Prologue

 
The walls of the ship groaned in one final protest as the force of the crash was absorbed and transferred minutes before. The darkness of the cockpit was broken only occasionally by the flicker of electricity spraying form several damaged consoles. All was quiet.

"Gahhhh..." a desperate gasp for air vanquishes the silence and is followed by a few sputtered coughs.

Breathing..
Breathing...

Aspar lies in the darkness, breathing, staring into the dark. As he lies motionless the muffled sound comes into focus as he hears the sparks spraying without end. Reaching up and grabbing onto the console he pulls himself into a seated position and then stands. Surveying the damage trying to make sense of it, he looks around lost. The destruction was not the familiar cockpit of his ship the Nexus Runner. When the feeling of his body returns he feels patches of wet clothing and realizes he was soaked in blood.

Taking a wobbly step, Aspar trips and falls to a knee. Sensing the body at his feet he moved in close to take a look. His co-pilot, Ballakus was clearly dead, his head crushed. Struggling back to his feet, Aspar tries to shout out but it is nothing intelligible. Coughing and spitting the mucus from his lungs he tries again.

"Check in...is anybody whole?"

"Yeah," Hadirak called out. He unlatched the crash straps from his shoulders and checked the mercenary next to him. The unconscious Rodian's head drooped on her chest. Hadirak lift her chin and noticed the jagged metal in her torso.

"You can count Xira out. She's not cheating at Sabaac any time soon."

The Besalisk checked his person for any life threatening wounds but found none. Other than some serious bruises, Hadirak was okay. He took a deep breath and released it with a sigh of relief. He reached down and retrieved his helmet that fell during the crash.

But as he lifted the piece of armor, it brushed Xira's leg and he heard a familiar jingle. He was alone in the cabin with the Rodian so he snuck a hand into her pockets and relieved her of the unused credits.

"Sorry Xira. I'm taking back my losses from the other night. And I don't think you'll be needing that small blaster you keep in the small of your back." Hadirak pocketed the blaster and then sat on his haunches. He ruffled the frills on the top of the Rodian's head. "You've been a great friend girlie."

Hadirak walked into the common area and looked around for any other survivors. "Okay Aspar. Seriously? That landing was complete poodoo."

Erich's assistant ran into his office and told him that there had been a spaceship crash near Mos Espa. Erich grabbed his supplies and headed over immediately.

"Out of the way," he ordered the rubberneckers. "I'm a doctor."

By the time he made his way to the front of the crowd, the ship's hatch had already been opened and some of the crew members were lying on the ground. Erich started going through your injuries. None of them were in great shape, but he separated out the ones who needed immediate medical attention and got to work on them and sending some of the crew that needed treatment to his clinic where his assistants could take care of them.

"Hold still," he ordered as he began treating one of the seriously injured. "If you keep shifting like this, it's harder to treat you. What happened to your doctor or med droid?"

"Hadriak" Aspar's shout was followed by a cough.

"Ballakus is down, everyone else was back there."

Aspar moves towards Hadirak with a slight limp and takes a look at him and the dead Rodian to his left. A sense of anger flares inside of him, but it vanishes quickly. He manages a slight smile.

"It's good to see you up." Aspar clasps Hadriak on the left upper shoulder, ignorant of the Alien's earlier jibe.

"Can you give me a hand in securing the rest. We don't know how long we have until we attract attention and I want to be ready to defend the Runner if anyone comes scavenging."

Aspar looks around the mess from the common area, some of the equipment looked fine and was securely fixed to the hull. The loose items, however, littered every surface.

"Black blooded Corsairs. I got the signature of the second Fighter should we ever see them again..."

"Grab your gear and double time it to the rear hatch. I'll look for survivors, but i need you to keep your eyes trained for undesirables."
Within a few minutes, Aspar has moved the few crew members outside of the ship into the blistering sun of the desert planet. After the final motionless body is set down he stops to catch his breath, staggers, and falls backward a bit into the side of the ship.

"Nice catch." He says gently patting the ships hull.

"Nice catch..."

Hadirak grumbled as he searched for survivors. And pretty soon a crowd of folk started to gather around the ship. One human in particular shouldered his way through the crowd claiming he was a doctor.

When he asked about the ship's doctor, Hadirak answered with pointed thumb in the direction of the ship, "The 2-1B is in a metal knot back in sickbay. So no help there."

He watched the doctor work but noticed most of the crew wouldn't be walking away from here. He wondered how he had been so fortunate, but shook it off. No need to dwell on that which you can't change, his father always said. Just get up and go. Make the most of what you have. Never fight when you can bluff. Never bluff when you can run. Never run when you can sneak. If no one knows you're there, you win.

The old coot had a quote or creed for everything, Hadirak thought. He and his commando buddies were too much. Wouldn't mind some of there luck now.

"So who's left?" Hadirak asked Aspar.

Aspar the reason the crash happened at all is because of that shit you took to the engines on the way to the planet. The ship will need to be fixed before it can fly again.

Uttini
Churrr'Ipa thought to himself as he looked around the what was left of the darkened engine room when all of the noise of the crash had stopped. He could see one of his droids was already to work trying to fix a transfer coupling . It didn't see to matter that the droid had lost a leg and that the coupling was far to gone to ever be fixed, the little guy was still at work. Churrr'Ipa smiled despite his predicament.
At least t12's still got.....
A bright flash and shower of sparks followed by t12's head ricocheting about the crumpled engine compartment ruined his moment of satisfaction. He said quietly.
Utinni.
He looked about the engine room and saw the devastation wrought by the pirates and the crash
Utinni!
He tried to stand and his tiny ankle buckled under his weight and a sharp pain shot up his leg. He was pretty sure it was very seriously injured if not broken.
Utinni! Utinni! Utinni!

And that's how Aspar found his technician. A string of jawa swears emanating loudly from a spot in the hull. He had to be cut out. By the time they got to him t12 was mostly back together. The injured jawa and frazzled droid climbed out of the hull. The sunlight and dry air hit him and immediately he felt comforted
I have never been so glad to be back home
He said to his captain. Looking back to the ship he sighed.
I can call my clan to help with the repairs. It may take some time for them to arrive and it will cost us but we are unlikely to find their equals in this type of work here. First I need 2-1b. Where is everyone else?

Erich cursed under his breath when he heard the 2-1B was scrapped. He really could have used that medical droid's help. Still, he had as many cases stabilized as he could, and he had at least made some of the cases he couldn't help as comfortable in their last moments as he could.

"You need to sit down and let me treat you," Erich told the man who seemed to be the captain of the ship. "You look like you've been bleeding, and you probably have a concussion."

By the end, the jawa crew member's condition was practically commonplace. A broken leg was easy to treat.

"You need to rest and spend time off this leg," he told the jawa, though, knowing jawas, he'd whip up some hover harness or something to keep moving around.

Churrr'Ipa smiled when he saw Erich, (not that anyone could see under his hood)

Hello Dr Dreamwalker....Yeouch!
He yipped as Erich pushed his ankle back into position, thankfully it
(or else it will be a very boring adventure for the jawa)
wasn't broken.
We are sure glad you showed up when you did, you have saved lives today. Maybe I can get some droids together to repay you. Speaking of how are the t12 models I left you with the last time we met?

Sudden memories of one manical clavicle crushing droid on a rampage flooded the doctors mind as he realized just who this jawa was....




 

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