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Old 03-14-2006, 10:42 AM   #28
machievelli
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Voyage

Darshan stared at the swirling of hyper-space and vented the one Hutt curse he knew, which could be literally translated as ‘your father was your mother as well’ then turned toward the cabinet to his left below the console. He opened the door, looking at the droid with distaste. He’d never liked the housekeeping and construction robots that had come into vogue, and the idea that he might need assistance if the ship was damaged had offended him greatly. But this damn thing was his only chance to get home, so he flicked the switch.

The droid powered up, and a small red lens turned to focus on his face. It beeped at him. On the screen beside him, words scrolled.

-greetings, user. I am designated A1A7, Astromech robot designed by Droids incorporated, the premier-

“Can it, tin man. Find out what is wrong with the damn Nav-computer.”

The droid beeped another reply. -Interrogative: The nav computer has no control of water flow or-

Darshan clenched his fist. “Damn as in ‘to be damned’ as in cursing. Check out that collection of circuits and see what is wrong with it.”

The droid deployed a set of wheels, and rolled over to the console. An arm popped out, and inserted itself in the interface port. -Searching. No detectable anomalies in circuitry or programming.-

“Then why the hell are we going the wrong direction?” Darshan snapped.

-Searching: Anomaly detected. Course destination and fuel mix was altered 10 hours fifteen minutes ago using onboard navigational update interface. User not identified. However, anomaly was caused by a highly innovative slicing program of Coruscanti design-

“Coruscant! So we’re going there?”

-Negative. Course is down Corellian Trade Spine out galaxy rather than inward. Assuming fuel and course is correct, the ship will end it’s flight in the system controlled by the Lortuai-

“Lortuai? I’ve never heard of it.”

-Them. Data on planet Lortu in navigational database. Data on native race is in encyclopedic data base-

There was a clattering aft, and Darshan’s head snapped around. “Put all of the data on both onto a pad. I will be back in a moment.” He pulled out the multitool, popping out the blade. Razor sharp, it was only about 100 centimeters long, but he felt better armed. Surprising, because he’d never held a weapon in his life.

He padded aft, looking into the bunk area. No one there. The next compartment was the mess deck, and there was muttering from the compartment.

“-never put where easy to reach it is.” The gruff little voice complained. There was another clatter, and curses in an unknown language. Darshan peeked around the entry hatch.

The little alien that had grilled him at the press conference a week before was headfirst in a cabinet. A fry pan flew out as he watched. “Make tea all the time, they do, but pot they did not bring? Only humans so foolish.”

Darshan crept across, slamming the cabinet door shut with his foot. There was a squalling from inside, and he pinned the door with all of his weight. “A stowaway!”
“Observant you are.” The voice said from inside the cabinet. “To make tea I was, but pot I cannot find.”

“That’s because we only heat the water and use tea bags.”

There was silence. “Bags? Why bags for tea you have?”

“Maybe because I was supposed to be alone.”

“Point you have made. Release can you so I may prepare?”

“Why did you reset my navigation?”

“Destination where go I must is set. Where go you must as well.”

“That ship won’t fly. All I have to do is drop out, reset-”

The droid came down the passageway, squealing frantically. “What the- crap.” Darshan grabbed the chair, slid it tight against the cabinet door, setting the traction clamps so it would need to be released from outside, and ran forward. The screen flashed

-Danger detected. navigational system has been reprogrammed to cause fuel tank detonation if the ship does not reach set destination! Program will delete itself if this happens-

Darshan stared at the screen. “Anyway to circumvent it?”

-Negative-

Darshan stormed back to the mess hall. The chair was back where it had been before. Suddenly something hit him from behind, slamming him face first to the floor.

“Listen will you?” He spun. Dor was crouched on the frame of the hatch, looking down.

Darshan leaped up, charging at him. The little being seemed to levitate, and the stick in his hand caught Darshan across the shoulders, throwing him into the bulkhead with bruising force.

“Can all day do this. Listen will you first?”

Darshan turned, staggering. “All right you little Hutt slime! Talk!”

“Conversation tea would be better with.” Dor replied. “Show me you will?”

Darshan huffed, stormed over, pulling two cups down. Then he opened the food storage, dropped bags in each cup, then tapped the stud for the water filling them. “All right, shortie, talk.”

Dor leaped down, cradling the cup. “Interesting this is. Monk of Monastery of Jedi am I member. Know you of it anything?

“No.”

“Explanation give I must. Monks the mind study. Thought nature of. Potentials untapped they are.”

“Go on.”

“Millennia we studied have. Wonders find. Without as well within as. Discovered it was that Galaxy help us.”

“Wait, the Galaxy is helping your research? That’s impossible!”

“Possible or not, happening it is.” Dor replied. “Millennia ago, abilities discovered were. Things magic and mystical humans see as, possible was it to do.”

“So you’re people can do magic?”

“Science and knowledge magic to untrained seems. This we call Force for lack of name better. Flows from life it does.”

“So life somehow creates energy, and your training makes it something you can use?”

“Best explanation is.” Dor sipped his tea, sighing appreciatively. “Soon discovered it was that guided by force we are. Monks traveled at urge spirit of. Problems find they, answer they have. Peace brought in wars where warriors see not way. People science of given guidance they see not. Spread have we to worlds by commerce touched.”

“So let me get this straight. This Force as you call it makes you go places and do things because they feel right.”

“Explanation good is.” Dor drained the cup. “Please more?”

Darshan handed him his cup, and Dor sipped it. “Monk to Lortu go. Find conqueror would be, and... Other.”

“A conqueror. What other?”

“Force used many ways. As can I with skill of fight, others things touch and shape. Metal can this one form. Danger to her is it. Lortuai covet, take they would. But skill pass cannot. Must the person take.”

“So this woman who can use the force to form metal is going to be kidnapped. Why?”

“Blade you have. Valuable more is if it anything cut?”

“What?” Darshan ran the words through his mind again. “She can make a blade sharp enough to cut anything?”

“Truth is it.”

Darshan pictured a man with a sword cutting through armored soldiers as if they wore nothing. “So this conqueror wants these, these super swords for himself. So what? Corellia has weapons beyond something so archaic.”

“Understand do you not. Sign from god taken would if possess evil one does. Many waver, faith not strong. Failure or death temple from within can destroy.”

“But how does she forge metal that sharp?”

“Knew we how important is she not beyond life her own.” Dor replied. “Weapons with such fool try to conqueror others will. Many die stopped he is not.”

“So you stole my ship to rescue her?”

“True it is.” Dor waved at the ship. “Depends it not upon hyper-cannon controlled enemy by. Able slip in and out it is.”

“So why me?” Darshan snarled. “Why steal the first one?”

“Life of yours changed must it be. For you new path at Lortu begins.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“Dice you have? Tongo play you?”

“Yes. How did you know?”

“Much know I of Darshan Solo you. Get please for me.”

Darshan walked forward, scooped up the box holding his dice, and returned. He set it down on the table.

“As if playing roll.” Darshan opened the cap, spilling out the dice. They fell with each numbering one. Dor dropped to the floor, leaped into the chair facing Darshan. “Number to beat easy, yes? But more paid for match, correct is?”

“Yes. But the odds are astronomical!”

“Luck with what I do has nothing.” Dor pushed the dice back into the cup, flipped it and lifted it.

Every die had a single dot.

“Many time how must I do to prove to you this?” He repeated it, and again the numbers were all one. Then again.

“Force my actions direct. Woman save I must Force directs does. Woman taking her prisoner has, Force directs does. Person that rescue must do,” He pointed at Darshan. “Force directs does. Lie to you do I not.”

“So I had to go on this little jaunt.”

“Yes.”

“I think smoking something you have been.”

“My way of talking not make fun of.” Dor warned. “Read you what books say to learn. Prepare for rescue you must.”


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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