Morning dawns on the CRS Liberty; at least as far as morning
can dawn on a Mon Calamari Cruiser. The Liberty Lounge is
uncharacteristically quiet. In fact, the only voice heard in the
normally busy Lounge is one young Corsair working on a song. He
takes a drink from his can, then begins to softly sing:
...dusty is the air we breathe,
Raven says drinks are on me...
A loud yawn interrupts him. "You always up this early? You woke
me up when you left your quarters."
Michael "Parody" Miller looked up to see Eloy "Mynock" Cintron
pulling out a chair. "Sorry about that. I've been trying to catch
up on some work--what with all the rumors about a new Imperial campaign."
"Did you hear? The Bothans have nailed down a date for when the
Imps are starting their new operation. Near the end of the month."
"Hmm... and I bet the simulators will be swamped with people getting
prepared for them." Parody took a drink from his can of Mon Tain
Di'eu; a slurping noise indicated he'd drained another one. "I know
I've been taking too much time to get through the training sims."
"Relax, Par, we're working on the same set now."
"I know--but I started months ago. Nothing I can do now but keep
working at it." Parody picked up the can and headed for the bar.
"You want anything?"
The doors of the Lounge opened, admitting Rebecca "Rooster" Bryan,
Corsair 8. "Morning, Roo, how's it going?" the two men asked.
"Things are going quite well. Isn't it a little early for you two?"
Rooster asked as she headed to the table.
"I was just trying to get a little work in. Looks like I wasn't
quiet enough this morning." Parody began rummaging around behind
"Yeah," stated Mynock, "not quiet enough. I'll take a Full Throttle,
since you're buying."
"That sounds good to me. I'll have the same" chimed in Rooster.
"...and add one Juri Juice, for one tired Buccaneer," Aradia "Slicer"
Emerson's voice came from the entrance to the Lounge. Dropping her
flight helmet onto one seat, she sat with the others.
"Green? Purple? Orange?"
"Quiet out there?" Mynock asked.
"Not if you consider a pair of pirates attacking our latest supply
shipment quiet. We didn't lose anything, but they led us a merry
chase through a small asteroid swarm."
"Well, no asteroids here, just Full Throttles, one, two, a red
Juri Juice, and one Mon Tain Di'eu."
They all reached for their drinks. "Mmmmm, good," said Rooster.
"How can you drink that stuff this early in the morning?" asked
"You're almost never without a can of it," added Mynock.
Parody took a swig of his Mon Tain Di'eu, then stared at the can.
"Mon Tain Di'eu is known throughout the Rim as one of the most caffeinated
drinks that are safe for human consumption. I have heard of a drink
called a Jo-elt that has more, but I've never had any. In the morning
it picks you up, in the sims it can keep you going. In the evening,
well...it keeps you awake. Which is why there are things like Juri
Juice, mild Full Throttles, and water."
Parody chuckled, "It keeps you awake. That saved my career in the
Imperial Navy once..."
I first had this drink after completing my studies at the Imperial
Academy. Two other cadets and myself, the top of our class, were
being stationed on the Frigate Minotaur. The Minotaur was
to meet us in the Tainah system. We were given a standard shuttle
and one of those "cargo containers hooked to a hyperdrive" freighters.
Our freighter had some special supplies for the Minotaur.
Going from Coruscant to the Tainah system by the route we were
given would have taken about 4 days. However, Chora, a born navigator,
found us a few shortcuts so we would get there in 3 days and have
a day of shore leave before the Minotaur arrived.
We did a lot of talking and sabacc playing. This was the first
real time we had to relax after entering the Academy. We also took
turns flying the freighter. I was flying it when we came out of
hyperspace in the Tainah system. We docked our ships at Byra, the
capitol city of the Mon Tain, and arranged rooms for the night.
Then we proceeded to the local cantina.
I'd been pretty reclusive when I was in the Academy--not like the
Imperial Academy exactly fosters friendships. I'd never had an alcoholic
drink in my life. So when Jonak ordered me a Corellian Ale, I was
"Don't worry, Mike, it's fine, just drink it!"
I sniffed the drink--ugh, the alcohol just turned my head. Trying
to be friendly, I took a sip of the bitter liquid. Even that small
amount of alcohol burned down my throat. "Sorry, Jo, but I can't
take that stuff. Here, you drink it."
"You don't know what you're missing!"
I walked up to the bar. "What do you have that's non-alcoholic?"
His voice was dripping with sarcasm. "Non-alcoholic? Well, there's
water. Assorted juices... or there's our Galaxy-Famous Di'eu..."
"Di'eu? What's that?"
"It's our main export after refined minerals and metal. Very sweet,
fizzy, has a mild stimulant called caffeine added."
"Sounds good. Let me try one."
I paid the man and brought the green can back to our table. The
Mon Tain Di'eu can was cold, and it had a built-in opening device
on top. I popped open the can, and took a drink. WOW! (Back in the
Lounge, Parody thunked his hand on the table, making everyone's
drinks shake.) The sugary, syrupy drink slid down my throat wiping
out that horrid ale. "This stuff is great," I thought, and took
We spent the night drinking and talking, relieved to be out of
the Academy atmosphere. I was almost drunk myself, with all the
Di'eu in my system. Around midnight local time we staggered back
to our rooms. Thanks to the alcohol, my fellow cadets were out like
a light, but I couldn't sleep. Having left most of our stuff in
the ships, I headed back to the docking bays to get a gaming pad.
As I approached the freighter, I heard two voices. Peeking around
the hatchway, I watched two humans who were at the door of the ship.
"It ain't openin' "
"You aren't doing it right. And keep it down!"
"Sorry. Ah, there we go." The thinner man had some device in his
hands; apparently that was what made the door open.
As they headed inside, I activated my wristcomm. "Jonak, Chora,
WAKE UP!" No response. Well, I hadn't expected anything. The freighter's
engines were powering up. I headed across to the shuttle.
"Hey, there's some kid." Oops. A blaster shot narrowly missed my
head. I darted behind a structural support. The blaster shots keep
coming until the freighter began to lift off. When they stopped,
I headed for our shuttle and got it fired up. The comm is erupting
with complaints from the port authorities about unscheduled departures.
I pulled up the comm. "Flight Cadet Miller of the Imperial Navy.
That ship is an Imperial Freighter and has been hijacked. I am pursuing
in our other vessel. Any assistance would be appreciated."
"This is Byra Transit Authority, we will send a patrol ship as
soon as one is available."
"Thanks, Miller out." Meanwhile, I'd been catching up to the freighter.
They had a good head start while I was starting up the shuttle.
Of course, they hadn't been responding to any attempts at communications
from either the authorities or myself, so as I approached I warmed
up the lasers. Being a large target, I was easily able to strafe
a few warning shots across the rear of the ship. The shields absorbed
the hits, and they started some evasive maneuvers. I tried to raise
them again. "Freighter Omicron this is Cadet Miller. If you do not
lower your shields and surrender, I will be forced to continue firing."
No response. So I started shooting again, this time in earnest.
They were able to dodge a few shots, but they didn't stand much
of a chance. However, I was watching the clock--those things had
good shielding, and it might actually last until they could get
into hyperspace. Thankfully, we didn't leave the engines preprogrammed.
The "fight" continued. However, they had one more trick up their
sleeve--as the shields on the ship went down, they did the one thing
I honestly wasn't expecting them to do. They went to a full stop.
I had been following them fairly closely, and had just reacted
to their shields going down by slowing down and attempting communications
again. When I looked back up, they were within .1 klick and I jammed
the stick forward. My illustrious career in impact damage was off
to a roaring start as I heard metal grating against metal. I was
knocked back in the pilot's seat, and stunned by the impact. About
a minute later my head cleared. I stopped the ship and pulled up
a damage report. Most of the upper wing had been torn off, which
was causing all sorts of flying problems. Next I checked the mapping
system. The freighter was running away. Not being one to give up,
I closed the wings and limped off in pursuit. However, the only
thoughts in my mind were "We're going to be brought up on charges."
The comm system grated to life. A sarcastic voice said, "So long,
'Flight Cadet Miller'. Next time, be a little more careful--you
scratched the pai--WHAT THE!"
Out of hyperspace came an Imperial Frigate; very quickly the sensors
reported it was the Minotaur. I flicked the comm switch.
"Shuttle Lambda to Frigate Minotaur. Freighter Omicron
has been stolen. This shuttle is badly damaged."
"Minotaur to Lambda, acknowledged. Head to Docking Bay 3--we'll
send out a welcoming committee."
Very quickly some transports and TIEs were launched; they disabled
the freighter and captured it. The CO of my new squadron took down
my side of the story. I was given a commendation for my efforts
in protecting Imperial property and bringing criminals to justice.
Jonak and Chora weren't so lucky: they were late for our appointed
meeting time with the Minotaur; when they arrived at the
landing pad we were there waiting for them. They were put on report,
and I don't remember them being around for too long in our squadron.
"...and ever since, I've done my best to keep a supply of this stuff
around. It saved my career that night, and without that I wouldn't
be here now, would I'"
Rooster stood, "Sorry to leave so soon, but I've got to get ready
for my morning training sim. Nice story, Parody. You'll have to
show me how to fly a TIE sometime."
"Sure, Roo. See you later."
Yawning, Slicer added, "I'm off to bed. Don't work too hard." Rooster
and Slicer walked out of the Lounge.
"Heh, heh. So you drink this Di'eu because it kept you in the Imperial
Navy? Maybe you should make a career switch to Blue Stuff," jokes
Parody smiles. "I think not. I still don't really like alcohol.
Like what I told Guardian once: It's not that easy, drinking green..."