Title: Wet Wookie
Teaser: Luke is hanging air fresheners and guess where one ends up?
Disclaimer: The characters are not mine. They belong to George Lucas. This is just for fun.
Luke Skywalker glanced around his new quarters on Executor, his nose wrinkling. Being raised on a moisture farm, he was used to fresh air and his new room smelled stale. In fact, the room was worst than stale. In his mind it was unlivable unless he did something very drastic. Making up his mind within a few seconds, he strode purposely towards the comm.. He would call the only person that could help him. Luke just prayed he was available.
Within moments the hazy blue figure of Lando Calrissian appeared. The man's face broke out in a huge grin that seemed to stretch from one ear to the other. "Luke! It's good to see you! How are you doing? Han told me you moved in with your old man."
"Lando, I need your help!" Luke cried in desperation, his blue eyes wide in panic. "I need some air fresheners. Do you have any?"
"Are you kidding? Of course I have some. I conned this guy out of his retail business." Lando looked away for a moment and then returned his attention to Luke. "Let's see, I have crates of Wet Wookie, Bantha Breeze, Hyper Hutt and Droid Delight…"
"Uhhh…" Luke's face fell and his mouth paused part way open. "I don't know about those…"
"Ah, these are great!" Lando exclaimed, lying through his teeth. He'd been frantically trying to sell them for whatever he could get and so far not a single soul wanted them. If he were lucky, he might be able to convince the kid to take them off his hands. "You won't find a better air freshener anywhere else, I guarantee that!"
"It's just, that, well…" Luke muttered, his eyes downcast. "I was just hoping for a more pleasant scent. You know, like a flower or fresh fruit…"
"I'll throw in free flowery perfume!" Lando automatically said so quickly that his tongue almost got tied in a knot. "Got some great stuff here called Desert Flower. It's perfect for you, Luke! Just pour a bit of this inside the air freshener and you'll be all set!"
"Umm…" Luke paused, unsure.
"I'll give you all four crates plus the perfume for five credits!" Lando said.
"Are the air fresheners the round sticky kind?" Luke asked.
"That they are!"
"I'll … I'll take it!" Luke cried in triumphant, sure he had gotten a great deal from Lando. Why, with all those crates he'd have enough air fresheners to last for years! His Uncle would be proud of his frugalness.
The money was exchanged electronically and within a week a big crate arrived on Executor for Luke. The young Jedi wasted no time taking it all up to his new quarters. The first thing he did was to pry open each crate. Peering inside, he was delighted to see dozens upon dozens of small round air fresheners. They were made from plastic and came with a square of sticky stuff on the back. All you needed to do was pull the backing paper off and stick it where you wanted it. A broad grin broke out on Luke's face. "Finally! Now I don't have to smell this stale, lifeless air anymore!"
Picking up one of the Hyper Hutt air fresheners, Luke brought it up to his nose for a cautious sniff. His blue eyes crossed each other, tears leaking out from the corners. His face turned a greenish tint and he jerked his hand away, throwing the noxious thing across the room. "Whoooaaa! That smells awful, like one of those rotten, slimy, worm-like things I had seen in Anchorhead once! All layers of fat and green moss … eewwwww!"
A shiver passed through his body as he remembered the sight of the alien from Nal Hutta.
Luke pushed the first crate away in disgust and took one out of the second. With a few moments he found out not only did the Droid Delight smell like oil but it dripped oil as well. His hand smeared with the noxious black goop, he dragged the crate out into the empty hallway. Looking up and back to make certain no one in sight, he rapidly shoved it several doors down and left it in front of a door marked 'Captain Piett'. By the time Luke had run back into his own quarters, a big oil slick was already starting to spread on the hallway floor.
After wiping his hands on a towel, Luke eyed the first crate again. "I really should get rid of that one as well…"
Poking his head back into the hall, Luke darted out with the crate of Hyper Hutt, leaving that one in front of a door marked 'Admiral Ozzel'.
Luke was starting to get frantic. He had already found two of the crates unusable and had been forced to give them away. Hands on hips, the young Jedi eyed the remaining two crates with unease. "One of these better be good or else Lando will be sorry!"
So with great trepidation, Luke pried open the third crate. This was the Bantha Breeze. Now Luke knew what a Bantha was. It was one of the huge desert animals that the Sandpeople rode on. Luke's hope soared upward. Surely this air freshener would smell like the dry desert air of Tatooine where the banthas roamed? It would be fresh and wonderful, just like home but without the heat or scorching sun….
Lifting the round blue container to his nose, he sniffed. But instead of the wild open sand flats of Tatooine, Luke smelled the sour, disgusting scent of a rancid animal. "Ewwwwww! It smells like someone farted!"
Within moments that crate was left outside a door marked 'General Veers'.
Luke gazed sadly at the final crate in his room, the one marked Wet Wookie. Glumly and without much spirit, Luke pried it open and lifted one of the pale peach air fresheners out. Cautiously, he sniffed at it and a broad grin spread across his face. "It smells just like Han's ship!"
Scooping a handful of the peach-colored air fresheners out of the crate and onto the bed, he pushed the crate into his closet for storage. Now he needed to hang several of the plastic things around his room…
He stuck one on the underside of his computer desk, another one in his small, private bathroom and he was busy hanging a third up above the door to his quarters, balancing crookedly on a ladder that he had also bought from Lando. The ladder, of course, was a tad wobbly as the legs were uneven and Luke clung desperately to the wall with one hand, the peach-colored air freshener in his hand. Letting go of the wall to peel the backing paper off, Luke felt the ladder start to topple. His heart leaped up into his throat and he started to fall…
"LUKE!" Vader cried in fear as he raced into his son's quarters just in time to catch him before he struck the floor. The ladder clattered to the floor with a loud boom but Luke was safe, one arm around Vader's shoulder and the other hand resting on the back of his helmet. Setting his son down onto the floor, the Sith Lord waved a fist at him. "Luke! You should not use damaged equipment! Now I want you to promise me you'll get rid of that ladder! You don't need a ladder anyway! What were you doing up there?"
"I was hanging an air freshener, Father…" Luke explained sheepishly, his face red in embarrassment. "Maybe you can't smell the stale air on this ship, but I can…"
"You don't need to hang one up there, Son. Just place the thing on your desk." Vader said in his low mechanical voice. His black helmeted head turned this way and that, studying Luke's quarters for more possibly dangerous items. Satisfied the crooked ladder was the only real hazard in the room, Vader returned his attention to his son.
If he had been wise, he would have marked Luke as a hazard.
Staring at his young son through the eyeholes of his mask, Vader spoke. "Now what are you going to do, Son?"
"I'm going to get rid of that ladder." Luke stated.
"Good. I'll see you later. I must go do my rounds of the ship." Vader strolled out the door, his black cape swirling out behind him. He briefly wondered why three large crates rested in the corridor outside his bridge officers' doors, one of them leaking oil, but decided he'd find out soon enough. Side stepping the spreading pool of oil easily, he strode down the hallway until he reached the lift. After waiting for a few brief moments, the door opened and he saw three gray uniformed technicians standing inside. Their eyes widened at the sight of him and they smartly saluted. Ignoring them, Vader stepped into the lift and turned his back towards them. They were low ranking crew and didn't merit his attention.
But he merited theirs!
Within seconds of the door closing, the technicians' faces twisted up, their noses wrinkling. One clamped a hand over his nose and signaled the others with his free hand. He was standing directly behind the Sith Lord, so he felt relatively safe. Once he had the others' attention, he frantically pointed at the pale peach-colored circle stuck to the back of Darth Vader's black helmet. The circle was very visible but the smell coming out of it was absolutely horrendous! The technician didn't know what the smell was supposed to be and he hoped he'd never find out. His friend's faces were turning purple from holding their breath too long and when the lift stopped on their floor they quickly dashed out, almost collapsing with relief against the nearest wall.
Vader, however, didn't see this. The lift had already closed its doors and was on its way. Soon the doors opened again and Vader stepped out onto the bridge. Glancing about, he strode towards the officers. "Admiral Ozzel!"
Admiral Ozzel gulped nervously and hurried towards the Sith Lord. "Yes, Lord Vader?"
"Why is there a large crate in front of your private quarters?" Vader asked, his voice low and menacing.
"A crate, My Lord?" Ozzel was frantically trying to keep his face straight, but some horrible smell was working its way into his nostrils. He had no idea where it was coming from, as he hadn't smelled it a few minutes ago. Yet here it was.
"Yes, Admiral, a crate." Vader repeated.
"I … I don't know, My Lord…" Ozzel admitted, his face turning a sickish green from the awful smell. He could feel his stomach starting to churn and he gulped frantically, trying to keep himself from being sick. If that were to happen, he was positive that Vader would kill him on the spot! "Shall … shall I go … remove it?"
The last sentence came out a whisper, as Ozzel was trying to hold his breath now, his face turning a dark beet red.
Vader studied the man, confused. Why was Ozzel turning all these colors? Was he sick? Deciding that he must be, Vader waved towards the lift. "Go move it, Admiral. And then report to Sick Bay. You appear ill."
Ozzel nodded and dashed towards the lift as fast as he could, both hands over his mouth.
"Captain Piett!" Vader called.
"Yes, My Lord?" Piett hurried over and stared up at his black mask fearfully. Normally he was good at guessing what the Sith Lord wanted, but this time he had no idea. A smell crept into his nose and he fought the urge to cover it with his hands. His mind sought an explanation for what it could be coming from but he had no idea. None of the equipment or wiring could produce such a smell, that he was certain of. It almost reminded him of one of those horrid furry aliens. What were they called? He had been unfortunate in his youth to run across a small group of them on a rainy day and their alien musk had been unpleasant to say the least. But that idea was ridiculous! Only humans worked on Star Destroyers. "What is your desire?"
"I desire to know why a leaking crate of oil is in front of your quarters, Captain Piett." Vader remarked.
"A crate, My Lord?" Piett's mind raced for possibilities but he simply didn't know. And that smell, it was working its way into his brain. His brain started to insist it didn't like the smell and the idea traveled down his nerve pathway into his stomach, which started to rumble loudly in protest. Embarrassed beyond belief at the sound his stomach had just made in front of his superior, Piett gulped air in through his open mouth. He had once read if you breathed through your mouth, you couldn't smell bad smells…
Vader stared intently at Captain Piett. The man was standing before him open-mouthed gasping for air with crossed eyes, stomach rumbling.
/There is something funny going on here. First Ozzel and now Piett…/
"Go move the crate and then report to Sick Bay, Captain."
"Yes, My Lord!" Piett managed to gasp out and hurried as quickly as he could to the lift while not appearing to run.
Vader turned, watching him enter the lift.
/I wonder what are in those crates…/
Returning back to the situation of hand, Vader reminded himself he still had one more bridge officer to see. "General Veers!"
Veers hurried over and saluted. "Yes, Lord Vader?"
"Why is there a crate in front of your quarters?"
"I don't know of any crate, My Lord." Veers answered honestly, knowing the Sith would know he was telling the truth. Veers wrinkled his nose and his eyes bugged out something awful. Within moments his face broke out in white bumps and he started to sneeze violently, spraying Vader's blinking chest panel with wet drops.
Alarm spiked through the Sith Lord at the ill man. He was sure now some awful contagion had gotten onto the ship! The white pimple-like bumps on Veers' face were proof! "Report to Sick Bay at one, General!"
Veers wasted no time running into the lift, his eyes burning and watering. Once inside the confines of the steel box, he blindly palmed the right button, having the control panel memorized. He just couldn't understand it. The only thing he was allergic to was Wookies!
Once Veers had left, the Sith Lord strolled around the bridge and carefully studied the rest of the bridge crew. But as he neared each one, they seemed to grow ill. They gasped for air, their faces turned odd colors and a few even fainted!
/I do not understand this…/
Calling the relief bridge crew in, he left for his quarters. If it were a disease, the doctor would inform him soon enough. In the meantime, he would enjoy a brief meal. As he walked past crew, he noticed them gawking at him in an unusual way. As he passed, he couldn't help but feel their incredible shock rolling outward, their gasps of surprise.
/It is like this disease is following me around…/
Finally he reached his private quarters and went inside. Reaching up, he removed his helmet and then his mask. As soon as the mask was off, a horrendous smell started to crawl up his nose and he immediately clamped both of his droid arms over his poor nose. Peering around for the source of the terrible scent, he finally spied a peach-colored plastic disk stuck to the back of his helmet! Lifting the helmet with one hand, he eyed it suspiciously. He had never seen such a device before and had no idea what it could be. Yet it was clearly the source of the stink…
/Someone stuck a stink bomb to the back of my helmet/
Utter shock rolled through him at the thought and he pondered who could have done it. He hadn't been off Executor for several weeks and the only one whom he had come into physical contact with had been…
Luke had been hanging air fresheners!
/Don't tell me he thinks this thing smells good?./
Years ago the smell wouldn't have bothered Vader, either. He had grown up and lived in a mixed society, both on Tatooine and at the Temple. But after his accident, he was used to the special air he needed. Reaching out, Vader gripped the plastic disk and tried to pull it off.
It didn't budge.
But being a Sith Lord, he wasn't going to give up that easily. He carefully positioned his hands on the plastic disk and yanked as hard as he could. When that didn't work, he gritted his teeth until his face turned beet red and his muscles strained. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest and sweat beaded on his brow. His black-gloved hand slid off and he toppled over backward, the helmet flying from his grasp.
"That drat Luke! What in the Force did he use on that thing anyway, Gamorrean glue?"
Stubborn to the core, Vader pulled on it with the Force while holding the helmet securely in both hands. To his shock, the plastic thing broke in half and a big clump of long fur went flying up into the air. Slowly it came down, the long strands of fur sticking to everything in sight. Now the smell was worst then ever. It was overpowering. Gasping for air, Vader quickly put his mask and helmet back on, escaping out into the hall. He leaned against the nearby wall, gasping for air. As he leaned there, he heard a loud commotion further down the hall and he lifted his helmeted head.
"STINK! STINK!" Admiral Ozzel screamed as he ran out of his apartment, his eyes wide and streaming with tears. He had been dumb enough to drag the crate into his room and opening it, thinking someone had left him a nice gift. Perhaps it was even from Lord Vader; a type of reward. But it hadn't been; just Luke's unwanted Hyper Hutt. Ozzel's hands waved wildly in the air and he went screaming the other way.
/So, Luke might be responsible for those other crates as well…/
The boy had only been on the ship for a week and already he was creating havoc. It didn't bode well. Something would have to be done about it. Straightening up to his full height, Vader strode towards Luke's apartment. Without bothering to ring the bell, he marched in. The Sith Lord was not happy that half of the air freshener was still stuck to the back of his helmet. No doubt it was stinking, too. The plastic was probably saturated with the stench and it was enough to knock crew unconscious.
/How can I inspect my crew if they faint every time I come near? This is ridiculous!./
Luke's room was totally torn apart, his bedding tossed all over the floor in a messy heap. It looked as if someone had ransacked the place looking for something, but who would do such a thing? Worry gripped him and he hoped Luke was all right. But where was he? Then he noticed movement under the table in the corner and his tussled-haired son stuck his head out. Luke's blue eyes focused on Vader. "Oh, it's you. I thought I heard the door swoosh open."
"Luke, what in the Force are you doing?" Vader asked, totally perplexed.
"I lost something…" Luke explained matter-of-factly. "So I'm looking for it. I just don't get where it could have rolled to…"
Vader held out his black-gloved hand, half of the air freshener in it.
Luke's eyes widened in shock and he dashed over, jumping helter-skelter over his messy pile of bedding. "So there it is! You had it all along and here I was tearing my room apart looking for it! Do you know how much I paid for this thing? Gee, now I know why they call you a Sith! Stealing people's air fresheners!"