Guest Poster Jan the Intergalactic Aviator
Bandit and I were in the turbolift making our way to the bridge. Despite the speed of the car we were in, it seemed liked it was taking forever to get to our destination. The white armored troopers stood quietly, watchful of any move that either he or I might make. We just stood there, though, as apprehension silently filled my heart.
Finally, Bandit couldn’t take it anymore. “What do you mean we’re in more trouble than I can imagine?” he asked in a hoarse whisper.
I gave him a “be quiet” look and then nodded towards our captors. Hopefully, he’ll get the message.
“How can we be in more trouble?” he pressed. “Maybe they’ll confiscate the cargo, but then they’ll just turn us loose, right? At least you got half your pay for the trouble.”
“Bandit, would you just keep it down?” I whispered back. The troopers haven’t reacted yet but I don’t want to get a rifle butt to the back of my head because of my tactless companion here.
“Why can’t we talk?” he continued. “Seriously. You guys wouldn’t shoot us for talking, would you?”
“Knock yourself out,” one of the troops answered noncommittally.
“OK, so we’re safe in here,” Bandit continued. “Why would we be in so much trouble now?”
“Because,” I leaned forward and growled very quietly and carefully in his ear. “The Empire is extremely prejudiced against non-human species. Whatever that Capatain is, human he isn’t. That’s why were in trouble.”
“I’m sure this can all be straightened out,” Bandit said confidently. “Maybe he’s from a rare alien species but such a master tactician that they just had to make him a captain.”
The lift came to a halt and the doors slid open. The troops prodded us out onto the deck.
“You two have got a lot to learn about how things operate around here,” the first said condescendingly.
“If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll get out of here alive,” the other said ominously. The two troopers laughed at the last comment.
Great, I thought to myself and blew a strand of hair out of my eye.
Bandit and I stepped out onto the deck of the bridge and looked around. Everything was gray. The deck, the computer stations, and the uniforms of all the men were all a muted shade of gray. Technicians manned their stations as officers moved back and forth between their charges. The whole area hummed with the noise of activity. There was another noise as well. Something I couldn’t quite identify.
“What is that noise?” asked Bandit.
“I don’t know,” I answered. “It’s like some kind of deep rumbling. I can’t place it, though.”
As we stepped forward across the metal deck, the rumbling grew louder and individual beats formed in the noise.
“That almost sounds like—” Bandit began.
“Laughter,” I answered. “But what could--?”
My own question was answered before I finished the sentence as a dais spun around and we were able to see its occupant. His -or its- laughter rose into a crescendo; a deep, wet, rumbling, booming echo.
“Lady and gentleman,” a protocol droid standing next to the giant slug announced. “I present to you Gordo the Hutt.”
The Hutt continued to laugh as Bandit stuck out his hand towards him.
“Gordo the Hutt? I’m very pleased to meet you,” he said. “I’m Bo Bandit.”
“I know who you are,” the Hutt rumbled in his own language. “Thank you for the prompt delivery of the power cores.”
“Hey, no problem,” Bandit smiled. “Now if I just receive my payment, we’ll just take off and be out of your hair, er, you know.”
The Hutt replied again in his own language. What he said exactly I could not understand. Evidently, Bandit couldn’t understand it either as he looked at me and shrugged helplessly.
“The great Gordo the Hutt assures you that payment will be made in due time,” the droid announced. “But he would first like assurance the Broadcast Energy Radiation – Electronic Cores will work. In the meantime, the Great Gordo invites you as a guest on his ship, the glorious jewel of the crown of his empire that is the Naal’taa.”
“See? No problem pretty lady,” Bandit said to me. “We get in, we get out, it’ll be as easy as cake.”
“He’s not letting us go, though,” I replied. “If this were on the up and up, we’d get our money and be on our way. He’s up to something fishy, I know it.”
“He’s not letting us go but he made us his guest,” Bandit insisted. “Ever been to a party hosted by a Hutt? These things are a sweet hoedown, that’s for sure. And I’m not going to insult my customer by refusing, either.”
Bandit may have been lulled into a false sense of security, but I still don’t trust a thing that’s going on around here. I may have to figure out how to get out of here – with or without Bandit.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Guest Poster Jan the Intergalactic Aviator