Thursday, December 21, 2006

Exodus Redux

Vaaro grumbled again, hefting another box into the back of the battered speeder. Darrus heard it, sighed, and knew exactly what it meant.

Heading back into the hut, the weary Rodian stopped and stared at him. "Will it move?"

Darrus was under the vehicle, working with its motive-shaft and mending the thing as best he could. This speeder hadn't been used in at least a decade and what the sand hadn't pitted, the Tuskens had scavenged. If the ARC-170 hadn't been carrying a load of spare parts and Maya not thought to leave them behind before taking the fighter back to Mos Espa, there'd be no chance of getting it functional again.

As it was, things would be chancy. "I believe so. I just need a little longer to rig up the power converter."

Vaaro huffed. "Let's hope the Tusken give us your 'little longer'."

There it was, the reason the Rodian was so upset. Darrus would have been indignant if Vaaro wasn't also right. "I know. I know we have to leave as soon as possible."

Vaaro wasn't willing to let it go at that. "And why is that? Why is it that now, the only safe place for us is going to be the one spot out here even the raiders won't go? Why is it we have to go to the luurshan?"

Under the speeder, Darrus winced. Again, he couldn't really argue. It was his fault they had to run. He let the Tusken go before and now, less than a day later, there was an entire tribe moving across the dunes towards them. Within a few hours, they'd hit the valley and then not even his powers and Vaaro's grenades would stop them. It was his fault they had to run to the...

"Wait. What?"

The Rodian rolled his eyes, an odd looking expression for one of his species. "Luurshan. It does not translate well in your language. It means basically 'dark place of evil, haunted by the past'."

"Oh. Lovely."

Vaaro nodded, ducking back into the hut for the last of their supplies, what little they had. "Exactly. The Tusken won't go there. Even the sand dragons avoid that part of the desert. And if those huge things feel fear, we should not go there."

Darrus doubled his efforts, working with a speed only the Force allowed. His hands started falling sure and steady over the broken parts, replacing and repairing with practiced ease. There's been a time, long ago, on Cularin when he hadn't known a hydrospanner from a butter knife. Then he'd received a starship in hundreds of mysterious, anonymous crates. Putting the Legacy together had taught him a lot.

"If the choice is between ghosts and a Tusken horde, I suppose the ghosts win."

Vaaro nodded and handed him down another servo. "Just barely."

"Have you commed Maya and let her know not to come back here?"

The Rodian took a long drink from their last canteen. "I have, hooman. You don't need to worry about her."

Darrus tightened a connecting ring and tested the power output. Things were looking good under here. Another few minutes and the speeder might be done. "I worry about everyone, Vaaro."

Another snort. "I know. That's what's wrong with you."

The rest of the repairs were done in total silence.


Erisraven said...

The 'luurshan'. That just can't be good. A place haunted by ghosts. Gee, you think that's going to have a bad effect on the jedi?

Tarek said...

I'm guessing it's Obi-Wan's hut. :)

Tarek said...

Actually, come to think of it, there is one other place it could be. And I'm not thinking of the Saarlac pit.