Crash Course (non-JA)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction Stories--Classic JC Board (Reply-Only)' started by Lilith Demodae, Aug 3, 2000.

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  1. Lilith Demodae Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 4
    Okay, Folks, here it is . . . :) Let me know what you think. I'll make the changes and post the finished product at my website.

    http://www.geocities.com/blond_engineer/fiction.html



    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Life in a swoop gang is exciting. Don't let anybody tell ya different, 'cuz it just ain't so. It's not all speed and daring do, but we get more of it than your average joe and we like it that way. People give us a kind of wary respect and that's better than a snooty look any day. When we aren't being chased by the cops in an adrenaline rush that just won't quit, or skirmishing with another gang over territory, we stage races, or fix our rides, or just sit around and drink and tell each other lies about the things we've done and the cops we've beat.

    Mine is a common beginning, but true for all of that. I left school just as soon as I turned sixteen. I was no longer required by law to attend school, so I quit since there were a multitude of other things I needed to do with my time. Making money was one of them. Learning more practical skills was another.

    Don't let anyone tell you that Coruscant is the 'world of opportunity', or that it's buildings are faced in gold and that there's plenty for everyone. I can tell you from experience that that's a fairytale, too. My folks worked their fingers to the bone and still couldn't afford more than a three-room hovel in a building in the lower levels that should have been condemned decades ago. They certainly couldn't afford to keep feeding and clothing a teenage girl -and- themselves, too. All growing up, I watched their clothes get more and more ragged as they got thinner and thinner while I ate enough and dressed decently. They even wanted to send me to a university.

    I wouldn't stand for it.

    So I left.

    I knew they'd argue and try and talk me out of it. I mean, they love me, after all. But I couldn't give them the chance, long odds though it was, that they might succeed. Besides, it would only have made them worry more. So I wrote a note and left it on the table, packed what I had, and slipped out into the Lower Levels of Coruscant.

    It's easier than you might think to join a swoop gang, and harder too. If you haven't got a ride, or a real useful skill, you gotta know someone. I had a few skills, but they weren't any great shakes. But, that didn't matter. I knew Sloan and he was kid brother to Sheal, also known as War, who was the right hand man of the Horsemen. Sloan was just waiting for his birthday, too, and was in the same classes with me at school. He dropped a word in his brother's ear and I was in, simple as that.

    Six months later, I was solid, having proven myself to everybody's satisfaction. I was still using learning tapes in my datapad in my spare time and furthering my education. My talents at slicing and tech skills were being rapidly honed by practical usage under the watchful eye and guidance of my fellow Horsemen. I had lots of friends, money to spend and mom and pops were doing better than they ever had with the extra cash I was sending home.

    There was nothing to regret.

    Come to think of it, there are very few regrets in my life and most of them deal with not having visited my folks more often before the earthquake leveled their new apartment building. I certainly don't regret that 'anonymous' message I sent the cops alerting them to the criminal usage of sub-standard materials by the construction company. I also don't regret the day I jumped on a complete stranger's swoop, even though it changed my entire life.

    I'm an impetuous, rash, fool-hardy sort of person, or at least those were the words -he- used to when there was time enough to waste so much breath. I'd just say I was desperate, in search of a way out.
  2. Jane Jinn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 5
    Intriguing start, and only one mistake! "It's" is always a contraction of "it is" and is never used as a possessive pronoun. Coruscant is not the "world of opportunity" and *its* buildings are not faced in gold. Other than that, good! I wonder what her name is, though.
  3. Healer_Leona Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 9
    I was far too sucked into the story to even notice Jane's catch.

    I may not be the most critical eye but I'll gladly add great rounds of encouragement.

    Post often, post soon.
  4. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Oooooooh, I like this! Swoop gangs, yes!
  5. mouse2 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 1999
    star 4
    Okay, you got me hooked! Eagerly waiting for more.

  6. Lilith Demodae Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 4
    Thanks, everyone. I know the rule, I just can't type as fast as my brain moves, and so my fingers are sometimes on automatic. Thanks for catching that, Jane.

    Is anything unclear? Repetitive word use? Moving too fast? Too much info, not enough action? More dialog? I need you all to be brutally honest.

    Her name? :) I don't think you find that out for a bit, yet. We'll see how it goes.
  7. Lilith Demodae Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 4
    It was just me and Bulldog, see? We weren't out for no joy ride, but we didn't have any escort either. Death, our main man, he didn't want us attracting any undue attention what with the other gangs all growling and hissing at each other. We were zipping along, doing a good fifty klicks over the limit, dodging in and out around the slower moving vehicles. We were in a hurry to get back home, but not so big a hurry that we wanted to risk the official attention that going any faster was sure to bring us. What we had was too important to the gang to chance losing it to the cops.

    I'd just pulled off one of the sweetest slices of my unsanctioned career. It had required getting access to a direct terminal at Zenif Secured Shipping, an adventure in itself. The end result was a fully loaded transport, stocked to the top with both preserved and fresh goods, and it was routed through our territory. As a gang with no legitimate way to earn credits, we do what we can to stay healthy and look after each other. I don't know about the others, but with what's happened to me and mine, I don't mind lightening the loads of a few cargo haulers. I don't mind at all.

    Despite how important this run was, Bulldog and me, we were alone. There were no outriders, no escorts. We didn't even have our regular jackets on, medium gray bantha leather with a scarlet chess knight on the back. We were keeping a low profile. Things were just too tense between the other gangs right then to risk a confrontation in numbers.

    The wind of our passage howled around us, muffled by our helmets to a low shooshing sound. The smooth rumble of the finely tuned engine hummed though my legs to the rest of my body, and the faint scent of leather from my jacket collar clung to the inside of my helmet. Important or not, I wasn't going to let a little pressure keep me from enjoying the trip.

    It was then that something caught my eye, an image reflected off the shiny back of Bulldog's helmet. My mind automatically adjusted for the distortion and adrenaline flooded my body at the unconscious recognition of the familiar shape.

    Cops.

    And they were tailing us though traffic.
  8. Jane Jinn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 5
    We weren't out for no joy ride, but we didn't have any escort, either.

    Hmmm. Something about this sentence bothers me. When I read one 'no', I generally expect another one to follow.

    We weren't out for no joy ride, but we didn't have no escort, either.

    We weren't out for a joy ride, but we didn't have any escort, either.

    I don't feel the lack of dialogue yet. The first person narrative flows well and is both informative and entertaining. I like the way the suspense builds at the end of the second part, and then the cliffhanger comes just as the threat arrives. I didn't catch any other grammatical mistakes.
  9. Lilith Demodae Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 4
    Well, I was trying for a bit of biker vernacular with that bit, but if it wasn't working I'll fix it. :) Thnx.
  10. Jedi Master Mara Jade Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 1999
    star 4
    Cool! I like this narrative, it's a refreshing break from the third person SW is usually written. Great use of slang, it flows very nicely and is interesting to read.

    I'll be reading this, though I'm not sure you'd want me to check for stuff since I can be really nit-picky when it comes to things like that, and I have no desire to start being obnoxious. =)
  11. Lilith Demodae Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 4
    No, by all means, rip it to shreds. My skin's pretty thick by now. :) Besides, that's how I learn to be better.
  12. The Butler Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 1999
    star 4
    Excellent posts. For me, only the last sentence of the first post stood out:
    "I'm an impetuous, rash, fool-hardy sort of person, or at least those were the words -he- used to when there was time enough to waste so much breath."
    I think the "to" there disrupts the flow of the words. It seems unnecessary. Or did you mean to say "to me?"

    I like the first-person voice you've presented. She sounds intelligent, independent, and has a good touch of humor. And her words flow out nicely, without boring the reader at all. A great start, in my opinion.
  13. Jane Jinn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 5
    Perhaps I expressed myself badly with the no joy ride / any escort sentence. I meant to indicate that any one of my suggestions sounded right, it was only a question of which language you wanted to use. no joy ride / no escort for swoop rider gang vernacular, or a joy ride / any escort for more, um, civilised speech. It was just the combination of no joy ride / any escort that bothered me, because it sounded like a combination of vernacular and formal speech to me. But now that I've written this, I wonder why I am labouring the point to death. People do talk that way, I suppose. Never mind, then!
  14. Lilith Demodae Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 4
    Butler, that was an honest to goodness regular old typo-type thing. I was writing one thing, and changed it to another without deleting all of the old one first. I'll make sure to edit it out of the final version.

    Jane, no biggie. :) If I didn't want you nit-picking everything you didn't like or had a possible problem with, I wouldn't have asked. :)
  15. Lilith Demodae Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 4
    Immediately I fumbled for my datapad and chips, more worried about the vital data than warning my driver. I popped the chip containing the all-important data into my pad and downloaded it, then I clawed it out, shoving it down into the waistband of my tight-fitted pants. I slammed a blank into the pad and copied the data onto it, jamming that one down into Bulldog's boot.

    The gang needed that information desperately. Even at the risk of making it more likely that the cops might get their grubby mitts on the information, I had to make -sure- that Roble did.

    My heart pounded as I watched the reflection of the police speeder edge nearer and wished desperately that I had thought to make a few false chips just in case. I shoved that thought aside as a lesson for the future and kept an eye on that speeder. It edged ever closer, dodging slowly back and forth across the lanes of traffic and I decided that we could wait no longer. We had to lose them.

    I used the chin switch in my helmet to turn on the built-in communit. Almost all the Horsemen had them now. It made communication while in motion vastly easier than trying to shout at each other through sound buffered helmets. A sudden intuition made me turn it back off. Better not to use it and chance the cops with their overpowered scanners overhearing us. Instead, I slipped one gloved hand from Bulldog's waist and beat a quick rhythm on his chest: 1, 2, 3, pause, 1, 2, 3.

    Instantly our swoop accelerated, our speed jumping up another fifty kph in barely a second. We began weaving wildly through the traffic, trying to out distance the cops.

    As we raced pell-mell through the slalom of slower vehicles, ignoring the outraged honking of the other drivers, it quickly became apparent that we were not going to lose the cops anytime soon. The newer speeders the cops were now using had enough extra power in their souped up engines to give them at least a chance to keep up with a decent swoop, as they were no doubt intended to do. With both me and Bulldog on his ride, there was no way to out distance the cop before he called in backup to help.

    A familiar sight ahead of us sparked an idea in what was posing at that instant as my brain and I pointed. Bulldog nodded, though I could tell from the tension in his shoulders that he wasn't happy with what he knew I now had in mind. I kicked him in the leg, near where I had pushed the datachip into his boot, to remind him of what was at stake.

    I chinned the comm on for one brief moment to relay information that was not covered in the gang's elaborate touch code for double riding. "Standard encryption three," I told him. "I'll comm you."

    That was all I said as he slowed marginally. I gathered myself, both hands and feet getting solid footing, then I leapt off the swoop into empty space.
  16. Jane Jinn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 5
    Wow! More action! I liked the way the gang has of communicating by thumps. Good idea!

    Mistakes? I didn't see any, and I read it twice. Although I did wonder why the girl hid the copy of the data in her clothes, and one in the boy's boot, because I expected the police to search the swoopers if they managed to catch them. Then I realised she hoped to outrun them, or split up, or both.

  17. SithAbigail Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 2000
    star 2
    I just noticed this story and it's great! Swoop gangs is a completly original idea, which is always a plus. I love the main character, she sorta reminds me of your Lilith from A Night To (Almost)Remember, which is cool.
  18. LadyJedith Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 2000
    star 1
    Breathtaking thread, Lilith!

    You know, the life of the Galaxy capital intrigues me; it looks like a huge pie with sith-knows-what-is-it inside? I like to wander through it in my mind, level after level, ?from the Red Rat to the Grin Star?, and it?s so pleasant to find here such a brilliant performance of the Lower Levels? life! I?m absolutely charmed, and as one can easily guess I?ll be here looking for the updates as soon as possible? If only my stupid net access let me in next time.

    I?m waiting. :cool:
  19. Lilith Demodae Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 4
    Thank you, everyone! :)



    My short, unpowered flight came to an abrupt halt when I landed on the back of another swoop. Unfortunately, I had some serious momentum when I hit. My helmet impacted against the one in front of me with a jolting thump and what had been a leisurely cruise became a frenzied scramble. I locked my legs tight around the chassis and flung my arms around the driver's waist while he fought desperately with the controls to stop our madly spinning descent.

    The cop, though, was having problems of his own. Bulldog's ride no longer had my extra weight slowing it down and he began to edge ahead even faster. The cop had to decide very quickly whether to follow him, or me. If I'd been the betting kind, I would have bet that he would ignore the passenger and go straight for the driver.

    I was right. The cop bet on catching Bulldog and ignored us completely as my new driver and I plummeted from the sky.



    Sorry it's so short, but I'm short on time.
  20. Lilith Demodae Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 4
    *looks around sadly* Where did everyone go?
  21. juwannajedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2000
    star 4
    Here I am, Lilith. I am lousy with English, good with appreciation.

    I love it! Should I know what a swoops gang is?
  22. Lilith Demodae Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 4
    Like a biker gang, only with swoops instead of harleys. :) Swoops are smaller, faster versions of speeder bikes.
  23. juwannajedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2000
    star 4
  24. mouse2 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 1999
    star 4
    I get too caught up in your story to see any mistakes. I hope you have more for us soon.
  25. Jane Jinn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 5
    I locked my legs tightly around the chassis... instead of "tight".

    Otherwise, good! I can't wait to see what the other driver says to the girl. "Does my swoop have Dew Drop Inn written all over it, or what?"
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