The Adventures of Luke Skyweaver, Chapter 5

skyweaver

 

The Arsenal, dwarfed by the immensity of the Series Winner, is pulled into an empty hangar.  The ship comes to rest as a squadron of troopers approaches it.  Back in the manager’s office, Maddon confers with Rizzo as he receives a message.

MADDON

(pressing button) Yes?

OFFICER

(over speaker) We’ve captured a freighter entering the remains of the Central system.  Its markings match those of a ship that blasted off of Minorine.

RIZZO

They must be trying to return the reports to the general manager.  He may yet be of some use to us.

Rizzo leaves the room and the scene shifts to the hangar, where Rizzo strides up to talk to the captain of the troops.

DAVID ROSS (CAPTAIN)

There’s no one on board, sir. According to the log, the crew abandoned ship soon after takeoff.  It must be a decoy, sir.  Several of the escape pods have been jettisoned.

RIZZO

Did you find any droids?

ROSS

No, sir.  If they were on board they must have also jettisoned.

RIZZO

Send in a scouting crew.  I want every part of this ship checked and evaluated on a 20-80 scale.

ROSS

Yes, sir.

RIZZO

I sense something.  A presence I haven’t felt since…..

Leaving the sentence unfinished, Rizzo turns on his heel and stalks out of the hangar.  Ross calls for a couple of their best scouts to come evaluate the Arsenal.  We shift inside and as the sounds get quieter, the floor begins to move.  Luke and Chris emerge from one compartment while Reyes and Kelly pop up from another.

LUKE

Boy, it’s lucky you have these compartments.

REYES

Use them for storing equipment.  Never thought I’d be storing myself in them.  This is ridiculous.  Even if I could take off, I’d never get past that tractor beam.

CARPENTER

Leave that to me.

REYES

Old fool. I had a feeling you were going to say that.

CARPENTER

Who’s the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?

REYES

Are we talking managerial styles here all of the sudden?

Our heroes take up positions as we shift outside to see the scouts, armed with laptops, radar guns, and notepads, arriving at the bottom of the gangplank.

ROSS

The ship’s all yours.  If the gun picks up anything, let us know immediately.  But it better be right, because today’s my last day at this job and I don’t want to spend it chasing down shadows.  All right, let’s go.

Most of the troopers depart, leaving only two (Jason Heyward and John Lackey) to guard the ship as the scouts go inside.  Soon after the scouts disappear from view, a crash sounds inside.

REYES

(off screen) Hey down there!  Could you give us a hand with this?

The troopers shrug their shoulders and head inside the ship, only to be stunned by Reyes’s blaster as soon as they enter.

In an office overlooking the hangar, an Imperial officer tries to find out why Heyward isn’t where he’s supposed to be.

KRIS BRYANT (IMPERIAL OFFICER)

CC-one-nine-oh-eight, why aren’t you at your post?  CC-one-nine-oh-eight, do you copy?

Bryant looks down into the hanger to see the trooper exiting the Arsenal.  He looks up at the office, then points to his head to indicate a communication issue.

BRYANT

Take over.  We’ve got a bad transmitter.  I’ll see what I can do.

Bryant presses a button on the side of the door and it slides open to reveal another trooper and Kelly, who roars and knocks the officer out of the way.  The trooper shoots up the room, laying waste to all the Imperials inside, though many of his shots seem to go wide of their intended target.  Carpenter and the droids hurry inside as does the trooper from down below.  He closes the door and removes his helmet to reveal Luke.

LUKE

You know, between his howling and your inability to hit anything in one shot, it’s a wonder the entire station doesn’t know we’re here.

REYES

Bring ‘em on.  I prefer going toe to toe with an opponent to all this finesse stuff.

EUGENE

We’ve found the computer outlet, sir.

CARPENTER

Plug in.  He should be able to access the entire Imperial network.

EUGENE

Will we need a password?

CARPENTER

Try woowoo08.

EUGENE

We’re in.

The computer terminal displays the schematics of the station, with images flickering as Oh searches for the tractor beam controls.  Finally, Oh speaks and Eugene translates.

EUGENE

The tractor beam is coupled to the main reactor in nine locations.  A power loss at one of the terminals will allow the ship to leave.

Carpenter studies the readout, focusing intently on the directions.  Then he turns to his companions.

CARPENTER

I don’t think you boys can help.  I must go alone.

REYES

Whatever you say.  I’ve done more than I bargained for on this trip already.

LUKE

I want to go with you.

CARPENTER

Be patient, Luke.  Stay and watch over the droids.  They must be delivered safely or other star systems will suffer the same fate as Central.  Your destiny lies along a different path.  Command will be with you, always.

Carpenter opens the door, adjusts his weapon, and glides silently into the corridor.  As the door closes behind him, Kelly gives a few signals.

REYES

Boy, you said it Carsie.  Where did you dig up that old fossil?

LUKE

Chris is a great pitcher, a real red jacket.

REYES

Yeah, great at getting us into trouble.

LUKE

I didn’t hear you give any ideas!

REYES

Well anything would be better than just hanging around here waiting for him to pick us up!

The spat is interrupted by a stream of droid language from Oh, coming so quickly even Eugene has trouble deciphering it.

LUKE

What is it?

EUGENE

I’m afraid I’m not quite sure, sir.  He says, “I’ve found him” and keeps repeating “he’s here.”

LUKE

Who?

EUGENE

General Manager Mozeliak.

LUKE

The GM? He’s here?

REYES

GM? What’s going on?

EUGENE

Level five.  Detention block S-L-twenty-six.  I’m afraid he’s scheduled to be terminated.

LUKE

Oh, no!  We’ve got to do something!

REYES

What are you talking about?

LUKE

The droids came from him.  He’s the one in the message…we’ve got to help him!

REYES

Now, look, don’t get any funny ideas.  The old pitcher wants us to wait right here.

LUKE

But he didn’t know he was here.  (to Eugene and Oh) Can you find a way into the detention block?

REYES

I’m not going anywhere.

reyes-trooper-final

LUKE

But they’re going to get him fired!  Look, a few minutes ago you said you didn’t want to just wait here to be captured.  Now all you want to do is stay?

REYES

Marching into the detention area is not what I had in mind.

LUKE

But he’s going to lose his job!

REYES

Better him than me!

Luke turns away, pondering how best to approach the situation.  Then….

LUKE

He can make you rich.

REYES

Rich?

LUKE

Rich, famous…if you were to rescue him then the reward would be….

REYES

What?

LUKE

Well more wealth than you can imagine!

REYES

I don’t know, I can imagine quite a bit.

LUKE

You’ll get it.

REYES

I better.

LUKE

You will!

REYES

All right, kid, you better be right about this.  What did you have in mind?

Luke looks around the room, casting around for a plan.  His eyes light on a pair of binders.  Grabbing them, he walks over to Kelly.

LUKE

Okay, now I’m going to put these on you.

Before he gets any farther, Kelly roars at Luke.

LUKE

Ok, Alex, you put these on him.

Reyes smirks, but gets out of his chair and puts the binders on Kelly.

REYES

Don’t worry, Carsie.  I think I know what he has in mind.

The three start toward the door, only to be stopped by Eugene’s voice.

EUGENE

Master Luke, sir!  Pardon me for asking, but what should Oh-two and I do if we are discovered here?

LUKE

Lock the door.

REYES

And hope they don’t bring the big bats.

EUGENE

That isn’t very reassuring.

(Art by Daniel Winnett.  Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4.)

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