Years ago, when a mining accident in the Polaris Vortex sent swarms of ice comets hurtling through hyperspace at random, Arvala-7’s regional governor, Gurga Bett, assured his constituents there was nothing to worry about.
“Look, space is big,” he told reporters at the time. “The odds of any one of those comets coming anywhere near our planet are astronomical at best. And if they do, well…” He twirled a blaster in front of the cameras. “They’ll learn not to mess with Arvala.”
Now, with his desert home buried under two meters of snow, vapor farmer Kuiil has words for his planet’s leaders.
“I was once a slave,” says Kuiil, “and I prize my independence just as any being does. Even so, if a man wants to call himself ‘governor,’ he has responsibilities to his people. For one, he should have joined the Grid.”
Kuiil refers to the Imperial Galactic Grid, in which the Empire, like the Old Republic before it, subsizides tools and equipment to ensure that its planets remain productive. Such tools include power generators, heaters, and orbital torpedo launchers.
In that same press conference where he threatened the comets, Gov. Bett had dismissed the Grid as “a useless waste of taxpayer credits,” adding, “We Arvala boys keep the lights on with nothing but grit and our own two hands.”
Kuiil’s heavily mittened hands gesture broadly over his snow-covered farm, while he mutters to himself, “At least I have enough vapor for a while.” Snapping to attention, he resumes lambasting the Regional Governor, saying, “The first comet should have been a warning.”
Said comet passed within a moon’s orbital distance of Arvala-7 nine years ago, coating the planet in ice for days. Gov. Bett’s only public response at the time was a brief press statement, reading, “Okay, but what are the odds of it happening again?” Bett did purchase a small number of power generators from the Grid at the time, but neglected to purchase the thermal stabilizers that would have kept them running in the cold.
“Look at this,” says Kuiil. “Look at the price of negligence. If this is the Governor’s ‘protection,’ then we truly are alone, here in the valley.”
Added Kuiil, “I have spoken.”
Gov. Bett was last spotted boarding a transport for Coruscant, where an aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he planned to “beg the Emperor’s forgiveness for his failure.”