I lit up a new cigar and began to pace in front of the fireplace. Qui-Gon shimmered in the doorway, glancing ever so often at my unopened can of soda. What the hell’s gotten into him? Count ‘lizard-boy’ Dooku continued to sit in his chair with that dumb expression on his face.
“Um, you see, “Qui-Gon began, “It seems someone called the cops on us when Dooku and I were…uh…eating some brownies and all. Everything would have been fine except the spice permit you keep in your office was missing…so we were taken to jail for a few weeks. …a few very long…long…weeks.”
“Missing? Who took it?”
“It seems,” Dooku interjected, “that it was your ex-wife Rhonda who took the permit thinking it was the only one, and then called the cops on us.”
”Rhonda. …damn that Ithorian. She was always two faced…eh…two mouthed that is. Where is she now?”
“Oh, don’t worry, my boy. She’s taken care of. It seems she had an accident once we got out of prison. A bit of a coincidence, don’t you think?”
“It was like…they found her dead in her apartment in a pool of vomit, man. Um…although it wasn’t her vomit, come to think of it.”
I shook the image from my brain. “Okay, so back track a bit. Why didn’t you guys send word or come and get me at the Big Brother House? I always keep a spare permit on me at all times.”
Yeah, I know. But I was stuck in one of those…those...dark…dark boxes….and could only tap out Morse code and all. But we did finally get some help, man. We sent the best we could while in jail. We sent the F.O.O.F. men, Frick and Frack.”
My jaw dropped. My cigar fell from my mouth but Dooku snatched it up with his claw with better reflexes than I would have guessed a Sleestak had. “You’re kidding. Those two?” They couldn’t (insert joke of choice here) with both hands!”
“Oh, but it was okay, J.J. They got into the Big Brother house and got your copy of the spice permit.”
“They did?” I hastily reached into my robe’s hidden pocket where I always keep my important documents: blackmail photos, secret bank account numbers, Twil’lik phone numbers, an emergency brownie…but he was right. No spare spice permit.
“So the F.O.O.F.er pulled through and brought you my spare, right?”
Qui and Dooku glanced uncomfortably at each other. “Well you see, ol chap, they….how should I put this…they burnt it.”
“What!?!?” My jaw dropped again. Dooku caught my cigar again.
“But like the ghost of Jo Jo got us out of that dark… dark…oh so dark…prison box….*shudder* and we’re now all home safe and sound.” He gave me a half hearted smile.
“Oh yeah, everything is dandy. Lizard lips here is permanently stuck as a Sleestak. You can’t go five minutes without opening something up, and our production of brownies has come to a crashing halt until we can get another spice permit. Do I have it right?”
Qui-Gon thought about it for a moment then nodded vigorously. “Yup, that should just about catch up the readers of the events of the past month. But everything is fine now. Now that you’re back from Big Brother, we can go downtown together and apply for a new permit. I already made a few calls.”
It sounded reasonable enough. I took a drag off my cigar, cringed at the sleestak taste it somehow acquired, and began to pace some more. Something wasn’t right. Something still nagged at me in the back of my head. Something about new spice permit laws just recently enacted. Now what were they?
Then in mid stride, the doorbell rang. I diverted my pacing towards the front door and answered it.
“Yeah? What do you want? It’s late”
Hello. My name is Inspector Bif S’Naus Ages I am from the Ministry of Spice I am here personally to talk to you about your new spice permit. It seems you have a bit of a problem.”
Oh course. What else is new?