Disclaimer: I own nothing. Joss owns all things Buffy. George Lucus owns all things Star Wars, including the characters, story idea, and some of the dialogue found in this fic. I'm just playing with the characters for my own twisted amusement. Please don't sue me.
AN: I wrote this back when Episode III came out, and it's been posted on both Twisting the Hellmouth (the complete version) and (incomplete). I thought I'd do some editing on and put it on here. It's a pretty basic premise, but I had fun writing it. Who knows, maybe it'll inspire me enough that I'll actually get around to finishing the sequel to it. I did change quiet a bit of it in terms of the portal stuff from the Buffy episode "Anne". It shouldn't be a problem to keep up with it, but just giving you the heads up before you start to read it. Also, when this was written, a lot of stuff hadn't come out (like anything from the Clone Wars, except for the short animated version and some of the comic books), so there's a lot that's not canon compliant with what we know now about the Jedi and Palpatine and so forth. So just imagine this as an AU like it's supposed to be.

Collecting Wages

With his steps echoing off the dirty, water-damaged walls, Thom walked through the lower corridor of his Mistress's home. From somewhere in the dark came the sharp sizzling sound of a slave being disciplined with a prod. It was followed by a painful scream which soon dampened into a pitiful groan. Things that he would rather not imagine scurried about in the shadows, either looking for dinner or avoiding becoming that for something else. He sneered as he stepped in something that soaked through his shoes and left his toes cold in a liquid that he hoped was just a bit of mud and nothing more. It was a vain hope, he suspected, particularly when the sharp scent continued to follow him on his journey.

Thom hated being down here. He had worked hard to get to the position he now held, and it was below him to be in such a place. He was Gardulla's personal servant and therefore should not have to soil himself by coming to the place where only the worst and most stubborn of the slaves must go.

So why did he find himself wadding through such filth? Because of a damn Toydarian.

Watto, a junkyard owner, had won a bet between himself and Thom's Mistress a few days prior and had come to collect his winnings. However, he had not been satisfied with the two slaves that Gardulla had chosen to be his prize. A mother and son pair that Thom had only known in passing. Their lose was was of no real consequence to the standing of Mistress's grand house except for the embarrassment of losing to such a person as Watto. The dirty little Toydarian had taken one look at eight-year-old boy, however, and claimed him to be half a slave and not the full one that he had been promised in the wager. The wretched creature should have been gratefully that Mistress was even honoring the ridiculous bet, yet he had the gall to question her choice of slaves to give him.

Such a disgusting creature.

In order to keep the knowledge that she had lost to the Toydarian to a minimum, Gardulla had agreed to let him have one other slave, but it would be of her choosing as well. He had not been happy about that – Thom had seen him the way he had been eyeing him – but agreed nonetheless. When she could come up with no one who was useless enough to pass off to Watto and fulfill the terms of the agreement, Thom had seen an opportunity. A killing of wamprats with one shot, if you will. In a manner that he knew would allow Watto to overhear, Thom had suggested that she give the Toydarian the girl the Gythons slave that Gardulla had bought a few weeks prior. Mistress had smiled – or, Thom thought she had, but one could never really tell when it came to Hutts – and agreed.

The Gythons were a strange race of creatures that lived on the far side of the planet and mined the mountains. It was rumored that they had hundreds of human slaves in their possession and had discovered a way to keep a never ending supply of them. Thom never put stock in such stories and didn't care where they got their humans so long as they stayed away from him.

The Gythons did not have the best reputation when it came to dealing with their slaves. In fact, from what he had seen, they made the Hutts look as harmless as a baby Jawa in comparison. Their methods, however, did work, and they produced some of the best and most subservient slaves. They asked no questions. They carried out orders without question and would do whatever you ordered them to do until you instructed otherwise. Thom would hate them on that principle alone if were not for the fact that they weren't actual threats to people such as him, who understood the albeit limited power that certain positions could afford. They cared nothing for it. Not anymore, at any rate. Not after what the Gythons did to them. No, these slaves were broken beyond repair and merely husks of people who had no desires of their own and lived only to carry out the wishes of their masters. Which is why they were so sought after.

When the Gythons had offered to sale Mistress one, she had jumped at the chance to own one of their slave girls. She should have been the crowning jewel of Gardulla's collection. It wasn't until after the girl had arrived that Mistress learned why they had sold her. Apparently, the girl had lead a sort of rebellion against her former masters and had killed several of them and helped a dozen slaves escape. Why the Gythons hadn't just executed the trouble maker was a mystery. The only think Thom could think of was the fact that they were business men first, and she could still turn them a profit from a sale. Still, it would have been better if they had just rid the universe of her, if you asked his opinion of the matter. Thom was certain that if she hadn't given Gardulla bragging rights about owning a real Gython slave, she would have had the girl terminated.

Even after coming here, the girl's rebellious streak had not wavered. She had already tried twice to start a rebellion within the palace and kill a number of her betters. Thankfully, the novelty of her origins had finally worn off for his Mistress, and the girl would be Watto's problem now.

Upon reaching her cell, Thom grabbed the controller that hang on a nearby wall. It went to the correctional cuffs and collar the girl was forced to wear now. Should she try to attack anyone, he could shock her with enough electricity to take down a banthas. Thom had wondered at the girl's parentage for her to have that much endurance against the pain that came from the cuffs and collar that they had to use it on full setting just to get her to comply. She looked human enough, but she was stronger and could endure more than what most humans could. Than what most species that he knew of could. Maybe that was why she had been such a problem. Gython slaves – the good ones – were fully human. The girl couldn't be. Not with what she could do. He doubted even a Jedi could withstand the shocks they gave her just to slow her down, let alone drop her.

Her cell door squeaked opened, which let some dull light into the otherwise black cell. The girl was sitting against the wall across from the door with her knees hugged to her chest and her head tilted downward. Her face was hidden behind her dirty, matted blonde hair, and the correctional collar reflected some of the light. The cuffs were hidden beneath her shirt's long sleeves, but Thom as certain they were still there and operation.

He wouldn't have opened the door otherwise.

It was hard to believe that a girl, who was barely seventeen-standard-years-old, could be so dangerous. She was small and fragile-looking and appeared as if a good gust of wind would take her away. That is until one saw her eyes. Those hard orbs peering at you with a look that promised she would march through all nine levels of hell just for the chance to destroy you. She would raze the galaxy to the ground if given the chance, which Thom had no interest in doing.

Clearing his throat, he said, "Get up. You're leaving."

"Aww, but I was having so much fun," she replied with a strange accent that he had never been able to pinpoint."What, with the daily beatings and electroshock therapy and all, I was having a real blast."

She lifted her head to smile at him from behind her curtain of hair, and Thom as rather proud of himself for not backing away. His thumb, however, did brush against the controller's buttons.

"Just get up and try to look presentable for your new master, slave," Thom said.

He had no idea that someone could move as fast as she, but he found himself standing face-to-face with the now sneering girl. He was sure she would have had her hands around his neck were it not for the correctional cuffs. They restrained her from causing physical violence against anyone who carried the controller. Thank the gods for small favors, yes.

With a hiss, she said, "My name is Buffy. Buffy Summers. Got it?"

"Indeed," Thom replied and then pressed the controller's button. The electrical charge that buzzed through the restraints sent the girl sprawling on the ground in convulsions. She tried to claw at her neck, but her fingers were curled in on themselves and were of little use. She kicked and choked for the duration of the shock and then grasped for breath once the electricity stopped. Thom watched impassively as she twisted at his feet, but did scrunch his nose at the smell of burnt flesh and hair and ozone that filled the already foul-smelling cell.

Stupid girl.

Well, she was that filthy Toydarian's problem now. Thom hoped he enjoyed his winnings.