The Adventures of Luke Skyweaver, Chapter 3

skyweaver

Racing along the Minorine wasteland, they come across a large settlement.

CARPENTER

OKC Spaceport.  You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy that has nothing to do with baby bears.  We must be cautious.

They continue on into the spaceport before being stopped by Imperial troops.

CUB MINOR LEAGUER

How long have you had those droids?

LUKE

Two or three seasons.

CARPENTER

They’re up for sale if you want them.

CUB MINOR LEAGUER

Let me see your identification.

CARPENTER

(reddening) Listen, you piece of junk, you don’t need to see his identification.

CUB MINOR LEAGUER

(recoiling) We don’t need to see his identification.

CARPENTER

(yelling) These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.

CUB MINOR LEAGUER

(seriously wanting to escape) These aren’t the droids we’re looking for.

CARPENTER

(furious) He can go about his business.

CUB MINOR LEAGUER

(nodding quickly and often) He can go about his business.

CARPENTER

(slightly calmer) Move along.

CUB MINOR LEAGUER

(relieved) Move along, move along.

Luke guides his speeder right outside of the local cantina.

LUKE

I can’t understand how we got past those troopers.  I thought we were dead.

CARPENTER

While Command can have a strong influence on the weak-minded, so can a good head of steam from a crusty veteran.

LUKE

You really think we’ll find a pilot here?

CARPENTER

Most of the best freighter pilots can be found here.  Just watch your step.  This place can be a little rough.

They enter the darkened cantina.  A jazz band plays over in the corner, giving cover to illicit or unfortunate conversations going on around the joint.  Numerous beings, both humanoid and not anywhere close, lurk in the shadows.  Luke, in awe of all he sees, looks around before following Carpenter deeper into the establishment.  The droids follow a step behind.

BUD NORRIS (WUHER)

Hey!

Luke, realizing the bartender is talking to him, shoots him a questioning look.

NORRIS

We don’t serve their kind here.

Unwilling to make a scene, Luke discusses it with Eugene and they decide the droids will stay outside.  As they return to the harsh afternoon sunlight, Luke settles in at the bar and asks Norris for a drink.  He sees Carpenter talking with a tall hairy alien (Carson Kelly) farther down the bar.  Suddenly, Luke is accosted by a strange individual.

NOAH SYDERGAARD (PONDA BABA)

(speaks in unintelligible alien tongue)

ANDREW MCCUTCHEN (DR. EVAZAN)

He doesn’t like you.

LUKE

Sorry.

Luke turns away, but McCutchen grabs his shoulder.

MCCUTCHEN

I don’t like you either.  You watch yourself, we’re wanted men.  I have the hatred of six fanbases.

LUKE

I’ll be careful.

MCCUTCHEN

You’ll be destroyed!

Suddenly, Carpenter arrives on the scene to assist Luke.

CARPENTER

This rookie’s not worth the effort.  Come, let me buy you a drink.

Still enraged, Syndergaard throws Luke across the room and produces a bat to try to attack Carpenter. Producing a glowing orb, Carpenter precisely aims and takes off Syndergaard’s arm while drilling him in the ribs.  The orb returns to Carpenter, who stands warily, looking for others that would like to challenge him.  Everyone looks at the scene, then they return to their conversations as the band resumes their music.

Carpenter returns the orb to his pocket, then turns to Luke as the being Carpenter had been speaking to joins the group.

CARPENTER

Carson here is first mate on a ship that might suit our needs.

The three walk to the back corner, where a smooth, effortless individual is seated at a circular booth.

hc-final

ALEX REYES (HAN SOLO)

Alex Reyes, captain of the Reyes Arsenal.  Carsie here tells me that you are looking for passage to the Central System?

CARPENTER

Yes indeed, if it’s a fast ship..

REYES

Fast ship?   You’ve never heard of the Reyes Arsenal?  It’s the ship that destroyed the Swanson Run in five parsecs.  She’s fast enough for you, old man.  What’s the cargo?

CARPENTER

Only passengers.  Myself, the boy, two droids, and no questions asked.

REYES

What is is, some sort of local trouble?

CARPENTER

Let’s just say we’d like to avoid any Imperial entanglements.

REYES

Well, that’s the trick, isn’t it?  And it’s going to cost extra.  10 million, all in advance..

LUKE

10 million? We could buy half a staff for that, under the right conditions.

REYES

And who’s going to lead them, kid? You?

LUKE

You bet I could. I’m not a bad pitcher myself.  We don’t have to take this….

Luke tries to rise from the table, but the wiser veteran pushes him back down.

CARPENTER

We’ll give you two million now, plus we’ll arrange for another fifteen when you reach Arbitration, after dropping us at Central.

REYES

Seventeen, huh?  All right, you got yourself a ship.  We’ll leave whenever you’re ready.  Docking bay 82.

CARPENTER

82.

Reyes looks and sees Imperial troopers talking with the bartender.

REYES

Looks like someone’s taking an interest in your handiwork.

The troops walk around the cantina but by the time they reach Reyes and Kelly, Weaver and Carpenter have vanished.  The troops linger, but move on.  

REYES

17! Those guys must have really been desperate.  Go back to the Arsenal and get her ready.

Kelly leaves, but Reyes is kept from departing by the blaster of Grey Dostein, one of the workers in Scott Boras’s den of agents.

GREY DOSTEIN (GREEDO)

Going somewhere, Alex?

REYES

(sitting back down) Yes, Grey. As a matter of fact, I was about to call your boss, tell him I didn’t need his services.  I’ll pay him back what I’ve borrowed.

DOSTEIN

(also sitting) It’s too late.  You should have signed elsewhere when you had a chance.  Boras has put a bounty on your signing so big, every agent in the galaxy will be looking for you.  I’m just lucky I found you first.

REYES

But this time I’ve got the money.

DOSTEIN

If you give it to me, I might forget I found you.

REYES

I don’t have it with me.  Tell Boras–

DOSTEIN

Boras is done with you.  He has no time for fireballers that dither around looking for representation.

REYES

Hey, even I have the right to make an informed decision.

Under the table, Reyes carefully slides his blaster out from its holster.

DOSTEIN

Tell that to Boras.  He may only take 25%.

REYES

Over my dead body.

DOSTEIN

That’s extreme, it’s just takes your signature.  I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.

REYES

Yeah, I bet you have.

Suddenly, Reyes shoots his blaster at Dostein.  The first shot winds up at his feet, but the second nails the agent in the chest, rendering him unconscious.  Escaping out the back, he flips a coin to Norris.

REYES

Sorry about the mess.

The screen wipes to outside the Series Winner.  Inside, we join a conference already in progress.

RIZZO

His resistance to the mind probe is formidable.  It will be some time before we can extract any information from him.

Imperial Officer Lester Strode strides in and interrupts.

LESTER STRODE

The final checkout is complete.  All systems are operational.  What course should we set?

MADDON

Perhaps he would respond to an alternative form of persuasion. I’m all about creativity, you know.

RIZZO

What do you mean?

MADDON

I think it is time we demonstrate the full power of this battle station.  (to Strode) Set your course for Central.

STRODE

With pleasure.

Returning to Minorine, we find Kelly waiting at the door of Docking Bay 82.  As Luke and company show up for their departure, a small red alien (Billy Hamilton) darts off to find report to the authorities.

Luke, Chris, and the droids, unaware of the spy, enter the docking bay to find a sleek, stylish ship waiting for them.

LUKE

What a piece of junk….no, wait, this is actually pretty impressive.

Alex Reyes comes smoothly down the landing ramp.

REYES

It’s been clocked on the gun at point five past light speed.  And I’ve made some special modifications myself.  But we’re a little rushed, so if you’ll hurry aboard we’ll get out of here.

The company makes its way up the ramp.  Reyes is doing a last minute scan of the exterior when a squad of Imperial troops makes its way into the bay.

IMPERIAL TROOPER

Stop that ship!

Reyes looks up in surprise.

IMPERIAL TROOPER

Blast ‘em!

Reyes, in full flight mode, snaps off some shots with the blaster.  While a few go wild, most others find their mark, driving the Imperials back enough to let him race on board.

REYES

(running to the cockpit) Carsie, get us out of here!

The Arsenal rumbles to life, quickly roaring out of the bay and streaking toward the skies above.  Reyes works the controls, continuing to try to coax more out of the ship, when he looks out the viewport.

REYES

An Imperial cruiser.  Our passengers must be hotter than I thought.  Try to hold them off while I make the calculations for a jump to light speed.

Luke and Carpenter show up, looking over the shoulders of Reyes and Kelly.

REYES

There are two more of them coming in, trying to cut off our escape.

LUKE

Why don’t you outrun them?  I thought you said this thing was fast.

REYES

Watch your mouth kid or you’ll find yourself floating home.  We’ll lose them.  Besides, I know a few maneuvers.

The Arsenal tries to juke around the various ships, but comes dangerously close to crashes more often than not.

LUKE

Are you kidding?  You are going to kill us.

REYES

Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like an intentional walk, kid.  Without precise calculations we could fly right through a star or wind up in the Gulf Coast League and that’d end your trip real quick, wouldn’t it?

The Imperial ships continue to fire on our heroes, draining power from the shields.

LUKE

Wait, so we need precision from you?

REYES

We’re losing our deflector shield.  Go strap yourselves in, I’m going to make the jump to light speed.

Stars become streaks as the Arsenal leaps into hyperspace, leaving the Imperials in their wake.

(As noted before, illustrations come from Daniel Winnett.  Here are Chapters 1 and 2.)

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