Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Time for Action

It took only a couple days of idleness on Vaynai before Paz started to feel restless about the situation she had not dealt with. Guilt pressed down on her like all the oceans of her home world which now seemed so far away and so long ago. She had had only been gone a few months but her past life seemed like a blur, hidden behind everything she had been through since fleeing Dac.

She was blessed with a good crew and even better friends. She never wanted to be a ship’s captain and was tired of everyone looking to her to make decisions about everything except what she should be doing. How could she possibly rest while her parents were being held hostage and ransomed against the very corporation they founded. Why wouldn’t they just pay the price, whatever it was, and get them back? Short of that she and the crew of the Mako could rescue them. But her cousin couldn’t (or wouldn’t) tell her where they were.

“We could do it Reenic. Why won’t you trust me?” Paz pleaded into the holo recorder.

“It’s not that I don’t trust you Perca.” He said to her in his most patient and condescending tone. She resented his manner, but by using her real name she knew he was very serious now. “You do not understand everything that’s at stake here and it would be best if you stayed put for now and tried not to get into any further trouble.” He continued.

“You’re right, I don’t understand. Because you won’t tell me anything!” She was losing her cool now which only compounded her irritation since she resolved to be the picture of composure during this conversation. “Look, I know you can’t tell me everything that’s going on here.” She said trying to regain her sensible demeanor. “But you can’t expect me to sit idly by and wait for news. It’s driving me crazy. If it hadn’t been for the Cathar rescue I don’t know how I would have coped with everything these past couple months.”

“That was a very unfortunate situation and you handled it better than you probably should have.” Paz knew he meant that as a compliment. “But you were lucky to pull through with all your scales pointing one direction and you know that’s the truth. You managed to get a price on your head with the Hutts, break into the home of Vaynai’s most influential nobles and instigate a Republic and Separatist conflict on Sorn V. Not to mention starring in a viral holovid where you attack part of the stage show at a Tandalion concert. Which one of those exactly falls into the ‘keep a low profile’ category?”

“Alright, alright.” Paz said while trying to hide her grin.

“I’m serious Perca. You’ve got to hold tight for now. You did manage to get rid of the Clone, right?”

“We didn’t get RID of him. He had to return to duty. I’ll miss him.” Paz said a little hurt

“Missing him is exactly what I was worried about. A single Clone in your motley crew only calls more attention to it. You’ll be able to come home soon and bring the Mako with you.” He said trying to lighten his tone.

“I will do my best to keep the Mako and me out of trouble until you send for me. Sometimes I think you’re more concerned about this ship than you are about me.” She said half serious.

“The corporation has a lot invested in that ship and it can’t fall into the wrong hands. You were the only one I could trust with it. Speaking of which, how is she?” Reenic asked seriously.

“Fine. I keep trying to tweak the engines and get a little more performance out of her.” She knew this would get a rise out of him.

“Unlikely! The propulsion system is all my design and you never were able to match me in that area.” He said defensively.

“That’s about the only area though.” She said playfully pressing her advantage. “Sparg is quite the wiz with these things and he managed to get an extra 5% out of the hyper drives on the most recent jaunt between systems.” She knew he wouldn’t believe her until he saw it himself. “When this is all over the two of you will have to compare notes. I’ve got something else I need to talk to you about regarding Sparg, but that can wait.”

Paz decided to ask what was really on her mind. “Did you discover anything about that extra board I found connected to the main computer? Did the schematic I created ring any bells with the design team?” Paz asked. She was more than a little curious to see what Reenic came back with. Her hopes were quickly dashed though.

“No one knows what that is or what it’s for. It’s nowhere in the main specs of the Mako. If we had it in our lab we could reverse engineer it. But, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. It’s probably a spare part from a test run.” Reenic said.

“Don’t you know about every piece of this ship, being the lead designer and all?” Paz asked knowing he only recently became the lead.

“If I had been lead when it was installed you bet I would have known what it is. Propulsion is my baby and I’m looking forward to hearing about this 5% increase your pilot managed to get out of my system. Hmmm” Reenic smiled into the recorder. “Get some rest Captain Paz. You’ve had a wild ride so far. Let’s make the rest of your journey, um … less adventurous.”

Paz fingered the small metal captain insignia Reenic had given to her the day she left with the Mako. It was the only connection she had to her old life and she treasured it. Reenic had said it represented her becoming an adult and would be the key to her surviving exile. “This gives you the opportunity to be whatever you want to be. It’s more than a symbol; it gives you power over others. Make sure you use that power wisely.” He had told her.

“I’ll do my best.” Paz repeated the same words she had said then, except this time she was lying. “Talk to you soon.” She said before terminating the connection. “But first I’ve got a meeting in the Vault with an old corporate buddy.”

Paz sat in contemplation for a moment and before standing to leave she removed the insignia from her collar and placed it on her desk. Scooping up her datapad she headed out the door and on her first step towards finding her parents.

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