From The Lion Sleeps Tonight
Excerpt by Jemmiah
|"Kriff, Jake! Where are we?" he asked, one hand attached to his head and the other bracing itself against the arm of his seat. "How much did we have to drink? My head feels like there's a Corellian setting up home in it!"
"Which discerning member of my race would want to live in your brain cavity?" Jake grumbled, one eye open and the other still fighting him. "Nobody would want to given who the occupier was. Look at the state of it!"
"You mean it's been well used." grinned Kurtas.
"No, I mean it's been left vacant for many years." He sniffed the air. "What's that smell?"
"You were sick all over the control panels, remember?" Kurtas added crisply.
"You were. And then you decided to moon at that passing freighter."
Jake's face cracked into a slow grin of remembrance.
"Oh yeah!" he chuckled. "So I did! And then I had to sling out old tin knickers because she was trying to pull my pants back up. Quite what anyone would have made of that if they'd seen it, I really wouldn't like to say."
"They'd just say that it takes all kinds to make a galaxy…hold on a moment." Kurtas licked his lips, wondering why his tongue was seemingly twice its normal size and as hairy as an Ankula. "You…you told that flight traffic controller to let us through, didn't you?"
"Don't recall." Jake groaned.
There was a slight rapping sound on the metal doors leading out to the corridor.
"Sir! Master Jake!"
"Big rats!" Kurtas growled. "Where's my sabre?"
Jake squinted out into the black. Something looked wrong. Very, VERY wrong.
"Who took all the stars away?" he wondered.
"Does anyone have the slightest idea of what has happened in here?" Kurtas addressed the orange furry dice hanging from the ceiling. "Why does this place resemble a Huttese orgy?"
"You ever been to one?" Jake retorted, looking round at all the mess of empty bottles and cans and cigarra stubs.
"No, but I hope to one day." Kurtas chuckled. "I leave that sort of adventure to my master."
"Hells teeth! Smoking?" Jake dipped his finger in the ash on the controls and started to write his name. "I don't smoke in the flight deck! Hell, I don't even smoke!"
"Didn't you proposition the girlie at the incoming traffic control center?" Kurtas desperately willed himself to recollect. "Didn't you offer her free vouchers to see the Corellian grand opera company if she let us in?"
"Pass." Shrugged Jake.
"You did!" Kurtas snapped his fingers loudly, causing Jake to wince. "And you offered to let her choose whatever flavor of ice she wanted to lick off you." Kurtas grunted.
"What did she say?" Jake screwed up his face.
"I believe," Nan-1's voice sounded tiny from outside in the corridor, "she told you to remove your head from your big, fat ar-"
"Yes, well. No pleasing some women." Jake said hurriedly as he walked over to the door. "So, you remember what happened?"
"Oh, yes I do Master Jake sir. My memory for detail is excellent. And relentless."
"Don't I know it." Jake said in a long-suffering voice. "If I wanted a relentless, excellent memory for detail I'd have got myself a wife." He growled. "Go on. What happened?"
"I believe," Nan-1 replied with what sounded like an aggrieved sniff, "that you stayed up well past your agreed bedtime…"
Kurtas snickered, avoiding a kick from his companion.
"…and decided to spend the rest of the evening playing a variation of a game of strip Sabacc and drinking the maker alone knows what kind of alcohol. Some of it smelled like engine oil, frankly. I tried to stop you but you locked me out of the flight deck."
"Good." Jake smiled.
"So I had to make do with watching you on the holo monitor I had set up in all areas of the ship to keep an eye on you."
"What!?!?!" Jake exclaimed.
"I am a nanny droid sir. I make it my business to monitor all of my charges to be certain that they come to no harm. It's part of the standard procedure to -"
"I am not a kriffing kiddie!" Jake yelled through the door, stamping his foot. "I'm a grown man!"
"That language is MOST unbecoming." Scolded Nan-1. "Kindly desist at once."
"Shan't!" Jake retorted. "This is my kriffing ship! I'm the boss here, got that? My word is law. I know EVERYTHING…and I demand to know where the hell we are!"
Nan-1's motors whirred, causing Jake to curse inwardly.
"After you attempted to make planet fall, Coruscant traffic control asked to see your credentials. That's when you removed your trouser pants and thrust your bottom against the plasti glass." She almost groaned. "I believe the nice lady only wanted you to verify your ID and where you had just returned from."
"Then what?" Jake could have wept.
"She fetched her supervisor who tried to ascertain if you were carrying cargo of any kind. Your answer of 'three sack loads of Drek and more Glitterstim than a Hutt could swallow' was most inadvisable I'm afraid, Master Jake!"
"Noooooo." Jake held his head in his hands. "I didn't!"
"She then asked if there was anyone who could vouch for your reputation. You went on to reply that 'the Corellian national girls Gabali team and a thousand Twi'lek whores' could give her any details she needed. Then she came to the conclusion that you were 'Hutt-kissed steaming drunk' and refused to give you permission to land until you had sobered up!"
"Awwww, hell!" Kurtas hissed. "I've got to get back to the temple! We don't have another week!"
"Very funny!" Jake snapped. "Okay, metal mouth. Then what?"
"Well," Nan-1 paused as she considered what had happened. "You said you'd just fly around until you were given clearance to land at the temple flight pad. "Then when it didn't impress her you said that you knew people in high places, and did she know perchance a Gryph Rendar or a Captain Lilith Demodae?"
"Name dropper." Kurtas smiled, looking at his wasted appearance in a broken bottle.
"Then," Nan-1 continued, "you said that this Rendar person was going to come round and set fire to her mother and sleep with her furniture." She sounded puzzled. "And that Captain Demodae would give her husband a good licking."
"Kicking," groaned Jake, "I meant kicking."
"Is this Captain Demodae anyone I know? Is she a nice girl?" demanded Nan-1.
"You see what I have to put up with?" Jake turned shakily to Kurtas, pointing at the droid as he finally opened the door to let the metal monstrosity in. "This is YOUR fault!"