Not too long ago, two or three hundred years at most, I learned an interesting new word: Junk. At first I was confused by this seemingly useless word, the food used it to refer to all kinds of different items, until I finally understood that it is just a word manifesting the limitations of the food’s handicapped intellect. It is used to refer to anything that is no longer useful, as apparently they lack the mental capacity for creating a more extended vocabulary to be more descriptive.
One thing my mother never told me as I clawed my way out of her intestines is that, as a Sarlacc, I was going to accumulate a lot of useless residues. It is not a problem with the less sophisticated foods, bone and skin all dissolve (deliciously) inside my stomach, given enough time; but this talking food carries so much junk (see what I did there? I kill me sometimes, I really do), that every thousand years or so I have to spit a big ball of badly dissolved armor, metal, weapons, and whatnot.
I’ve gotten pretty good at it. I can hit a womp rat at twenty times my tentacle length in distance.
It’s not like I don’t have time to kill.
But of course, a cunning Sarlacc observes the environment and learns from it. Most items that many foods consider junk, while completely useless, are actually appreciated and sought after by others. Some food said something to this effect involving junk and treasures, but its voice was irritating, so I ripped its head off before it could expand on it. My curiosity only takes my tolerance so far.
Today I felt the familiar drone of a large ground-crawling box slowly approaching my home. After my latest meals I had accumulated a lot of junk: some crashed airbound boxes, a lot of droids (nasty little things, until I learned to tell the difference between their voices and that of real food I had a few disappointing encounters when expecting a real meal; you really have to bang them hard against a rock to stop their noises), some leftover pieces of armor and half-chewed untasty food… The usual.
So I hoped that it may be enough to attract the attention of this particular kind of food. I don’t keep the junk by my house, oh no. I like my place tidy. It was all piled up some distance away.
As I had anticipated, this food spotted the junk and, to my delight, they changed direction and the box went straight for it. Soon the junk was crawling with them, little foodstuffs with an undecipherable language that speak faster than I can chew on them. Which is saying a lot.
Soon their attention became fixated on a large transport box that had crashed not too long ago. While anything of limited usefulness can be referred to as junk, I have learned that age reduces the desirability of these junk items.
I should probably not use the word junk as often as the food does, it wouldn’t surprise me if it has long-term negative effects on my intellect.
There were some long strong cables and chains attached to it, making it an ideal candidate for a group effort trying to dislodge it from the sand. Some of them got together and tried, and the box moved a little. They recruited some more help, and the box moved some more. Little by little the box moved as more and more of these tiny foods got together and helped.
I have heard some food talk about us Sarlacci as a magnificent example of patience, because we can wait for years for the right moment to strike at our prey. It is true, of course, but it’s also a very limited view. It is more successful to make things happen than to simply wait for them to do so.
You see, it would have done me no good if the foods had not been able to move the box at all, since they would instead tried to move it with their own ground “vehicle.” No, when trying to lure food in, you have to give them a little bit of slack, make them believe they are actually getting away with whatever they are trying to accomplish.
So I let my tentacle slack a bit with every new effort the food made, letting go of the box I was holding under the sand little by little. And with every pull they walked closer and closer to my home, which I had camouflaged with a layer of sand in preparation for this. I only had to let go and throw out the covering sand at the same time, and down came a dozen tiny, excitable little foods after tumbling back in surprise.
“Ton ton sooga!”
Oh but it was a scramble to get them down! They couldn’t escape the hole, but up and down they went running and tumbling and talking in that undecipherable language all at once and it was like a sand storm crashing rocks on one another, and crawling and twisting and jumping up and down when I gulped them down as they went on their way to my stomach sending me in contorting fits of ticklish discomfort as they repeatedly managed to avoid chewed no matter how hard I tried!
By the great desert, I was exhausted after that; they make me way too excitable for my own good. If only the things weren’t so damn tasty.
I think I have a Jawa addiction.