A New Chapter
Jiggle the Hutt has decided to expand the Stand and Deliver company into an intergalactic franchise. Thus, he has sent the crew out shopping for a new ship. Being a firm believer in racial stereotypes, Jiggle has placed the Corellian in charge.
This is what happens:
“Well,” Chaz Dooley oozed pride like a Hutt oozes saliva, “there she is.”
“Who?” Slick looked around in a reasonable impression of genuine bafflement,
“Our new ship.” Chaz gestured grandly.
“What? Behind the junk sculpture of the galaxy’s largest pile of ronto doings?”
“Oh, come on!” Chaz deflated slighty. “You got no imagination, Slick. You’re not seeing her full potential.”
The Rodian eye-balled the monstrosity parked in the lot before him. “Chaz, I can assure you that I’m evaluating all possible futures at the moment. The phrase “lost with all hands” features prominently amongst them.”
“But this is a YQ-666. They don’t make ‘em like this anymore.”
“True enough. These days we have safety regulations in place to prevent that sort of thing.”
Chaz opted to ignore his companion at this point, “She’s got external cargo mounts.”
“Yes,” Slick looked across the yard, “I can see them propped up against the fence over there.”
“Not to mention,” Chaz soldiered on, “impressive internal storage.”
“Well, I imagine you gain all sorts of space when it’s not bogged down with superfluous items. Like, say, life support systems.” Slick snorted.
“And check out those lines.” Chaz was starting to go all misty in the eyes.
If they had been capable, Slick’s own eyes would have rolled in their sockets, “I’m fairly certain those are called ‘stress fractures’.”
Just then there was a rending sound, like a dozen lions vomiting a dozen eagles. A scaly, reptilian head poked out from what may have been an access hatch, but was more than likely a section of hull plating that had given up and let go in the hopes of being reincarnated as a twenty-four pack of something vaguely alcoholic.
Chaz waved cheerfully, “How’s she look inside, Tusk?”
The Trandoshan eyed the pair silently for a moment. When he finally spoke his deep, gravelly voice carried with it hints of dark swamps and submerged dangers, of death lurking just beneath the surface.
“Der’s ‘alf a womp rat jammed up in der engine.” Tusk narrowed his yellow eyes threatenly, “Youse fellas don’ mind if I was ta et it, yeah?”
Slick stared blankly for a moment, “I don’t believe it!” he managed.
“Ah, he’s a Trandoshan. Those guys will eat anything.” Chaz shrugged, then called back to Tusk, “Knock yourself out, pal”
“No.” Slick said as Tusk’s terrifying visage disappeared back into the rusty darkness of the ships interior, “I can’t believe this thing has an engine!”
“I’ll say it does!” came an irrepressibly chipper voice from somewhere in the aptly named ‘bowels’ of the ship. It was followed by a sound like an elderly crash of thunder tumbling down a flight of stairs. When the ensuing cloud or rust and debris cleared, the feet of Dibs Fortrout could be seen dangling cheerfully from a new hole in the ventral hull plating.
“This thing has a Koeplinger P-38 hyperdrive!” the young Twi’lek called out from, presumably, a short distance upwards of his exposed feet.
“What?!” Chaz was agog, “A P-38?! Those babies will do point five past light speed!”
“Whoops!” Dibs’ voice rang out again, “My mistake. There was some grease on the plating here. It’s actually a P-36.”
“No way!” Chaz was practically bouncing up and down in excitement. “That’s even better! With a little creative tinkering a Koeplinger P-36 can do point five past light speed, easy!!”
“Uh…” incredulous tones where coming out of the confused mouth on Slick’s uncertain face. “How exactly is that better than a P-38, then?”
Chaz adopted the look that people tend to reserve for small children and idiots, “Because,” He said “you get to do some creative tinkering.”
Slick found himself wishing he had a nose, so that he could pinch the bridge of it as he squeezed his eyes shut and sighed, “I give up. But when Jiggle asks, this was your idea.”
“Ha! You won’t regret this.” Chaz said. He put his arm around his friends shoulder as they walked away, “I’ve got a name all picked out, too.”
“Oh, do tell.” Slick said hollowly.
Chaz grinned. “The Bicentennial Emu!”
“Perfect!” Slick replied in genuine agreement, “You’ve managed to capture both its age and flight capability.”
Ture....very true. Good job.
Yes! I love it!
I got all nostalgic as soon as I started reading this. When Battletech was first released as a box set. A group of freinds and myself played it as a role playing game. One of my freinds had a Rifleman he called "Stand and Deliver". Walk to a spot on the map and shoot. Never Move, never run. Our Archer pilot did nothing but run. Finishing most battles with no back armor and a front pretty as new. The Story Is great by the way...and absolutly adore the drawing. So much going on.
Thanks, guys (used, of course, in the gender neutral sense). It's nice to be posting again.
So, one of the things destroyed in the viscious storm that attacked during my move was a Stand and Deliver comic. Another were storyboards for a Stand and Deliver animation project. Both of which ate up a considerable portion of my time. Since I don't feel like doing it all over, I'm going to just be sharing the story with you guys (gender neutral) as an illustrated novelization of sorts.
I hope that's cool with everybody.
Because I'm doing it anyway.
100% cool with it.
Great idea, Xan. I'll probably repost the story in it's completed form once it's done, then. It'll be easier for me to keep track of what I'm doing that way.
Sounds good to me :)