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Marusame
28 February 2003, 11:25 PM
Sorry, couldn't think of a better title. Anyhow, here is the very beginning of what I hope will be a longer run. I posted the first paragraph of this awhile ago, but now I really want it to work.


* indicates a different language is being spoken, but is being translated into basic by me.

Prologue: “Crash” Landing

"Eckba, fix that stabilizer before this planet uses my ship as a backscratcher!" The young woman threw herself back, hanging onto the rocking ships controls in a desperate attempt to make it level out. "*We've got more than a few problems back here Captain!*" The return shout came from the rear of the ship, carried up the hallway to the cockpit.

"What do you mean 'we'? You get a friend back there with you old-timer?" The return to that comment was lost as the ship hit turbulence that caused it to whip up almost onto its end, then crashed back down. “What’d you say?!” she called down the hall again. There was a noticeable pause from the rear then Eckba’s voice came back, “*My spleen and I would like to get off now!*” Jazz sighed to herself, muttering, “Of all the lousy…” She watched the ground rapidly approaching for a moment, then leaped out of her seat and dashed down the hallway.

As Jazz came into the engine compartment, Eckba was halfway under the rear stabilizer, and thus nearly knocked himself unconscious by jumping when he heard her say, “What are you doing down there?” He cursed as his head smacked the hard metal, and then slid partway out. “*Fixing the dear captains stabilizer you ingrate.*” Jazz shook her head and chuckled, “You must be losing your mind old-timer, the part you’re looking for is up here.” With that, the young pilot leapt nimbly on top of the stabilizer and walked across it, ducking to avoid a hissing shot of steam before it had appeared.

The sullustan watched as the captain, a girl he had watched grow up from a baby into the beautiful young woman she now was, calmly reached into a tangle of wires. Her eyes narrowed slightly as she concentrated, then hissed in triumph as whatever she had been fiddling with clicked into place. Jazz reached into her tool belt, which she had grabbed on the way back here, and used a wrench to tighten the part off.

Eckba smiled as Jazz trotted back across the hazardous engine and patted it lovingly before dropping to the floor beside him. “See, ya old fart?” He just shook his head, and then froze. “*Jazz…*” She turned away from admiring her work to look at her old friend. “What’s up?” she asked. Eckba cocked his head to the side. “*We’re still falling… didn’t you turn on the auto-pilot?*” Seeing the answer in her frozen face, he turned and dashed up the hall, with her right behind him.

The two of them made it into the cockpit just as they saw the ground of this planet rushing up at them. Leaping at the controls, Jazz managed to pull the ship up just enough that they avoided plowing into the ground nose first. Instead, they skimmed across it for a few miles, before losing enough altitude that their belly hit and both pilot and co-pilot were thrown forward into the transparisteel , rendering both of them unconscious.

Chapter One: And They Shall Meet.

Now Jazz looked back on that moment and sighed. She couldn’t believe she’d been so stupid as to forget to set the auto-pilot. It didn’t seem right. She never forgot anything that important. For crying out loud, she had a photographic memory. She silently cursed herself for being reminded of that fact, because it brought to mind an event she would be all too glad to forget.

A devastated town, scorch marks from stray blaster shots on nearly every exposed surface. There were more corpses than she could count, all callously left where they had fallen. Too much damage… too much blood.

With a shake, she brought herself back to the present. After a short period of unconsciousness, the two of them had woken up and been able to assess the damage. Fortunately, it was repairable. Unfortunately, they did not have the parts they were going to need. Hence the need to hike into town became apparent.

From what they knew of this planet, named Fafnir, there was only a small population of local inhabitants and a military outpost the Empire kept for some reason or another. The Fafnirns, as the two had taken to calling the population in the absence of knowing their true name, were large snake-like humanoids with a penchant for blade fighting. Because of the species penchant for picking ‘honor battles’ whenever they felt like it, Eckba had elected to stay with the ship.

Once she had arrived in town, it had been made apparent to her that there was one way to get what she needed. According to several beings she had questioned, the way to acquire anything in town was to speak with the governor. He often had favors he needed, and was willing to provide materials as recompense. So here she was, waiting on the steps of the governor’s palace, where she had been for over two hours.

She looked further up the stairs and saw the man that she had noticed when she first arrived. Jazz had no idea why she had noticed him, or why she continued to watch the man. He seemed unremarkable at first, taller than average, she guessed him at 6 feet. He had short brown hair, and she somehow knew that if she looked closer, he’d have normal blue eyes. She didn’t know how she knew this; she just did, and didn’t bother to question it. He wore loose-fitting clothes, and her sharp eyes spotted a blaster set loosely in a holster. The fact that it rested partway down his thigh told her that this was no mere toy. This man knew how to use a weapon.

Further up the stairs, the man hummed to himself. He had hoped to avoid attention here, but that woman seemed to be staring at him. When he had noticed her, he had set about ignoring everything she did. Attempting to ignore her was no small feat either. She was gorgeous. The woman was tall, about a few inches shorter than he. She had raven-black hair that fell to her shoulders, and a slim athletic build. The jumpsuit she wore served to accent her best features, though at the moment he was having trouble spotting any bad ones.

He snapped himself out of his reverie and reminded himself that he couldn’t afford to be noticed. Hopefully the attractive female was only watching him out of boredom, but somehow he doubted it.


More to chapter one to be posted later.

Trandoshan Jedi
20 March 2003, 05:33 PM
Wow this is really good so far!

Marusame
24 March 2003, 11:05 PM
Okay, added a little more, and edited the first bit. Cleaned it up a bit and put in a little new stuff that wasn't mentioned before so that it hopefully makes a little more sense. If you've already read the first draft, you may still want to read this one.


* indicates a different language is being spoken, but is being translated into basic by me.

Prologue: “Crash” Landing

"Ekba, fix that stabilizer before this planet uses my ship as a backscratcher!"

The young woman threw herself back, hanging onto the rocking ships controls in a desperate attempt to make it level out.

"*We've got more than a few problems back here Captain!*"

The return shout came from the rear of the ship, carried up the hallway to the cockpit.

"What do you mean 'we'? You get a friend back there with you old-timer?"

The return to that comment was lost as the ship hit turbulence that caused it to whip up almost onto its end, then crashed back down.
“What’d you say?!” she called down the hall again.

There was a noticeable pause from the rear then Ekba’s voice came back, “*My spleen and I would like to get off now!*”

Jazz sighed to herself, muttering, “Of all the lousy…” She watched the ground rapidly approaching for a moment, then leaped out of her seat and dashed down the hallway.

As Jazz came into the engine compartment, Ekba was halfway under the rear stabilizer, and thus nearly knocked himself unconscious by jumping when he heard her say, “What are you doing down there?”

He cursed as his head smacked the hard metal, and then slid partway out. “*Fixing the dear captains stabilizer you ingrate.*”

Jazz shook her head and chuckled, “You must be losing your mind old-timer, the part you’re looking for is up here.” With that, the young pilot leapt nimbly on top of the stabilizer and walked across it, ducking to avoid a hissing shot of steam before it had appeared.

The Sullustan watched as the captain, a girl he had watched grow up from a baby into the beautiful young woman she now was, calmly reached into a tangle of wires. Her eyes narrowed slightly as she concentrated, then hissed in triumph as whatever she had been fiddling with clicked into place. Jazz reached into her tool belt, which she had grabbed on the way back here, and used a wrench to tighten the part off.

Ekba smiled as Jazz trotted back across the hazardous engine and patted it lovingly before dropping to the floor beside him. “See, ya old fart?” He just shook his head, and then froze.

“*Jazz…*” She turned away from admiring her work to look at her old friend.

“What’s up?” she asked. Ekba cocked his head to the side.

“*We’re still falling… didn’t you turn on the auto-pilot?*” Seeing the answer in her frozen face, he turned and dashed up the hall, with her right behind him.

The two of them made it into the cockpit just as they saw the ground of this planet rushing up at them. Leaping at the controls, Jazz managed to pull the ship up just enough that they avoided plowing into the ground nose first. Instead, they skimmed across it for a few miles, before losing enough altitude that their belly hit and both pilot and co-pilot were thrown forward into the transparisteel , rendering both of them unconscious.

Chapter One: And They Shall Meet.

Now Jazz looked back on that moment and sighed. She couldn’t believe she’d been so stupid as to forget to set the auto-pilot. It didn’t seem right. She never forgot anything that important. For crying out loud, she had a photographic memory. She silently cursed herself for being reminded of that fact, because it brought to mind an event she would be all too glad to forget.

As much as she tried to forget, she never could. It seemed that everything these days reminded her of that day. Even while attempting to concentrate on something else, inwardly the young woman yearned for understanding. The galaxy was turned upside down that day, and all she wanted to do was go home.

A scene that would stay with her until she died; forever burned in her minds eye. A devastated town, scorch marks from stray blaster shots on nearly every exposed surface. There were more corpses than she could count, all callously left where they had fallen. Too much damage… too much blood.

With a shake, she brought herself back to the present. After a short period of unconsciousness, the two of them had woken up and been able to assess the damage. Fortunately, it was repairable. Unfortunately, they did not have the parts they were going to need. Hence the need to hike into town became apparent.

From what they knew of this planet, named Fafnir, there was only a small population of local inhabitants and a military outpost the Empire kept for some reason or another. The Fafnirns, as the two had taken to calling the population in the absence of knowing their true name, were large snake-like humanoids with a penchant for blade fighting. Because of the species penchant for picking ‘honor battles’ whenever they felt like it, Ekba had elected to stay with the ship.

Once she had arrived in town, it had been made apparent to her that there was only one way to get what she needed. At first she had been afraid of communication problems, but it appeared that the Imperials on-planet insisted that the inhabitants learn Basic in order to facilitate communication. According to several beings she had questioned, the way to acquire anything in town was to speak with the governor. He often had favors he needed, and was willing to provide materials as recompense. So here she was, waiting on the steps of the governor’s palace, where she had been for over two hours.

She looked further up the stairs and saw the man that she had noticed when she first arrived. Jazz had no idea why she had noticed him, or why she continued to watch the man. He seemed unremarkable at first, taller than average, she guessed him at 6 feet. He had short brown hair, and she somehow knew that if she looked closer, he’d have normal blue eyes. She didn’t know how she knew this; she just did, and didn’t bother to question it. He wore loose-fitting clothes, and her sharp eyes spotted a blaster set loosely in a holster. The fact that it rested partway down his thigh told her that this was no mere toy. This man knew how to use a weapon.

Further up the stairs, the man hummed to himself. He had hoped to avoid attention here, but that woman seemed to be staring at him. When he had noticed her, he had set about ignoring everything she did. Attempting to ignore her was no small feat either. She was gorgeous. The woman was tall, about a few inches shorter than he. She had raven-black hair that fell to her shoulders, and a slim athletic build. The jumpsuit she wore served to accent her best features, though at the moment he was having trouble spotting any bad ones.

He snapped himself out of his reverie and reminded himself that he couldn’t afford to be noticed. Hopefully the attractive female was only watching him out of boredom, but somehow he doubted it.

Jazz leaned against the railing, berating herself for paying too much attention to the man. She didn’t think that he had noticed, but one never knew. The last thing she needed at this point was someone to get the idea that she was interested in striking up a conversation.

The man shook his head and turned his attention back to the front door of the mayor’s house, hoping the woman hadn’t noticed his attention. The last thing he needed at this point was someone to get the idea that he was interested in striking up a conversation.

While each attempted to fool the other, the grand doors at the top of the stairs opened, and a brilliantly attired Fafnirn exited. He stopped in front of the man and spoke quietly. Soon the two of them ascended the stairs and entered the mansion. Jazz was left alone with only her thoughts for company.

“Daddy… Daddy where are you?” The young woman’s voice called out over the still silence that had settled over this bloody land. Time had stopped, and no longer mattered. The only thing that could possibly save her was Family. However, she had already found her aunt, uncle, and cousin. Where was her father?

She found him in the worst way. Her life was over, and she was as dead as the people here needing to be buried. Deciding to throw herself into her work, and cut out as much of her old life as possible. She would not allow herself to have friends. No one would ever get close enough to her to be hurt again.

However, there was no way that Jazz could leave quite her entire life behind. Ekba had always been around, and was a family friend. She looked up to the old Sullustan more than she would ever dare admit.

Soon, the doors re-opened and the man exited. He descended and stopped in front of her.

“He’s ready for you in there.”

Jazz pushed herself away from the railing and smiled at him.

“Guess I should go in then.”

She started to go, but stopped when the man spoke again.

“When you get done, I’d like to speak with you. I’ll wait out here.”

Nodding, not trusting herself to speak, for the sight of the man up close had stirred something within her. Jazz swallowed nervously, hoping that the man would pass it off as nervousness about meeting the mayor, she approached the doors that she had been staring at for so long.

Marusame
9 June 2003, 07:22 AM
Entering the building, the first thing that Jazz noticed was the complete lack of normal decor. The walls seemed to be bare, and the simple wooden floor beneath her feet threw her off for a moment. Could the Governor actually be as humble as his accomodations seemed to indicate?

These questions were thrown off by her arrival at the esteemed ones actual office. This room was as gaudy and showy as the entrance was bare. Somehow the suddeness of it seemed to accentuate the effect.

Sitting in what appeared to be a myriad of golden cushions was the most disgusting creature Jazz had ever laid eyes on, and that was saying something. It looked like some odd combination of a Hutt, a Gammorean, and a dianoga. Several floppy tentacles raised in a sort of greeting as she entered.

"Greetings lost traveler who wanders the Stars in searching." At least he spoke Basic. This was a traditional greeting she supposed. The trouble was that she didn't know the correct response. Instead of faking it, she decided to act normal.

Bowing slightly, she smiled. "Greetings your uhhh... " she hesitated. "esteemedship. I have come to request a favor of your lordship."

Chuckling slightly, at least Jazz assumed the slight boiling sound was laughter, the governor raised its closest tentacle and pointed at her. "Of course you to Traveller. But you do know that there is something you must do for me in return."

Pausing, and trying to ignore the slight leer on the aliens face and the tentacle that was entirely too close for comfort, Jazz eventually nodded.
"That's fair, what... task would you ask me to perform." If the creature said anything near what she thought it might be alluding to, she would be out of sight and back to her ship faster than Eckba on a bathroom run, but not before teaching him some manners, governor or not.

"Quite simple really, you see a few days ago I bought a new SP-3RX Speeder for a dear friend of mine, and now it's been stolen."

Newly interested, and not the least bit relieved, Jazz nodded. "Sure, you want me to get it back?"

"Yes, I believe it's at Jockoro's, a used bike shop. I'd go myself, but he's a cousin and we have very... strict rules about disputes. Therefore I cannot do anything... officially."

"Sure thing your officialness." Jazz was relaxed now. "Just give me a little time and I'll bring your bike back to you." She turned to the door and began to exit.

"When you return with my merchandise, I will give you the Ion Coupling you desire."

Jazz bowed slightly again and exited the room. It wasn't until she was outside and confronted by the harsh light that she realized that she had never told the Governer what she wanted, yet he had known. Thrown off by this realization, she didn't realize that the man had entered her line of sight until he was nearly upon her.

She jumped slightly as he began to speak. "So, what'd old gilly sucker you into doing for him?"

"Getting his Speeder back." she replied, as she began walking down the steps.

"Hey, lemme ask you something?"

Without thinking, her automatic response to his question blurted out before she could stop herself. "Anything." Scowling at herself, she mentally berated the fact that his presence threw her off so much.

He raised both hands plaintively "I need a way off this planet, so I thought that if I helped you out, you might give me a lift."

Catching it quickly this time, Jazz abrubtly looked into his face. "How did you know that I had a ship?"

Caught offguard, the man actually recovered somewhat quickly. "Three reasons. A: You're wearing a pilots uniform. B: You are obviously not from around here. C: His grossness in there told me that I should ask you."