No One Liners
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Scotland, UK
Current Game: SWOTR
Chapter 12--Part 1
((Yes, RC, the American spelling would be 'saber'. But here in the UK, it's 'sabre,' just like 'center' is 'centre', and 'theater' is 'theatre'.
Anyway, I've finished another part of my story. Apologies to everyone for not posting sooner, but it seems the battle with Darth Reallife is neverending.))
“Try it now!” Kye shouted to Carth from the Ebon Hawk’s engine room.
“What?” came his muffled reply from the other end of the ship.
Kye hung her head. “Try! It! Now!” she repeated slowly and more loudly. With a trying expression on her face, she looked over at Mission, who was holding a hydrospanner in her hand, like a nurse assisting a doctor. “Men,” Kye sighed, and Mission snickered.
“Old and hard-of-hearing men,” Mission added.
“They're even worse,” Kye commented. The lights on the control panel on the hyperdrive came on, flickered, then died. “Crap.” Kye scrambled up from her position on the floor underneath the open panel. “I’ll be right back,” she said to Mission as she headed for the door. But in the doorway, she paused, and gave a look over her shoulder. “Give me a shout if the lights on that panel come on and stay on, okay?”
“Okay,” Mission said, grinning, as she was being allowed to help.
Kye hurried towards the cockpit, dodging T-3 on his way back to the engine room as she passed through the main hold. “Hey? You finished with that patch panel already?”
T-3 let out a series of whirr and whistles
Kye stared at the droid, then raised an eyebrow. “I take it that’s a ‘yes’?”
The small droid bleeped once.
“Thanks,” and she continued to the cockpit area.
Carth had his head and torso buried inside one of the open panels, trying valiantly to install and reconnect the severed connections on the new control module, and Kye could only see him from the waist down. She stood there for a moment without speaking, appraising the view.
"Damn," she heard him murmur. "Can't reach it."
“Maybe it's because your trousers are a bit too tight,” she commented, unintentionally startling Carth and causing him to bump his head on the inside of the console.
“Ow!” he grunted.
“Sorry. Didn't mean to startle you. Problem?”
“Yeah,” Carth said, as he extricated himself out into the open. “I can’t seem to get that last circuit connected.”
“You need to use a telescoping vibra joiner in order to….”
“I don’t have a telescoping vibra joiner.”
“Hmm. Then what about attaching a vari-tune spatial connector to the end of the…”
“Don’t have one of those either,” he interrupted her again.
Kye raised an eyebrow and placed her hands on her hips. “What kind of engineer are you?” she asked incredulously.
“I’m not an engineer. I’m a pilot.”
“Oh,” she said flatly. “Well. That explains it.”
“The lack of tools, the cocky attitude, the tight trousers, and your total inability to hold a reciprocating penetrator the right way ‘round’ on the first go. You know, if it wasn’t for me, you could have poked your eye out holding it like th….”
“Look,” he said testily, “if I want your opinion, I’ll ask for it!”
“Yeah? Well, if you want to get off this planet anytime soon, then you’d better start asking!” She sighed. “I should have just sold that piece of junk someone called a ship to Zug and hitched a ride on an ore freighter. They may be slow, but at least they move.”
“You think you can do better?” Carth stepped aside and motioned to the panel with his arm. “Be my guest!”
Kye knelt down and crawled underneath the console, and after a few knocks and bangs, the sparking of a fractional welder, and the buzzing sound of a hydrospanner, Mission’s voice shouted from the Engine Room. “Kye, the lights are on! And they’re staying on this time!”
Kye scrambled out from underneath the panel and stood, looking Carth in the eye. She slapped the hydrospanner in his hand. “You’re welcome,” she said to him. “Now, think you could manage putting the panel back together while I finish checking for leaks around the hyperdrive manifold?”
“Yeah. I think I can manage that,” he grumbled sourly.
She gave him a curious look. “I’m sorry. I really don’t mean to be so condescending. You know, Carth, it’s not a sign of weakness to admit you need help. Everyone has different things that they’re good at.” She grinned. “I mean, I’m total crap at flying. Well, take offs I can do. Landings aren’t great, but I seem to manage. But the bit in between? That’s the part that gives me bother. I’ve no sense of direction whatsoever. Even with the aid of a navicomputer,” she added.
Carth’s expression softened a bit. “Is that how you ended up here?”
Kye grimaced with uncertainty. “Yeah. Sort of.” She grinned. “Certainly didn’t come here for Degos V’s irresistible charm and sophisticated metropolitan lifestyle.”
Carth grinned in return. “I’ll put the panel together. Just let me know when you want me to start ‘er up.”
“I’ll send Mission up to tell you,” she said, backing her way out to the corridor. “Give her something to do. Besides, being as you’re old and hard of hearing…,” she added, with a wink, then turned and headed for the Engine Room.
“Hey, you tell Mission that you’re not much younger than me, you know!” Carth called after her.
“Yes, I know,” she called over her shoulder. “But I’m prettier and more fun, so that makes up for it in her eyes.”
“In mine, too,” Carth muttered appreciatively.
Just then T3 whizzed into the cockpit, bleeping incessantly to get Carth’s attention.
“What is it, T3?”
T3 plugged his service arm into a nearby port, and in an instant one of the panels indicated that the loading ramp was being lowered.
“They’re back?” Carth asked the droid.
T3 whirred and bleeped, confirming that Rade and rest of the crew had returned. Carth headed through the main hold to meet them, but Jolee had beaten him to it.
“It’s about time!” Jolee said lightheartedly to the group. “Carth was beginning to get worried.”
“So, did you find it?” Carth asked, pointedly ignoring Jolee’s quip.
“The only thing we found were some dead Mandalorians and more questions,” Rade replied.
“And a decent restaurant,” Ithra piped.
Rade, Bastila and Canderous all paused and stared at her in disbelief.
“Well…?” Ithra shrugged sheepishly. “I thought it was decent.”
Purposefully ignoring Ithra, Bastila turned her attention to Carth. “Anyway, we think Co’Vanni is now headed to Onderon with the Gem.”
“So that’s where we’re going,” Rade added. “Is the ship ready?”
“Just about,” Carth replied. “Oh, there’s something I need to tell you before we take off. We’ve picked up a….”
Just then, Mission appeared from the corridor. “Carth? Kye said to tell you that…” She paused, and grinned at Rade. “Oh, hey! You’re back! Find anything interesting?”
“Who’s Kye?” Canderous asked, catching Mission’s reference to an unknown person.
“Our passenger,” she answered matter-of-factly.
“Passenger?” Rade raised his eyebrows and looked first at Mission, then Carth. “Since when did we get a passenger?”
“Since I made a deal for the parts we needed,” Mission said, beaming proudly. “Without having to spend even a single credit. Isn’t that right, Carth?”
Carth’s face began to flush. “Erm… yeah. That’s right.” He met Rade’s eyes with trepidation. “That’s what I wanted to tell you about,” he said to Carth. “She’s actually been quite helpful in…”
“She’s?” Bastila said, giving a disparaging look at Ithra. “Our passenger is another she?”
“And a pretty ‘she’ at that,” Jolee added with a wink, adding to Carth’s growing embarrassment.
“Yeah, well, she’s a pretty good mechanic as well,” Carth said somewhat defensively. “I hate to admit it, but I don’t think I could have done all of the repairs without her help.”
“Speaking of help, Kye’s ready for you to fire up the engines,” Mission said to Carth. “And she said she’ll stay there and monitor the engine for a while and let you know if there are any leaks. Not that she’s expecting any, but just to give you peace of mind so you’ll relax a bit and not worry so much.”
“Give me peace of mi…?” Carth cleared his throat. “Erm…right. If you’ll excuse me,” he said to the others, “I’ve got engines to start. Bastila? I’ll need you at the navigator’s station, just to keep an eye on things.” He headed for the cockpit, and Bastila followed.
“So, about this passenger…” Rade said to Mission.
“Her name’s Kye,” Mission beamed. “And she’s great! She doesn’t treat me like a kid—let’s me help her and everything. I like her.”
“Uh-huh.” Rade lifted an inquisitive brow. “And where have you promised we would take our ‘passenger’?”
“Onderon,” Mission said frankly.
“What a coincidence,” Canderous commented dryly. “That’s just where we were going.”
“Really? Great! See, I knew things would work out!” Mission said with a satisfied smile. “Kye said Queen Talia has commissioned a lot of restoration work, so there’s lots of jobs there right now.”
Just then, the engines began to hum.
“We’ve got power, people!” Carth said over the intercom. “Next stop, Onderon!”
Rade looked at Ithra. “Think it’d be better for you, and safer for the rest of us, if you made yourself comfortable in the dormitory, rather than the cockpit this time.”
Ithra nodded bashfully. “Alright. I’m feeling like I need a rest anyway.”
“I’ll go check on Kye,” Mission said. “See if she needs any more help.”
As Ithra left for the dormitory, and Canderous and HK headed for the cargo bay, Rade sidled up to Jolee. “So, Jolee, what do you know about this Kye?”
“I know she wants off this planet,” Jolee answered. “And I know she’s pretty good with mechanical things. And I know she’s not at all bashful about saying what she thinks. And, most importantly, I know that she’s lifted Mission’s spirits. She’s been pretty down without Zalbaar around.”
“I know.” Rade stood quietly for a moment. “I can’t feel this Kye’s presence onboard the ship,” he said, frowning slightly.
“Neither can I,” said Jolee. “Damn strange, but, like I told Carth, it’s happened to me before. Not with a human, but…” He shrugged. “Maybe she’s not human. I don’t get a sense through the Force that she’s dangerous though. Even without sensing a Force signature, if she were trouble, I’d expect we’d know it.”
Rade nodded. “Still, once we get underway, I think I’ll have a chat with her.” Rade headed for the cockpit.
“So, any problems?” Mission asked Kye, just as they both felt the ship leave the ground.
“None so far,” Kye said, keeping a close eye on the emissions monitor she held in her hands. “So, who boarded the ship? I heard voices in the main hold.”
“Just Rade and the others,” Mission said.
“Rade? He’s the captain?”
“Yeah,” said Mission. “He and the others went out looking for this Gem thing.”
Kye’s brow raised ever so slightly, but her eyes didn’t leave the monitor. “I thought you said they were exploring the mines for cortosis?”
“Erm…well, now, I didn’t exactly say they were looking for cortosis,” Mission admitted. “But they were exploring. Don’t think they found what they were looking for though. Otherwise, we’d be heading back to Jantessa get Big Z.”
“Jantessa? Nice place, is it?”
Mission snorted. “Oh, no way! Everyone there is all...I don’t know. Too clean. Too rigid. Too many rules and regulations, and… I mean, they classified Big Z as an illegally imported pet. A pet! He’s a Wookiee. Whoever heard of a Wookiee as a pet!”
Kye grinned softly. “And they wouldn’t let him leave with you?”
“No. And they kept Juhani, too.”
“She’s a Cathar. You know what they are?”
“Well, they classified her as a ‘pet’, too. Even though she’s a Jedi!” Mission rolled her eyes.
“A Jedi?” At this, Kye looked up. “You didn’t tell me that you travelled with a Jedi.”
“Didn’t I?” Mission said innocently. “Huh. Guess I’ve gotten so used to them, it doesn’t seem to matter to me as much.”
“Yeah. Juhani, Jolee, Bas….”
“Jolee’s a Jedi, too," Kye said pensively, though more in the manner of a statement than a question.
“Yeah. Well, sort of. More like an ex-Jedi, now, I guess.”
“I see,” Kye said, her eyes reverting back to her monitor. “And Bas? Who’s he?”
“He’s a she, actually,” Mission corrected. “Bastila. I used to think she was really stuck up and all when I first met her, but she’s not so bad, once you get to know her.”
“So, you travel with three Jedi,” Kye commented. “Interesting.”
“Four,” said a male voice from behind them.
Kye turned her head, and her body tensed as she saw Rade standing in the doorway.
“Rade, meet Kye, our passenger,” Mission introduced. “Kye, this is….”
“Rade Chano,” Rade finished for Mission. “Captain and ‘Jedi number four.’” He stared at Kye curiously for a moment. “You have a problem with Jedi?”
“Not normally.” She eyed him up and down for a moment. “You have a problem with non-Jedi?”
“Not normally,” he replied in kind.
“Good.” She then smiled. “Nice to meet you.”
“So, Mission tells me that you want to go to Onderon.”
“Only if it’s not a problem,” Kye replied. “There’s work there, but if you’re not going that way, just drop me off in the first port you come to. I’m not picky.”
“It just so happens that by strange coincidence, that’s exactly where we’re going,” Rade said with a hint of suspicion in his voice. “We’re looking for someone.” He paused, waiting for a reaction from Kye. None came. “Someone called Co’Vanni,” Rade continued. Still nothing. “Ever hear of him?”
“Sure,” Kye said plainly, to Rade’s obvious surprise. “Co’Vanni runs the Miscreant Miner. Best restaurant in Oasis. That’s common knowledge.”
Rade’s brow lifted. “So, you’ve met Co’Vanni?”
“Well… I’ve eaten at the restaurant. And I’ve met Horace.” She paused. “Of course,” she added as an afterthought, “it’s hard to miss Horace. He’s huge. Nice guy though.”
Rade stared at her for a moment.
“Something wrong?” Kye asked, before returning her eyes to the monitor.
“Maybe,” Rade said, eyeing her over. “By the way, do you know that you don’t give off any detectable Force signature?”
“A Force signature. Every life form gives off one. Every one but you, that is. Why is that?”
“You’re the Jedi,” Kye said, without looking up. “Aren’t Force thingies are supposed to be your department?”
“Strange, though, don’t you think?” Rade pressed her.
Kye shrugged. “If you say so. Personally, I don’t have much use for ‘The Force.’”
“What’s with the interrogation?” Mission asked Rade. “Kye’s only here to help us and you’re treating her like she’s some sort of criminal or something.”
“Actually, Mission, he has every right to interrogate me,” Kye said. “After all, I’m a complete stranger. As far as he knows, I could be a criminal or something. And as captain of a ship, it’s his responsibility to keep his crew safe.”
“Are you a criminal?” asked Rade.
“Now, that’s a fairly ambiguous question,” she replied, her eyes still focused on the monitor. “I mean, one person’s criminal could be another person’s hero.” She gave him a sideways glance. “I mean, are you a criminal? Before today, the last time I heard someone mention the word ‘Jedi,’ it was in the same breath as the words ‘mass destruction’ and ‘Darth Revan.’”
Rade’s expression darkened.
“So ‘criminal’ is a matter of perspective,” Kye continued. “Don’t you think? What you really should be asking is do I have any intention to do you or your crew any harm.” She turned off the hand-held monitor, and looked up at Rade. “And the answer to that is ‘no.’”
“Good,” Rade said, although not convincingly. “We should reach Onderon in a few hours. I’ll be in the cockpit if you need me.”
“Great. When you get there, you can tell Carth that the hyperdrive is working fine and there are no manifold leaks. But I’ll set T3 to continue to monitor for them. Just in case he was worried.”
Rade nodded and left for the bridge.
“C’mon,” Mission said. “I’ll show you the cargo bay and introduce you to Canderous.”
“Nope. A Mandalorian.”
Kye snorted and rolled her eyes. “You know, Mission, you’re an alright kid,” she said as she followed Mission out of the engine room. “But you’ve got some strange taste in friends.”
Veni, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)