AN1// Before you start reading this, you really should start by reading http://forums.spacebattles.com/threads/here-be-dragons-sw-si.245659/ as this story is a continuation of that one. Index for last story here: Here be Dragons Index Index for this story here: Feathers and Fire Index Now, on to the story! ________________________ I carefully tightened the last screw before I picked up the small drone, turning it over as I carefully inspected it. Everything looked like it should so I took it in both hands and shook it hard for several moments. No sound of anything rattling around and nothing broken. Good. I slowly raised my head feathers, inspecting the drone once more, looking for anything that was out of place. It was half sphere shaped, the top bowl shaped and it was the size of a hand. Well...one of my hands. It was the size of a large serving bowl, a pair of half meter long arms with long spindly fingers was folded up tight beneath it. Nodding I turned it upside down and pressed the power button before leaving it floating in the air, letting it righten itself as it booted up. The drone unfolded it's arms, running a full systems test before it floated up to me “Serving Drone is functioning up to specified perimeters, Khan.” “Activate serving protocol one.” I ordered the drone, causing it to float out through the way to small door into the rest of the small freighter in search for something for me to eat. As the new drone disappeared from view I sighed and looked around. Well, now when that little project was built, what else should I do to pass the time? I could do some more paperwork...I did run a shipping company after all, if a distributed one where each ship mostly handled their own thing...well, there was stillalways more paperwork that needed to be done. But honestly, I had forced myself through a hour of it earlier and I simply was not in the mood. Nothing was flagged 'important' anyway. I would likely get a new flurry of paperwork as soon as we dropped back into real space and the signals could reach us again. It's been over a month since the...incident...but I have yet to talk to anyone from the Jedi. Yoda was still a friend, but he trained the idiot that destroyed my ship. I do not want to talk to him right now. The cargobay of the YT-1200 freighter had been furnished with large pillows and some drapes along with an entertainment unti. A quarter of the space was taken up by a bathroom made for Hutts. With some modification it worked for me as well, at least it was the right size. A pair of beaten up ship safes were sitting by the other wall. I could not express how thankful I was toward Commander Swan for keeping her head on her shoulders. While I was in the bar, getting drunk off my wings after losing the Clear Skies, she kept her wits with her and took the Honor sisters, Jack and Tel'te to salvage them before the local vultures found them. I have no idea how I would be able to handle this company without her to catch my mistakes. Being ship safes, They are made to survive unpowered atmospheric reentry while keeping their contents safe. It took a while to get them out of the impact and heat resistant hardened foam that had automatically filled the safes, but my lightsabers and the holocron was safe. Everything else, was lost in the destruction of the ship at the hands of Jedi Dooku. My armor had been destroyed and been spread across half the city moon with the rest of the ship and most of our belongings. I'm just glad that most of the ships and crews papers along with their valuables was stored in the ships main safe and as such survived. The drone floated back inside, it's top covered with a pile of assorted fruits. I sighed and picked up a purple fruit, crushing it in my beak, before enjoying the taste of sweet fruit juices. The insurance company had refused to pay for the destruction of Clear Skies. Not only were the controls not locked, which according to ship policy they should have been as soon as we were on the ground, but Jedi were involved. Apparently, the fine print said that the insurance did not cover 'Act of Jedi'. I dropped that company then and switched to another one for my fleet of YT-1200 freighters. One that covered Jedi based damage. But that did not give us the money for another Clear Skies, even though there was plenty of money in the company accounts from the sale of the Black Pearl. Sure, I could afford a new one, but it was the principle of the thing. Still, the lawyer we contacted said there was nothing we could do, so fuck it. I ordered a new Corellian Star Shuttle with the same modifications as the old Clear Skies directly from the manufacturers. The delivery time was five months into the future. We were in the cue, but they had other ships to build before us. Which meant me and my crew had five or so months of doing nothing until it was finished. Well, there was no way I would pay my crew to just sit around. The company have a ton of money just sitting in the account, but I am not made of it. So, instead I figured we might as well make use of that invitation from Queen Ni'Korish. She did invite us to the Hapes Consortium, giving us a transponder code that would get us through the Mists without being destroyed by raiders. I could be paranoid and think it is a trap of some sort, but I honestly did not see the point. We were running around in a cargo ship, if a well armed one. If Queen No'Korish wanted us dead, we would be, but she wouldn’t. I saved her life when her own bodyguard turned on her. No, I did not suspect a trap. If I did I would not have gone, yet alone brought my crew along. Besides, the way she was able to resist my Glamor was really hot. “Captain, was that your droid I saw in the galley?” Commander Samantha Swan asked as she poked her head in through the open door. I nodded and shifted my position on my pillows “Yes.” I answered, picking another fruit from the top of the drone, popping it into my beak “It is finished and so far it appear to work correctly.” The human girl crossed her arms and leaned against the bulkhead next to the entry into the hold “I still can't believe you made a entire droid design from scratch just to have it follow you around with fruit, Captain.” I raised my headfeathers in amusement “Do not underestimate the convenience of having a servant drone with food in easy reach. Besides, It was a hobby project.” I answered her before I sighed, tossing a fruit over to her “And now when it is finished, I am bored.” Swan smiled and started to peal the purple fruit. Heh, humans. “Well, we drop out of hyperspace tomorrow at the edge of the Transitory Mists, Captain. It should not take that long after that until we can get out of this thing. I wish we were in the Skies...” She said, looking down on her fruit. “So do I, Commander.” I said with a sigh as I laid down, resting my large head on my arms, my wings relaxed down my sides “Still, I was able to get a good price on a used YT-1200 from a Hutt I know and when we are done with it, it is somewhat compatible with the rest of the company fleet, it will just need a small refit and a new crew. It might not be a YT-1300, but it's close enough.” She shrugged “Yeah, I know. It is just a bit cramped...though I don’t suppose we should complain. You have been in the cargo hold for the entire trip. We can at least walk around.” I shrugged my wings “Well, at least now nobody need to bring me food, I can have my drone handle that. How are everyone handling things?” Swan sighed and turned her fruit in her hands “Most of us are doing ok. I think Cornac and Sarah are taking the loss of the ship worst. Cornac blames himself.” Well, it was partly his fault. If he locked the controls, Dooku would not have been able to steal her in the first place. “He will get over it. I didn’t fire him, just dock his pay for a couple of months. What's this about my chief engineer?” I then asked her. My second in command shrugged “That ship...it was her baby. She knew every single part of it and had mostly modified it in some way to make it work better. She is a bit depressed and not even Tel'te seem to be able to cheer her up for long.” “I'm not entirely sure what to do about that.” I said after a moment “She should feel better when she have a real ship to work on again.” Swan nodded “Her sister have been dragging her into the engine room of this rust bucket. Sarah does seem to cheer up a bit when she have something to do.” she said before she pushed from the bulkhead “Thanks for the fruit, Captain. I should go get some sleep.” “Good night, Commander.” I said as she left before I closed my eyes, thinking forward towards the meeting with the Hapan Royalty again, not for the first time wishing that my armor had survived the destruction of my ship. Descending to a planet to meet a Woman in a shuttle instead of proper armor was humiliating. She may be a human, a dustling, but her resistance to my Glamor made her sexy enough to count. AN// Many thanks to frozenchicken for betaing this section.