Title: Different but not Broken Author(s): Thorn058 Timeframe: Shortly after Hoth before the events of ROTJ Characters: Wedge, Boba Fett, OC's Tessa and Jace Pavin Summary: A quick look at a mission Wedge has to contact a slicer who is very different than what everyone expects. This is basically an idea I had to see if I could do the characters I wanted to introduce justice let me know how I did and what you think. I have a second part that I will write and post for the completed vignette Different but not Broken. The Rodain looked over the children’s section one more time waiting for the customer at the counter to finish up and leave. Titles like the Emperor’s child, Glorious Empire, Frozen, Hero of the Galaxy and so on didn’t appeal to him in the least. He spared a glance at the young woman sitting at a desk behind the counter seemingly staring off into space. The customer finished up and walked casually to the door. He approached the checkout counter and repeated the key phrase. The clerk offers the counter sign and negations begin. The Rodain keeps glancing at Tessa, that in and of itself is enough to make Jace not trust him. He asks a question and it focuses Jace’s attention on him once again. “So can it be done? Do we have an agreement?” “Oh it can be done easy enough but…” Jace let his reply just hang their a moment. “But what?” he asks indignantly. Jace doesn’t get his reply out fast enough and its Tessa’s voice he hears first. “65% of all Rodians operate in businesses most people find beneath them.” She says staring off at the holodrama section as if speaking to the air. “What is that suppose to mean?” the Rodain asks clearly put off his game by the statement. “What she means is that sometimes in this line of work you can get a feel for certain types…” “25% of those are indisputably criminal activities.” Tessa continues. “What are you saying girl? What kind of slicer are you?” he asks Jace clearly getting agitated, “One criminal calling someone else names. I should,” he makes like he is reaching for a blaster. “Easy friend, what she is saying is that we have gotten where we are by being careful and that you look like a risk, so yes the job is easy enough but the price is double the going rate and we don’t move until the money is good. If you are satisfied we refund some in order to encourage further business. If that is a problem move on and we got no problems.” “Fine I will contact you when the credits are ready. Until then you girl,” he points at Tessa "need to fix whatever is broken about you.” Tessa looks the room over in a casual sweep of her head. “I’m not broken. People are hard.” “Well whatever crazy girl.” He mumbles as he heads to the door. Jace walks over and rubs Tessa’s shoulders “I’m not broken; I’m not a crazy girl.” “I know Tess, I know. Remember when I said sometimes you need to talk to the customers?” “Yes, that sometimes they need to be reassured.” “This wasn’t one of those times.” “People are hard, they don’t make sense.” “Got that right. 25% huh, his creds better come through.” Jace said sitting back down in his chair. If she heard him she gave no sign but stared off into the little store. Wedge Antilles pulled his collar up a little more and tried to look as inconspicuous as he could. There was a time when he could have walked the streets Iziz and no one would have given him a second glance. Now as a hero of the Rebellion his face was pasted on posters on hundreds of worlds, some for good, some were death warrants. His role at Yavin and to a lesser degree at Hoth had earned him a reputation and that wasn’t a good thing to have this close to the core, the inner Rim was no place for rebels just now but he had a mission and that took priority. He hoped the weeks’ worth of facial hair and a few fake scars were enough to make him look less like his wanted poster and more like a simple spacer taking in the sights on Onderon’s capital city. He hoped to find this place soon, too many Imperial patrols for his liking. He crossed the street stopping by a short squat black protocol droid and his scruffy looking human companion. “I’m looking for a man named Jace Pavin, he runs a holodrama rental store here abouts.” “Yeah we know him don’t we SB? Saw him just this morning heading to his store. I said to SB strang SB there is a man who loves his job, it’s like he is a Jedi or something with how hard that boy goes at that thing. Hey you wanna buy some Deathsticks?” The droid whistles and hoots at him. “Strang SB you been quiet for days and now you want to bust in on me when I’m trying to make a sale?” The droid hoots louder. “oh good call SB. My companion here has reminded me that we are no longer in the Death Sticks business, instead can I offer you some Spice, high quality stuff?” The droid turns and looks at him and then shakes its clamshell head making a low mournful whistle.” “Just the direction to this store friend.” “Oh yeah it is around the corner just look for the flashing sign.” He walked away hearing the strange sing song lyrics follow him “Spice Spice Spice, sniffing spice, smoking nice… until he got around the corner. Just as he was told Wedge saw the flashing sign of the rental store and slowly made his way towards the door making sure to glance at everything as casually as he could on his way in. Once inside he made a show of looking up and down several aisles as if looking for something that could catch his eye noting the clerk behind the counter with his feet up watching a video screen and the skinny nondescript girl sitting behind a desk looking at a spot on the floor he supposed. He walked up to the counter and waits until the clerk looks his way. “The temperature on Hoth can get so low it will freeze a Tauntaun in it’s tracks.” Wedge said casually knowing full well the truth of his statement something he was sure this lad had never experienced, he looked younger than Luke did when they flew at Yavin. “Yeah but it’s not the cold that will kill you it’s the ice.” “You Jace?” “That’d be me alright, what can I do for you?” “I need to speak to Silver Dragon about a job.” “Well see we got a problem then because I’ve never heard of him and I don’t know you. You smell like an Imp and have ISB written all over you.” “I’m Wedge Antilles; I was told that you could put me in touch with a slicer named Silver Dragon.” “Who in this galaxy is Wedg…” “Wedge Antilles, Commander, Alliance To Restore the Republic, 230 sorties, 85 confirmed kills, 1 Death Star kill silhouette, Imperial Death Warrant, wanted for questioning in terrorist attack on Gus Terta refueling station Corellia.” Tessa filled in without prompting. “Now aint that something. Well then what can we do for you Commander Antilles?” “You’re Silver Dragon?” Wedge asked skeptically “Nope I’m just the business partner, she is Silver Dragon.” Pointing over to Tessa. “I’m Tessa.” She said looking away uncomfortably. “Silver Dragon!” “Tessa.” “Silver Dragon!” “Tessa” she says softly giggling to herself. “Tess you’re killing me here. Silver Dragon was the name I came up with to try and get us out there and generate… “Tessa.” She giggles. “Silver DRA-GUN.” He says slowly and continues, “ to generate business. Because most hard core criminal types in need of the galaxy’s best slicer aren’t going to hire a teenage girl.” Tessa pops her head out of an aisle “Tessa” giggles and then pops back. “Forget it.” “Well she had most of her information right, except my sorties, I don’t think they are that high.” “I added in your escort missions and Flight School training sessions to balance the equations better. There is a 35% probability that given the high profile of your missions that even escort duty is a possible combat opportunity with a plus/minus value of -5 that doesn’t affect the total number of sorties or kill ratio.” “I’m impressed, I’m not sure what all that means but if you say that it balances out, then I’m in the right place.” “People are hard, data isn’t. “ “So what is this job Commander?” Wedge walks behind the counter and hands a datacard to Jace. “everything you need to know is right here, encrypted of course. The Short story is I need a false ID and passwords to get into ISB and I need it by tomorrow. Can it be done?” “That s a pretty tall order there Wedge and we don’t do deadlines.” “I was told you were the only ones who could pull it off.” “Oh we can pull it off alright it is just We Don’t Do Deadlines.” He lowers his voice “Tess works when she works I don’t push her, that can make her dig in and not want to do anything, you know what I mean.” “I can do it.” “Are you sure? No pressure if you can’t do it, you can’t do it.” “Tomorrow be here, by 4.” Her green eyes flash and then she retreats down and aisle. “Who am I to argue with the Silver Dragon.” “Tessa” another giggle. “Are you her only family?” “Who knows man, I found her wandering the streets when she was seven, been with her ever since.” “Is it the “force” or somekind of Jedi training that allows her to do what she does?” “I don’t know and I don’t care, I just glad she does it because it allows me to sit here doing this.” Jace pops some chips into his mouth and smiles. Wedge walks over to the desk that Tessa was sitting at and marvels at the organization he sees. He picks up a small crystalline figure and looks at it setting it down when he hears a loud groan. “Did I do something wrong?” “Yep you touched her things.” Tessa hustles past him taking the figurine from his hand and placing back on her desk and then fusses for a minute before standing and staring at the wall, her green eyes moving right to left rapidly. “I can put it back if it is that much of a bother.” “I wouldn’t touch it again if I was you.” “Tomorrow 5:30” Tessa blurts out “Wait what happened, what’s she doing?” “She is recalculating, you moved her stuff. It pushed your stuff back an hour and a half.” “She is recalculating what?” “Her life, everything in her life, the desk, everything for the last 18 plus years, she explained to me once but it hurt my head thinking about it. Let’s just say she is placing that statue in that moment in time and finding the equation to allow it to be in her life and that space at this particular moment.” “I don’t believe it.” “Ok but don’t say I didn’t try to warn you. Tessa what’s the quickest way off planet?” Without pausing what she was doing Tessa began to talk. “The quickest way is to go three blocks north, two blocks east and then proceed for 11 kilometers southeast, ascend 7 and a half miles to coordinates 194.6/ 139.8/105.2 where you can safely jump towards the outer rim with a 96% success rate and .05 percent chance of encountering a mass shadow. You could shave 5 minutes off your exit time if not for the Plex10 weather satellite which would make its orbit in your direct path 19 minutes after leaving here and causing a +15 deviation in starting jump point lowering the success rate to 68% and the probability of encountering a mass shadow to over 25%. A jump corewards would require an orbit of Onderon and a re-calibration of hyperspace jump points based on fuel consumption, rate of burn, proximity of mass shadows as you approach the core and Imperial shipping but the precise coordinates for the jump are…” “Thanks Tessa, hows the recalculating coming?” “I’m up to age 5, the equations are still in balance so the data flows smoother and can be analyzed and correlated quickly. Data is easy.” “Tessa I know a droid that would love to meet you.” “Droids are fine they are not as awkward as people. People are hard.” “Well I thank the force that you can do what you do.” “The force complicates things, it makes the data orange. I don’t like orange.” Wedge looks at Jace. “Let it go man I learned that if you think about it too hard it will make you go cross eyed.” “She is something special though. Truly a beautiful soul in this universe.” “Like I said it keeps her happy and me sitting here. Your creds came through so we are good to go.” “The password to decrypt the datacard is..” “Save it man she sliced it five seconds after you gave it to me.” “That is the best encryption the Alliance has.” “Yeah well the Alliance don’t have Tess.” “Until tomorrow then.” “Yep night man don’t let the Imps get you.” “Goodnight oh Silver Dragon Queen of the slicers,” he bows deeply at the waist. She sneaks a sideway glance at him “Tessa” she giggles. “Tessa” Wedge says and walks to the door. “I’m not broken!’ she says “people are just” “Hard?” Wedge smiles and walks into the night.