The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!
View Single Post
08.24.2012 , 02:14 AM |
A Late Entry.
Prompt: My First
Title: Signing Papers
Characters: Kirya (smuggler)
No spoilers. Timeframe is prior to the class story.
Kirya walked onto the lot again. The Duros she’d been talking to hustled up immediately, “You’re back,” he said, his Basic tinted with Duros inflection. He held out his hand.
Kirya took it in a firm handshake, “I’m back, Jinzo. I told you I would be.”
He released her hand and tugged at his sleeve, “Didn’t expect you so soon. That CR25 you were looking at is gone, though. I said she’d go fast; that was a nice little ship.”
“Oh darn. I liked that one.”
“So did a bunch of other people.” Jinzo waved her onto the lot.
“Figures. So what else do you have?” Kirya followed, weaving around the swoops, speeders, and small transports that were the yard’s main business.
“Still got the Dynamic-class you liked, the yellow one. Also that Ghtroc 720 you were looking at.”
Kirya craned her neck to look past the fence into the freighter yard, “Hey, that’s new,” she said, “XS?”
Jinzo stopped, “Oh, that one? Yeah, CGS XS freigher. Just got her in. She hasn’t even been through detail yet so she’s pretty scruffy.”
“Can I see her?”
Jinzo rubbed his non-chin, “I don’t know, technically she’s not on the lot yet. Boss doesn’t like us showing ships that haven’t been detailed.”
“Why? I mean, if I ask to see her before she’s all cleaned up I know she’s not going to look as nice as some of the other ones,” Kirya said.
“Yeah, well, it’s not always a good idea.”
“How bad could it be?”
Jinzo rolled his shoulders, “Boss picked one up at the impound auction, had a compartment full of life-size, inflatable Twi’lek se—er girl dolls. And I mean
. All jammed in there. The manifest listed them as ‘emergency oxygen supply’. The detailers had to pop ‘em to get ‘em all out of there.”
Kirya laughed, “You’re kidding right?”
Jinzo put his hand over his heart, “Jedi’s honor. And that’s not counting routine stuff like years of nutrition pack wrappers shoved under the seats or cockpit windows so grimy you can’t see through them. Weird stuff just kills a sale.”
“Aww, so you’re not looking out for me after all?” Kirya asked.
“Nope, I’m looking out for my commission.”
“Can I see it? Please?” Kirya wheedled, “I promise I won’t freak out if we find a baby Hutt in the ‘fresher.”
Jinzo shuddered, “How about that nice Dynamic-class? She’s all ready to go.”
Jinzo scratched his jaw, “I don’t know. You serious this time?”
“Aw, Jinzo, I’m always serious.”
“Ha. You’ve been a looky-loo for months.”
“I just haven’t seen the right ship.”
“All right, serious this time. Ship like that in good condition would go 12-mil easy. You even have a
Kirya flashed a credstick, “Pre-approved. A real IGBC loan. Cash, as far as you’re concerned. So can I see her now?”
Jinzo put out one hand, “Lemme see.” He looked at the numbers. “I guess you are serious. All right, let’s go see her.”
Jinzo lead her to the craft. There she was, a battered XS freighter, once a lively red. Micrometeorites and atmospheric friction had taken their toll on the paint; it was oxidized dull and scratched to the primer in places. Jinzo leaned against one of the landing gear, hiding a smear of carbon-scoring, “I’m going to regret this,” he muttered. “So, still want to go look?”
Kirya took in the ship, “How old you say she was?”
“I didn’t. Five years,” he replied.
“Wow. I would have pegged her older. That her name?
?” Kirya pointed to a set of faded yellow aurebesh letters stenciled to the side of the cockpit.
Jinzo consulted his datapad, “
, yeah. You can change it for a fee when you register her with the Bureau of Ships and Services.”
“It’s not a bad name,” Kirya said, walking around the perimeter.
Jinzo shifted his position around the landing gear to keep her in sight. And continue to hide the suspicious—if superficial—damage, “Not at all. Makes people think you’re honest. You know, splitting fifty-fifty.”
Kirya stopped her inspection, “You’re smooth, Jinzo.”
“Just stating a fact, Kirya. ”
She giggled, “I’d like to see the inside.”
“After you,” he said, motioning up the gangplank. Kirya preceded him to the hatch, which was sealed with a dealer’s uni-comp. Jinzo unlocked it and the hatch slid open.
Kirya wrinkled her nose, “Is that spice?” she asked.
“Smells like Ryll, yeah,” conceded Jinzo, “Stick an ozone generator in here for a day and that’ll be gone. She’ll smell fresh as Alderaan mountain air.”
The pair of them stepped into the corridor. Kirya glanced around, ignoring the funky odor. The bulkheads had gone a nasty shade of yellow. “The recirculators check out?” she asked, venturing down the corridor toward the engine compartment.
“Mechanical checks are decent. Her maintenance record is patchy—“
“Yeah, well, sometimes that’s just because of where an owner gets the maintenance done, or who does it, if you know what I mean,” Jinzo said, “This little model is already speedy. Her hyperdrive is the standard 1.3, faster than the old Dynamic-class. Maneuvering thrusters are complete 360, so she’s nimble. The grease rats went over her already and recommended some repairs. We’ll take care of those of you want. Roll it into the price so it’s not out-of-pocket to you.”
Kirya peered into the engine compartment, “I bet new filters is on the list.”
“On top. After the ozone generator.”
Kirya stepped back into the hallway, “Sure she’s not still carrying?”
“What, spice? Naa. Looks more like the last owner was a spicehead, which would explain a lot,” Jinzo replied, “Ryll’s not exactly illegal most places, and a real smuggler would never give a nosy customs agent such an obvious invite.”
you do before selling used starships, Jinzo?” asked Kirya.
“I don’t believe I ever said, Kirya,” Jinzo replied, blinking large red eyes. “I think you’re confusing genuine knowledge and concern for the needs of my clients with some sort of shady, mysterious background.”
“Knowledge and concern, huh?”
“Of course,” Jinzo said, changing the subject, “She’s got the standard XS layout. Crew or passenger bunks are right across the way here, cargo hold, the galley up ahead on the left, captain’s quarters just after. Readout doesn’t show she’s been modified, though most XS-class are.”
“Hmm. Is that unusual? To be stock?” Kirya asked, looking into the galley. Interlocking rings of some dark evaporated liquid decorated the prep counter. One of the lower cabinet doors hung partway open, alumina beverage canisters spilling out onto the floor.
“Not given how lazy this guy was,” Jinzo peered over Kirya’s shoulder. “If she’d been detailed you’d never even have known this was here. The mess is superficial. Easy fix. She’s a solid ship.”
“I want to see the inspection report. Captain’s quarters up ahead?” asked Kirya, backing out.
“On the left, yeah,” Jinzo held his breath as she activated the door.
“Oh my,” she said, giggling, “that’s, um, interesting décor.” The only light in the room came from a glittering ball on the ceiling. It rotated slowly, sending small spots of light in random patterns over the walls. The silhouette of an enormous, reclining nude humanoid female decorated the wall opposite the door, not unlike a cantina advert. In fact…Kirya stepped into the room and checked the lower corner of the cutout. Sure enough, engraved in the surface was the legacy ‘property of Silent Sun Cantina’. “How hard to remove all this, Jinzo?”
“No trouble at all. I’ll write that into the contract. In fact, you pick the interior colors and we’ll repaint the whole thing. She’ll be just what you want.”
Kirya nodded, “Let’s see the cockpit.”
They moved through the lounge. Dirt dulled the deckplates, except for the phantom outlines of missing furniture or old cargo. Undoubtedly the old owner offloaded whatever he’d wanted to keep. A well-defined trail led to the ship’s command center.
The cockpit was as indifferently maintained as everything else. Light from the overheads in the shipyard illuminated layers of dust and dirt. Only the controls on the left-hand station were clean, and that from obvious use.
Jinzo pointed out a few of the controls, “The real beauty of these XS-class is their flexibility. They’re perfect for a solo captain. You can run everything from here. Hyperdrive, atmospheric repulsorlifts, cargo lifts, armament, sensors, whatever you need. She’s already configured for single-station flight. If you have a crew, you can turn select systems over to direct operation and keep the rest. You can convert to run mostly freight, or passengers, whatever you want. Really sweet little ship, even if she looks a mess right now. So what do you think?”
Kirya ran her hands over the leatheris back of the captain’s chair.
You’ve had a hard life, haven’t you
, Fifty Percent.
Someone didn’t take very good care of you. Bought you all bright and shiny. Then he didn’t fix you when you hurt, didn’t bother keeping you clean and got rid of you when something newer and shinier came along. He got what he wanted from you then he threw you away.
“Kirya?” Jinzo prodded.
“Her record clean?” she asked.
“B.O.S.S. search was good. She’s not hot. SINs and CINs all match to record, only real blip was the incomplete maintenance.”
“Boss had her pegged at 12mil, like I said.”
“Yeah, but she needs work. Eight.”
“Aw, Kirya, I can’t let her go for eight, she’s worth a lot more than that. Eleven-five and I’ll throw in the paint job and straightening out the captain’s stateroom.”
“Nine with the remodel.”
“You’re killing me. Eleven.”
“Nine-five, and you take care of all the maintenance issues.”
“Can’t do that for less than ten, Kirya, the inspection recommends at least half a mil in repairs.”
“Ten then,” Kirya said, “Come on, I’m taking her off your hands, she won’t take up space on your yard, any you won’t have to refit her for another buyer. Cash in hand, Jinzo.”
Jinzo rubbed his non-chin, “I don’t know, I’d have to talk to the sales manager.”
“Oh, don’t play that card, Jinzo. Can you cut the deal or not?”
Jinzo sighed, “Ten-five.”
“Ten, but I’ll authorize up to half a mil contingency to cover unforeseen issues the grease rats find when they get into her guts.”
“You cover the B.O.S.S. registration fees?”
“Can you roll it into the price?”
“Fifty grand. Yeah I can do that,” Jinzo fiddled with his datapad, “Ten million fifty thousand, interior refurbish, ownership transfer, all repairs on the list with an additional five-hundred thousand contingency if needed. Deal?” Jinzo asked, holding out the datapad.
Kirya authorized the contract, “Deal”
“Congratulations, Kirya Bilali, you just bought a ship.”
On abbreviations: IGBC is Intergalactic Banking Clan, which is mentioned in the EU at least. SIN and CIN are stand-ins for current automotive VIN, for Ship Identification Number and Component Identification Number. B.O.S.S., Bureau of Ships and Services, is in the Star Wars RPG books.
Cleaner One: Saga of a Reluctant Agent
The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread
Failure is Always an Option
The Strange Case of Dr Quinn and Mr Pierce