DonoSlane Excursions – For the life of a friend Dramatis Personae: Kirney Slane-Donos (human female from Coruscant) Myn Donos (human male from Corellia) Selan Donos (human male from Corellia - Myn's father – OC) Jaleela Donos (human female from Corellia - Myn's mother – OC) Jarrath Lund (human male from Corellia - OC) Denna Lerimore (human female from Corellia – OC) Tonin (R2-series astromech) Kolot (modified Ewok male from Endor) Timeframe: ~ 13.5 ABY World: Legends (possibly AU) Author's note: I typed the first scenes of this fic way back in 2012 and then left it sitting on my HDD for over four years due to writer's block and a serious case of disillusion with official Star Wars. Only in 2016 I could motivate myself to continue writing … the longest break from writing fanfiction so far. Aaron Allston's last Star Wars book (Mercy Kill) contained pieces that drove me to Change my initial plans for the epilogue to match what that books said about the old Wraiths' knowledge of Kirney. They were too casual, too unsurprised to her appearance not to have known about her for a long time. I know this invalidates the Epilogue of my "starting point" of this series ("Reevaluation"), but that is okay with me. Hermes-Class Courier Stellar Wayfarer 08:41 a.m. Corellian Standard Time – inbound to Corellia Myn was slouching in the pilot's chair, feet propped up on a secondary computer console and allowed his thoughts to roam freely. The state he was in was approaching something like meditation, a slice of his consciousness alert and focused on the ship but the majority was left free to drift. It was a habit he'd picked up when he'd been flying snubfighters for the New Republic. Every pilot handled the monotony of hyperspace differently – most were quick to catch up on lost sleep, others read, listened to music, played games on their datapad or conversed with their astromech, unless they were flying A- or B-Wings which had no provision to carry an astromech. Sleeping was most common since one of the earliest things you learned once out of the Academy was to conserve your strength for the moment you needed it, but on long hyperspace flights you sometimes needed something else to do and so he'd begun to let his thoughts drift. Just like now … He let out a small sigh of contentment as his mind was turning to his family. This had been the last run he'd go on for a while and he was looking forward to the quiet and peace very much. His father's sixtieth lifeday was approaching and the family had decided to take a few weeks off their usually busy schedules to celebrate it accordingly. He gave a low chuckle. Strike that quiet and peace, he told himself quietly, thinking of his father's old friends from the military. They may have become older but were no less rowdy than in their younger years. It's going to be a party with a very capital P. He let his head drop back against the padded headrest of his chair and smiled. He imagined the table full of exquisite and tasty foods: his aunt's extra-zesty spiceloaf, his mother's avian casserole, grilled Bantha steaks with that awesome Whyren's-and-cream sauce his cousin's wife made … A smirk appeared on his face as he imagined Kolot's reaction to that image. He didn't know anything about the Ewoks' religious beliefs, or if he even had any, but he guessed for the little furry glutton that would feel like having gone straight to heaven. A soft chime jerked him out of his hedonistic little fantasy and he let out a sigh of annoyance. He brought down his feet on the floor and swiveled the chair back to its standard position. A light was flashing and he hit a switch to bring up his navigation computer. He nodded to himself. That chime had been the proximity alert and the ship was a minute away from reverting to normal space again, a slight smile drifting on his lips as he made a few internal calculations. Twenty minutes to touchdown, a few minutes for the post-flight checks and another hour for the scans … I should be home in two hours. Another chime jolted him out of his thoughts again. He strapped himself in and flicked the switch of the intercom. "We're approaching Corellia. Thirty seconds to reversion from hyperspace, Doctor. Please strap yourself in, Sir." "Yes, yes …" came the somewhat absent-minded answer and he watched on the holoscreen as his passenger put down the datapad he'd been tapping on and secured his own crash-webbing. The man flashed a glance at his wrist chrono and looked up to the holocam. "Could you do me a big favor, Captain, and arrange for an airspeeder taxi to wait for me upon arrival? I have an appointment with the Head of the Corellian Medical Institute and I'm running out of time." "Certainly, Sir," Myn replied evenly. "Reversion to real space in five … four … three … two … one … Mark." He pulled back the lever of the hyperdrive and the chaotic swirl of light collapsed into the familiar star constellations of his home planet. "We'll be landing in twenty minutes. I have to ask you to remain belted until touchdown." He watched the Doctor's holo nod absently, once again preoccupied with whatever document he was reading. The com cackled to life as he swung the ship's nose towards the blue ball of Corellia. "Stellar Wayfarer," a woman's voice came out of the speaker system, "we have you on our scopes. Please state your business." "This is Stellar Wayfarer of DonoSlane Excursions, Control. Captain Donos speaking. Requesting permission to land on Coronet Central with one passenger and no freight." "Ah, I'm afraid that's a negative for Coronet Central, Wayfarer," the female controller answered and Myn could detect a touch of exasperation in her tone. "Central is currently closed to all traffic due to an emergency situation. One of these tarmac hogs bumped his tanker into one of the fuel distributors and blew a valve. The fire department is busy trying to mop up several hundred cubic meters of trimoseratate without setting it on fire." "Marvellous, Control," Myn groaned. "I've got a passenger who has an appointment at the Medical Institute and is a bit in a hurry. Any place where I can put down instead?" There was a momentary silence as the controller was checking landing slots and free approach corridors into Corellia's airspace. "You could put down on Behareh," she suggested. He frowned. "I don't have landing rights there. Can't afford to buy them now, either." "Don't worry," the woman soothed. "The owner consortium has agreed to cooperate and let priority flights land without the usual landing fees. I've just put your transponder on the priority list and transmitted the approach vector." Myn threw a bemused and somewhat disbelieving stare at the com unit. A controller who isn't a stickler for regulations, he thought. Who'd have guessed? "Thanks a lot, Control." "Don't let it get to your head, flyboy," the woman sent back, a sudden edge creeping into her voice. "That passenger of yours seems to be awfully important. The Chief Executive of the Medical Institute commed our boss and soon after we were instructed to watch for your arrival and assign you a high priority for a landing slot." Donos allowed himself a sarcastic smile. "And there I thought Space Control had gotten a sudden bout of customer focus," he joked. A decidedly un-ladylike snort came out of the com. "Sure. Anything else I can do for you, Wayfarer?" "In fact there's something. Could you arrange for a fast speeder taxi to wait at the spaceport or could you put me through to a taxi dispatcher? Behareh is a bit far from the Institute to walk." "I'll see to it," the controller promised. "Thanks, Control. Wayfarer out." Myn deactivated the com and brought up the entry vector he'd been given. A holographic projection appeared on his heads-up-display and he swung the courier around and approached the planet. When his sensors registered the ship's entry into the outer edge of Corellia's atmosphere he throttled back and pulled the nose up a hair, reducing the angle of entry. Still the friction built up quickly and so did the temperatures. The shields kept the heat away from the fuselage but they began to glow like a sun going supernova, temporarily turning the ship into the visual equivalent of a meteoroid burning its fiery way into the atmosphere. The Wayfarer glowed for less than ten seconds, then the denser atmosphere at lower altitudes slowed and cooled the ship and the eerie glow disappeared. As soon as the flames died away and he could see again the grey blob of Coronet City was looming ahead. Even though he was still some thirty klicks above the surface he could easily make out the large duracrete circle that was Coronet Central to the north and also the smaller tarmac of Behareh spaceport dead ahead. Myn throttled back to just over twenty percent thrust and let gravity pull the Wayfarer towards its destination. When he got within ten klicks of Behareh a green rectangle appeared in his holographic display, enveloping a small stretch of tarmac in the north-western quadrant of the spaceport, and he added more thrust and shunted power to his repulsorlifts but left them on standby. Upon closing further he could make out a primitive light sign on the side of a massive hangar which directed him to a specific location. Throttling back almost to zero he kicked in the repulsorlifts and extended the landing gear. The ship touched down with a gentle jolt, the shrill whine of the engine dying away as Myn worked his way through the short power-down checklist. Upon leaving the cockpit he found his passenger waiting near the access to the small passenger area. Myn pulled a lever and the big access hatch opened with the hiss of straining hydraulics, then he hit another switch and the gangway extended towards the ground. Myn moved ahead to check if the gangway was correctly extended, then looked around and was relieved to see the approaching figure of a Corellian customs officer and the waiting airspeeder taxi in the background. "Welcome to Corellia," he said to his passenger who had appeared at the top of the gangway. Gesturing at the customs officer and the taxi he added, "Have your documents ready for inspection, Sir." "Thanks for the speedy service, Captain," the doctor said with a smile and extended his hand, a credcard between his fingers. "The previously agreed-upon twenty-five hundred New Republic credits." Myn pocketed the card before shaking his passenger's hand. "Enjoy your stay on Corellia, Doctor. Thanks for your patronage." As the scientist turned to leave Myn began a quick inspection of the ship's hull to check for any damage. Atmospheric entry was strenous for a ship, even with the shield system, and a missed microfissure could produce some very ugly results next time he went up into the void of space. As he rounded the drive nozzles the hustle and bustle in front of the next hangar over caught his attention. A group of workers were busy tearing down a company sign from the hangar front while several more, supported by maintenance droids, were repainting a Lambda-Class shuttle and two Gymsnor-3 class freighters. Myn frowned. That red-blue sigil on the shuttle's fin … Wasn't that the company logo of Solant Transports? So why were the techs overpainting the entire fin with that green and white design? He knew he'd seen that one before but he couldn't place it at the moment. "They were bought up," a voice from behind spoke up as if reading his thoughts. Donos cast a glance at the customs officer who had appeared beside him. And then his mind managed to figure out where the green-white logo came from. "By Vhinntar Shipping?" "Yep." The disdain in the officer's voice was mirrored on his face. "Scuttlebutt has it that they browbeat the old Lenen Solant into selling. Cavalier son of a Sith, this Josar Vhinntar." He spat on the tarmac, a telling sign of his opinion of the neighboring company's new owner. Myn held out his ID card for scanning. This was routine for him now and no longer made him nervous. "Isn't that the third or fourth company Vhinntar has bought out?" The officer ran Myn's ID card through the scanner, handed it back and shrugged. "Don't know. I don't have time to watch the scene, so to speak, but I know this green-white is not going to be the favourite paintjob of mine." He tossed Myn a sloppy salute and turned to leave. "The scanning crew has you on their list. Once they're through you're free to go." "Thanks." Myn cast one last glance at the workers over at Vhinntar's new acquisition, shook off his unease and continued the inspection of his ship. * * * I'll have yet to fully decide on the posting schedule, maybe I'll leave it at one post per week, Maybe I'll post twice. Don't know yet.