By Benji: The Vampire Confuser
Based on characters and situations created by George Lucas, and Joss Whedon.
Only someone who'd spent many years with a Wookie could have made out any expression on one's seemingly immobile face. Han Solo was just such a man.
"Don't look at me like that." He said defensively. "We're disreputable men pal."
"Growf, rrrrrrrrr, grooooo."
"Look this is gonna pay twice what the old man and that kid offered us. We pay Jabba back and have enough left over to take it easy for a while besides. We gotta think of ourselves here."
"Now don't start on that honor stuff again!" Of all the possible partners out there he had to pick one with a moral code.
"Should I come back later?" Squeak asked.
Just then, Han saw a familiar face heading in his direction.
"Hold on buddy," Han said, smiling. "I think I see the solution." He turned to the diminutive broker. "Squeak, hold that thought for a few minutes huh?"
"Hey Mal!" Han called out to his old acquaintance. "C'mere for a minute, I got a fare for ya!"
"Look I'm tellin' ya Mal this thing's a milk run. Take this kid and his old man, two droids to Alderaan, and collect 17,000. What's not to like?"
"What's not to like is that you've never thrown work our way before. You're a smart man Han, and I know you need the money. So I can't help wonderin' why you'd take a job, then suddenly change your mind. This wouldn't have somethin' to do with a bulletin out for two stolen droids now would it?"
Han grimaced. Stolen Droids? Damn he should really pay more attention to the news.
"There a reward for them droids?" Jayne asked. Mal shot him a withering look.
"All right I'll level with you." Han sighed. "I took the job, then Squeak over there showed up with a job paying 34,000."
"34-" Mal choked. "What in gorram hell are you transportin'?"
"You know me better than that." Han said.
"Yeah I reckon I do." Mal frowned. "17 huh?"
"Sir," Zoe broke in, "Do we really need the possible massive trouble two stolen droids could cause?"
"We need the money." Mal reminded her quietly. "Kaylee says the engine needs parts we don't got, and can't afford to buy yet. 17,000 will get us the repairs we need plus somethin' extra besides."
"I hate droids." Jayne interjected. "Papa always said, never trust a machine that talks back."
"If the Imperials are looking for these droids," Zoe continued. "That could draw attention to certain members of our crew that could-"
"When have we ever not been risking trouble with the Imps?" Mal wanted to know. "It's this or deal with Jabba, and he's got a worse rep than Niska. We get these folks to Alderaan and lay low for a while. Ain't you and Wash been wishin' for a little time on a nice planet?"
Zoe looked at him, her face impassive. Mal knew that look. It meant that she still didn't like it, or agree. But that she didn't have a better idea, and would go along with her captain.
Jayne spit into the sand. "Ruttin' droids just better keep out o' my way that's all."
"If the ship is as fast as he's boasting," Ben said. "We ought to do well." They spotted Chewie at the entrance to docking bay 94, and he approached them.
"Graaaah, rooowwrf, grrrrrr."
Ben looked concerned, worrying Luke. "What'd he say?"
"He said there has been a change in plans."
"Greeeerf, rowl, raaaaaaaah. Rrrrrrrrrrr, graaaah."
Ben finally nodded. "Very well. Best of luck to you both." He turned to his young companion and the droids. "Come along."
"What's going on Ben?" Luke demanded.
"Mr. Solo has had to cancel our arrangement, but he's recommended to us another ship. Not quite as fast, but Chewbacca assures me that the crew is more than capable of transporting us."
"I'm not sure I like this." Luke muttered. "We don't know anything about this other ship."
"Nor did we know anything about the Millennium Falcon." Obi Wan reminded him. "Much to Captain Solo's chagrin."
As they turned the corner, they did not see the squad of Storm Troopers heading for the docking bay they had just left.
"Here we are," Ben said. "Docking Bay 96."
"Do you hear blaster fire?" Luke asked worriedly, looking back in the direction they'd come.
"Don't worry so much." Ben said. They entered the bay and saw their transportation.
"What a piece of junk!" Luke exclaimed impulsively. The ship was an antique, no one made Firefly class transports anymore. This thing had to be older than he was!
"Hey!" an offended voice called out from behind them. "You insult Serenity you can just walk to Alderaan!"
Luke turned, a retort rising that died on his lips when he saw a pretty, angry young woman approaching from behind. "She'll make .4 past light speed Mr. Snotty Pants."
"Save your squabblin' for later kids." Said an older man, emerging from the ship. "Kaylee remember, sticks and stones."
The girl called Kaylee merely harrumphed and drove the tractor she was driving into the open hold, without a second look at Obi Wan and his companions.
The man approached them and held out a hand to Ben. "I'm Malcolm Reynolds." He introduced himself. "Captain of Serenity. That little ball of spitfire was Kaylee, best gorram mechanic this side of the rim."
"Ben Kenobi." Obi Wan said, shaking the man's hand. "This is Luke Skywalker, and our droids, C-3PO, and R2D2."
Malcolm shook Luke's hand and nodded at the droids. With a roar, the Falcon took off into the Atmosphere with blaster fire following in it's wake. Malcolm looked up and swore softly in another language.
"I knew I'd heard blaster fire." Luke muttered.
What kinda trouble has that man gotten himself into this time? Malcolm wondered.
To Be Continued...