Cold Calling

 

A stack of unused business cards sat at the edge of a desk collecting dust.  “Bel’grrth Onestar: Bounty Hunter for Hire.”  The holographic picture of him on the corner of the cards seemed inaccurate.  It was a lame picture really.  His snout didn’t look quite right and his face looked fatter than usual too.  “I guess that’s what I get for having my mom take professional holo-photos,” he thought to himself. 

He looked over at his brand new blaster case in the far corner of the room.  It held last years’ Mandalorian Cutbeam, an Imperial Sniper blaster, even a vintage Corellian ion pistol that he found in great condition at the Delm-rrk Flea Market.  He hadn’t had the chance to use them yet, at least not on anything living.  He could afford those things now, because every new piece of equipment was a tax write-off. 

Bel’grrth fidgeted at his desk and stared at a silent Com-Portal.   This cycle of quiet was beginning to upset him.  For his start-up company, silence meant a slow death.  That Com-Portal should be ringing off the hook!  The Empire had just put bounties on over 7 million citizens of the Galaxy, most of them rebels.  All the other bounty hunters he talked to were having trouble keeping up with all the business.  Why was he not getting any calls? 

Bel’grrth stood up from his chair and began to pace.  He glanced at the motivational poster of Jango Fett with the acronym “ABS: Always Be Stalking” underneath.  He had actually gone to see the famous bounty hunter speak at a networking luncheon he attended last month. “Before you stalk the target,” Fett said, “You must stalk the client.” 

Bel’grrth decided that he was being too passive.  He couldn’t just wait around and hope for a huge bounty contract to fall in his lap.  He had to hit the pavement.  Make some calls.  Get the Bel’grrth name out there.  He switched the connect button on his Com-Portal with his sharp talon.  A blue light sprang forward and a projection of an automated operator filled the viewing window.

“Imperial Headquarters please,” Bel’grrth said.

“Connecting,” replied the blue light.

“Hello, Imperial Headquarters this is Melissat.  How can I help you?”  A sturdy looking female spoke into her portal.  She looked like she was of Alderanian descent but it was hard to tell.  Best not to comment.

“Hi Mellisat.  It’s Bel’grrth OneStar.”

“I’m sorry who?”

“It’s Bel’grrth OneStar.  I called into the office a few months ago.  I’m a bounty hunter.”

“How can I help you Mr. Burgfin?”

Bel’grrth knew the key to getting his foot in the door was to be nice to the boss’s secretary.  Rule number one of sales.  “Mellisat.  That’s a pretty name.  It sounds Alderanian.”  Stupid.  Stupid.  “Does it mean anything?”

“No.  Can I transfer you to a department Mr. Brugfelder?”

“Um, yes.  I’d like to speak with Grand Moff Abner.”  Bel’grrth didn’t like being that direct, but she forced him into it. 

“Grand Moff Abner is a very busy man.  Is he expecting your call?”

“I believe so,” he lied.  “I wanted to discuss any outstanding bounties that he may need assistance with.”

“Hold please.”

An audience with Grand Moff Abner?  This was huge!  He knew that little ‘pretty name’ comment would win over that Alderanian.  They were easily subjected to mind-control, or so he had heard. 

A stately man in a forest green uniform adorned with medals presumably won in the Clone Wars sat in front of a large bay window of a Star Destroyer.  “Hello?”

“Greetings Your Eminency.  I know I’m calling you out of the blue, but sometimes, if I don’t know anyone at the organization I’m calling, this is the only way to develop a relationship.  All I want to do right now is quickly introduce myself, my firm and my offering to you.  As I mentioned to Melissat, I’m a bounty hunter and I help organizations like the Empire apprehend and eliminate all wanted fugitives, outlaws and rebel scum.”

The Imperial Leader chuckled at the derogatory name.

Bel’grrth continued, “I specialize in vaporizations, carbonite entrapments and thermal detonations.  I do possess an Imperial Peace Keeping Certificate and recently obtained my B23-1-14 Permit for Bounty Collection.   I was wondering how I would best position myself to determine if I may be a fit for your hunting needs?”

Grand Moff Abner paused and sighed, “We really don’t look at bringing in any new contractors until budget time, which is in February.  Apparently some huge project just got launched to build this planet-sized, super laser and that’s draining a lot of the funds. Project Death Star.  I’d say you should call back in about 3-4 months.”

“Do you anticipate any increased volume in the bounties that you’ll be offering?  Any Jedi Genocides that you expect to conduct in the near future?” Bel’grrth asked.

“I really don’t know.  We’re not seeing very good results from the hunters we have on contract so far,” Grand Moff Abner cleared his throat. “There are still some very high-profile Rebel targets that we’d like to get our hands on. But again, we can’t give you any leads because of existing contracts.  It a union thing you know.”

“I understand.  Well Your Eminency I’d love to send you some more information about my firm and what we can offer.  Should I work with Mellisat to coordinate?”

“Yes.  That’d be fine.”

“Great,” Bel’grrth smiled.  “It was a pleasure talking to you sir.  I’ll be sure to call back in the timeframe you suggested.”

“Ok.  Thanks.”  Bel’grrth switched off the Com-Portal.  That went pretty well given the circumstances.  The Imperial Leader seemed interested but hamstrung by bureaucracy, which was typical for the Empire.  But still, no sales and no contracts landed today. 

He looked at the inspirational poster above his filing cabinet.  ABS: Always Be Stalking.

Bel’grrth switch on the Com-Portal again.  “Jabba the Hutt please.”