Saga A Question Of Honor -- (OCs, Red Squadron cameos, pre-ANH) COMPLETE

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by -Z-, Jan 10, 2004.

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  1. -Z- Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2003
    star 2
    Title: A Question Of Honor
    Author: -Z-
    Timeframe: ANH
    Characters: Thix Barkon, Grant Bowmark, Janner Fell, Jock Deiner, Kesa Sunrunner, Cap Dryden
    Genre: Action, Adventure, Humor
    Keywords: Rebels, Pilots, Humor, Action, Adventure
    Summary: Momentarily outperformed by Red Squadron, Nothing Squadron wagers that they can procure a very expensive load of cargo within 24 hours to regain their bragging rights.
    Notes: N/A

    -----

    A Question Of Honor

    -----

    The pilot's lounge was completely destroyed.

    Empty bottles littered the tabletops, and makeshift streamers of flimsy were tacked to the walls. Various discarded articles made the floor a hazard to walk across; a few dropped laserdarts made walking across the room without shoes a suicide mission. Someone had broken a full bottle against one of the walls, and semi-dried liquid had sprayed across the otherwise pristine whitewashing. The holovee had been left on, though the volume was muted. One of the couches had been turned over and dragged into a corner to make a serviceable fort, and the number of squashed vegetables around it suggested whoever had made it had staved off more than one attack.

    The second couch in the lounge had been left upright. A pair of boots sticking out from under the pile of debris showed that someone had managed to crawl their way into the mess and fall asleep. Other bodies--these much more obvious--also littered the room. Two unconscious Rebels were laying under the holochess board. Another was lying half-on, half-off the sabacc table, fingertips brushing the floor.

    The door to the lounge slid open and a pair of bright-eyed, obviously sober pilots strolled in. They clucked their tongues at the mess and one folded his arms, shaking his head silently.

    "This is a disgrace," said one.

    "And we weren't even invited. I love attending disgraces," said the second. "Let's wake them up."

    The first pilot laughed quietly. "Yes, let's do that. As loudly as possible."

    Chuckling, the two made their way to the holovee. On the way, each picked up a pair of empty bottles.

    Making ready, they nodded at each other, and simultaneously unmuted the holovee and began beating the bottles together. The resulting racket would have been disconcerting to someone without a hangover; to the semiconscious pilots scattered around the room it was murder.

    The pilot on the couch groaned and pulled his boots inside the pile of trash he was sleeping under.

    The two fully-awake Rebels grinned at each other and continued to clank the bottles together. The holovee volume was turned up. The pilot on the couch began to twitch, slowly, and finally a hand reached out to brush away the trash.

    "Hey, Barkon is awake!" said the bottle-banger, dropping his weapons into a completely empty trash bin near the holovee. They landed with a bang, which caused Thix to jump slightly.

    The pilot sighed and rubbed his temples. Thix was dressed in shorts and the top half of his flightsuit. A decal that read 'Danger: Fuel Storage Area' was stuck to his cheek. On his head was perched a helmet with a Gungan doll glued to the top. He looked around the room.

    "In the name of the Force, what happened to this place, Wedge?"

    "I don't know. We were hoping you could tell us. If you can't, we'll ask the Gungan figurine on your head."

    "I sort of remember," Thix said, furrowing his brow and pulling the helmet off his head. He looked up, struck by a memory. "Hey, did I try to check out an X-Wing last night?"

    "You sure did. And we got it on the security cams. It's already all over the base," said the pilot that came in with Wedge.

    "Darklighter, I'm going to shoot you," Thix said.

    "I'll run away. And then you'll have to chase me up and down and left and right and side to side and--"

    "Stop," Thix said. His face was a light shade of green. "What time is it?"

    "Almost noon. We've been avoiding the lounge for hours now, and we want it back," Wedge said.

    Thix looked around again, taking in the
    wanton destruction and sorry state of
  2. LumiKuningatar Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2003
    star 3
  3. -Z- Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2003
    star 2
    Lumi: Thanks!

    There's no greater joy for, uh, a craftsman to...find that their work is...you know...sort of appreciated by a person. or maybe two. Who knows?



  4. DarthCane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    Well, I've been keeping an eye on this one, I was just waiting for the next installment. After Thix and Grant's last adventure (or interstellar trail of mayhem :D ) I can't wait to see what they'll do to upstage the Rogues. Probably raid a Corellian distillery and drop a cherry bomb down Grand Moff Tarkin's private 'fresher on the way.

    Edit: Oops, forgot to ID myself as Alion_Sangre's malicious Sith sock [face_devil]
  5. -Z- Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2003
    star 2
    Those are great ideas, but I had something a little more malicious--and poetic--in mind. :)
  6. Thumper09 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2001
    star 4
    That's a great start. Pilots throw the best parties, don't they? ;)

    The pilot's lounge was completely destroyed.
    That simple line spoke volumes, and it was a neat way to start off the story. I love the description of the party's aftermath.

    "I love attending disgraces." That line was great. :)

    Looks like the Nothings have their work cut out for them. Though if they manage to pull this off after starting from the condition they're in, it'll give them even more bragging rights. I bet the Reds weren't half-drunk when they started their torpedo procurement.

    I'm looking forward to learning more about the characters. Sounds like it'll be a wild ride. :)

    Keep up the good work!

    -Katie
    Thumper
  7. -Z- Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2003
    star 2
    Several decanters of concentrated caf had been brought into the pilots' lounge for the Nothings to guzzle. The room had been restored to a fragment of its former state, with most of the destruction swept aside or under convenient furniture items to hide it from view.

    Thix paced slowly back and forth, brow furrowed in thought, as Nothing Squadron sipped their caf and watched with half-interest. Numbering six total, Nothing Squadron was not a feared fighting force. They weren't even a real squadron--hence their name. In fact, they were so low-key that, outside of the personnel at Yavin Base, they had never been heard of. Of course, this sat just fine with them, as being known meant being dead in their business. Specifically, their business was the stealthy acquisition of otherwise unattainable supplies--or stealing, as the rest of the galaxy called it.

    Five of the Nothings sat around the lounge's Sabacc table, some attentive and others slumped ignominously where they sat. Grant Bowmark, Thix's partner, sat thoughtfully, scratching his chin and staring at the ceiling. Grant was the oldest of all six Nothings, in his mid thirties. He also had the longest military track record of any of them. He had started out in the infantry, but his interests shifted to piloting after a few years of groundpounding. To watch him act, one would not believe Grant was much of a military anything--he had a wisecrack for any situation and never seemed to take life's little problems seriously. Thix knew better. Grant had merely developed a kind of mental anesthesia to the rigors of combat, preferring humor and lightheartedness to doldrum. In combat, he was as professional as the most hardened of stormtroopers.

    Next to Grant sat Kesa Sunrunner, a young woman whose family hailed from Tatooine. Kesa herself had not been raised on the arid planet, and had spent most of her life in space, bouncing from trading colony to trading colony. She was ambivalent, upbeat, streetwise, and had a tendancy for tongue-in-cheek flirtation. Despite her tendancy to portray herself as a happy-go-lucky youngster, she was quite down to earth when the situation called for it. She was a crackerjack con artist and could sell a Tusken Raider his own Gaffi stick back to him if she took a mind to it.

    Janner Fell was next. He was slumped on the Sabacc table, half-conscious. Janner was the newest and youngest member of Nothing Squadron, and hadn't developed the hollow leg the rest of his comrades-in-arms had yet. He was feeling the effects of the party from the night before more than any of the squadronmates. Despite being a greenhorn, Janner was proving himself an excellent pilot, perhaps one of the best of the six. His conning skills left a bit to be desired, but he was a good shot with a blaster rifle and pulled his weight along with everyone else.

    Jock Deiner was sitting next to Janner, occasionally poking his partner in the shoulder and chuckling to himself. After Grant, Jock was the next oldest member of the squadron. A large man who weighed close to a hundred kilos--none of it fat--Jock loved hand-to-hand combat, and had been an instructor at the Alliance infantry school in just that subject before transferring to Yavin Base and joining the Nothings. A middling at best pilot, Jock preferred the front lines. Like his partner, his conning skills were a little on the underdeveloped side, but he was expert-rated in most of the common weapons the galaxy had to offer, from demolitions to vibroblades.

    Finally, there was Trevor Westin. Trev was the serious side of the squadron, a voracious reader and often the voice of subtle wisdom in the squadron. He spoke when he felt it was necessary, and when he did speak, he invariably made a very good point. However, Trev would not have lasted long among the Nothings if he didn't have a lighthearted side. More than once, a Nothing would fall victim to an ingeniously planned, cunningly-executed practical joke, and while no one would claim responsibility, Trevor Westin would be sitting in the corner with a smile o
  8. -Z- Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2003
    star 2
    A note, because I'm certain there are reader(s) out there:

    next bit will be up within a day. Jobhunting is slowing me down.

    EDIT:

    Oops, forgot. Thanks, Thumper09! You're absolutely correct. For a good party, find pilots. Anything else is just a drab imitation of a party.
  9. Thumper09 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2001
    star 4
    Great post!

    I liked the descriptions of the characters. Grant reminds me a bit of Hawkeye from MASH (good show, IMHO) with using his sense of humor to guard against the realities of war.

    Poor Janner. They can fly faster than the speed of light but they have not yet developed a cure for hangovers. ;) Sounds like an interesting team--they're already beginning to show how well they work together.

    The notion of replicating an accident was an interesting one. I'm looking forward to seeing how well the Nothings trace the torpedoes backwards, assuming they can find them on the base or en-route.

    Ah, jobhunting. Good luck! Hope you find what you're looking for.

    -Katie
    Thumper
  10. CodeName_Targeter Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2003
    star 5
    Looks good so far!
    *makes a notation on her notebbok* a question of honor..... got it! Now maybe my small memory will remember!

    *grins*

    Like it so far though.

    :Targeter:

    THe Patriots won, oh yeah!
  11. -Z- Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2003
    star 2
    Cap Dryden was a buck sergeant in the Rebel Alliance quartermaster corps. As such, he didn't make very much in the way of pay. In fact, when it came right down to it, no one in the Alliance made much. And so it was left up to the entrepaneurial spirit of each individual soldier to find a way to make ends meet.

    For Cap, that way was arranging for the delivery of special orders for the troops. Cap Dryden was the black market connection for half of Yavin base. Not black market in the traditional sense of spice, slaves, and illegal weaponry--Cap wanted nothing to do with any of that. He specialized in liquor, holofilms, and assorted items that took far too long to get through regular supply routes, such as socks, and boots.

    And whenever a soldier wanted something delivered through a quick, secure route, they went to Cap Dryden.

    When Thix, Kesa, Grant, and Jock walked through the door into Cap's stockroom, he was busy notarizing shipping manifests.

    "Hiya, Cap! How's shakes?"

    Dryden looked up from his datapad with inquiring eyes.

    "Well, well--my favorite customers. Was the shipment of lum satisfactory?" he asked.

    "Very."

    "I take it you're here to order more?"

    The four pilots looked somewhat queasy.

    "Uh, not today, Cap," Kesa said. "Actually, we were more interested in what some other people have ordered."

    Cap grimaced.

    "You know I've got a policy, Sunrunner. All my customers are strictly confidential."

    "Let me finish," Kesa went on. "We want to know about a shipment of proton torpedoes. We've already guessed that you didn't wrangle them. It's more likely that someone on this base--someone like Wedge Antilles or someone like Biggs Darklighter--came by and asked you to set up the delivery for items they had already procured. Now, all we want to know is, where are they now, and when are they going to be here?"

    Thix nodded and jerked a finger in Kesa's direction. "What she said."

    "You guys are good. Really good," Cap said, pulling himself upright with a sigh. "Now let me impress you. Nothing Squadron doesn't care what Red Squadron is having shipped here. You never have. Yet all of a sudden here you are, all smiley-smiley and inquisitive. My own guess would be that there's some kind of a wager on. I don't know the terms, but I'd say you've got about twenty hours to fulfill your end of the bargain. Am I right?"

    "How'd you know twenty hours?" Jock asked in an accusatory tone.

    "Because that's how long it's going to take for their shipment to get here," Cap answered, pulling a flimsy manifest from a peg on the wall and tossing it to Jock, who caught it deftly with an outstretched hand. The pilots crowded around Jock, reading over his broad shoulders.

    "Look there," Thix said, pointing. "On an ore hauler. An ore hauler! Cap, did they ask specifically for tenth-class postage?"

    "As a matter of fact..."

    "Yeah, well, look at the shipping cost. That's probably all they can afford," Grant said. Cap grinned in reply.

    "So we're out of Sithing luck," Thix said. "The torpedoes won't be here until our time's up. We won't be able to track them back to point-of-origin, we won't be able to find another shipment to boost. We might as well pay up right now."

    "No, wait," Grant said. "Look here. There's four different layovers. We've already missed the first one. And we're probably going to miss the second one. But the third one is an orbital platform in the Alderaan system in ten hours. We can make it there by then."

    "That would only leave us ten hours to set up our boost, pull it off, and get the shipment back before their torpedoes arrive here," Thix said. "We're just creating more and more questions and problems."

    "You got a better idea, lum-breath?"

    "Shut up, Grant."

    "Speaking of questions," Kesa said, interrupting Thix. "Cap, I thought you said something about confidentiality?"

    The sergeant shrugged, a barely-hidden grin on his face.

    "Confidentiality comes after profit. I sensed a wager. Jock here was kind enough to confirm it. Whoeve
  12. Jane Jinn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 5
    Every time I think I can escape the Wampa of Real Life, I keep getting dragged back into his ice cave. But I'm here now!

    Uh oh, if that isn't a challenge! Red Squadron wheeling, dealing, and procuring parts? Taking over Nothing Squadron's reason for existance? Wake up, guys, and save your honour!

    Loved the way the destruction of the room had been swept under the furniture to hide it from sight!

    Never steal directly when you can have it delivered to your doorstep. Sounds good to me.

    I had to laugh at the idea of socks and boots being part of the black market -- not because it was a ludicrous idea, but because it sounded horrendously true. I also had to smile at Cap Dryden being a Jawa when it comes to the bottom line, and the way he figures it's profit before confidentiality. Great characterization!

    Loved the description of the vessel that would fly them to victory. This is building up wonderfully! I am definitely looking forward to seeing the scrape they get into, and the way they get out of it. :)

    Edit: Somebody mentioned the TV series M*A*S*H, and that's exactly what this reminds me of, the early years with Hawkeye and Trapper. :)
  13. -Z- Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2003
    star 2
    Thumper09: It's an honor to have that comparison made. I love that show. :) Yeah, I hate looking for a job. There's an opening at a nearby newspaper for a reporter--I'm going to strong-arm my way in there and SNATCH it! Light at the end of the tunnel.

    CodeName_Targeter: Glad you're liking it! More's coming soon!

    Jane_Jinn: Ooh, the Wampa of RL. Good metaphor! ;) Yeah, I'm liking Cap Dryden. I'm thinking he's probably going to show up more often in the future.

    Next bit will be posted within a day. Movin' right along.
  14. CodeName_Targeter Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2003
    star 5
    Great post! I'd put in all the little quotes and stuff tha ti like, except I am extremely lazy today. But anywho, loved the post and I'm extremely glad there's more coming.

    :Targeter:

    The Patriots won, oh yeah!
  15. -Z- Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2003
    star 2
    The yacht had other problems, ones that weren't apparent until after takeoff.

    The air recirculator wheezed and gurgled like an out-of-breath Hutt, the short range scanners flickered in and out, and numerous deck plates had been pried up and removed, creating hazardous gaps in the flooring. The interior lighting was substandard, casting dark shadows across the interior. And the automatic polarizers were malfunctioning, meaning every time the ship turned toward the system's sun on their exit vector the ship's cockpit lit up like a turbolaser, and warmed up about as much.

    "I don't think we're going to make it to Alderaan in ten hours flying this bucket," Kesa said to Thix. The two were busy plotting the hyperspace route the ship would take. Grant was aft, giving the interior a once-over for any serious problems.

    "Have some faith. We'll make it," Thix said. He was wearing a heavy helmet with the blast shield partially down to block out the sunlight as he manipulated the controls.

    A loud crash sounded outside the cockpit, followed by the sizzling sounds of electricity. A moment later the sounds died down, and Kesa and Thix heard a shout from the aft section of the ship.

    "I didn't do it!"

    "What happened?" Kesa shouted back. The ship's interior communication system had been stripped out, and yelling was the only recourse.

    "The 'fresher just exploded! It wasn't me!" Grant yelled back. A moment passed in silence. "Do we have any fire extinguishers?"

    "We're on fire?" Thix yelled.

    "No. Yes! Sort of," came the reply. "Alright. Yes. We are. Wait. No, it's out now. Sithspit! No, we're on fire again."

    "Shutting down aft interior power," Thix said, flicking a switch. The sizzling sounds stopped entirely.

    "Fire's out! I hope," Grant yelled.

    "Navicomputer's having a hard time getting our flight path calculated," Thix said, studying his displays.

    "We could probably do it faster by hand," Kesa replied.

    Grant came trudging into the cockpit. Tendrils of smoke drifted up from his booted feet. Kesa squinted down at them.

    "What happened to you?" she asked.

    "I tried to stomp out the fire, alright?" Grant replied, sinking into a chair with a sigh. "I keep sticking to the floor."

    "Cap will appreciate that," Kesa said.

    "Aha!" exclaimed Thix. "Coordinates set. Grant, key up a communication to Trev back at base before we hyper out."

    "On it," Grant said, swiveling his chair to face the comm station. "One moment. Link's going through."

    A static-ridden burst filled the cockpit, and the three pilots clapped their hands to their ears.

    "Ah! Hold on, adjusting frequency," Grant said, furiously twisting a knob on the control board. The static filtered out slowly, until silence again filled the cockpit.

    "Trev? You there?" Thix said.

    "I'm hearing you," came the reply.

    "I'm here, too!" came a second voice.

    "We don't care, Jock," Kesa said.

    "Ouch," Jock replied, his voice intermingling with another burst of static.

    "Where's Janner? He should be listening in. Good experience," Thix asked.

    "He's passed out on the Sabacc table. Still," replied Jock.

    "Oh, well. Trev, we're about to enter hyperspace. Can you follow the ore hauler's progress over the holonet while we're in transit?" said Thix.

    "Yes. The shipping corporation updates hauler progress every two minutes."

    "Good. Do that. If anything changes let us know. In the meantime, see if there's anything else useful you can learn that might be helpful."

    "I will."

    "Talk to you soon!" Kesa chimed.

    -----

    The yacht appeared in open space. It was immediately obvious to the pilots onboard that they were in an active system; ahead of them, ships repulsored on and off one of a few medium-sized orbital platforms that rotated around the planet below.

    Alderaan was a blue-green world, verdant and tranquil in appearance even from space.

    Inside the cockpit, the three Rebels surveyed their surroundings.

    "Nice looking planet," Grant said.

    "Never been before?" Thix asked
  16. Thumper09 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2001
    star 4
    The story's developing nicely. I'm looking forward to reading more!

    So it was that three determined-looking pilots strode out of the hangar of the Rebel base on Yavin IV, looking bold and crisp in pilot's coveralls. They marched to the outdoor landing field on the edge of the jungle, and stopped for a moment to take in the sight of the vessel that would fly them to victory.

    This reminded me of every big dramatic moment in space movies when the astronauts walk out to the launch pad, intent on saving the world (Armageddon, Space Cowboys (if I'm remembering right), and Apollo 13 (not saving the world, but still very heroically)). It was a nice twist to get that grand image in my head and then have it turned completely upside-down by the description of the yacht. The silence and then Grant dropping his bag, stunned, was a great punctuation to that.

    The whole exchange starting with "I didn't do it!" and going through "No. Yes! Sort of." was great, as was the part with "I'm here, too!" came a second voice. / "We don't care, Jock," Kesa said.

    Good thing Alderaan doesn't have any requirements about the appearance standards of the ships in their orbit like some Homeowner's Associations do with lawns and houses.

    But Alderaan's a nice place. I bet there won't be any trouble there. ;)

    Neat, other M*A*S*H fans! :)

    -Katie
    Thumper
  17. -Z- Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2003
    star 2
    Thanks! I'm still debating a little bit with myself over what's going to happen next, but I hope it'll turn out alright.

    That was the exact reaction I was going for with the heroic pose/rotting ship bit! Sweet.

    Luckily where I live there is no such thing as zoning laws or Homeowner's Associations. :) I can put a cow and a rusting dump truck in my front yard and no one can do anything about it. Amazingly, one of my neighbors has done just that (except he has two cows).

    And I was going to yell at you and tell you to update YOUR story, but then I checked it and--sithspit--it IS updated and I didn't notice. Off to read!

    More's coming later today.
  18. -Z- Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2003
    star 2
    "Please step forward. Stop. Hold up your arms."

    The customs agent waved a wand around Kesa. Finding no traces of weaponry, the he waved her through. She was stopped a few feet away by a second agent, who searched her pockets and equipment duffel. He rifled through it, frowned, and pulled out a sphere of silver metal.

    "Any particular reason why you're carrying a thermal detonator?"

    "Hmph. It's my lucky piece, if you have to know. There's no explosive in it. Go ahead. Scan it if you don't believe me," Kesa said, frowning back at the agent.

    "We'll see," came the reply. The customs official held the device under a portable scanner. His look relaxed and he handed the thermal detonator back to the Rebel. "Keep it out of sight."

    "Bye, now!" Kesa said, holding up a hand and waving her fingers at the agent, who grimaced in response and turned to the next person in line.

    Thix and Grant were already through, waiting. Thix had his arms folded and looked annoyed. Grant was tapping his foot, a dour expression on his face.

    "Kesa, what's the big idea bringing three empty power paks and a dud detonator through customs?" Thix asked. "The whole idea is to not draw any attention to ourselves, and you're walking the line, here!"

    "Not to mention we've been standing here for a half hour while you were getting wanded and searched and questioned," Grant said.

    "I didn't break any laws! They let me keep everything, and no one got arrested. You guys, on the other hand, are always playing it straight and yet end up in jail more often than a town chemhead," Kesa said.

    "She's got a point there," Grant said. "That does it. Next time I go through customs on a mission, I'm bringing a missile."

    "Yeah, but we lost a half hour, just so Kesa could hold on to her lucky pieces."

    "Thix Barkon, I thought you knew me well enough to know I don't put much stock in luck," Kesa said, a hurt expression on her face. "I just brought through some things I thought we might need."

    "Uh-huh. Well, look, we found a holonet terminal around the corner there. Let's go get in touch with Trev and see how things are shaping up," Thix said. The three walked down the gleaming corridor of the orbital platform. Booths had been set up, and natives of Alderaan stood behind them, touting the benefits of taking certain tours, or telling passers-by how exquisite the cuisine was at planetside restaurants. There were no security guards to be seen, but the atmosphere was distinctly placid.

    The holonet terminal was empty. Grant stepped up to it and swiped a false identification card through the reader.

    "Give me a minute. The signal'll take a few moments to bounce to Yavin," he said.

    Trev's face appeared on the screen.

    "Go ahead," he said.

    "Trev, where's the hauler?" Grant asked.

    "En route. ETA is twenty minutes."

    "Learn anything new?" Thix asked, butting in.

    "Nothing yet. Heavy encryption. I'm suspicious."

    "Of what?"

    "Not sure. A few things aren't adding up."

    "Such as? Come on, Trev, vocalize," Kesa said. "You're making me look bad, here. People are going to think we never talk on missions."

    "We don't talk. You do. I don't."

    Kesa almost seemed to growl.

    "Alright, alright," came Trev's reply. "This ore hauler has been recently registered to the subsidiary company that manufactured this shipment of torpedoes. Not only that, but they're following the ship's progress via the holonet. That means it's legitimate. Are you seeing what I mean yet?"

    The three pilots looked a little dumbfounded. On the screen, Trev sighed.

    "What I mean is, this shipment of torpedoes is not stolen."

    "Not stolen," Thix repeated. "And yet it's being shipped to Yavin IV? A legitimate shipment? Red Squadron is confusing me more and more."

    "Same here," Trev replied. "I've been trying to access the details behind this deal. That's where I ran into the encryption."

    "Wait a Sithing minute," Grant said. "Deal? As in, an exchange of goods that is not illegal in nature? Hey, I remembered the definition.
  19. Thumper09 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2001
    star 4
    Another great post. This is a very enjoyable story! :)

    "She's got a point there," Grant said. "That does it. Next time I go through customs on a mission, I'm bringing a missile."

    I loved that line. hee hee.

    Hmm. So if the ones who "play it straight" end up in jail more often than the ones (like Kesa) who get all the trouble over and done with right up front at customs, does that mean that the first ones think they can get away with more and therefore end up going too far? (Wow, I just set a new standard for writing horrible, nonsensical run-on sentences.) Will ponder.

    I also enjoyed how Grant was predicting what Thix was going to say when he was proposing his plan. ("He's going to do something very rash," Grant said, whispering to Kesa.) It shows how well they know each other, and it also fit well with Grant's sense of humor.

    Wow. Planning on stealing the shipment right out from under Red Squadron's noses. I didn't expect that, but now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense! :) I'm looking forward to seeing how they do this, and what Red Squadron's reaction will be when they find out about it. I wonder what the Reds traded for it...

    -Katie
    Thumper

    P.S. You've got cows next door? I know that feeling. Grew up in Wisconsin. :) I miss it up there.
  20. Wedgeatbarkura Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2003
    star 1
    Wow, great and humerous story -Z-.... The first part.. "The pilot's lounge was completely destroyed..."

    Amazing... you really can set the tone and moood for the story, sometimes silly, sometimes a bit more serious... and then even more silliness.
  21. -Z- Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2003
    star 2
    Thumper09: Thanks, again! I think I deciphered that sentence :) and I'd say nah--Thix and Grant tend to be rather professional when they're actually doing their job, but bad things just happen to them. They're Murphy's Law magnets. Which makes it very fun to be a reader or writer for them, but very, very un-fun to be Thix or Grant.

    Yeah, cows in the field next door. Also a smattering of goats and chickens. I love the cows and goats, but those chickens--they're asking for it.

    Wedgeatbarkura: Thanks, and welcome to the story! That first line is getting a lot of praise. :)
  22. -Z- Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2003
    star 2
    I haven't forgotten to update, I've just been away from my normal computer looking for a job. :) I found one, so the next post will be up soon.
  23. Mjsullivan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2003
    star 3
    That first line is about to get more praise ;) I loved it. You had me convinced it was going to be a highly dramatic opening!

    Keep the promotion. I'll take the liquor

    Finally, a pilot i can identify with ;)

    Keep posting, and i'll keep reading!
  24. Thumper09 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2001
    star 4
    Uh oh, did Darth Real Life strike? Did you get that reporter job you wanted, Z?

    -Katie
    Thumper
  25. -Z- Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2003
    star 2
    Mjsullivan: Thanks! I had no idea that those first words were going to work so well. Glad you're enjoying it--more coming!

    Thumper: Darth Real Life did indeed strike--I didn't get the reporter job, but I did get a managing position. Nothing serious, but it has potential and it's paying the rent. I still don't have my own internet connection, hence the huge gap. I'm visiting home and I'm using my parents' computer for this post. Think I'm going to make it a tradition until I get cable access out at my house in the boondocks.

    -----

    "We aren't going to get disqualified on a technicality if we steal the other side's wager, are we?" Kesa asked.

    "Never," Thix said. "The conditions were bringing in a load of cargo of equal or greater value than a shipment of proton torpedoes. We're going to do that. So I suppose we're just...creatively fulfilling the conditions of the wager."

    "So how are we going to do this?" Grant asked as the three pilots reclined in a turbolift, being whisked toward the platform where the ore hauler would land in a few short minutes.

    "I'm working on that," Thix said. "Maybe we can just slip onboard and commandeer it after takeoff."

    "And what would we do with the crew?" Kesa reminded.

    "Lock 'em in a cargo crate," said Thix. "and pretend they aren't there."

    "Escape pods?" Grant asked.

    "I don't think that model has 'em standard," Kesa said. "The closest thing to an escape pod will be a few EVA suits for deep space repairs. If that."

    "So we stun the crew and dump them here."

    The turbolift slowed to a halt and the door whisked open to the sound of a soft chime. The three pilots strolled off, rejoining the stream of pedestrian traffic outside.

    "I've got a better idea," Grant said.

    "Someone take a holopic. We can't forgot rare moments like these," Kesa said.

    "No, I really do. I don't think it would be a good thing to smash and grab here."

    "Why? I haven't seen a single security guard since we came onboard," Thix said.

    "I have," Grant replied.

    "Oh? Where?"

    "There, there, over by that Toydarian's stall, there, over there, and back over by the turbolift," Grant said, pointing at each mark.

    Thix looked. "All I see are bored citizens."

    "I see Alderaanian Security Force," Grant said, with a lopsided grin. "Look at the walk. The posture. They keep looking left and right. They're watching. Always watching."

    "Ooh, spooky thought, Grant," Kesa said.

    "I'm still waiting to hear this big idea," Thix cut in.

    "Let's be pirates again," Grant said. "We'll follow the hauler, jump it before it goes hyper, board her and offload the torpedoes!"

    "Oh, no, Grant, I hate it when you're a pirate."

    "That wouldn't work," Kesa said. Thix and Grant turned to look at her.

    "Why not?" Grant asked, disappointment evident.

    "Well, for one thing, I don't think they'd take us seriously in that yacht we're flying," she explained. "And then there's the second problem."

    "Second problem?"

    "Yes. How are we supposed to get them to surrender when there aren't any cannons on the yacht?"

    "Oh," Thix said. He cast a look at Grant. "She's got a really good point there."

    "I really wanted to be a pirate again," Grant said, sighing. He looked up suddenly, eyes bright. "We can still do it!"

    "How?"

    "Well, we do what we originally planned. A couple of us get on the hauler and stow away. Right after liftoff we come out of hiding, take over the ship, and pull a full stop," Grant explained. "Meanwhile, whoever isn't onboard goes back and gets the yacht. We meet up, offload the torpedoes, and let the crew go about their business."

    "And how do we get them to surrender without weapons?" Thix asked dryly. "We couldn't bring any through customs, remember?"

    "...Sithspit," Grant muttered.

    Kesa giggled.

    "It's not funny!" Grant said, looking hurt.

    "I wasn't laughing at you," Kesa said. "I was laughing because we do have weapons."

    Kesa pulled out the dud detonator and blaster power packs that customs had returned to her. "See?"
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