Chapter 5--part 5 (last)
On the bridge of the Ebon Hawk, Bastila sat in the navigator’s chair, plotting the course for Jantessa.
“Where’s Carth?” she asked, sensing Rade approaching her from behind.
“He’s just finalising our clearance to leave now that our passengers have boarded.”
“So Juhani mentioned.”
“Oh? Was there a problem?”
“Not as such,” said Bastila. “But Keeper Ithra has already complained to Juhani seven times—the room’s too cold, she needs more pillows, ….”
“Great.” Rade rolled his eyes. “And we haven’t even left yet. This is going to be a long journey.”
“Just under 60 standard hours, if I’ve correctly calculated the hyperspace route Berland gave us,” Bastila said, and she started to enter the co-ordinates into the navicomputer.
“Hopefully, things will settle down once we get moving,” said Rade. “Ithra’s probably just nervous about being among so many ‘outlanders.’”
“Or it could be that she’s just spoiled.”
“You think? Well, I guess your judgement would be better than mine about that.”
Bastila paused in her data input, her finger hovering over the next key. “And what is that supposed to mean?”
“Well, I just meant that you have more experience than I do when it comes to …”
“More experience? In what, being spoiled?”
“Yes…no…look, that’s not what I meant!”
Being that she was not facing him, Rade couldn’t see the corners of Bastila’s mouth gradually beginning to turn upwards. “Then what do you mean?”
“What I meant was that you have better judgement in this situation because you’re a woman.”
“Oh?” she said, sounding affronted. “So, now you’re saying you think only women can be spoiled? Is that it?”
“Look, you were a young girl cloistered in the Jedi order, and, well, I’m guessing she’s kind of from a similar environment. Just thought you might know better than I would about the reasons behind her behaviour, that’s all.”
She turned her head around to face him, and smiled sweetly.
Rade slowly blinked with the realisation that she’d been teasing him, and then he sighed. “Okay,” Rade conceded. “You got me. This time,” he added with a wink.
Bastila was about to say something, when Carth suddenly entered the cockpit and took his seat at the controls.
“Right,” Carth said, as he fired up the engines. “We’re all set.”
As the ship prepared for takeoff, Bastila leaned back in her chair with a satisfied grin.
“And, yes,” she said to Rade. “In my experienced judgement, I do think she’s rather spoiled.”
Veni, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)