I am from Mos Eisley, Tatooine, which is known to many as a pirate city. Overrun by criminal transients on the lam, Mos Eisley has been described as a wretched hive of scum and villainy. Mos Eisley is one of the largest spaceports on Tatooine. Its architecture is typical of the Tatooine style -- blockhouses largely sunken into the sand, providing some respite from the relentless desert suns. The city is arranged in a wheel formation, with the central power and water distribution plants at its hub. Circular docking bays and landing pads dot the city, and the sky is busy with interstellar traffic.
I have a buddy that use to hang out at a cantina there. But one night he got a little wasted, bumped into a young farm boy, and then suddenly got his arm cut off by this old wizard. Luckily for him, they have made alot of progress with the biomechanical technology to create a life-like appendage that works just as well as the original.
This is too weird, man! I knew this guy - a transporter, mainly, (yeah, right ... really a pirate, if you ask me) - who had this bucket-of-bolts ship he called the Phoenix ... no, the Falcon - yeah, that was it - the Millenium Falcon, (where do these guys get these names?!?!)
Anyway, this hunk-of-junk freighter was held together with bantha-glue and minoch saliva, but it was still dressed out with hyper-drive, and as fast as any in the quadrant ... maybe the galaxy.
Well, this old barge had supposedly made the Kessel Run in some un-godly time, so this guy, (the captain/owner), Han I think his name was, (no "s" ... he always made a point of saying that, don't ask me why), would hang around in these back-alley cantinas on Mos Eisley, waiting for some desperate spacer to show up with a sob-story and a pocket-full of Imperial credits, (then do his best to drain 'em of every one, so he could turn around and blow 'em all on the pod races).
So the last time I was in Mos Eisley, (looking for a bio-splice for my lady's jack-unit), I run into ol' Han, and he tells me he's got this "sure thing", and that he just needs a "small bump" of credits to get this giant slug Jabba off his back long enough to get the Falcon to Alderan and back. Well, I dunno where the heck this rancor-bait has been for the last hundred revs, but wherever it is, they obviously don't have enough e-links to know the real deal, or else he's been spiked on jawa juice long enough to melt Hoth!
Anyway, I proceed to inform him that he might as well forget his little romp to Alderan, 'cuz whatever he was after there is now space-dust, (along with Alderan itself). Well, he starts laughing his you-know-what off, saying that's the best one he's heard all week, and that he's got some big hairy friend who'd love to hear it, too.
Only problem is I'm not laughing with him ... in fact I'm not even grinning, and when he starts to realize this, the laughter fades, and his face turns as cold as nitrogen. Next thing I know, he's shaking a blaster in my face, saying how's I'd better not waste any more of his "precious" time, (yeah ... he used air-quotes, but only one hand, 'cuz the other was on the blaster, can you believe that?!?), or else I'll get to know what a particle beam tastes like ... for the first and last time.
Well, as depressed as I am from just being in this hind-end of space, that bit of info doesn't cheer me up too much. And even though I can see the warm glow of neutrons jumping the gap of his trigger mechanism, I've still gotta fill this pirate in, whether my medulla oblongata survives or not.
So, I start tellin this asteroid how the Empire's got this new toy, and that one of the mucky-mucks was tryin' to make a big wave with this Princess What's-her-name, and Alderan was the casualty. Well ... he's still standin' there, with this Tusken Raider look on his face, and the blaster switch is starting to glow red, (and is now close enough to smell - and neutrons ain't roses, baby!), so I figure I've still got AU's to cover and press on.
So then I say I'm not messin' with him, and that the mucky-muck general has got a "size problem", if he knows what I mean, (and I wink here), and that he was trying to make a point and impress this Princess, by blowing Alderan into oblivion with this new toy the Empire gave him to play with.
Well, the Tusken Raider look is still plastered to his cratered mug, and the blaster's now beginning to make that little rumbling sound, (you know, the one it makes right before it "pops"), and I figure I've got nothing to lose at this point, so what the heck. So then I take my thumb, ('cuz the apertures on these new PB's is BIG, man!), and I lick it real casual-like, and just stick it in the end of the blaster ... like so.
Well ... I dunno what reaction I was looking for, but it certainly wasn't the one I got. Slowly the Sand-people vacancy leaves his face, and one corner of his mouth curls, (just the tiniest bit), and he just lets go of the blaster, so I'm left standing there with the glowing, rumbling particle-beam weapon stuck to my thumb. Well, by now the gap on the switch is a steady stream, and my thumb is getting all warm and tingly, and it's spreading to the rest of my hand, and up my arm.
I know what you're thinking, 'cuz I was thinking it, too: Why the heck in all of space is the crazy thing still engaged, if he's not holding the trigger mechanism? So now I'm the one with the Sand-Raider look on my face, and he's standing there with that curled lip, kind of glancing from side-to-side, and muttering the name "Guido" under his breath ... over-and-over, real slow, like. My hand is completely numb now, up to my elbow, and it's right then, when I'm about to reach up with my other hand and pull the thing off, that I see it: The lousy space-pirate's got a beam key, and it's synced with the PB stuck to my thumb.
Well, I figure at this point that I'm pretty much Ton-ton poo-doo, and that for some reason beyond my lacking, this guy has set me up! All manner of bizarre musings are swirling in my skull, like this guy's on dark-matter capsules, or he mistakes me for some henchman that the Hutt slug has after him, or that he plans on stealing my Nubian cruiser, or that maybe ... just maybe, he's a left-over from the Clone Wars who's dealing with some major PTSD.
Anyway, just when the numbness begins to reach my shoulder, and I think he's ready to bolt and detonate the beam-key from a safe distance, in walks this cloaked old guy with a beard as white as Imperial armor, and a light-saber hanging from his belt. That's right, a light-saber! Here, standing in this dump of a dive in the rear-end of space-ports, is a freaking Jedi! Well [dang]ed if I know what he was doing there, but after the last twnety minutes of dealing with Captain Crater-brain, I was just happy for a break in the monotany!
So over saunters this old Jedi, like he owns the place, (you know that swagger they have), and stops about six feet from the two of us, and looks us each up and down, his eyes coming to rest on the glowing blaster, which is now rumbling louder than ever. Well ... I don't know what these two jumpers were up to, but it was clear they knew each other, and it was clear this meeting was not a total surprize. Without saying a word, the Jedi, with his left hand resting on the hilt of the light-saber, just raises his right hand ever so slightly, wiggles the very tip of his index finger, and the blaster just pops from my thumb, (with a sound like popping your cheek), and drops to the floor ... cold as ice!
Now, don't get me wrong, I was extremely pleased to have that stupid thing off my thumb, and have the life slowly returning to my hand and arm. But the attitude of these Jedi ... well, it just gets to me somehow. I mean, here we were, having a perfectly confusing, life-threatening encounter, and in walks this "robed royalty" of the Force, who just wags his little pointer and ruins the whole thing! Who do they think they are? Guardians of the Galaxy or something? (Oh, yeah ... I guess they are). Well, despite that, I didn't like the interference, and by a glance at Han, I knew he wasn't real pleased with how things were turning out, either.
He was now looking like he had just given birth to an Ewok, and though his lip was still curled, a small bit of clear liquid was escaping from the corner, and it wasn't enhancing his appearance, if you know what I mean. Whatever the "robed one" had on him, it was obviously time to pay up, and the coffers were empty. Well, whatever the reason, and whatever the intent, it was very clear that I was now just an observer ... and I didn't like it ... not one bit.
But, even though my mind raced with thoughts of derring-do, (like rolling on the floor, grabbing the PB, jumping up, and wasting the lot ... or doing a flip in mid-air, disarming the Jedi, and landing with a defensive stance), I was forced to resort to collecting my pride and leaving. Now, some say I actually ran from the place, but I don't see how they can know, with it being so dark and everything. And I've heard stories over the years of what took place there after I left - harrowing tales of intense light-saber battles, of limbs being removed, of giant slugs and rancors, of the Almighty Carnac and indigestion ... but I don't take them seriously.
Whatever it was that Han wanted from me, I'll never know, and whatever it was that was going on between the two of them, will remain a mystery. But the thing that really gets to me ... late at night when my mind is restless and I can't sleep, is what it was that was so important to Han on Alderan ... what it was he lost, that made him feel so compelled to risk both our lives to resolve it. I'll never know, I guess, because they say he's still on Tatooine, in Mos Eisley, and that's one place I'm not visiting again ... ever! Hey ... know anyone who'd like a Nubian Cuiser ... real cheap?
(Thanks for indulging my sci-fi musings ... I couldn't help myself!)
Bakhu, I just want you to know, you've easily put away the race for the inaugural award for "Dude Who Routinely Causes Me Greatest Amusement At Ungodliest of Hours." Well done, sir. Always a pleasure to read your musings...which always seem to span the widest scope imaginable.
Seeing this thread again reminded me of this little story I had fun with, and I don't think I ever thanked you (SW) for your appreciation of my fits of absurd imagination, (which usually took place late at night, when we seemed to be the only two on the site - and often were
) ... I miss those days, your column "The Daily Babble", and your stories of The Guru, (who I pray is doing well). One thing that remains constant is change, and losing those things and the old friend that inspired this little story with his original post, (who often brought a smile to my face), makes me a bit sad ... but it's also treasure that I'll forever keep in my deep (but worn) pockets, and bring out from time-to-time, to sparkle in the sun. Thanks ... officially.