Disclaimer: Han, Chewie and all related characters are not mine
Han Solo, captain of the Millennium Falcon, was nervous. Han and his copilot, Chewbacca were being chased through the Maw. The Maw is a series of black holes around the planet Kessel, a smugglers haven in this part of space. Or it used to be before the Imperials set up camp here. Normally Han loved doing the Kessel run, it was an ultimate test of a pilots skill and reflexes, but in this case he had three Imperial Carrack-class space cruisers on his tale and the cargo he had in the hull of the Falcon, was not altogether legal. Not to mention the fact that this chase had been going on for two hours now.
"Chewie, bring the aft shields up to maximum power! Those Imp slugs have quad lasers" Han was using every bit of his skill to stay ahead of these guys, and he hoped that there weren't any more waiting at the other end waiting for him. All of this was bringing back memories of his last Kessel Run, that time he had been working for the crime lord Jabba the Hutt. And he had a load for kids that he and Chewie had found abandoned as well as a cargo of extremely expensive spice, that time the Imp slugs had caught him, Han had been forced to dump the spice, needless to say Jabba was not happy.
"Chewie, were almost out of the Maw, set the Navi-computer to chart a course for the Hoth system." Hoth, of course was not the final destination for the cargo, but if any of the Imperials managed to follow him there, well, they wouldn't be telling anyone about them. Luke and his pals from Rouge Squadron will take care of that. Han was sweating bullets, "These guys don't know when to give up do they?" he pushed the Falcon to go even faster skimming closer to the black holes. The only thing that kept them from being sucked in was the amazing speed at which they traveled. Han was hoping to replicate the other Kessel run, then the Imps that chased them did not go fast enough and were drawn into the holes, Han hoped that it would happen again, thus allowing him and Chewie to escape. Before long one of the pursuing blips winked out showing that the ship pursuing them had been sucked into a black hole.
Chewie announced to Han that the course was laid in. "Good, now if I can just lose these guys long enough to get away from the gravity wells of the Maw, "
Space travel was simple, to lift off from a planet pilots used repulser lifts. Repulsers were like large magnets, they pushed against the gravity of a planet, but they were only good up to 1200 kilometers above ground level. When a ship was in space they used sublight engines until they were out of the planets gravity well, once there they engaged the hyper drive engines that allowed for the ship to go faster than the speed of light. If a ship passed too close to the gravity shadow of a planet of large ship then the fail safes of the ship would yank it out of hyperspace, which was never fun. Ships could only travel in straight lines so courses were charted that would take ships as close as was safe to planets and stars without going through them, as I said, space travel is simple, if you know what you're doing.
"Chewie, fire the concussion mille on my mark, ready…fire!" the missile was launched out the back of the Falcon, after the ship was a safe distance away it exploded. Right between the last two pursuing ships, it sent a shock wave that ripped right through them, and anything else that was in the way.
"Ha-ha! No survivors on that one, eh Chewie! Now let's get these weapons to the Rebellion." Han pulled back on the hyperspace lever; all set to make the jump, but there was just one tiny problem. The hyperspace engines were not working.
"No,no,no! Why does this always happen to me?! Chewie, take the controls while I go fix this! Oh Leia will never let me live this down, she didn't even want us to take the mission for this very reason." Han mumbled to himself the whole way to get the tools and start working.
Chewie, up in the cockpit, was laughing to himself, at least nobody was shooting at them this time. He thought back to the escape from Hoth. Han had been flying with Chewie as co-pilot, Leia, R2-D2, and C-3PO had been with them. They had been chased by TIE-fighters and the Star Destroyer Avenger, the personal ship of Darth Vader.
When Han had tried to make the jump to hyperspace nothing happened. "No light speed?" asked a sarcastic voice. It was Leia; she had very little patience when it came to Han, especially where the Falcon was concerned.
"Hey! It's not my fault really, I fixed it!" Han was very confused, he and Chewie has spent the last several days, weeks fine-tuning the hyper drives of the ship, But no matter what they did the Falcon always had the tendency to break down at the most critical moments, and this was one of them. Threepio immediately started whining about how they were all going to die and Han threatened to turn him off. "Shut him up or shut him down! There, that looks good." Han was pointing to a rather large asteroid, he moved the Falcon closer to a crater the size of a hanger on a space cruiser. After traveling down a tunnel the cave opened up into a large chamber. Han was glad that the Imperials were no longer on their tail and immediately began repairs on the ship, after about an hour of work Han was satisfied that he had gotten the Falcon up and running when he heard Leia scream. Running to the front of the ship he saw her staring out of the cockpit, "There's something out there!"
"Come on Chewie lets go take a look."
"You're going out there?!" that didn't seem to be such a good idea to her, if there was something dangerous out there than the safest place was in here. Threepio thought the same thing, because while everyone else went outside to find what was banging on the Falcon he stayed inside to 'guard the ship' nobody believed him.
Outside the crew donned breath masks as there was no air to breathe on the asteroid, Han and Chewie were brandishing their weapons incase whatever was out there was not friendly. Out of nowhere a large shape flew at them, in one fluid motion Han drew his gun and shot it out of the air. When it was on the ground he saw that it was a mynok, a large birdlike creature that chewed on the power cables of ships. He was angry now, he had just gotten the bucket of bolts running again, he was not about to let anything tear it apart again.
"Chewie!" the Correllian's shout snapped Chewbacca out of his revere. "Chewie get the hydro spanners over here!" as Chewbacca rushed to comply he was considering sending a call out to the Rouge Squadron pilots, explaining their tardiness, that way they wouldn't come looking for them and running into an Imperial trap. Then again, it was the Imps that should fear the Rouges. While Han worked on the hyperdrive he kept up a running dialog, cursing in every language he knew, when he finally began to repeat himself he stopped. Han realized that one; he was using the wrong tool, and two he was banging on the hyperdrive more than actually fixing anything. That sent him off cursing again, but this time he stopped after a few moments.
"Chewie! Can you get a light down here?" Han picked up the correct tools and started searching for the problem, what he finally found did not put him any better of a mood, the hyperdrive engine was leaking and had a bad motivator. It would have to be replaced, not good. Han didn't have any of the parts on hand that he would need to replace the engine, he could try to jury-rig it, but if it gave out while in the middle of a jump they could end up going through a star or a black hole, and that could end their trip real quick. Han eventually gave up and climbed out of the cramped area. He walked to the cockpit and tried to raise Luke and the Rogues on the com.
"Rogue leader this is the Millennium Falcon, come in Rogue leader."
"Hey Han where are you? You're several hours late? You get lost or, are the Falcon acting up again?"
"Well to make a long story short we ran into some old friends and the hyperdrive busted again."
"Sounds bad, can you fix it?"
"No the engine is leaking and the motivator shorted out. It needs to be replaced, we need you Rogues to bring out the parts that we need and then provide an escort on the way back. Can you do that?"
Wedge, Luke's right-hand man in the squadron had been listening in on conversation and spoke up; "Hey Han, you know firsthand that search and rescue missions are our specialty, and we never leave a rogue stranded."
Han grimaced at the play-on-words, "Cut the chatter Wedge, so when do you think that we should expect you guys out here? Soon those Imps are going to wonder where their buddies went."
"About three hours, no more than five tops. It will take some time to get the parts we need for the Falcon you know that they don't make YT-1300 hundreds anymore. When we get close send out your current location so we can find you. May the Force be with you Han, Rogues out." Han sat back in his chair, three hours huh? Well he could find several things to do with his time. First thing that Han did was go back to the lounge, get a pint of his favorite Alerdannian Ale, and started to set up the game board. Chewie walked in and they started to play a round.
"You know Chewie, when those Imp slugs find that their buddies are dead and gone they are gonna be real mad, we should move to a safer place, how about moving into the Pit, I could land the Falcon on, or in an asteroid, and they'll never find us. The asteroids will jam their sensors so they won't ever know that we're there. Sound good?"
Chewbacca thought this over for a moment then agreed. The pit sounded like the best place to hide to him. Han turned the ship around and fire up the sub-light engines and started back the way they had some. He remembered the first time he had ever gone on a Kessel run. Han had only been twenty-four at the time, three months before that Han had been 2Lt. in the Imperial Navy, but when he saw another officer going for a gun to shoot Chewie he had to intervene. That had gotten him thrown out of the Navy, stripped of all rank, and worst of all black-listed as a pilot. Being black-listed meant that nobody would hire Han, at least legally. The only that was left for Han to do was smuggling. So he and his new partner Chewbacca the wookiee left for the smugglers run.
Han thought about how far he had come from that first Kessel run, that time he had been scared stiff, he thought that the pilot who took him through that first run was crazy. He had never heard of someone surviving an asteroid field. But soon Han was doing the Run in record time. He smiled when he thought about Threepio and his saying that it was impossible to ever navigate a field.
Soon Han found what he was looking for, a rock so big that it dwarfed the Falcon Han moved closer to it and found ha crevice that he could set down in, it was big enough that you could fit a whole space yacht in there he mused.
After Han had landed the ship he ran around shutting everything down except for the emergency power supply, it would be very bad if they ran out of air before the Rogues get here. While Han was shutting down the power and the main reactor Chewie was once again lost in thought. This time though he was thinking about the Rogues and how they came about.
After the attack on the first Death Star there were only twelve pilots left. Two of them from Red Squadron and the others were from Green, Blue, and Gold. Together there were enough pilots to make one new squad of x-wings. Of the Red Squadron there was only Luke Sxywalker and Wedge Antilles, they hooked up with the other survivors and reformed Red Squadron. They never were assigned one direct place and jobs, because they roamed around taking on random jobs they called themselves Rogues and they were also known for taking crazy risks and were wild and daring pilots. The rogues would not allow anyone to be randomly assigned to their group, only if they could meet very particular requirements, so the Rogues had auditioning to get in. one time six Rogues, including a new guy named Corren Horn, challenged fourteen y-wing pilots to a skirmish on the simulator. The commander of the y-wings thought that it sounded good, the Rogues were outnumbered. He forgot who the better pilots were. Then to really humiliate them, Corren had his 'driod, whistler hack into the computer system so that every time a y-wing was shot down, rather than display the flight information it would show the Rogue crest that they had designed and say that they were dead. After that prank the star burst crest with the twelve x-wing ships was assigned as there squad symbol. The Rogues were a very unpopular group around base for a few weeks.
At that moment Han came walking back into the lounge, he grabbed his ale of off the table and collapsed into a chair. He looked over at Chewie and for a moment was looking at another scene from over five years ago.
Luke was standing with lightsaber in hand trying to deflect bolts coming from Obi-Wan's remote, Chewbacca was sitting at the lounge table playing a game with R2-D2 while C3PO watched. Han came striding into the room, "You can stop worrying about you Imperial friends, they'll never be able to track us now, told you I'd lose them." When nobody answered Han became defensive, "Well, doesn't everybody thank me at once." He turned and saw Chewie playing the game with Artoo; Chewie gave every sign of being well pleased with himself. Until Artoo pushed a command into the computer and his piece moved across the screen, then Chewie stood up and started glaring at the little 'driod, he growled at him. Threepio was not going to go for it, "He executed a fair move, screaming about it won't help you." At that Han turned around to see what was going on, he didn't like Threepio, as a matter of fact he hated him, so he wanted to see what was going on that would get him all riled up.
"Let him have it. Your friends way ahead anyhow. It's not wise to upset a Wookiee." Threepio was not convinced he was a protocol 'driod after all and fair play was very important to him.
"I can sympathize with that opinion sir," he countered, "but there is a principle at stake here. There are certain standers any sentient creature must hold to. If one compromises them for any reason, including intimidation, then one is abrogating his right to be called intelligent."
Han was not impressed, he really hated this 'droid and was looking forward to this, "I hope you both remember that, when Chewbacca is pulling your arms off."
"Except for that," Threepio continued without missing a beat, "being greedy or taking advantage of someone in a weakened position is a clear sign of poor sportsmanship."
Han smiled as he thought about that day, he wished though that Chewbacca really had ripped Threepio's arms off, and his head, then he wouldn't have has to deal with him later on. Sometimes Han wondered what had made him sign on for that trip to Alderann in the first place, then again he thought, maybe it was fate, or that Force Luke is always talking about. After the memory faded Han settled in to a game of sabbac with Chewie. Sabbacc was a game that Han usually had good luck at; as a matter of fact Han even won his ship, the Millennium Falcon, in a sabbacc match in cloud city. Sabbacc is played with a deck of 72 card chips that change values throughout the game. You win by getting as close to but not over the number 23, either positive or negative. In the event of a tie, positive beats negative. The only thing that can beat a pure sabbacc is the idiots array, it consits of the Idiot (0) a two, and a three, literally 23. Han wasn't doing so well this time around though, he let his mind wander back to the day that he won the Falcon. That was easily the best day of his life, next to the day that he met Leia that is.
The tournament had been going on for three days now and Han was getting tired and worn. This was the last game, he couldn't believe that he had made it this far. The other players at the table were all professionals, most of them, like Han's friends Lando made their livings of off the winnings from Sabbacc tables. As Han looked around the table now he saw that his best friend Lando was among those that had made it to the finals, as well as two others. Lando looked about as bad as Han felt, his cloths were all wrinkled and his hair was all messed up and looked like a mop on his head. He had dark circles under his eyes and was about to fall asleep. After three rounds of furious play the only other player at the table besides Han was Lando, Han looked down at his cards, he had a perfect 23 and was silently praying that the cards would hold. Han pushed several of his chips into the center of the table. Lando held up his bet, a voucher for any ship on his lot if Han won. Then he put a card into the interface field in the middle of the table, that was the only way for the values to stay the same. When Han looked to see what he was doing he saw a flash of purple on the card, Han hoped it wasn't what he thought it was, the Idiot, main card in the Idiots array. Hans's mouth felt dry as he called the cards. Lando flipped over the card on the table, it was the Idiot. Then he put down his other ones, the two of flasks and the Queen of air and darkness. Han couldn't believe it, Lando was bluffing, then he realized that he had won, and won the Falcon no less, he celebrated for weeks.
Absently Han looked down at the cards in his hand, no good added up they only came to negative 15, that wasn't any good at all. Then the cards rippled and changed, the Idiot, three of staves, and the two of coins. The Idiots array! "Ha! Pure sabbacc, Chewie, I won!" Chewbacca on the other hand was not happy, he hated loosing. The proximity alarms sounded and Han jumped out of his chair he ran to the cockpit. With a quick glance at the display board he breathed a sigh of relief, it was just the Rogues.
"Rogue leader to Millennium Falcon, Han 'ol buddy do you read me?"
"Loud and clear kid, what's up?"
Before Luke could reply Wedge butted in, again, "We got the parts for you but there's an Imperial Cruiser near here we'll keep 'em busy."
"Ok you do that, just make sure that we get those parts."
Turning to Chewie Han gave orders to get the supplies from Wedge who had flown a y-wing on this mission so that he had the room for the parts. He was at the door of the cargo hold. Then Han went to go find the tools that he needed.
"Chewie, as soon as this is over I'm going to sleep for a week, a month." Chewie agreed; it had been a very long day. Once the supplies had been dropped off he carted them in for his partner. One by one Han switched out the old parts for the new ones. After everything was switched out and the new things put in Han checked and rechecked every system. He didn't want any blowouts this time around. Han gave the "all clear" signal to Wedge and the other Rogues so they could leave the Falcon room to take off. Chewie once again laid in the course in the navicomputer and Han reached for the hyperdrive lever, "Oh please let this work," he thought. Finally the stars became streaks of light and they were safely in hyperspace. Han sighed then he stood up. "Chewie, you laid in a roundabout course like I asked right? Good, then it should take us about ten hours to get there right? Ok then, I'm going to make good on that nap I've been wanting, wake me when we get there."