Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Welcome mat not included ....

The food processor once again spat out items that a starving Wookie wouldn't eat. Baxter shoved the tray away and sipped some coffee from his mug. Maybe he could get a new food processor with his next job. Credits are more important usually but ones stomach needs satisfaction as well.

The hyperspace monitor alarm was chirping with the familiar arrival notice of a new system. Another jump that didn't end with the hyperdrive falling apart. Baxter strolled into the cockpit and sat down. The ship was pretty quiet since he was the only one on it. Credits were not available to pay a crew. No crew meant twice the amount of work Baxter had on his plate.

The planet of Denophon began to come to view. The planet was a pawn in a major holochess game. Unfortunately it was the suicidal pawn with no other option. Baxter was amazed that no chaos and confusion was not taking place according to his initial reports on the planet. Any good pilot makes sure he looks ahead before planting his feet planet side.

Baxter brought up the scanners and gazed at the scene for a landing spot. Baxter didn't really have a preference of locations. Any one of the major cities should guarantee credits and business. Studying the information on the screen, Baxter noticed the Capital city of Byrne. "Looks good." Baxter muttered and set course.

"Byrneport traffic control to incoming freighter. Please identify and state your business."

Baxter hit the comlink. "Byrneport traffic control, this is YT-1300 light freighter "Eclipse". Current course is set for Byrneport. No cargo onboard. We are looking for general work planet side." The comlink was silent. Baxter knew they were running his ship's name in the Imperial database. Nothing should come up.

"Eclipse, what is your freighter ID ?"

"YT-1300 Light Freighter Class. Serial number 87940731."

A slight pause and then a response. "Eclipse, you are cleared for landing at Byrneport. Please stay on course and follow the warning beacons. A TIE escort will assist you to the docking port. Planet conditions are harsh at this time. You are assigned landing bay 5. Be advised that all incoming ships are subjected to inspection."

"Understood." Baxter frowned. He knew that the Imperials would escort him to the landing port but no one said anything about inspections to his ship. He didn't have any cargo so why would the Imperials want to search? Oh well, not like they were going to find anything.

Baxter adjusted his speed to match the TIE fighter escort through the warning beacons. He could see why an escort was needed. Planet conditions were subpar at best and the cities had environmental domes to protect them from the changing weather conditions. Landing bay 5's tractor beam locked on to the Eclipse. The slight jar of the beam made Baxter uneasy. They had him in a spot which he couldn't run or fight. The TIEs made one sweep and headed back to escort the next ship.

Touch down went simple enough. Baxter began his shut down procedures and then proceeded to the hatch ramp. Hitting the controls created a series of beeps and hisses. The ramp slowly lowered and hit with a thud on the steel decking.

Baxter strolled to the end of the ramp and stopped. A group of 5 individuals were waiting at the ramp. The group looked serious enough but had weapons drawn for added effect. One individual stepped forward and nodded.

" I hope I clear the inspection. " Baxter motioned to the Eclipse.

" Oh, you do. It flies and that is all that matters. " the nameless leader smirked. With a simple wave of the hand, the others began to run towards the Eclipse.

" So much for simple landings. " Baxter muttered and hit the controls to close the hatch. One thing was for sure, no space scum were going to hijack his ship. Baxter took cover behind some cargo crates and drew his blaster. The others seeing this did the same as one felt brave and continued forward.

Baxter drew down on the first brave soul. " Here goes nothing. " A click of the trigger and a flash of red ....

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