The Adventures of Luke Skyweaver, Chapter 6

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Putting on their helmets, Luke and Reyes walk Kelly through the Series Winner corridors, finally entering an elevator that takes them to the detention block.  Entering the main area, they are stopped by the officer on duty.

detention-block-final

JAKE ARRIETA (OFFICER)

Where are you taking this…thing?

LUKE

Rule 5 transfer from block two-zero-one-one.

ARRIETA

I wasn’t notified.  I’ll have to clear it.

As the officer reaches for the communication button, Kelly “breaks out” of the loose binders, knocking Imperial officers to the ground.  He reaches over and grabs Reyes’s blaster as chaos breaks out.

REYES

Look out, he’s loose!

Luke and Kelly continue to shoot throughout the room, taking out security cameras, communication devices, media uplinks, and Imperial officers.  Finally, the shooting stops and, in the relative quiet, a beeping can be heard.  Reyes hurries over to the communication station to answer the call.  Before he opens the channel, though, he checks the computer readout.

REYES

We’ve got to find out what cell this GM of yours is in….Here it is, cell one-nine-four-six.  You go get him.  I’ll hold them here.

As Luke races down the hallway, checking the cells on each side for the correct number, Reyes answers the hail from elsewhere in the station.

REYES

Everything is under control here.  Situation normal.

INTERCOM VOICE

What happened?

REYES

Um, had a slight weapons malfunction.  But everything’s fine now, we’re all fine now.  How are you?

INTERCOM VOICE

We’re sending a squad up.

REYES

Uh, uh, negative.  We’ve got some folks watching their at bats on video now.  Very important film, need a lot of quiet.

INTERCOM VOICE

(suspiciously) What’s your operating number?

REYES

Uh… (he blasts the console) Boring conversation anyway.  Luke, we’re going to have company!

As Reyes calls out, Luke finally finds the cell of the general manager.  Pressing a button, he opens the door to find John Mozeliak laying on a slab, his head cushioned by a wadded-up scarf that completely matches his shirt and sports coat.  He looks up at the helmeted Luke.

MOZELIAK

Aren’t you a little slim to be a slugging Imperial?

LUKE

What? Oh, the uniform.

He removes his helmet.

LUKE

I’m Luke Skyweaver, I’m here to rescue you.

MOZELIAK

You’re who?  Which farm club did you come from?

LUKE

I’m here to rescue you. I have Eugene and Oh-two.  I’m here with Chris Carpenter!

MOZELIAK

Chris Carpenter!  Where is he?

LUKE

Come on!

As they race out of the cell into the hallway, our scene shifts to Manager Maddon’s office.  Darth Rizzo is standing in front of his desk.

RIZZO

He is here.

MADDON

Ace Chris Carpenter? What makes you think so?

RIZZO

A tremor in Command.  The last time I felt it I was in the presence of my old adversary.

MADDON

Surely he must be put to pasture by now.

RIZZO

Don’t underestimate the power of devil magic.

MADDON

That is extinct, my friend.  Heyward and Lackey are all that’s left of that religion.

The comlink buzzes.

MADDON

Yes?

INTERCOM VOICE

Manager Maddon, we have an emergency alert in detention block S-L-twenty-six.

MADDON

The GM! Put all sections on alert!

RIZZO

Carpenter is here. Command is with him.

MADDON

If you’re right, he must not be allowed to escape.

RIZZO

Escape is not his plan.  I must face him, alone.

Back in the detention area, the Imperial troops have broken through the door into the main area.  Reyes and Kelly race into the hallway and meet up with Luke and Mozeliak, firing as they go.

REYES

Can’t get out that way.

LUKE

(over comlink) Eugene!

EUGENE 

(over comlink) Yes sir?

LUKE

We’ve been cut off.  Are there any other ways out of the cell bay?  (pause) What was that?  I didn’t copy?

We shift to the room the droids are in.  Eugene is pacing around while Oh continues to search Imperial records.

EUGENE

I said all levels from AAA to the rookie have been alerted to your presence.  The main entrance seems to be the only way in or out.  All other information is restricted.

Suddenly, there’s an insistent tapping on the door.

TROOPER

Open up in there!

EUGENE

Oh no.

We return to the cell bay to see all of our heroes crouching along the sides of the wall.  Luke and Mozeliak are on one side while Reyes and Kelly are on the other.  Reyes and Kelly continue to blast away at the oncoming troopers, but more continue to pile in.

LUKE

There is no other way out.

REYES

I can’t keep my record perfect forever!  Now what?

MOZELIAK

When I approach things, I’ve always found it’s good to keep a long term view in mind while also being able to meld that to short-term goals.  It’s always good to have strategies in case things differ from what you expect.

Both Luke and Reyes look at him.

MOZELIAK

In other words, when you came in here, didn’t you have a plan for getting out?

REYES

He’s the brains, big shot!

LUKE

Well, I didn’t….

Not waiting around for Luke to finish the sentence, Mozeliak grabs Luke’s blaster and fires across the hallway to a grate on the wall right behind Reyes.

REYES

What do you think you’re doing?

MOZELIAK

While having solid strategies and looking down the road is probably the optimal way of running things, there are moments when you have to realize that opportunities are in front of you.

LUKE

Huh?

MOZELIAK

Somebody has to save our skins.  Into the garbage chute, rookie!

Mozeliak gracefully dives through the open hole and disappears from site.  Kelly follows, aided by a boot in the backside by Reyes.  Reyes covers Luke as he darts across the hallway and dives into the chute.  Reyes, after firing a few more blasts to keep the troopers back, follows.

Reyes lands in a terrible pile of garbage, full of refuse from the station and a place that probably hadn’t been touched since the last time the Empire was in power.  Old equipment as well as much refuse, both organic and inorganic, is piled along the walls as all our heroes stand knee deep in water and other liquids.  A goat’s head appears to be atop one of the piles, a black cat’s body on another.

REYES

Oh, what a really wonderful idea!  What an incredible smell you’ve discovered!  Let’s get out of here.  Get away from there…

Reyes pulls out his blaster and fires it at the door.  The bolt strikes the door then ricochets around the room, narrowly avoiding Kelly before petering out.

LUKE

Will you forget it? I’ve already tried it; it’s magnetically sealed!

MOZELIAK

There are times and places to be aggressive.  Sometimes it is best to keep your powder dry, as it were, and look for a more opportune time.

REYES

What?

MOZELIAK

Will you put that thing away? You are going to get us all killed!

REYES

Absolutely, Head Honcho.  Look, I had everything under control until you led us down here.

MOZELIAK

It could be worse.

About that time, a creaking, metallic noise echoes through the room.

REYES

It’s worse.  I’ve got a very bad feeling about this.

Suddenly, the walls start creeping in, pushing everything toward the center with significant force.

LUKE

The walls are moving!

MOZELIAK

Don’t just stand there, try to brace it with something.  Poles, a veteran contract, anything.

Nothing is working, but finally Luke gets an idea.  He pulls out his comlink.

LUKE

Eugene!  Come in Eugene!  Eugene!  Where could he be?

The room where the droids were stands empty as Imperial troops rush in.  Hearing a ruckus in a closet, a trooper opens the door to find Eugene and Oh.

EUGENE

They’re madmen!  They are heading for the detention level.  If you hurry, you might catch them!

Most of the troopers rush out of the room, but a couple stay to stand guard.  Eugene picks up his comlink, which had been laying on a counter, and indicates to Oh that they are leaving.  As they get to the door, one of the guards blocks their path.

EUGENE

All of this excitement has overrun the circuits of my little friend here.  He keeps saying Completely Useless By September over and over.  If you don’t mind, I’d like to take him down to maintenance.

TROOPER

All right.

Back in the trash compactor, Luke continues to try to raise Eugene, but with no success.  Reyes and Mozeliak try climbing on top of the trash to give themselves more time.

Eugene and Oh return to an alcove across from the Reyes Arsenal.  Not seeing anyone, Eugene encourages Oh to hack into the computer system to find them.  When he can find no reports of them, he queries Eugene about another method.

EUGENE

Use the comlink? Oh my! I forgot, I turned it off.

Switching the comlink back on, Eugene contacts Luke.

EUGENE

Are you there, sir?

LUKE

Eugene?

EUGENE

We’ve had some problems….

LUKE

Will you shut up and listen to me?  Shut down all garbage mashers on the detention level.  Do you copy?  Shut down all garbage mashers on the detention level!

EUGENE

(to Oh) No, shut them all down!  Hurry!

Oh whirls the dial of the computer interface and quickly tries to comply with the request.  Screaming and yelling begin pouring out of the comlink.

EUGENE

Listen to them!  They’re dying, Oh-two.  Curse my lithe translating body!  I wasn’t fast enough.

LUKE

(over comlink) Eugene, we’re all right!

Back in the trash compactor, the walls have stopped just feet apart.  Kelly, Mozeliak, and Reyes embrace while Luke continues to talk to Eugene.

LUKE

We’re all right.  You did great.  Open the pressure maintenance hatch on unit…where are we?

REYES

One-zero-eight-zero-zero-five.

(All compliments to Daniel Winnett for the artwork.  Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are linked.)

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