[FIC] The Gremlins
After my first try at fanfic, I wanted to do something in a lighter vein.
OR: Secrets of Imperial Architecture and Ship Design Revealed.
"I'm telling you it'll work!"
"No way...they won't do it...!"
"They HAVE to! Seriously! I've tried it before! I renamed a Vindicator class Star Destroyer after my neighbour's pet gizka last week, just before it was released from the drydocks! The destroyer Kootchums is out there right now, on patrol near Corellia!"
The two teenage boys doubled over with silent laughter inside the ventilation duct. The grating beside them in the wall started to gently rattle, and they shushed each other as an Imperial officer strode into the room beyond the grating.
"Ssshhhhh...sshhh...okay, okay, okay.......hee hee hee hee...shhhhhhh..."
The officer looked around, then, curiosity apparently satisfied, turned and left the room.
"Hee hee, okay...so really, what can I ask for?"
"ANYTHING, I told you! All the terminals in here go straight from the Senate engineering subcommittee to the purchasing authority! They ALL transmit on the same frequency! Anytime the Imperial Senate wants to buy something, the order goes through this complex. All it takes is my brother's code cylinder and it unlocks all the comm terminals on this floor. He's in the bookkeeping pool and they send out all the orders to the purchasing centre. That's all he does, all night! Sit there passing along messages. He's not on until the night shift, and he's still sleeping off his hangover! He'll never know we took his code cylinder if we get it back in time! Whatever we send out will be on his code, and the message will go from purchasing to all the contractors, Kuat Drive Yards, Seinar Fleet Systems, Blastech, you name it!"
"And you're SURE they won't come in and find us?"
"YES! They're changing shifts in, like, two minutes, and all the staff have to sign in and out at the other end of the building! We'll have at least five minutes before anyone even comes near this wing. Hardly anyone ever comes in here, anyway. That terminal over there is, like, the sub-sub-backup terminal or something." The two boys peered through the grating into the room. Crates, boxes and files were stacked haphazardly in almost random piles, and against the wall, the black comm terminal's normally glossy sheen was dulled by a thin layer of dust.
"...I'm still not sure about this...what if they find out and we get in trouble?"
"Look, you asked that Mira girl out and then my brother told her you caught a scorching case of Cathar pubic ticks from that Twi'lek in the massage parlour, right? Do you want to get him back or not?"
A chime sounded blandly through the room. "Okay, that's shift change. Now or never." He turned to his reluctant companion, who sucked in a breath.
"Okay, let's do it!"
As quietly as they could, they strained against the ventilation grate until it gave way. The two boys hopped down out of the air shaft into the crowded room, and hurried over to the comm terminal.
"So what do I do?"
"Okay, take this earpiece and put it on. Here, quick! Now hit that switch there, okay, now it'll be audio only. Right now, insert one code cylinder...and just push this...and this...and that...and you're ready to go." He flicked his fingers over the control, shoved the code cylinder into the receiving array, then stood back as the comm terminal hummed into life. Clearing his throat, he then put on his deepest and (he hoped) adult-sounding voice.
"Uh yes, purchasing control? This is Lieutenant Carriiso over at Imperial Requisitioning. We just wanted to check if you received the new engineering and construction specs the Senate just ratified.
"You haven't? Well, we just got new standing orders for all structures, capital class, and super-capital class vessels. It seems the Emperor himself has issued some new requirements. Anything larger than a cruiser has to have at least five bottomless pits inside somewhere." The boys clapped their hands over their mouths in silent guffaws.
"Yes, bottomless pits. No, you heard that correctly. Bottomless! People have to be able to stumble to their deaths at any given moment!
"Why...? Um, well, the Emperor doesn't like people very much. *cough, cough* Uh, no, no, I was reading the wrong report...sorry, my bad...uh, well, it's an alertness check. Yeah, alertness.
"Well, you remember all those clone troopers we used to have? Well, since they ran out, the Empire has had to use civilian conscripts, and those guys are turning out to be really dumb. Uh huh. Yeah, well, you know, they can't shoot straight, they're easily distracted, and the Emperor thought that if we stick a few bottomless pits in every facility, they'll be forced to pay attention to what they're doing, right? He said he got the idea from his vacation on Nar Shaddaa." The boys kicked each other and rocked back and forth, their bodies heaving with repressed laughter.
"Well, yeah, of course he knows they can't all REALLY be bottomless...no, just really, really deep will do fine. What's that? No, no support railings either. Not near the pits, anyway. What...? Well, okay we can have a few, but you should definitely be able to knock someone over just by throwing a bag or two at them. Yeah. And just picking someone up and tossing them over the side shouldn't be too hard either." He looked down at some of the files near the terminal, and grabbed at one that caught his eye.
"Oh, here's a good example. ffft...sshhh shhh shhh...you know that huge round thing they've been putting together? The what? Oooo...I bet the Emperor likes that name...anyway, there's a tractor beam generator on the thirtieth level. Around that's a great place for a bottomless pit. What...? Yeah, I know you really should put something there too. What...? Well, sure I guess it's a waste of space, but the Emperor wants deadly, bottomless pits, so the Emperor gets deadly, bottomless pits. I'm just passing on the message here. Yeah, and make the bridges retractable too. Right, carry on. Requisitioning out."
The boys yanked out the code cylinder, shut down the terminal and scrambled back into the ventilation shaft, sputtering with laughter all the way. Sides aching, they replaced the grate behind them and shuffled back down the vent shaft on hands and knees, pausing briefly to wipe the tears from their eyes. Reaching the other end, they spilled out into the disused alley and ran down the boulevard, the ceaseless Coruscant traffic buzzing far overhead.
"Hahahahahahahahaa!!!!!!!!!!! Omigod, omigod omigod, that was great!"
"Hee hee, oh man, can you imagine if they really started DOING that? 'Here's that report you wanted, sir...AAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.....'"
"Fffff....hee hee hee...*gasp*...oh, come ON! Like anyone's THAT stupid..."
Best. Comical. Fic. EVER. +25 cool points, keep up the great
Thanks bud. :D :D :D
Y'know, after about the hundreth time my little avatar plunged wailing to their death in Jedi Academy and Jedi Outcast I was just like yelling at the computer "WHY?! Why would you build something and put a bottomless pit inside? Is there NOTHING that could go there? Isn't there anything at all that could fill that fifty story drop into utter darkness?! Guns? Ships? Storage space? Dutch coffee bar? Nothing at all...?"
Even with my meagre understanding of military ship design, one thing I do know is that form follows function, right? Submarines generally don't have ballrooms with 80 foot high vaulted ceilings, do they? Even just walking through the Ravager in TSL, when you hit that main area that branches off, it was just bizarre. Here's about three stories just containing air. Watching the original trilogy and seeing these completely illogical bottomless pits, I always imagined status reports being read to Tarkin like "Well sir, we've completed assembly of the Death Star, all weapons systems check out fully, and...oh yes, another eighty crew members went tumbling down that bottomless pit over there to certain death. Should we begin training their replacements, or should we just shoot them now?"
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