That's No Moon... It's One Helluva Headache!!
Disclaimer in prologue.
After that migraine, I went down to see what was going on. I heard the Old Man talking about million voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened. I looked at him very hard, as if he was tied into the life force of the universe like I was, he definitely knew what was going on. The kid was doing some training exercise. I had flashbacks of watching Buffy training for Giles, but this was nowhere near as interesting except for one thing. The reason it was not exciting was the fact, while Luke was a short blonde, he was in fact a he, and despite some individuals trying to sway me to their side of things, I do not swing that way, no matter what the Dark Lord says.
The thing that made it interesting was the device the kid was using. A laser sword of some type. The Buffy Fragment was singing ‘gimmegimmegimme’ and the Willow Fragment was starting to try to write out the design of one in my head. Thankfully the Giles fragment was a little more quiet, he was just amused at the antics of the other fragments.
Is it a bad thing when you are commenting on the enjoyment of one fragment of your mind/soul at the antics of other such fragments? I know I am going to be some psychiatrist’s bitch when I get home. I might have an entire volume as my case file. As usual, I digress.
I was watching Chew-Toy the Carpet-Man playing (dejarik?) against the trashcan looking robot, and losing. Captain Han gave some advice about strategy, and Golden Boy seemed to agree. The little bot did not seem to think so, and Chew-Toy thought it was annoying but funny. I was almost getting a grip on the language there.
Note: if Chewbacca ever reads this, I know I am dead. Still, when has that ever stopped me from giving someone an annoying nickname. Captain Han will wait for a bit, as he is still He Who Pays My Check.
As the kid did more of his exercises and a nice philosophical debate started between the Old Man and the Captain, I opened my mind and senses and what I saw did impress me. The kid glowed. There was something about him that shone with life and power. I could see some link between him and the floating stinger ball thingy
Neat. I filed that away for later reference. As I looked over at the Old Man, he was looking at me rather intently. I met his eyes and smirked a bit. He returned the smirk and I ‘looked’ at him. He was bright and also seemed to have a slight dark stain, something that seemed to be associated with guilt, if I felt it right. Still, while he may not have had as much raw power as the kid, where the kid was raw and untrained, disorganized, this man was organized, controlled and efficient. Nothing leaked. He had a stealth skill that seemed along the same lines, but different, than my own.
I knew he and I would have words later.
The navcomputer (Mr Navigator, maybe?) started beeping and I took it that we were getting ready for reversion to realspace from hyperspace.
I went up to the cockpit to watch. As crew, I rated a seat behind the Captain and Chew-Toy. The old man got the otjher, and Farm Boy was SOL and had to stand. Heh, sucks to be you kid.
We arrived at where we were supposed to be. The thing was, ‘Where we were supposed to be’ was not where IT was supposed to be. I kept my mouth shut to keep from distracting the Captain and Cousin It’s big brother from their job. Hey, it was only day two of the job.
When the Old Man said ‘destroyed, by the Empire’, that sent chills down my spine. That was not in any of the little books I was reading about, and there as even an Imperial Warbook, a ship recognition manual, in among the tech manuals I was studying. Nothing that big or powerful existed on the listing. And nothing matched what I saw in the vision.
We followed a fighter, with the intent of blowing it up and covering our tracks, and to be honest, that did not bother me. My morals became a little more flexible in Africa. You did what you had to do to survive, threats were removed, and a lot of times that meant permenantly. I did it so my girls would not have to. My job was to protect them, and that even and especially meant protecting them from other humans. My hands were not clean, and I would gladly kill anyone who threatened any one of my girls, my friends, my family.
I hope they are alright.
Anyway, chasing the little ping pong ball between two plates (EDIT: I later learned that it was a TIE fighter. Looked kinda like a bow tie, but that was not the reason. Something about a Twin Ion Engine, but I digress) we saw IT. I saw that grey metal monster from my vision, my nightmare. And it was pulling us in.
I start writing this next part as I am bedridden and we are escaping the appropriately named Death Star. I wrung myself out and am barely able to walk I am so weak, but I have to do something and this being immobile is driving me batty. No Dracula jokes, please.
We hid on the ship when we landed, letting the freighter land in automatic. The Captain had us in his smuggling compartments and when the initial team left, we got out. During the time we were in there, I felt something bad outside. Something big, bad and powerful. The ship interfered with me seeing who or what it was, but I knew it was there. I wrapped myself tighter and tighter with my stealth, trying to keep whatever it was from feeling me. I guess it worked as he left the area.
The Old Man outlined his plan to get us out of here, and while I knew it was what we had to do, I could not help but echo his question ‘Who is more foolish: the fool or the fool who follows him?’ I knew which one I was.
As we waited, a scanning team came aboard. As they came up, I decided to act, and preserve some manner of our concealment. The two technicians brought the large crate of sensitive gear onto the ship and I stepped up behind them. The Captain and Chewbacca (Chew-Toy is getting old now, and I need to find some new name for him) were ready to shoot them, but it turned out to not be necessary.
Drawing on the power inside me and drawing of a memory of a movie I had seen years ago, I looked at them , put my left index finger to my lips and as I moved it to point at both of them, I said, “Shhhhh.”
The fell to the deck, asleep.
I smiled at it, with no small amount of shock. “Damn, that worked.”
“What the hell was that?” asked the Captain.
“One of the many extra skills I have and that you have access to since you hired me. So, shall we get started?” When in doubt, bluff. Apparently I was better at it than I thought, as the Captain just looked at me and then shouted to the two soldiers outside the ship’s landing ramp.
“Hey down there. Could ya give us a hand with this?”
The two white clad soldiers walked up weapons cradled. Two heavy stun blasts later, we were stripping the armor from the two soldiers for the Captain and Farm Boy, and I was getting a set of technicians’ uniforms. The boots were a little tight, and the suit itself was a little short, but it worked. The Captain looked at me and was kinda pointing at my eye, wondering I guess how we were going to cover that up without being obvious.
I smirked and pulled another trick I remembered from my catalogue of spells and spell like abilities. Wiping my hand over my missing eye, the damage was gone and there was no noticeable hole, only an eye. On the outside. Inside, it was still missing. I would have to see about what this world had to offer for the depth perception challenged.
It was just a glamour, but it did the job. Captain Solo seemed to want to say something then just decided to let it drop. The kid looked at me funny as well, and the Old Man started to say something to me, but I just said, “Let’s talk about this later, ok? We have an enemy stronghold to infiltrate.”
“You sound like you have done this before.” The old man looked at me with a sardonic smile as he said that.
“Yes, but at least this time I have a little more on my side than a witch a Slayer, a Watcher and a magic gourd. Long story,” I said and smiled at the weird look he gave me.
Off we went down into the hangar bay and to whatever Fate and Destiny had waiting for us. I don’t care what they say about thwarting Destiny or Tempting Fate. Those two are evil bitches who have made my life, and the lives of my friends, hell for as long as I can remember. They hate me. I know it.
This job just proved it.
We took control of a security station, shooting one officer and letting the other one feel the rage of the Wookiee. With that, I decided a security officer look was a little better for me and made a shift in uniforms. The guy who got mauled had a uniform in a little better condition (as in no big bloody burn mark), so I used that. And the boots fit me better. All in all, it was a good trade.
After we secured the room, the Old Man told R2-D2, the rolling trashcan something that caught my ears. “Plug in. He should be able to interpret the Entire Imperial Network.” Entire. Imperial. Network.
Oh, I felt the urge to do some serious mayhem with that phrase. I just needed to get the little guy on my side.
After discovering the source of the tractor beam that held us here (cool so they call it here too), the Old Man left. He said he was going to go take care of it and we should stay here. Farmboy had a little argument with him over it. Old Man won, go figure. Then, damsel in distress was discovered. This was getting a bit cliché.
The Captain, Chewie and the Farmboy left to get her, I stayed to keep watch on the droids as well as to see if I could get R2 on my side for a little creative grand larceny.
A little wheeling and dealing later, as well as getting the Golden One to shut up his protests, I got R2 to see what he could arrange. Mainly I asked him to look out over the Net and ‘surprise me’.
A little while later, with the sounds of a firefight going on in the background, the kid called us. Apparently things were not going so well for the rescue. And about that time, the knocking on the door started. Apparently someone decided to check on our silent little guard shack.
3P0 and R2 skittered into the closet and I shut the door on them. Willing everything I had into my SEP (Somebody Else’s Problem) Field, I stood off in the corner, attracting as little attention as possible.
With a little bluff by 3P0 and me slowly moving around the oblivious Boys in White, we moved quickly to the hangar bay. After 3P0 turned the comlink back on, as we were now across from the Falcon, we heard the melodious sounds of people screaming in terror about to be squished by an industrial sized trash compactor. Of course, R2 shut it all down and opened their maintenance hatch so they could escape and find their way here.
After gods knows how long, the four of them showed up: The Captain, Luke the Farmboy, Chewie the walking carpet (this was later mentioned in a discussion with the irate Princess), and Princess Leia Organa of House Organa of Alderaan (yeah, no superiority complex here, boys).
Moving across to the ship, we see the Old Man facing a Man in Black. The vibes I felt radiating off the helmeted figure were so enraged and malevolent that they overwhelmed me for a second. I looked at him, and I felt his gaze on me. I would not understand the significance of that until later. There was a buzz in my head, but I shunted it to the side. It was distraction I could not afford at this point.
Kenobi raised his light saber, in what looked to be a surrender gesture and I acted without thinking. This is of course a trait I have not worked that hard to eliminate, as it is usually a good thing for me to do at the time. It also usually hurts like a bitch afterwards. This time was no exception.
I reached out with what little reserves I had built up and not burned through. The glamour, the stun and the SEP took a lot of juice and I had very little left, so I threw everything I had remaining into this. I reached out to Kenobi, secured him in my mental grasp and yanked him hard. He went flying back towards me and the ship, out of the arc of the red blade of the Dark Lord (yes, it was explained to me later). Pulling him out hurt like a bitch. I was in serious pain the likes of which I have not felt since being poisoned in Africa.
All of us managed to get on the ship, humans, Wookiee and droids. After getting on the ship, I collapsed in a boneless heap. Anyone who talks about the bliss of unconsciousness is not lying. For a while, the pain stopped. I woke up later and started writing this. Apparently I slept through the attack of four patrol fighters as we escaped. Still, we were headed out to the Secret Rebel Base ™ and would see what we could do with R2 there. Joy. I just had one question on the matter.
Were we still getting paid?
Well, after three years, there is more to read. There will be more someday, and that goes for all my stories. Enjoy.