Livin' on the Edge
The Temperature at Which Blood Freezes
If Dai got any more tense she would shatter. She hated being cooped up. Every bone in her body screamed at her to get the hell out of here, get back to her ship, and finish the job. Stolen Imperial weaponry didn't find new homes on its own after all.
But Dailana knew escape was a futile hope. The Imperials didn't take theft lightly. The Storm Troopers that brought her to the cell had bragged about what the Empire would do to her for her "nerve."
"You'll never see the light again smuggler."
"No one escapes Belsavis."
"You'll wish you were dead."
Once they finally left her alone, she mused over her fate. Belsavis. It was a planet encased in ice. The only saving grace were the volcanic rifts which boasted a more jungle like climate. Thankfully the prison was in one of these rifts. She fucking hated the cold.
The long trip to the prison planet was beginning to irritate her. Clenching and unclenching her jaw as her fury mounted, Dailana gazed around at the "motley crew" that had slowly joined her in the cell. The cast of characters around her was diverse. Nearest to her was a Twi'lek in an incredibly skimpy outfit. One could only assume her profession. Next was a Rodian who barely looked old enough to be out on his own, let alone as a prisoner on a ship under Imperial command. Against the far wall stood a Gamorrean, snorting and grunting to himself, not particularly bothered by his imprisonment. Lastly, and by far the most out of place, was a spherical medical droid.
Dailana noted that the droid and the Twi'lek seemed to know each other. The two prisoners chatted amicably back and forth. At the mentioning of the House of 1,000 sighs, Dailana's suspicions about the Twi'lek's occupation were confirmed.
Dai stayed silent, just observing and trying to think of any way out of the situation at hand. A few of the Storm Troopers assigned to watch the band of prisoners sneered as Dai had the misfortune of making eye contact with him.
"What are you looking at?"
"Not much." she scoffed.
Just then a Mandolorian bounty hunter blasted through the doors of the cell, taking out the Storm Trooper that had antagonized Dailana. "Well that was lucky." she thought with a laugh.
"I need your help." The Mandolorian said, his blaster still smoking, "This is my ship, and I'm taking it back. So will you help me, or not?"
Dailana looked at the Mandolorian, weighing her options. He'd broke her free, sure, but he'd have to do more than that to convince her.
"Your gear is across the room there." he added, pointing across the room he had just come through.
Rising quickly and striding across the shiny black floor, Dailana found her beloved blasters and the rest of her gear tucked safe and sound in a bin, "I'm in." she said, her eyes lighting up with the thrill of another adventure.
Sounds of agreement came from the other members of the party as the Mandolorian continued, "I'm Ving Bric. Gear up and hurry, there is another patrol coming."
As she slid her blasters smoothly into their holsters, Dailana cracked her neck and made ready to follow the Mandolorian called Ving.
The party moved quickly towards the bridge of the ship, however, they weren't quite quick enough.
"You there! Halt!" rang out the voice of a Storm Trooper. Up ahead, a patrol of troopers began to aim their weapons at the band of escapees.
"I'll get the blast doors, you hold them!" Ving shouted, disappearing towards the console by the door.
The Twi'lek immediately cried out, "Wait! Wait! I'm not with them!" pushing her chest out in such a way that her breasts immediately fell free from their scant coverings. Dailana fought the urge to smirk as two of the five Storm Troopers became enthralled with the half-naked alien.
To a third, the woman turned her devastatingly beautiful eyes and murmurers just loud enough for him to hear, "You wouldn't hurt a girl would you?"
Stopping, absolutely stunned by the Twi'lek's beauty, the trooper falls to his knees, taking off his helmet in the process. His jaw hanging open, his eyes fixated on the form of the woman before him.
Dailana finally let her smirk slip through, "Opportunity." she thought.
Suddenly the Gamorrean charged forward, his vibro-axe cracking down with a thud onto the shoulder of one of the Storm Troopers not enthralled by the Twi'lek, piercing his armor. The trooper staggered but manages to remain on his feet. The Gamorrean, however, wasn't as lucky. He sliped on the smooth floor and crashed to the ground.
The Rodian, his hands up from the moment of contact, dove for the Gamorrean's hulking form, managing a perfectly acrobatic flip, landing on his feet and pulling out his blaster before setting to cowering behind the prostrated brute.
The remaining trooper took his aim at the Gamorrean, firing off a barrage of shots that all missed his target.
"Typical," Dai thought.
Finally, moving to cover, Dai lined up her shot. "Never take your helmet off," she thought as her finger squeezed the triggers of her blasters. Her shots connect beautifully with the trooper's head, sending him to the ground. He was dead before his head hit the floor.
The combat continued on for a few more moments. Keeping her cool, Dailana took the opportunity presented to her by the Twi'lek to once again get a perfectly clean shot at one of the Stormtroopers. This one was tougher. The trooper had angled his head in such a way as to present a tantalizing, all be it small, target at his neck. Firing once more, her shot blasted him away, leaving a gaping hole of dripping viscera, the smell of charred flesh, and a light curl of smoke emanating from his neck as he fell to the floor.
Smirking to herself she got ready to aim her blaster at the final trooper. He appeared so enthralled with the Twi'lek woman that he was no longer a threat…just an easy target.
Dai's hand started to clench around the blaster, her finger itching to pull the trigger. She took aim, trusting her steady hand to avoid the others who had now moved in closer as the trooper began to converse with the Twi'lek.
"What are you doing later? I know these guys are dead…but we could run off and conquer the galaxy together, you and I."
Dai rolled her eyes hard.
The Twil'lek moved closer, her movements seductive and dance-like, "Wow, that's a big gun. I've never held anything that big before. Can I hold it?"
The trooper immediately gave his weapon over to the woman, "Please, please, just take it. You can kill me, but just five more minutes with you."
Instead of shooting him like Dai expected, the woman threw the weapon to the ground and kissed the Stormtrooper.
Dai tensed again, readying her aim once more. It was time for the trooper to say goodnight.
Suddenly the Rodian jumps in, picking up on the Twi'lek's charade, "You could join us you know, help us get out of here. Then you can stay with her. I mean, if she wants that is."
The trooper shook his head, steadfastly refusing, "No, no. Just…one more kiss. One more kiss and you guys can go. If I go with you, the Emperor will have my head. But…I can't bring myself to kill you."
The Twi'lek kissed him and let the trooper leave.
Dai, put down her weapon, he was clearly no threat, as another blaster shot rang out from the console where the Mandalorian had been working. The trooper took one more step, a scream escaping his lips, and fell to the ground…silent.
The bounty hunter turned to the group, holstering his blaster, "We really should get moving. I've got the blast doors closed, we won't encounter reinforcements, but the Imperial fleet is on it's way. Let's head to the bridge and take my ship back. Who's with me?"
"I'm in." Dai said, stepping forward. Soon the others also uttered their assent.
Reaching the bridge, it was eerily quiet. Only a lone figure of a man stand with his back towards the party remained. Something wasn't right.
Immediately set on edge, Dai readied her blasters.
Turning the man smiled coldly, "Ah. Ving Bric."
"Captain Calum," Ving said, malice seeping into every word.
"I wondered if you'd be stupid enough to try to take your ship back. I see you've also released my prisoners as well. This is the end for you I'm afraid. I cannot let you take this ship back, and the Imperial fleet will be here momentarily. It seems you are out of options. And, well, time," Captain Calum said with an evil laugh as he drew a blaster out from behind his back and shot Ving, hitting him in the neck.
Dai immediately moved into a defensive stance, as did the rest of her new comrades. The medical droid moved, trying to heal Ving but Calum fired a warning shot with his blaster.
"My quarrel is not with you, but I won't let you take this ship."
The Twi'lek turned defiantly to the man, "No one hurts my friends." Suddenly, she performs a brilliant back flip, drawing all of Calum's attention and allowing the rest of the party to act quickly.
The droid continued his attempts to heal Ving, managing to stop the bleeding from the wound in the man's neck.
The Rodian pulled out a grenade, hoisting it into the air, "I've got a frag. You can shoot us, and we all die, or you can not."
Captain Calum laughs in the boy's face, "You're a baffooon."
The Gammorean lunged then, hitting the man in the gut with his Vibro-axe. Captain Calum takes the blow, managing to just barely stay on his feet as his insides begin to vacate his abdominal cavity through the gaping wound in his side.
"Stand back! This is my ship! My…ship!" he breathes, trying to stay conscious.
At this point, Dailana had finally had enough. So this was the bastard that had ordered her capture? Moving quickly, she strode forward, no longer worried about his blaster.
But Calum had more strength than she thought. He raised his blaster and fired once, hitting Dai in the side. With a grunt she continued, holding her side with one hand and intending to place her blaster right to his skull. As she raised it, she stumbled, falling down hard.
"This is my…ship. You…will ot take it..from me…You can leave now…no harm will come to you…but this…is…my…ship…" Calum placed his blaster on the floor in a gesture of "good" will and bled out.
Ving spoke, barely above a whisper, "The ship is on lockdown…The Empire is coming. Take the frigate, get out of here."
The Twi'lek immediately took charge, "Doc, stablize him; Gammorean, carry him; Blondie, take point, guns out; You…Rodian, put that frag away!"
Dai moved, taking point, holding her side as they ran for the bay and the promised frigate just as the Imperial fleet comes into view.
Hopping in the pilot's seat, Dai got to work doing what she did best. Ignoring the pain in her side, she got this beast ready to fly, thankful she had flown a similar ship in the past. As she's flipping the switches and warming the ship up, a fuse blows. Thankfully, the droid hovered over and repaired it quickly, improving on the existing structure.
Dai piloted the ship out of the hangar bay only to be immediately engaged by two tie fighters.
"Shit." she cursed under her breath. "We've got to jump to hyperspace."
Urging the droid to check the maps so she can make the safest possible jump, Dai got to work on getting them out of the fray.
Suddenly an error message pops up, locking the hyper drive to single coordinate and urging the return of the ship to Naal Shadarr. "Fuck," Dai thought, "Just what we needed, a marked ship."
"Can you bypass it?" she turned the the droid.
Within seconds the lock was bypassed and the droid was searching for systems. Soon he plugged in the closest possible safe coordinates.
Dai finally launched the group into hyper space, the Rodian got off a lucky shot and demolished one of the two tie fighters.
As space blurred around them, Dai slumped back in the chair, hissing as her wound smarted. She was a little woozy from all the adrenaline and the loss of blood, but she was alive. They were alive. And they were free.
Finally taking a moment to see where the droid had decided they should go, Dai groaned. They were headed for Hoth.
"Fucking great. I hate the cold. I wonder at what temperature blood freezes?"