Okay, then. I've finally written my first little story. I'm not sure how it'll be received but I wanted to get my feet wet with a little one-shot. I hope you like it.
Disclaimer: Star Wars and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic are owned by George Lucas, Lucas Arts and Bioware. This story is written to celebrate my fondness for the joy the stories have brought me over the years. I remain a steadfast fan and write this only for my enjoyment and that of the community.
Additionally, I have read many stories posted here. If any of my material bears any resemblance to something already posted, it was not my intent. However, if it does please let me know and I will be happy to credit you. Also, I'd like to say a big thank you to Wookieepedia where I have researched some material.
Thank you also to all who have contributed here. I applaud your work and hail you as future published writers!
Oh and in case it wasn't obvious, Thira Triel is my version of Revan.
Tatooine – Anchorhead Spaceport
"Listen kiddo, I taught you how to fly the Hawk. I showed you how to handle your blasters with your eyes closed. And I even gave you one of my best pistols. I am not teaching you how to shoot one of your lekku off with some hotdog stunt you have no business doing in the middle of a firefight. Is that even something you've seen me do before?"
Carth Onasi was in the process of checking the Ebon Hawk's proximity sensors. Despite the fact that he was working in the shady underside of the freighter, his brow was covered with droplets of sweat from the oppressive mid-day Tatooine heat.
Mission Vao stood nearby ready to follow at his heels the second he moved to the next sensor.
Without taking his eyes off the datapad that was running the diagnostic, he interrupted, "What makes you think I can teach you then?"
"Come on, Carth. You were young once. You were a fighter pilot for the Republic for star's sake. You couldn't have always been the stuffy old geezer you are now."
Sparing her a brief glance, Carth raised one of his eyebrows and returned to his work, "Seems to me that our time would be better spent if we worked on your diplomacy skills first."
"Okay. Okay. I shouldn't have said that. I'm sorry. But will you please, please, please teach me."
Carth finished up with the sensor and turned his attention to her. "Mission…"
"Please! I know you know how."
Carth looked perturbed for a moment before he heaved an impatient sigh. Then, almost so quickly that Mission didn't have a chance to see him do it he drew his blaster, twirled it in an intricate pattern and then reholstered it.
"Happy?" he asked.
Mission whooped. "I knew it! You are totally cooler than I thought you were."
Carth just shook his head and walked over to the next sensor. "Yeah well, trust me. There are only two groups of people you can impress with that stunt: noob recruits and children."
Mission soured. "Exactly what are you implying, Carth?"
"Read it how you want, but I'll give you a demonstration if you're not convinced."
He looked past Mission and said by way of greeting, "Bastila. Juhani."
Mission turned to find the two Jedi walking down the loading ramp. Both women paused to politely acknowledge him with a single word: "Commander" from Bastila and "Carth" from Juhani.
Before they could continue on their way however, Carth stopped them once again. "You ladies be sure to 'comm' if you run into any trouble out there."
It was a rather innocuous statement, except for the fact that Carth took the opportunity to twirl his blaster in the same manner he demonstrated earlier. This time, however, he added a small flourish by tipping the blaster to his forehead as a gentleman would tip his hat. When he holstered the weapon he slid his eyes from Mission back to the Jedi to indicate that she should take note of the reaction to his stunt.
The result was as expected when Bastila sniffed, "Commander, please tell me that that sad display is not the reason you interrupted us."
"You should be careful that you don't lose something… valuable." Juhani said looking him up and down with a clear sense of distaste.
"Ladies," he said as the Jedi took their leave. Carth was wearing a self-satisfied grin when he turned back to Mission.
"So, I don't suppose you still want me to teach you?"
"I wouldn't have asked if I didn't," she said loudly, quickly following up with an eye-roll. Apparently his embarrassing demonstration had no affect on her desire to learn.
As if to say, 'why do I even bother trying to reason with a teenager' Carth pinched the bridge of his nose to stave off the onset of a headache. Reluctantly he held his hand out to her and said, "Hand me your blaster."
Mission did as she was told; unconsciously making sure the safety was on as she passed him the weapon handle first. Just the way he taught her.
Carth took it, removed the power pack, pocketed it, and then handed the blaster back.
Mission looked at the blaster in the flat of her palm as if he just gave her a handful of bantha poodoo. "What'd ya do that for? Now it's not weighted the same."
"Hey. Who's teaching here?" He retorted.
Momentarily sulking, she gripped her weapon and responded, "All right, already. Let's get this show on the road."
"Trust me. I'm doing you a favor. One of my bunkmates blasted a hole clear through his foot on his first attempt. I ended up with refresher duty until I made Lieutenant for teaching him in the first place. We start small."
For the next hour or so he watched her progress and gave her pointers as he continued making slight adjustments and repairs to the Hawk's sensors. By the time he was finished, she was getting pretty good.
"Not bad," he said wiping his brow. "But just so we're clear, that little exercise is for fun. I do not under-any-circumstances want to see that maneuver in combat, got it?"
"Deal!" Mission grinned, apparently pleased with herself.
"Hmph." Carth reached into his pocket and retrieved her power pack and handed it to her. "Two more things. We still have a lot more practice until you try it fully loaded. And Thira is never to see you do it."
"Never." He emphasized again.
"No problem, geez… er… I mean Carth," she responded sheepishly sliding the power pack in place and then holstering the weapon. "You can count on me."
"I'd better be able to count on you or the only thing I'll be teaching you in the future is how to work the food processor. You'll be demoted to ship's cook for the remainder of the mission. And I'm not kidding. Now let's go get some lunch. I'm famished," he said heading to the loading ramp.
"Yeah. Yeah. I already said you can count on me," she replied following behind. "Sheesh."
Later that night.
Thira Triel stood in the garage staring daggers at the series of carbon scoring marks that could be traced in a neat circle along the deck plates, up the bulkhead across the ceiling and lastly through the nose cone of her swoop bike.
"Explain to me again how this happened," she said a little too evenly for Mission's taste.
"I… uh… I was about to service my blaster at the workbench… and I sort of tripped," she fumbled, determined not to meet the Jedi's gaze.
She could feel Thira's eyes on her probing for the truth when someone else appeared in the doorway. She breathed a sigh of relief until she realized that that someone was Carth.
He took one look at the damage, and then fixed Mission with a scathing gaze. His mouth twitched, apparently about to tell her off, when he noticed Thira. Having a brief reprieve she made a note of how comical Carth looked when he stopped short and attempted to slink back the way he came before the Jedi noticed him.
Thira noticed him before he could get two steps. "Carth! I asked you to teach her how to use her blasters. Was it too much to assume that weapons safety would have been your first lesson? She could have been killed!! And look at my swoop bike! I don't even know if I can fix that. I can't believe the two of you. Just… just get out of my sight. Where's T3?!"
The angry Jedi yanked off her gloves and knelt down beside her bike, carefully removing the damaged panels.
Mission, took that as her cue to leave. Of course, she headed out the opposite door from where Carth stood, red-faced with arms crossed over his chest.
Unfortunately for Mission, he caught up with her in the common area.
"Are you hurt?"
His voice was oddly calm.
"No. Nope. I'm fine," she answered, fiddling with the tips her lekku. They hung straight over her shoulders, clearly strung out from the turn of events that evening.
Carth's face was still red, but Mission had to wonder at the effort he was making not to blow up at her.
"Scoundrel's luck, I suppose. Except for the part when you hit Thira's swoop bike. You might not want to count on staying healthy for long. But seeing as you're all right at the moment..." He held out his hand. "Hand it over."
Mission knew exactly what he was looking for. Making a Herculean effort to stifle the urge to complain she handed him the blaster.
"Now follow me." he ordered.
It was a command that she did not dare to disobey.
Even later that evening.
"You missed a spot," Carth said inspecting her work with a cup of caffa in hand.
"You know we have sanitation droids for this," Mission complained as she looked along the refresher floor for the spot he indicated. When she found it, she scrubbed furiously relishing the fact that she was nearly done with her punishment.
"Yes. But so far as I can tell, they have no trouble following orders," he replied taking a sip from his mug.
She did a once over of the rest of the room and happily declared herself done by standing at attention and waiting for his approval.
He took his time checking every groove in the deck plates. Finally he nodded and said, "Okay. Not bad work."
Mission relaxed by tossing her supplies under the sink. "I'm pretty sure I learned my lesson. I promise I'll never disobey another order."
Carth just took another sip of his caffa. "Oh. I'm confident you won't. Especially after you complete the other refresher. Zaalbar's in there at the moment, but he should be finishing up any time now."
"What?! That'll take hours. Do you have any idea how much hair Big Z sheds? I don't even think it's possible to clean up after him without a blowtorch or some type of biochemical sterilization grenade!" Mission fumed, kicking the bulkhead.
"Ha! You think I'm going to let you play with grenades after that little stunt today? A scrub brush will be perfectly sufficient for the job."
With that the lice-ridden, drooling son of a gundark gave her an evil smirk, turned and headed back towards the cockpit.
"Let me know when you're ready for inspection," he called from down the hall. "And be careful not to take all night. I take my breakfast at 0600."