|Close Encounters of the 'Bill' Kind
Author: GreatOne PM
Set before ANH, Han and Chewie are forced to find fuel on a planet filled with weird humansRated: Fiction K+ - English - Humor - Han S. & Chewbacca - Words: 3,111 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 2 - Published: 11-16-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5515067
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This short, insane story is set before ANH. (The ending will only make sense to those who have watched 'UFO Hunters' on the History Channel.)
Close Encounters of the 'Bill' Kind
Han Solo leaned forward, peering out of the cockpit window at the white and blue planet far below. "I'm tellin' ya, it wasn't my fault!"
*It never is,* Chewie barked back, annoyed. *Now we've not only dumped the shipment of spice, we're low on fuel, too.*
The exasperated Captain glared at his partner. "How was I to know those Imps would be waiting for us over Coruscant?"
*Imps patrolling Coruscant?* Chewie muttered sarcastically. *What a big surprise. No one would ever expect a Star Destroyer or two hanging around the Capital planet.* The Wookiee waved his hairy arm toward the blue planet. *And where are we, anyway? You were in such a hurry to jump into hyperspace you didn't set any coordinates. We could be anywhere.*
Han looked down at the nav-comp. "I'm not too sure." He ignored Chewie's derisive snort, and quickly added, "We can get back by reversing the numbers. It'll be fine. Trust me."
*What about the low fuel situation?*
"Maybe this planet will have what we need," Han mused, stroking his chin. "They aren't too sophisticated, though."
*They have satellites,* Chewie pointed out.
"Low tech ones," Han insisted. "It'll be easy enough to avoid detection."
*Are there any Wookiees on the planet?* Chewie questioned. *I hate sitting in the ship while you go out and have all the fun.*
Han studied the readouts as the planet got closer. "It looks like there are a few of your relatives, but they seem to be living in the remotest regions of the planet – deep in the woods, or living in the mountain regions. There aren't any Wookiees in the densely populated areas."
*Figures,* Chewie grunted. *My people are always discriminated against by dumb humans.*
"Hey! Watch who you're callin' dumb," Han protested. He veered away from a flying silver tube with flat projectiles jutting out from the sides, waving at the astonished human faces staring out at him from the row of tiny windows, then had the Falcon do a series of flips and spins as he headed to the surface.
*Maybe you shouldn't have gotten that close to their transport, Han,* Chewie growled. *It might have aroused their suspicions that we aren't from these parts.*
"Oh, who cares," Han returned. "It's not like they have a ship fast enough that could possibly catch us." The Corellian pointed to a field. "Let's land there. It's secluded, and it's night, but close enough to a city for an easy walk."
*I still don't think they're going to have the right type of fuel for the Falcon. We're probably going to be stuck here the rest of our lives.*
"Stang, what a pessimist," Han said as he gently placed his ship down in the center of the buff-colored field, and lowered the ramp.
In the darkness, they headed out of the ship into the tall stalks of dry vegetation. "What the heck is this stuff?" Han asked, yanking a tube from one of the stems.
Chewie sniffed the object, then peeled back the crackling outer husk. *It appears to be a type of food crop. The farmer isn't going to be happy with us for ruining a portion of his income.*
"Farmer, huh?" Han said thoughtfully. "I wonder if this farmer has a cute daughter."
*The fuel, Han, the fuel. Try to remember we are looking for fuel, not females.*
"Females do get me all fueled up, pal."
*I know, I know,* Chewie woofed sadly as he led the way out of the field.
They had walked along the dark, narrow road for several klicks, not encountering another being. Finally Chewie spoke, *Are you sure this is the right direction?*
"Of course I'm sure," Han replied. "The town was this way, and besides, I'm Corellian. We can't get lost."
*Oh, yes. How could I forget?* Chewie muttered, shaking his head in disgust.
"Hey!" Han shouted, pointing ahead. "I see some lights heading in this direction. Hopefully it's a hovercar and we can ask them for a ride into town."
*I'm not sure that's a good….*
It was too late. Han was already in the middle of the road, jumping up and down to get the attention of the driver of the oncoming vehicle. Fortunately, the driver saw the crazy man and stopped before hitting him. Han confidentially sauntered up to the vehicle, which was so old-fashioned it actually used wheels. Sitting behind the steering device in the front seat was a young, blond-headed boy and next to him sat a busty girl with copper-hued locks.
"Hey, I ran out of fuel and I sure could use a lift into town," Han said, leaning his elbow onto the edge of the window, and winking at the girl. She smiled back, and then snuggled closer to her boyfriend, while not taking her eyes off Han.
"We're not heading into town," the boy drawled out. "Tough luck for you. Keep hiking, jerk."
"Come on," Han cajoled, patting the top of the vehicle. "This thing looks real fast. You could show me just how impressive the engine is, too."
"We could take him, Steve," the girl cooed while she batted her eyelashes. "It's only a few miles."
"Yeah, Steve," Han prodded. "You could spare a few of those miles and give me and my buddy a ride."
"Buddy? What buddy?"
Han turned and waved toward blackness at the side of the road. "It's alright, Chewie. These nice kids have agreed to give us a lift."
Chewie loped forward into the headlights, and Han turned to the young people as they let out a gasp. He could see shock and fear registering on their faces. "You don't have to be afraid of Chewie. He only looks intimidating."
"IT'S A BIGFOOT!" Steve screeched in horror.
The girl screamed, "GO, STEVE! GO!!"
The boy gunned the engine, and the car went lunging forward, forcing Chewie to leap aside to avoid being struck. Han could only watch in disappointment as the red tail-lights disappeared in the distance.
"Why'd ya have to go and scare them off?" Han asked.
*What did I do to scare them?* Chewie barked, shaking the dust out of his fur. *They tried to run me over! And what the kriff is so scary about a big foot?*
Han glanced down at Chewie's feet. "Well, your clod-hoppers are sorta on the big side. How was I to know humans are frightened of big feet on this planet?"
*Keep walking,* Chewie grumbled. *Before my big foot gives you a swift kick in your bigger buns.*
"My buns aren't big," Han objected. "Ladies always tell me they're tight and cute."
Chewie rolled his blue eyes. *Whatever.*
Eventually, the tired pair made it into the small town. By this time almost all of the stores were closed, but a flashing light drew them. Han scratched the top of his head, puzzled. "Seven-Eleven? Do you suppose this is a gambling joint?"
*I haven't got a clue, but you'll have to go inside yourself. I don't want to offend anyone with my gigantic tootsie odor.*
"Good idea," Han agreed. "I'll go check it out, and you stay outta sight."
Han headed into the brightly lit store, and immediately noted he was drawing unwanted attention. People were pointing and hurrying toward the exit. Scowling at the nervous, pasty-faced clerk, Han asked, "What's the matter with everyone in here?"
The flustered clerk swallowed hard. "Is…. is that a, um, loaded gun you're wearing?"
Han glanced down at his right thigh. "It's my blaster, and yeah, it's fully charged. Are you trying to tell me no one wears blasters on this planet?"
"Is this a robbery?" The trembling man held his hands above his head.
Han sighed. "No. All I want to do is purchase some fuel."
"No, fuel. I don't need an antacid."
The clerk dropped his arms. "Well, we have charcoal, and starter fluid."
"Show it to me."
The thin clerk shuffled around the counter and led Han through the now-empty store to the out-door grilling supplies. "Is this what you need?"
Han waved a small device with a blinking green light over the bags and the cans. The blinking light remained green. "Nope. That won't do. You got anything else?"
The clerk frowned in consideration. "Batteries?"
Han allowed himself to be shown the objects, and waved his meter over the packages. "No. That won't help me, either."
"Are you sure you don't need gas?"
"Positive!" Han yelled back. "I've got enough problems right now, thank you very much!"
"Okay… sorry. I can't think of anything else that would serve as fuel, though."
Han looked around the store. "What about that stuff?" he asked, pointing to rows of colorful bottles and cans.
"Oh, that's not fuel, sir. That's soda-pop. You're not from around these parts, are you?"
"Nowhere even close," Han muttered, walking down the aisle and waving his meter. Suddenly the light started flashing red. "I think I found some!"
The clerk hurried over. "Mountain Dew?" He rubbed the bridge of his thin nose. "That's a beverage. You're supposed to drink it."
Shocked, Han carefully held up a can. "Drink it?!? Have you ever read the list of chemicals inside this bottle?"
"No, I haven't."
"That doesn't surprise me," Han stated. "If you read the ingredients, you'd never drink the stuff. Anyway, I need a few cases of this fuel."
"Fine, sir. How will you pay for it? Cash or credit?"
Han pulled out a few cred-chips from his pocket, and handed one to the clerk "Is this enough?"
"That's not even real money!"
"It sure is," Han argued. "I stole it from a rich Imp just a few days ago."
The man thrust the coins back toward Han. "I can take VISA or Mastercard, but not this stuff."
"A veesha …or a what?"
"Credit cards," the clerk replied, getting testy. "You know… plastic. Buy now, pay later."
"Then that's my choice," Han said as he picked up several cartons. "I'll pay later."
"No, you don't understand…."
"Understand this," Han said, dropping a carton and pulling out his blaster as he thrust it under the clerks nose. "I'm paying later."
"F….fine. Pay later, then." The man backed off, his eyes wide with fear.
Han hoisted up a few boxes and staggered out of the door. "Hey, Chewie! This stuff is heavy. I could use some help."
The Wookiee appeared out of the shadows and took one of the cartons from his partner. *Are you sure this will work? There isn't very much here.*
"But it's powerful stuff," Han advised his friend. "The meter was off the charts, so don't drop it. The guy inside said people on this planet actually drink the stuff, can you believe it?"
Suddenly, a loud alarm went off inside the building, and the clerk came running outside shouting, "Robbery! I've been robbed!" He skidded to a stop upon seeing Han and Chewie still standing in the parking lot with their cases of 'loot'. "Oh my dear sweet soul! It's a Big Foot!"
"Hurry, Chewie," Han urged. "He might've called some security types for back-up."
*These people really have a foot fetish, don't they?*
It was a much harder trip back to the Millennium Falcon, since they were both weighed down with heavy cartons of 'soda-pop fuel', and there seemed to be a significant increase in the local traffic. Vehicles with blue and red lights flashing overhead rushed around, forcing Han and Chewie to take cover in the thorny bushes and in muddy ditches. Eventually they entered the field where their precious ship was patiently waiting.
"You go inside and I'll pour the fuel into the ship, pal," a weary Han told his partner. Chewie nodded tiredly, leaving Han outside to figure out a way to open the fuel cans. Suddenly, a loud roar sounded from inside the ship. "What's the matter?" Han shouted as he dropped the can and, blaster drawn, rushed up the ramp.
Inside the main hold, Chewie stood holding two struggling men off the ground by their collars. The older of the two men wore some type of wire object that held two dark sections of glass across his face, his eyes obscured by this dark glass. The second man, taller and younger, appeared on the verge of passing out.
*I found these two snooping around!* Chewie roared indignantly.
"Why didn't you remember to put up the ramp?" Han demanded.
*Why didn't you?*
"I was busy thinking of a plan to get off this dirt ball," Han said defensively. ""Sides, putting up the ramp is your job."
"Since I'm the Captain, and I what I say, goes!"
"Excuse me," the younger man gasped out. "Could your Big Foot please put us down now?"
*I do NOT have big feet!* Chewie roared, shaking the two men by their necks.
"You made him mad, Pat," the older man stated calmly. "Try not to make the beast mad."
"Okay, Bill," 'Pat' gurgled out.
Chewie looked at Han, and Han shrugged. "Put them down, Chewie. If they try anything, I'll blast 'em."
"I'm sure that won't be necessary," 'Bill' the older man said, adjusting his leather jacket after being set on his feet. "Did I hear you say you wanted to leave this 'dirt ball'? Does that mean what I think it means, and you're not from this dirt ball?"
"No, we're not," Han replied, keeping his blaster aimed at the man. "What's that on your face?"
"It's night," Han pointed out. "Why do you need to shade your eyes in the dark?"
"I like wearing them," 'Bill' responded hotly. "So sue me."
"What are you doing inside my ship?"
"First, let me introduce myself. My name is Bill Dyrnes, and this is my partner, Pat Upchuck. We go around the world trying to prove the existence of UFO's, and this is the first time we've actually had the opportunity to see inside an actual spaceship! It's so exciting that my partner Pat would like to hurl, wouldn't you, Pat?"
Pat glared at Bill, then nodded toward Chewie. "We had no idea Big Foots were aliens, although it does make sense, now that I think about it." Pat hit his forehead with this palm, making Han wince. "How else could Big Foots have avoided detection all these years? They come and go in spaceships, of course!"
"The question remains…" Bill leaned in closer to Han, "is that you look nothing like an alien. Does that skin peel off and reveal a gray, big eyed creature lurking under the handsome, human façade? And do you resent the fact that so many of your kind are kept on ice by a secret branch of the United States Government – a branch so secret that the President himself has no idea it exists - in Area 51?"
"Huh?" Han backed up, putting a safer distance between himself and Bill. "Who are you calling handsome? I don't like it when men call me handsome. It makes my trigger finger get all twitchy."
"Maybe he's not an alien at all," Bill mused, still pointing at Han. "Maybe he's a Man In Black, and he's working at trying to get this alien Big Foot to spill the beans about invading Earth. It would be just like a Man In Black to go undercover by not wearing a black suit at all, especially if they think we're onto them."
"We should get some evidence of this find, Bill," Pat said eagerly. "Before that darn MonsterQuest finds out and upstages us."
"Yeah," Bill agreed with a nod. "No question this will send our ratings through the roof. We might even beat out Bridezillas."
"Listen," Han said, irked. "I don't have a clue what you fellows are talkin' about, but I've got to finish fueling up my ship. Then I'm leaving this weird planet and I ain't never coming back."
"They always come back," Bill said knowingly.
"You're crazy," Han declared.
"Men In Black always claim I'm crazy. It helps them keep the world in the dark." He touched his sunglasses and smiled.
"Bring 'em outside, Chewie," Han ordered as the Wookiee gave both men a hard shove.
Once outside, Han thrust one of the cans of soda pop at Pat. "How does this thing open up?"
Pat stared at the soda can, then popped the aluminum ring. The can fizzed, and some of the yellow liquid gushed out.
"Watch it," Han yelled, backing up. "That stuff is dangerous."
"It is?" Pat asked in surprise.
Cautiously Han took the open can from Pat, and then poured it into a small opening on the side of his ship. Under Chewie's watchful eye, both men opened the cans and handed them to Han, while Han continue to pour the fizzing bubbling liquid into his ship. Eventually, all the cans were emptied, and Han turned to the strange men.
"We're going now, and don't try to follow us, either," Han warned.
"Of course not," Pat said.
Chewie gave a loud bellow and showed his fangs, amused when the men ran away. *Let's get out of this crazy place, Han.*
"I couldn't agree with you more, pal," Han said, following his friend up the ramp.
The Millennium Falcon lifted in the night sky, and quickly disappeared in the darkness. Only then did Bill and Pat venture back and stand on the circle of flattened corn.
"The truth is out there," Pat added in a whisper. "I just never thought we'd find it in a cornfield in Iowa."
Bill picked up an empty can and stroked his chin in contemplation. "Mountain Dew and Big Foot…of course. I knew both of them came from an advanced society. Let's see if MonsterQuest can top us now."