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.
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."
"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.
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.
|(or else it will be a very boring adventure for the jawa)|