Things Learned Over Dinner

Looking around her office, Dee’laan, who some still called Stinky (the name they originally knew her by), realized she had actually finished all her paperwork. Thinking to herself she thought, “Give yourself a night off and treat yourself to dinner at Uneeq’s.” Pushing back her chair, she went to her office clothes closet and picked a nice non-uniform outfit. After changing, she left the office and told her attaché to also take the night off.

Entering Uneeq’s, Dee found an empty table situated where she could watch the comings and goings of her fellow Rebels while she ate dinner. It had been a long time since she had socialized and thought that if she saw any acquaintances she had not spoken with in a while, she might try to find a way join in a conversation. Or maybe someone would notice her sitting by herself at the table for 2.

Pistolwhip, born Corp Algoquin, out in the boonies of Yeslin, finished up his PT training of some of the newer rebels. He'd chewed out Sunders and Omega for various sundry infractions and thought fondly of the days when he was chewed out by the senior NonComs. Now he was on top, and only his stubbornness kept him from being an officer. After a shower a quick meal seemed in order but the canteen was serving a vegetarian meal. Hmmph, a trip to Uneeq's was in order. In the back of the place sat Stink. She's gone to calling herself Dee'laan as of late but no one gets to pick their nicknames. Tired of dealing with privates Pistol decided to sit with an old hand. A shared dinner and a shared story were always a good time.

Dee had been sitting at the table for some time, sipping on a juice. When she had placed her order, she had asked the server to spread out the timing of her meal. This would force her to stay out of her office for the evening. If she got her food quickly, she knew she would leave much too soon.

Noticing the server heading to her table, she also caught a glance of Pistolwhip. And he was headed in her direction so she raised a tiny hand to motion that there was an empty seat, offering it to him.

“Wow, it’s been a long time, it was to the polar region of Mindor,” Dee said to the human as she recalled how long it had been since they had been on a mission together. “Please, join me.” The server walked up to the table just then to place the first course of Dee’laan’s dinner, a small salad, in front of her. Stopping the server, the small being asked to her dinner companion, “Do you need to look over the menu or do you want to order something to drink first? I understand that there was a fresh shipment of Bantha steaks delivered. That’s what I ordered as a main course.”

It is a common misconception, perpetuated by imperial propaganda, that humans are the cultured civilized race and all others are bloodthirsty aliens. However, the situation in Uneeq's was nothing like that. Before the alien sat a fresh garden salad while at the mention of fresh bantha steak the human suppressed a drool reflex. in short Pistolwhip sat and ordered the steak.

"Has it been since Mindor? That was quite a while ago. i've been on half a dozen worlds since then. Seems like i can't sit still before command sends me off to fight telporting aliens, dark jedi wanabes or mad scientists. Don't know why they don't cut to the chance and send us after Vader." he finishes with a laugh. "So other than a meal, what brings you to of the office today ma'am?"

Slightly caught off guard, Dee blurted out, “Ma’am! Please, if you didn’t notice I am not wearing a uniform so let’s forgo military formalities at least while here at Uneeq’s. First names would be good or the shortened version of Dee, DD or Deeg all work. By the way, in all the time I have known you, I’ve only known you as Pistolwhip. If you don’t mind, is that your real name?”

“As for what brings me out of my office, I actually finished all my paperwork, I wasn’t needed in any of the repair bays and there are no missions currently on the slate. Plus I spend far too much time alone in my office and thought it was time to get out to be with others. So thanks for coming and sitting with me.”

“And yes, it really has been since Mindor. I’ve even returned there, saw the skqinocks returned. Like you, I have been to numerous other worlds, had my ship shot out from under me and have had far too many close calls.”

"Dee, what is the fascination of late of people asking my real name? First a stuttering Vandon asked 'gah, what is your real name?' and now you. Well it's Corp. Corp Algoquin. Of Course in Vandons case i think he just didn't want to use an unprofessional sounding handle in front of the General Dodona. Can't say i blame 'em. As for getting out of your office i don't blame you. If we don't sit back and take a breath and reflect now and again we lose sight of why we do all this. Hell, twice in the last three months i've been put out of action. It makes you think."

“If you feel more comfortable being called Pistolwhip, then Pistolwhip it is. It’s just that we go on missions with so many but there are so very few that I ever really get to know anything about. How many are there were we never know their name, let alone what planet they are from? And morbid sounding as it is, once you’re dead is not the time to try to find out if you had family that would have cared. Seems I’ve become the group’s funeral director; I think I might be the only one with any formal training in it. When we brought back M’rath, my childhood training from when I was 7 kicked in. And then Corbin…” Dee’s voice trailed off as her mind once again played the vision of his death.

“So even you have gone down. I don’t know if that makes me feel better or worse,” Dee said with a bit of chuckle and shaking her head. “I realize that some day I too will pass into the Force, just as all beings do. And over the years of serving the Rebellion, I guess I’ve come to believe that dying while on some noble mission would at least give meaning to my death, should I die. But did I get a wake up call a few months back. It wasn’t the 17 slugs tearing a hole in my upper chest during the mission but the little parasite I picked up while I lay bleeding in the dirt.”

Looking up into Pistolwhip’s eyes, Dee continued. “It was weeks later. I’d felt fine the whole time and was even on the mission to go find Kastor and Slik. Luckily I had not made any plans for that leave but decided to just stay home.” A slightly guilty look crosses Dee’laan’s face. “I was going to try to get caught up on some paperwork. There are a few who might berate me for not taking the time off. But I’m glad I did. On the second day of that leave, I spend hours in the refresher and finally fell asleep. Or I thought I fell asleep. Passed out is closer. Fen found me the next day laying in the doorway to the refresher and rushed me to the “Hope” for emergency surgery. I almost died here on board “Discovery” all because I didn’t get checked out when I got back from that mission. And it was a kick in the butt to renew my training of the healing arts and to mediate more often. If I had I might have noticed it.”

A look of concern crosses Corps' face. "I'm glad to see you're ok. 17 slugs. Crap. Just… Crap. Was it realy a parasite or germ or a potential Dee jr?," he adds to brake the tension. Seriously though, your story hits close to home. I ran into this (spoiler alert, skip past italics if you haven't played 53b) mad doctor who was experimenting on Zeders, twice those force rats have changed my life. they were transformed into killing machines. Anyway, i got cocky in the fight and one bit me. I didn't think much of it at the time but Choth forced me to get tested by his meddroids post mission. Best medicine he had and all he determined was there's 'something wrong' with my blood. Could still there for all i know. I asked Jinxie for a second opinion but she couldn't even detect it. It's odd really I feel fine yet yet something inside tells me otherwise. Darn force sensitivity, always giving me the willies without the power. I to realize i will pass into the force as you put it. I just want to make it on my terms." A look of sadness? concern? crosses Corps features. "i'm a proud man and if i got shot tomorrow i could accept that, I'm a solder, yet for the first time i feel fear."

Dee replied to Pistolwhips comments about what had caused her illness. “No, it really was a parasite. In fact it’s in a jar somewhere on the “Hope” as the doctors kept it to study. From what I understand this type of parasite rarely gets as big as this one did but it probably has to do with Jawa physiology. My species runs a few degrees warmer than most so the tiny millimeter long parasite had a field day growing in my body. And no, it was not a Dee jr; that would imply having sex. And well, yeah, that hasn’t happened.”

Listening very intently to Pisolwhip’s recounting of what had recently happened, Dee’s mind started to run over all the possibilities of his situation. “Well, Choth was right to have you tested. His droids are quite good; he has put a lot of time and money into them. As for Jynxie not finding anything, she’s a fantastic field medic but this sounds like you need a specialist to look at you.”

“I remember that dipship Darth wannabee, what a piece of work. If it weren’t for the Force, some of us would not have known what he did with those poor zetdeer.” Scrunching up her forehead, Dee searched her memories for every detail she could bring forward. “Problem is we never got his research and we have no idea of how many years he spend working on this. We don’t even know what his background and training were in.”

“But I do recall that the Force showed us the method he used to introduce whatever it was that mutated the zetdeer. He put it in their water. Other than that, we really don’t know anything other than the end result.”

With great concern in her voice and showing on her face, Dee made a request. “So many thoughts are going through my mind and I don’t want to get you more worried with speculation and assumptions. But to start, would you please have another test done by one of the doctors on board the “Hope”. And if it still shows nothing, would you let me look into it using the Force? Or if something does and they don’t know what to do about it. Like you, I’d like to die on my own terms but worse case scenario I don’t want anyone to become like those zetdeer.”

With a sigh of resignation Pistolwhip responds "You have a valid point. The people of the Hope owe me a favor or two after giving them a smaller med transport. I'll get over there when i can. I'd hate to drive myself nuts with baseless worry. Like you said, our minds can get the best of us and the reality may be nothing compaired to the horrors our own fears can conjer. As to your meditation on the matter. I realy don't know what that'll acomplish but then, if i understood the force i'd be weilding a lightsaber like you and the other jedi."

“A small amount of fear can be a good thing. It can keep one from becoming over confident and arrogant. But you can’t allow it to run your life. Excess is rarely a good thing.”

“Pistolwhip, don’t take this the wrong way, but please be cautious labeling others as Jedi. It is amazing how that little word can get a being into trouble these days.” Dee’s mind flashed on the many events that lead to her incarceration on Barab 1 but then quickly brushed those thoughts aside. Now was not a time for a change of topic. “As for my meditating on the matter helping and my understanding of the Force, that could be a very long, involved discussion. If at any time you wish to have that discussion, just stop by my office.”

“Frankly, I don’t think a favor is going to be necessary to have you seen by the doctors on the Hope.” At the point their dinners showed up; a tiny, barely 2 oz steak for Dee’laan and a massive, plate covering steak for Pistolwhip. “If you don’t mind, I’d like to go with you as I should go for a check-up anyway. My new Manta is a 2 person ship so I can give you a ride. It’s easier to park a starfighter in their docking bay.”

Dee kept quiet for a while, allowing her hungry looking human dinner companion time to eat his dinner.

A smile crosses Pistolwhips face at reprimand about being carless with the word jedi. An inside joke Dee could only guess at. He hopes that the arrival of dinner covers up the social gaff. "I'd very much like to join you on a trip to the Hope. But don't worry about schooling me in your arts. There are far better students then i could hope to become. However, if you want a good laugh, I'll tell you about my first 'hallucination'." As Pistolwhip dismembers and consumes his stake with the authority of a trained butcher or skilled filed dressing hunter he tells the story of a force vision of his first mission with the rebellion. In short, lacking other force sensitives around, he was quite sure he was loosing his mind. As the food settles in his stomach Pistolwhip resumes, "So about that trip, i don't think you'd care to let me pilot would you?"

Taking almost microscopic bites of her steak, Dee listened to Pistolwhip’s story and laughed. She recounted that she was lucky enough to have had some warning from the Jedi who had shown her how to connect with the force about the random visions that Force sensitives were subject to. “But don’t underestimate yourself. The Force saw something in you hence why you’ve been tapped. You never know.”

“So, you want to fly the Manta,” Dee says in a matter of fact manner. Slightly nodding her head in the affirmative, Dee’laan continues. “I can’t recall if you have any pilot training or not but I am always willing to teach others how to fly. And if you do know how, it can never hurt to get practice in as many types of ships as possible. But I will need to move my booster seat otherwise you will never fit in the pilot’s seat. And whenever you have a bit of free time, you should come to the hangar bay to look over the ship and its controls. Plus then I can get a chance to really check out the gunner’s position cause I haven’t had the chance to.”

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License