TOR -- Smuggler's Trial Run
Just a little TOR vignette on how I think my femme smuggler character might have started out. I included some lines from the game, but not enough to need spoiler tags. Might write another bit later if the mood takes me. Enjoy. ;)
Just outside the door of the spaceport cantina, an informal job interview was taking place.
"I was expectin' a more seasoned applicant, but.... referred to me by One-armed Wylsleski, ye say?" The old spacer in the well-worn Krayt-leather jacket slowly looked her up, then down, then he squinted one eye half-closed while thick nail-bitten fingers of his grubby hand pulled pensively at grey stubble on his chin. After a moment of thought, he said, "Lemme see yer hands."
She held them out for him to see.
"Ooh, look! All soft and manny-cured, with purdy pink nail polish," he proclaimed with a false smile and a voice that he probably thought sounded very female, but sounded to her it sounded more like a bad imitation of a Jawa with a head cold. He turned her hands over, inspecting them. "Hrmph! Not a callus in sight, no dirt under yer nails...." He dropped them unceremoniously. "Betchya ain't never done an honest day's work in yer life!"
"Hey, I'll have you know I take my personal hygiene very seriously," she replied with cool confidence. "And last time I checked, neither calluses nor honesty were essential for making it unscathed through an asteroid field. Only smarts, good sense, and a whole lot of skill."
"Don't fergit luck."
“Luck?” She crossed her arms lightly over her chest then snorted dismissively. "I never need it."
"Don't need it?!" His brow raised. "Well, I ain't never heard tell! Heard plenty boastin' that they got it good all the time, or cryin' that they ain't got none but bad, but I ain't never, and I mean never, heard've no one not needin' any extry!"
"Don't need any ‘extry’ because I'm just that damn good," she said with a cocky half-grin. "It's so hard to be humble, knowing how great I am."
“Oh really?” He gave her a hard, critical stare while he paced a circle around her once, then twice, then on the third pass he shook his head and snorted. "Yeah, well, we'll see about that," he grumbled.
She raised an anticipatory eyebrow. "So, does that mean I've got the job?"
"Depends on what?"
"Depends on whether or not you can give me a derned good reason why I should let you fly my Baby."
She glanced over his shoulder at the Corellian XS Stock Light Freighter parked beyond him on the landing pad. There was no question in anyone's mind that the ship had seen better days, and it could probably benefit from a complete and thorough overhaul, but any spacer worth their salt knew it was a 'classic'--diehard, tough, dependable, manoeuvrable and, best of all, easy to modify. Baby was probably the fastest, most reliable, independently owned ship in the spaceport, in fact, probably the best one in this whole backwater quadrant. "Because, your Baby is a keeper. Best freighter that ever was made. And, like every lady of quality, she deserves someone who's gonna treat her nice and take care of her right. Like me."
Another long stare, this time eye-to-eye with him until her eyes began to sting. He was the one who finally blinked. "It's against my better judgement, but...." He paused a beat, as if unsure. "Oh, all right, I'll give 'ye a trial run," he offered. "'But if'n 'ye mess up, I'm leavin' 'ye on whatever backwater rock we happen to be at." He spit on his palm, then proferred his hand to her. "Deal?"
She didn't hesitate taking his hand and her grip was firm. "Deal. And, I swear, you won't regret it."
He chuckled, deep and throaty and hoarse and ending with a wheezing hacking cough that lasted for a few seconds longer than she'd expected. "Ach, I never regret nuthin'. Goes 'gainst my life's filla-soffy."
"Which is?" she prompted.
"Live for the moment, never look back, and if'n it ain't gonna be importn't a year from now, it ain't importn't a’tall."
"Sounds like something my father would've said."
He pointed an accusatory finger at her. "Rule number one!" he growled. "I ain't 'yer daddy! And don't 'ye go expectin' me to act like ‘em neither!"
"Not my daddy. Got it, boss."
"Rule number two! I ain't yer boss! I'm the Cap'n--and that's C-A-P-Capital N! And out thar in the black, that means I'm the king of yer whole damn universe! What I say goes, 'ye got that?"
"Got it. So, if you say 'jump', I'm supposed to ask how high, right?"
He frowned quizzically. "Why in the seven hells would I ask you to jump? Jump for what? What, you think yer a cheerleader and I’m some sorta sadistic, power-hungry, control-freaky, jar-headed military drill sergeant? Ye just do what I tells ‘ye to do when I tells 'ye to do it! Got it?"
“Aye aye, Cap'n, sir." She paused as if she was going to say something more and then had suddenly decided not to. "Yeah, erm, so... I’m just gonna go and get my gear now.”
He rolled his eyes at her then shooed her away as he started to lumber his way toward the ship, mumbling as he went. "Young people today…. Always askin' stupid dern questions…. Are we there yet? Do I have to shift all them crates? Is there a fresher in the port? What happens if’n I press this big red button by the airlock door? Psh! A whole generation of useless, lazy, good fer nuthin',… why, I 'member when...."
Although she was tempted to look over her shoulder at him lumbering away like an old grumpy gundark, she didn't, but she couldn't stifle her grin as she made her way to the locker where she had stored her personal affects. Sure the Cap'n was gruff, unkempt, and needed some dental work, but he had a reputation for being fair and paying well and she liked him well enough. No she didn't have as much experience as some other pilots, and she'd had to do a little bit of finagling to even get the interview with him in the first place, but like her notorious, if not terribly famous, smuggler uncle Wylsleki always said, 'all's fair in love and employment.'
Of course, she did feel a teeny, tiny bit guilty about mentioning to the bartender, who happened to be serving her potential competitors while they waited for the Cap'n to arrive to start the interviews, that she'd overheard from her best friend's sister's boyfriend's cousin's girlfriend's brother that a dockhand had said someone on that old Corellian freighter might have had the Iridonian flu, but they were probably not very contagious anymore. And while most of the other pilots had quickly cleared out of the place, she had confidently stayed and presented herself as the most qualified, if not then the only, applicant for the position.
Point was the galaxy was beckoning to be explored and she had landed a job that she knew she'd be good at. Eventually.
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