It was time for Orbaa to get changed. “<Out!>” Commanded the hutt, and Inaya scrambled out of the room. Once the door was shut at her back, she breathed out a great sigh of relief. Dressed in tattered layers and a ratty knit poncho, the girl was not fit to be seen at such a gathering this evening. Oh yes, she had been told this already many times, but the curiosity was strong. It was well worth getting caught, especially if she could get away with a snack from the buffet. Wiping at her tangled, matted hair, she attempted to try and blend in as best she could. Her thin sandals padded along the corridor, carrying her cautiously forward.
Pausing by the hangar, she stuck close to the wall and peered inside.
Crouching down, she shrank her small form against the wall... hoping to remain out of sight of the men and women heading to the reception space. There were nice ships here tonight; they looked out of place next to all of the usual junkers. For a brief moment, the girl imagined that she was aboard one of those nice ships – being taken far, far away from Cirumtore.
Such luck wasn’t hers, but she could still dream.