ROE Roleplaying Log: Light of Day

This real-time collaborative storytelling scene took place sometime in 2002 online on Star Wars: Reach of the Empire. I played the roles of C4PU and Dash Rendar:

Infirmary (Imperial Prison Facility: Kessel)

This sterile-looking facility is where prisoners who are injuried in the mines receive medical treatment. Rows of beds extend outward from the walls, and several medical droids move about from patient to patient. From the look of things, injuries in the mines are a common occurrence, and new patients, many in very serious condition, are brought in in a nearly constant stream.

From Bacta Tank, Phoenix doesn’t open her eyes and her cuts slowly stop bleeding. The bacta’s still a muddy purple colour from the blood released already though. The teen floats in the tank, hands unbandaged and looking beat up to the extreme.

C4PU walks into the infirmary, arms bowed outward as he approaches one of the worktables.

Elaer tilts his head to the side, looking at the human in the tank curiously. Seems he can’t help but wonder what happened to the young woman to beat her up so badly. The droid finishes wrapping his ribs, pulling the wrapping tight to make sure everything’s held in place, eliciting a yelp of pain from the Duros.

C4PU rearranges the swabs and medical gear on the worktable. Quietly studies the new formation. Makes a “tsk” sound and goes about rearranging them again.

From Bacta Tank, Probably not anything all that much – just shift duty. A braid that’s waist length or longer hangs down, piling up slightly at the bottom of the tank. Ix continues to sleep or whatever it is she’s doing, a small smile crossing her face – whether or not it can be seen from under the rebreather is hard to say, as is the cause of her happiness.

Elaer glances at the protocol droid, examining it with a quiet confidence, an assessing look. It’s the kind of look you’d see from someone well versed in droid matters. He nods politely to the 2-1B droid as it finishes tending to his cuts, scooching back a ways on the bed to sit with his back against the wall and watch the room easily.

C4PU turns and makes his way toward the bacta tank. His optical receptors flicker for a moment, and then he and his reflection turn toward the 2-1B droid. “How much longer do you anticipate this patient will require bacta treatment?”

The medical droid replies, “Her bacta treatment is anticipated to last 24 hours although it may be longer if her hands are not healed by that time.” Ix just..floats and smiles, a stream of bubbles coming from her rebreather.

“Oh, my,” the protocol droid replies, turning his attention back to the prisoner adrift in the bluish-green fluid. “That is most unfortunate. The overseer made it quite clear. He wants her back in the mines this afternoon.”

Elaer growls, a surprising sound from such a noble looking creature, and glares laser bolts at the protocol droid. His long nimble fingers flex and stretch as he stares angrily at the droid, concerned for Ix even though by most standards he shouldn’t be. “Bloody overseer” he mumbles to himself, still glaring at the droid’s back.

The 2-1B droid blarts in annoyance, “She is not fit to be released yet. If she is, the damage to her hands will only be compounded and she will be in here longer the next time. He will just have to wait.” Ix shows no signs of knowing what’s going on around her, dreaming of something pleasant. Her hair drifts slightly in a tiny current that keeps the air fresh in the tank.

The protocol droid turns toward the 2-1B droid, arms bowed outward. “We have little choice in the matter. Production has been drastically set back due to the mining collapse. The overseer has a schedule to keep. Besides, she *is* merely a prisoner. They are not required to be granted the same consideration when it comes to such matters. If she remains capable of returning after her shift, she will.”

Elaer curls his lip in a sneer, remaining silent but still watching and listening. His hands twitch again, the fingers flexing and curling as he stares at the protocol droid. The droid blarts again, “She will wind up in bacta again. Even in there, wounds do not heal over night, you know.” This one is probably going to get a mind-wipe sometime in the near future. Ix floats, hair drifting and getting air bubbles caught in it.

“Then so be it,” C4PU replies, bowing slightly. “Return her to consciousness and remove her at once.”

Elaer merely observes, before lapsing into his usual silence with his eyes closed.

The droid blarts again but the tank is drained and Ix blinks as she wakes up, the air bubbles in her hair popping.

C4PU turns his attention back to the bacta tank and the prisoner within.

Phoenix is pulled out of the Bacta Tank. Phoenix has her hands wrapped after being removed from the tank. The rebreather is taken off and sanitized for the next person who will get bacta treatment and Ix stands, dripping slightly as she looks around.

“Prisoner,” the protocol droid says, addressing Phoenix with a slight bow. “Your presence is required on the next mining shift. I am under orders to escort you to your work station. You may wish to dress for the environment.”

Elaer tents his fingers, tapping them together deep in thought for a few moments. After a bit he opens his eyes, observing the situation once again. He opens his thin mouth, as though to speak, but no sound emanates. With a glance at the protocol droid as he speaks, his hands move quickly, pointing at himself and pantomiming mining, then nodding torwards Phoenix.

C4PU glances toward Elaer, his optical receptors flickering. “I am sorry. The overseer’s orders do not mention additional mining personnel.”

Phoenix glares at C4PU, “I /am/ dressed for the enviroment.” Acually she isn’t, really, but she’s /not/ letting anyone touch her clothing either. She glances at Elaer, watching his gestures quietly.

Elaer growls again and taps his chest, then points to Phoenix’s hands with a shake of his head. He then points to his hands, then makes like he’s mining, nodding to Ix again. With an exasperated sigh he hops to his feet, walking over to Phoenix and pointing more closely to her hands, then to his.

C4PU draws back, looking from Elaer to the girl and then back at the Duros. “I am fully aware of her physical condition. The overseer left no room for doubt or extrapolation of his orders. I will relay to him your eagerness to serve in the mines, however, if you wish.”

Phoenix sticks her tongue out at the protocol droid. Yes, it’s childish and immature – but she’s a bit cranky from the combination of having just woken up, getting her hands bandaged and finding out that she’s going on shift.

Elaer shrugs helplessly, still looking between Ix and the Droid. He points to the droid, making a ‘go away’ motion, then raising a hand to just above his eyes and looking around, almost as though he’s surveying something. He then taps his throat, moving his hand as though he’s speaking.

C4PU flickers his optical receptors at Elaer, then turns toward Phoenix. “What an odd individual. Come along, then. As Overseer Bardick is fond of relating, ‘Temporal passage equates to fiscal decreptitation.’ Or words to that effect.” He then moves with arms bowed outward to the doorway, approaching the prison compound.

Phoenix peers at C4PU, uttering her first words for the day, “Wha-a?” She blinks, but follows after a bit, grumbling quietly to herself about having to go on shift.

Elaer growls again, clenching his hands into fists as he shakes his head at C4PU. With a pleading look torwards Ix he walks his fingers along his hand, then points to himself, then her.

Prison Compound <Imperial Prison Facility: Kessel>

This is a wide courtyard in the midst of the prison. It is surrounded by high walls, upon which stormtroopers and guards patrol regularly. Set along the walls at various places are heavy gun emplacements, most of which are pointed inward, toward the compound. In the compound itself, the prisoners are frequently allowed to mill about and pass their time when not consigned to the mines. Bedraggled-looking Wookiees, gangly humans, mangy Bothans, undernourished Twi’leks and sickly Duros, among other scattered races, mill about the yard, some doing mild exercise to keep up their strength in the low gravity. Nearby are the entrances to the administrative wing of the prison, and the main cell blocks.

C4PU walks among the rabble in the prison compound, arms bowed outward as he approaches the cell block. As he walks, he speaks to Phoenix. “I must apologize for ordering your withdrawal from the bacta tank, but I had little choice in the matter. Overseer Bardick was most insistent.”

In Huttese: Phoenix follows after C4PU, muttering, “Bardick can go f*ck himself, for all I care.” Crude and not exactly the nicest thing to say…but Ix isn’t always a nice person – life on the Outer Rim has made her this way.

C4PU stops, making a gasping sound as he looks toward Phoenix. “How rude!” Then, he collects his electronic wits and proceeds into the cell block.

Elaer makes his way out of the Infirmary despite the protestations of the 2-1B, surveying the yard and finally spotting the Droid and Phoenix. He hobbles after, clutching his chest with a pained expression on his face. He makes a grunting noise at the pair, waving his free hand at the droid , trying to gain it’s attention.

C4PU stops as he catches sight of the grunting Duros. “I wonder what that strange fellow wants now?”

Phoenix shrugs, muttering something that sounds like, “Yeah, well, chalk it up to 10 years living on the edge of the Outer Rim.” She looks over to where C4PU is glancing, watching quietly.

Elaer comes to a stop in front of the pair, hands moving vigorously as he points to himself, makes a mining action, then points to the droid and stomps his foot. Seems like he’s quite intent on helping, despite what the droid said. With a soft grunt he points at his throat and shakes his head.

“I am afraid that is *out* of the question,” C4PU replies to Elaer. “My orders are to take one prisoner.” He gestures with a silver arm toward Phoenix. “Specifically, her. The overseer was most emphatic on this matter. One prisoner. I am equipped with rudimentary mathematical skills, as are the stormtroopers who are overseeing this particular shift. If you wish to come with me, that is your choice, Duros, but they will torture or perhaps even kill you for your trouble. That seems a foolhardy path to follow, considering your own injuries.”

In Huttese: Phoenix is silent for a few moments and then says softly, “Yeah, but that may be all the math skills they’ve got.” Apparently Ix has gone into ‘Diss the Imps’ time or something..

Elaer drags his finger across his throat with a guttural grunt, and then shrugs. He points again at her hands and shakes his head, quite adamant about the whole matter. With a soft sound like a blaster shot he taps his chest, a shrugs indifferently.

C4PU tilts his head, staring at Elaer. “If I take you in her stead, then she will be returned to a cell with a perfectly dreadful Aqualish. I do not think her chances in that cell would be any better than her chances in the mines. I can only take one of you. The overseer has made it clear he wants this female prisoner delivered to the mines. You are currently hindering the satisfaction of those orders. If you continue, I will have *you* jailed with the Aqualish.”

Phoenix sighs softly, “Sh*t, am I with Ponda again?” She swears softly and in every language she knows, most likely shocking the protocol droid severely.

Elaer waves his hand dismissively, shoo’ing the droid. He then points at himself and walks his fingers along the palm of his hand, then back at the droid. He shrugs again, not really caring at this point.

C4PU flickers his optical receptors, turning to regard the female. “I will leave the choice in your hands. You may go into the mines or you may go into the cell with Ponda Baba, while this stubborn Duros is delivered to the mines.”

Phoenix considers quietly, biting her bottom lip. She glances at her bandaged hands and then at Cell block A, silent for a while. After several minutes, she says softly, “The mines. My chances of survival are a lot better there.” She glances at Elaer, whispering something to him.

Elaer looks at Phoenix, and then nods slowly, shooting a glare at the droid. He pauses and then reaches over, patting Ix softly on the shoulder, trying to be comforting. With a soft sigh he turns away and hobbles back torwards the infirmary, arms clutched back over his chest again.

C4PU watches the Duros go, and then proceeds into the cell block.

Cell Block A <Imperial Prison Facility: Kessel>

This passageway leads through one of the main cell blocks of the prison. The floor is a dull black metallic grid through which a reddish white light pours, and the walls are a dull gray. There are security cameras and remote gun emplacements set in the ceiling here, and every so often along the walls can be seen a heavy blast door leading into a cell.

From Cell 2 <Imperial Prison Facility: Kessel>, Ponda Baba sits on his bunk, arms draped over his knees, glassy eyes fixed in their seemingly thoughtless stare at the floor.

C4PU walks along the cell block, arms bowed outward. “I am quite pleased we were able to negotiate an amicable solution with that Duros. I do so dislike confrontations.”

Phoenix walks after C4PU, hands still bandaged. She’s silent for the most part, asides from her grumbles about going on shift. She’s currently glaring daggers into the protocol droid’s back, grunting softly as it speaks.

Work Detail Processing <Imperial Prison Facility: Kessel>

This is a staging area for the work gangs that are sent down into the spice mines. There is a control station here manned by an officer and two technicians. Prisoners enter from the cell blocks in groups, and their prison IDs are scanned at the control station, where they are cleared for entry to the mines and assigned to a work gang and mine section. By the lift leading down into the mines are two guards who hand out mining equipment as the prisoners enter the lift.

C4PU walks toward the lift, accompanying Phoenix toward the officers who scan the prisoner’s ID card.

The Imperial officer takes Phoenix’s card, looks it over, scans it, then sneers at her. “Off you go. Enjoy your shift.”

Phoenix walks after the droid, still grumbling softly. She looks wary around the officers, edging as far away from them as she can. Which probably isn’t all that far. She snorts, muttering something under her breath in Huttese that’s best left untranslated.

C4PU leads Phoenix deep into the mines…

Southern Shaft <Spice Mines: Kessel>

This is a deep vertical mine shaft beneath the surface of Kessel. The light here is dim and the air is stale and hot. Gangs of prison laborers work along the walls of the shaft and in narrow side-shafts, digging for and harvesting supplies of glitterstim spice, which sparkle brightly when exposed to even dim light. Many of the miners stand on repulsor platforms, and others cling directly to the walls with ease in the low gravity. Along the walls every so often are steel platforms or stony rock outcroppings where miners have carved side passages into the rock. The weblike spice veins extend up and down the shaft, leading deep into the planet.

C4PU walks along, arms bowed outward as his optical receptors glow brightly in the shadows. He stops next to a depression in the rock and then turns toward Phoenix. In the background, the chink-clang of mining tools can be heard.

Phoenix gazes at the droid, silent for now. She shifts uneasily, glancing from the depression to C4PU.

After a quick surveillance of the chamber, the droid presses one of its digits into a crack in the rock wall, and a hidden door grinds open, the noise all but masked by the machinery droning.

Phoenix blinks as the door opens, pale gold eyebrows rising. She fiddles with the end of her braid, chewing on her bottom lip and glancing at the protocol droid, “What the hell..?”

C4PU bends over and shuffles through the opening.

Secret Passage <Spice Mines: Kessel>

This is a narrow passageway carved into the rock. It leads from the busy mine shafts and slopes gently upward toward the surface. At one end is a secret door leading into the mines, and at the other is a lift that leads upwards. The light here is a little brighter than in the mines themselves, but is still quite dim.

Without a word, the grungy silver protocol droid walks down the passage toward the lift.

Phoenix follows after C4PU, leather boots scuffing lightly on the rock. She’s silent – more so than the droid probably, since she doesn’t have servomotors.

Secret Landing Pad <Alkali Flats: Kessel>

This dusty landing pad is set well away from the prison, which can be seen in the distance. There is a small cargo elevator here by which spice can be moved from the mines to waiting ships. There are no maintenance facilities here, and the pad is little more than a hardened rock platform with no markings or beacons. Anyone who did not know of its existence would have a very hard time ever finding it.

The lift doors slide open, and out walks C4PU, arms bowed outward as he finds himself on an empty landing pad.

Phoenix follows the droid, her jaw dropping as she sees the landing pad. She’s still silent, kicking at a stray stone.

In the sky above, a dropship comes into view as it descends toward the surface.

C4PU glances up toward the heavens, optical receptors flickering.

A YT-2400 settles onto the landing pad. In the cockpit, a human male and a droid can be seen. The man gets out of his seat and disappears from view, leaving the droid at the controls.

Phoenix just waits quietly, watching. She’s still silent, toying with the end of her braid.

C4PU turns and walks back toward the lift, his objective completed.

The ramp of the Outrider slides downward from the saucer-hull, and down it walks a man with reddish-brown hair and a confident gait, blaster holster thumping against his leg. He grabs one of the struts, then swings down onto the rock of Kessel’s secret landing platform. “Depressing damned place.”

Phoenix stands near the lift, silent. Her hands are bandaged and she’s in rough shape but she’s still recognizable. Mostly. She shrugs, Dash’s words carrying in the silence, “Yeah, well, lucky fer you, y’don’t live here.”

Dash Rendar nods as he gets within a few feet of Phoenix. “Neither do you. Come on.” He jerks a thumb over his shoulder at the freighter. “We’re getting you out of here.”

Phoenix grins, “Honest?” She trots towards the freighter, glancing over her shoulder to check if Imps are going to appear all of a sudden and keep her from leaving.

“Ain’t the sort of thing I’d lie about,” the pilot retorts, following after her.

Phoenix nods, standing near the ramp once she reaches it and waiting patiently for Dash, “Prob’ly’ if this turns out t’ be a dream, someone’s going t’ get hurt when I wake up.”

Dash Rendar chuckles, then walks past Phoenix to climb up the ramp.

Main Corridor <Corellian Engineering YT-2400>

Dark gray deckplates serve as flooring in this cylindrical corridor, ringed in thick white pads every ten feet or so. Light panels are imbedded in the ceiling. A hatchway leads into the cockpit, while the corridor itself forks off toward the cargo hold in one direction and the ship’s lounge in the other.

Phoenix pads after Dash, “So…what happened to the Ashes? Did the Imps take her or is she still on Corellia?” She bites her bottom lip, expecting the worst.

The droid co-pilot, Leebo, is making his way down the corridor away from the cockpit. “Dash, I will see to that misfiring compensator in engineering, if you have no qualms with flying Outrider solo.”

Dash Rendar glares at Leebo and points at the droid. “*Never* say that word on my ship, Leebo.” He scowls, then looks toward Phoenix. “Ashes? No idea, but I’m pretty sure the Imps grabbed it.” He heads forward, toward the cockpit.

The droid gives a perplexed twitter, then proceeds toward the cargo hold.

Phoenix stifles a snicker and sighs as she hears that her ship is probably gone forever. She nods, padding forwards to join Dash in the cockpit unless he tells her to stay in the lounge.

Dash Rendar doesn’t dissuade Phoenix from following.

Cockpit <Corellian Engineering YT-2400>

An elongated chamber at the forward end of the cockpit tube, this compartment has seats for a pilot and co-pilot at the main console. The tube stretches aft to the primary escape pods. A hatchway leads into the main corridor that weaves its way through the main disc of the spacecraft.

Dash Rendar slides into the pilot’s seat, and starts tapping in a sequence on the navicomp. “Strap yourself in. The asteroid belt out here is pretty dicey.”

Phoenix is silent for a few moments as she sits and straps herself in, “Well…I figure the odds on you doin’ this outta the goodness of your heart are slim, so…who’s paying you t’ do this?” Ix is either wise or cynical. Or both.

Dash Rendar shrugs. “Your people paid me to help with the pirate situation. The pirates took care of themselves, it would appear. I don’t like owing money to people who expected services rendered, and it wasn’t exactly a big secret you were here. Bardick owes me a few favors.” He shrugs again. “So.” He taps the jet activator.

The ship sways and bumps as it lifts from the surface of the ground.

Phoenix nods, leaning back in her seat, “Ah.” She closes her eyes, seeming to take a nap for the moment.

Calling up a holographic nav chart, the pilot looks over the rotating stellar sectors. “You have a preference?”

Phoenix is silent for a few moments, gazing at the map, “Well…the Diamonds’re based mostly on Tatooine…how thick is the Imp presence there these days?”

Dash Rendar laughs softly. “Thick as a dewback’s hide. The Redoubtable just showed up yesterday. Not sure what they’re after, but they’re hot about it.”

Phoenix grimaces, “Okay…/not/ Tatooine then. Or anywhere near Imps. Not for at least a year or so…or however long it takes them to calm down once they find out that I’ve vanished into thin air, unless the droid who brought me to the landing pad comes up with a good story. Is there anywhere the Diamonds will be expecting to see you?”

Dash Rendar shrugs. “Me? I dunno. I haven’t exactly told them I’m coming after you. I figured the less fanfare, the fewer the chances for someone to open their damned mouths, like that Varaxian kid.” He shakes his head, then points at Bespin. “But, with the pirates gone, I suspect you might run into them there.”

Phoenix nods and hmms softly, “Well, if Ian even seems like he’s gonna open his mouth about this, I’ll do more’n just cut his bits’n pieces off. I’ve got no wish t’ wind up on Kessel again. It ain’t a nice place t’ visit and it’s even worse t’ stay there.” She studies the map a bit longer and then shrugs, “Well..I guess we should probably head to Bespin then.”

Dash Rendar chuckles. “Bespin it is.” He enters the coordinates into the navicomp. The destination flashes on the holographic starglobe before it fades out of existence.

Phoenix nods, closing her eyes again. She seems to fall asleep, staying quiet as she listens to the sounds of a ship in space.

> Outrider fires thrusters, breaking away from Kessel and arcing toward the Imperial blockade that surrounds the prison rock.

An official sounding voice comes over the comms: “Freighter Outrider, re-transmit your clearance codes.”

Dash Rendar knits his brow, then replies over comms: “I sent the codes on the way *in*. You verified the codes. You did good work. You then waved me through. This is just…silly.”

An official sounding voice comes over the comms: “We require secondary confirmation.”

Ix’s eyes open and she listens quietly. Very quietly. She doesn’t say anything at all. No matter how much she may want to laugh or anything, she is /not/ going to make any noise at all. In fact, her breathing seems to have gotten quieter.

The pilot sighs, but nods and replies: “Fine. Stand by to receive the codes. Again.” He taps out a sequence on the console, then glances toward Ix. He nods as he sees she’s staying quiet, and then goes back to waiting for a response.

Phoenix is not only staying quiet, if it were at all possible, she’d stop breathing too. However, since that’s not possible and would probably make noise when she started breathing again, the teen settles for inhaling and exhaling as silently as she can.

An official sounding voice comes over the comms: “Very well, Outrider. The codes check out. You may proceed.”

Dash Rendar smiles tautly, then replies into the comm: “A pleasure.” He switches off the transmitter, then calls back over his shoulder. “Leebo! I need hyperdrive just as *soon* as we get through this thin stretch of asteroids!”

Phoenix stays silent, even after the transmitter is shut off, although her breathing becomes a bit more audible. She keeps her hands in her lap, gazing at the astroid-and-black-hole pocked starscape.

> Outrider banks slightly to starboard as it passes through the vanguard of star destroyers and support ships.

> Outrider clears the defensive perimeter set up by the Empire to keep the riff-raff on Kessel and then swings around toward a thin swath of slowly rolling rocks of various sizes.

> Outrider doesn’t go directly *into* the thick of the asteroid field, opting instead to cruise just above the highest layer. Still, there are smaller chunks of debris that can be just as dangerous. The freighter angles starboard and then port, repeatedly, as the pilot dodges the junk. One of the bits of debris, however, appears to be a wookiee – pelt frigid and stiff, eye sockets rimed with icy dust.

Phoenix shivers slightly as she spots the Wookie floating outside. She doesn’t ask if they can bring him in – he’s most likely dead and probably been that way for a long time. Instead, she’s silent, thinking quietly.

Dash Rendar doesn’t say a word about the wookiee either. His frown deepens, though.

> Outrider breaks clear of the asteroid strand, into clear space, angled toward Bespin.

The ship hums loudly as it enters into hyperspace.

Dash Rendar finishes the hyperdrive activation sequence, then sighs, leans back in his chair and says, “All clear.”

Phoenix relaxes slightly, “With any luck, they won’t find out that I’m missing until long after we’re gone…or the droid’ll say I got attacked by energy spiders or somethin’.”

Dash Rendar nods. “Well, that droid can’t lie. They’d make him talk, and he saw me land. He left *you* waiting there.”

Phoenix nods, biting her bottom lip, “An’ the top of the Southern shaft doesn’t really get many spiders…hardly any, in fact..”

“Right,” the pilot agrees. “And Bardick won’t be taking any chances of exposure for himself.”

Phoenix is silent for a few moments, “So…they’re gonna find out that I escaped. An’ they’ll come lookin’ for me, ’cause it’s not all that good for their rep to have people escaping from Kessel an’ getting away with it.

Dash Rendar lifts his eyebrows. “Uh. No.” He looks over at her. “*Bardick* can lie to cover his tracks. He just has to get rid of the witness.”

Phoenix is silent again, “So…he’ll either ditch the droid entirely or have it’s memory wiped. Either way, he’s gonna make sure it doesn’t get to tell about this.” She leans back again, lapsing back into untalkativness.

Dash Rendar nods. “Cheaper to do a mindwipe but…yeah.”

Phoenix ohs softly and then goes back to being silent. Her eyes are slightly unfocused and she seems a bit distracted, as if thinking of something or someone else.

“Wish we could have made room for Jeeron and Rynacer, but Bardick doesn’t like to cut people loose more than one at a time,” the pilot says, checking the readouts. “Too suspicious.”

Phoenix nods, “So..they might get free or they might not, depending on whether or not it gets really suspicious?” She’s silent again for a few moments, “Well..if nothin’ else, this is gonna mean another name change and a new look, just to be safe.”

Dash Rendar nods. “Not a bad idea.”

The ship reverberates as it drops out of hyperspace.

> Outrider drops out of hyperspace on the outskirts of the star system, angling around for approach to Bespin.

Phoenix leans back in her chair, “Now I just gotta figure out a name an’ what I’ll look like.” She fingers the scar on her chin awkwardly, wincing slightly as her hands are bumped through the contact.

You feel the ship begin to slow.

“Better get to a bacta tank on Bespin, quick as you can,” Rendar suggests, nodding toward the mangled hands.

Phoenix glances at her hands, which are placed in her lap again and she nods, “Yeah..” She gazes at the starscape, silent again.

> Outrider breaks through the atmosphere of Bespin and closes on the majestic towers of floating Cloud City.

The ship shudders as the retrojets engage and the ship begins its descent.

The ship rotates slowly and fires braking thrusters as its struts touch down.

As the ship settles onto the landing pad, retrojets hissing, Dash looks toward Phoenix and says, “Take care of yourself, kid. Stay out of trouble.”

Phoenix nods, unstrapping herself and standing, “I’m pretty sure I can manage the first part. I’ll work on the second…an’ thanks, for getting me outta there.” She smiles at Dash and then unbraids her hair as quickly as she can, giving herself a screen that’ll keep her face from being seen if she’s very careful.

“Tell your pals we’re even,” Dash replies, and then he returns his attention to the holographic starglobe, planning his next move.

Phoenix nods, “I will.” And then she pads out of the cockpit and heads to Bespin proper.