During the night cycle on the Ebon Hawk
, Atton has a harrowing encounter with the Gizka from Hell. Told in Atton's POV, with a surprise ending.
All I can say about this fic is that it was absolutely, incredibly, terrifically fun to write. I also laughed maniacally a few times.
Here's hoping you have just as much fun reading it, and maybe laugh maniacally a few times yourself.
Return of the Gizka
The Ebon Hawk
was still en route from Korriban; we would arrive at Dantooine in a day or two. So, since we were all more or less practical people looking for ways to pass the time, we went to work. I worked in the cockpit with the computers—at least, when I wasn’t doing odd jobs for everyone else. The zabrak roamed the ship doing repairs, while the rest of us found other useful tasks, like cleaning weapons and making grenades and stimulants. We all worked, and worked hard. When the daytime hours were up, I swear even the Exile heaved a sigh.
I didn’t want to sleep, though. I hadn’t got a chance to work on my new lightsaber. After everyone else had gone to bed, I was at the workbench in the garage, tinkering with my saber.
Everything was quiet except for the hum of the ship’s machinery. It was the first time I’d ever noticed how deep and harmonic it was. Closing my eyes, I tried the calming technique that the Exile had showed me, and let myself relax. Maybe this Jedi thing wouldn’t be so bad, after all.
And then I heard it . . . a chirruping croak.
I recognized the sound immediately. My eyes flew open.
“Aw, sithspit,” I groaned. If there was any one sound I hated with every fiber of my being, especially right now!
Slowly, with a miserable sigh, I looked down to my left. And there it was. Nubby tail, nubby ears, and watery eyes, all.
After wrangling for a second with the longing to bang my head over and over on the bench top—or at least ten or twelve times—I decided instead to shake it at the little lizard pest. “How—oh ho, how—did you
get on my
ship?” Humorless laughter laced my miserable question for the very misery of it.
Never mind that the Hawk wasn’t really my
ship. When you’re talking to a gizka on a freighter, trust me: you become very possessive.
The gizka blinked innocently at me with those big, watery eyes, gurgling ever so sweetly in its lemon-yellow lizard gullet. I narrowed my eyes at it like it was the most diabolical gizka that ever gurgled on the Outer Rim. Cute, yeah, but also the peskiest pest in the entire galaxy. And it would not
stay on my
Shifting in my seat, I stooped to shake my hydrospanner at it.
“I thought there were no gizka on Korriban.”
“It’s a dead planet.”
“And Sith hate gizka. They’re nothing but stupid little balls of cuteness.”
Letting out a deep sigh, I rubbed my face with my hands. Then I bent over and narrowed my eyes more than ever at the chirruping yellow frog. “Are there any more of you hoppin’ around here that I need to know about?”
Of course, the uselessness of my interrogation struck me right then. So, in anticipation of my next move, I set the hydrospanner aside. “Well,” I mumbled, “I’ll just chuck you out the airlock. A nice, quick death . . . . ”
Then, swift as Sith, I lunged for the gizka.
When I came to, I found myself in a very unexpected position: on my back on the floor, with my arms thrown back above my head.
But what quickly became the most unexpected factor of my position was the nightmarish vision sitting on my chest.
The gizka . . . was baring its fangs
And growling. And snapping.
Its little frame quivered with ferociousness.
My mind raced as I peered up at it bug-eyed. Okay, this wasn’t right. Gizka don’t have fangs. Gizka don’t pounce on grown men and send them crashing to the floor. Gizka don’t even attack things bigger than themselves. They’re stupid little balls of cuteness that snap up gravel maggots with long, sticky, otherwise harmless tongues. Sure, they could lick you to death, maybe, but . . .
They don’t have fangs!
I glanced around the best I could with that now-terrifying ball of cuteness snarling in my face. My saber . . . ? No, it was lying in pieces on the workbench; the crystal wasn’t even in it. Sithspit!
But could I use the Force? Yes, of course! I could use the Force! A simple force push with my hand would oust the gizka, easy.
Okay, just remember what the Exile said . . . focus, and . . . PUSH!
Unfortunately, my simple force push didn’t go as planned. Despite the fact I threw my whole willpower into it (I didn’t exactly like
having a fanged gizka in my face), the gizka flapped its legs in the air for a second, and then pushed back
Next thing I knew, the gizka was ON my face!
Instinctively, I did what I should’ve done in the first place. That is, I reached up, got my hands around its neck, and wrung it for all I was worth.
By the time I opened my eyes, the gizka’d flopped onto the deck beside me, its long tongue lolling out of its mouth. Seems the fanged variety still have the tender neck of their species.
Relief flooded me, and I dropped my head back to let myself breathe. Okay, Atton ol’ boy, maybe you haven’t got this Force thing down yet. To have a gizka beat you in a pushing match . . . well, that’s kind of pathetic. Just make sure the Exile doesn’t find out about this, or you’ll never hear the end of it.
Of course, who else would I see right then, coming into the garage from the starboard dormitory? I groaned.
Hearing my groan, and seeing me sprawled on the deck, he predictably jumped to a conclusion. Can’t blame him, though, considering he’d seen me this way before.
With a gigantic roll of his eyes, a prodigious shrug of his shoulders, and a colossal crossing of his arms, he said emphatically, “Atton Rand, you must
. Now that you’re a Jedi, you can’t go on living like a—”
Then he noticed the lifeless yellow blob beside me. It’s funny how suddenly his attitude of “scolding, better-than-thou master” switched in favor of “thoroughly befuddled bystander”.
“Atton,” he asked, “why is there a dead gizka on the floor next to you?”
Heh. You think I’m drunk? You should’ve seen
I bit back the sarcastic retort, thinking he’d probably want to know that a fanged gizka had been on his ship. “Okay, for the record. First, I haven’t touched that Corellian ale,” I said as I pushed myself up from the deck. “And second . . . . ”
All right, now, how should I approach this?
“Well,” I drawled, “it looks like the Hawk picked up one or two Sith demons on Korriban.”
He cocked an eyebrow. “Sith demons
. . . ?”