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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Chariot of the Gods

HYPERSPACE, en route to Yavin IV

"Chewie, I don't want you horsing around with that kid on the ship. I'm not worried about you, but I saw him lift a  sandcrawler to save a womp rat. I wouldn't be surprised if he's strong enough to punch a hole in the hull and blow us all into space."

"Rrrrauugghhhh," Chewbacca said.

"Yeah, yeah, you vouch for him, Skywalker vouches for him, the old man vouches for him. But I'll tell ya, I've got a bad feeling about--"

"About what?" said Clark Kenobi, choosing that inopportune moment to visit the Millenium Falcon's cockpit.

"Nothing. Here, kid, take the copilot seat and see how it feels."

"Waaaughhh!" Chewbacca protested.

"Come on, Chewie, move it. You were going to replace that frozen compensator anyway, right?"

Grumbling, Chewbacca moved aft as the teenager hopped into his vacated seat.

"Gee, Captain Solo, thanks." The boy pointedly kept his hands crossed in his lap.

Well, he's disciplined, anyway, Han Solo thought. "Go ahead, take the controls for a second. You won't hurt anything."

But to Solo's surprise, the kid just shook his head. "No thanks. I like just watching the stars go by."

Solo turned his attention back to his controls, bewildered. "Suit yourself."

They flew in silence for a while. Questions burned in Solo's mind, until he at last couldn't contain himself.

"You're not really the old man's nephew, are you?"

The boy blushed, the lie dying on his lips before he could even give it voice.

"No, but keep it a secret, please," he said. "I'm from Krypton."

Solo whistled. "Krypton. Wow. Sorry, kid. That's rough."

"It's okay. I was a baby. I never knew my real parents."

Solo didn't like where this was going. It looked like Old Ben had recruited a second starry-eyed dreamer for his hopeless crusade against the Empire. The kid couldn't be more than 14, maybe younger. Solo was a scoundrel, sure, but none of his criminal activity had ever endangered children.

"I guess you're pretty mad at the Empire, huh?"

But the younger Kenobi shook his head. "I'm not angry. But they do have to be stopped. Imperials kill people, they hurt people, they make people slaves."

"And your...uncle...thinks you can stop all that, huh?"

"I'd like to try. There's a right and a wrong in the universe, and the distinction is not very difficult to make."

I guess it beats 'May the Force be with you,' Solo  thought.

"Look, you just be careful, huh? You mess with the Empire, bad things happen."

"Maybe, but I figure if you mess with the Empire enough, some good things might start to happen too."

Solo started to cast a cynical sidelong gaze at the boy, but he froze in place as he watched young Kenobi gazing out at the blue-shifted stars of hyperspace. The boy's sapphire eyes crackled with raw, barely restrained energy. Solo felt his throat go dry. He'd seen pretty much every weird, dangerous alien the galaxy had to offer. This kid was different.

The way the kid looked through the cockpit windows...Solo wondered if he even needed a ship at all. He knew that look. They were going .5 past lightspeed, faster than practically anything else in Imperial space.

But the boy was impatient. Leaning forward. As if he wished he could just jump out and leave them all behind.

Han Solo was a realist, not given to folk tales and superstition. But in that moment, he wondered if he'd been the naive dreamer all along. 

1 comment:

Jeff Shyluk said...

That tears it. I've decided: I'm drawing this. I would be a fool not to. I've never done a comic book before, but hey, this thing will draw itself. I'll start on character models in a bit.