Too Much Spare Time
"Yeah, just wait till you get to your fighter tweety bird," Hellcat
said in the softest, evilest voice he had ever spoken in. Though
no one heard him, Krayt saw the look in Hellcat's eyes when Condor
walked out of the Lounge to do his patrol with one of the newer
Corsairs. It wasn't surprising to see Hellcat looking at Condor
like that, they tended to bait and tease each other mercilessly,
but Jon had been a bit over the top rubbing it in on the
birthday drinks thing. After 2 or so minutes, Hellcat got up and
paid his bar tab then walked out of the Lounge toward the main hangar
bay where Condor was heading. Curiously, Krayt got up and walked
out as well. This seemed to also attract some attention from Jalb,
so he too got up to see what was going on.
Being careful not to be seen by Condor, Hellcat rushed his way
to the hangar bay, but little did he know that Krayt and Jalb were
following close behind him. When Hellcat finally got to the bay,
he waited patiently for Condor to gear up and get into his A-wing.
The moment finally came when Condor slipped into his cockpit and
closed the canopy. Hellcat continued to watch with serious intent.
Condor let go a contented sigh. "Another boring patrol duty coming
right up. Suckers didn't even figure out when my birthday was, and
I got away just toooo smoothly without having to buy drinks," Condor
finished off with a small chuckle while going through the ignition
sequence. The green light came on indicating that all systems were
checked and good to go, so Condor hit the switch to kick in repulsors.
However, not only did the engine kick in, but a white-cream pie
came out of nowhere smacking Condor right in the face with a *splat*.
Hellcat jumped up and down and hurried over to Condor's fighter,
whose canopy was opening up again.
"You really thought you had us all fooled Tweety bird?" Hellcat
asked in almost a hysterical tone of voice and then continued. "Well,
although you got away with not buying drinks, you didn't get away
with outsmarting the kitty." After saying this, Hellcat walked away
laughing hard enough to bring tears to his eyes, while Condor just
looked dumbfounded at his receding back, surprised to find that
Josh actually had the smarts to pull the gag off. Krayt and Jalb
on the other hand just looked at each other then back at Condor
and started laughing, as well as the rest of the hangar crew.
Jalb_k continued laughing until Hellcat had exited the hangar,
then effected a rapid transformation. A thoughtful expression upon
his face, he stared a few moments at the door Hellcat had just gone
through, then turned his attention to Condor, who was in the process
of removing cream pie remnants from his face, helmet and the headrest
of his A-wing's couch. Krayt was still near doubled over, wiping
his eyes free of his tears of mirth, when he realised he was no
longer accompanied by Jalb's laughter. He straightened up and took
control of himself, slowly.
"Haha... ha... he... ahhh." A deep breath. "Well, it was funny,"
he said in response to Jalb's arched eyebrow. Jalb smiled, a sly,
malicious little twist to his lips.
"Yes, Krayt, it was, it was indeed," he said ambiguously, turned
and strode off towards the accommodation decks with Krayt staring
at his receding form, more than a little perplexed.
[A few hours later]
Hellcat was strolling back towards his cabin and noticed Jalb working
on something near this door. He stopped, being the curious
cat he was, and had a gander at what Jalb was doing, and was surprised
at what he saw.
"Man! Jalb, a Cryptocypher III! Whaddaya need that sorta security
for?" Hellcat asked aloud, stunned that anyone except Ops and Int would
use a lock like that. Unless you had a spare hour, the thing was
virtually unbeatable, apart from a door charge. Jalb glanced over
his shoulder and affected an air of nonchalance.
"No particular reason, Thylvethter, it was one of those free gift
type things, you know, 'and get this set of vibroblades free' kinda
deal. I thought I may as well use it since I got it."
Hellcat stood a while to let this sink in then said, "Fair enough"
and continued on his way.
Hellcat palmed the entry to his cabin, the door swooshed
smoothly open and he was pinned to the bulkhead behind him by a
two foot round, giant cream pie!
Krayt strolled into his cabin and noticed his R2
unit out of his alcove and squatting in the middle of the cabin.
"Hey Volt, wassup?" he asked his astromech droid.
"Toot toodle pip bwoop! BzzzzzzzzzzZAP!"
"Yeeooww!" Krayt exclaimed, rubbing his butt to lessen the sting.
"What's got into you, Buckethead?"
"Yow! Quit it!"
Vidster saw a datapad on his desk where a datapad
hadn't been left. He walked over to the device and picked it up.
He looked at the blank screen and keyed it on. Words scrolled across
"Hello, and thanks for activating me... Get ready to run... I am
a bomb... 4... 3..." Vidster dropped the pad and dove behind his
bunk, banging the heck out of himself at the same time. There was
a tinny recorded bang followed by silence. He slowly raised his
head only to hear a familiar sound issuing from the pad.
"Hahahahaha... Yes, got'im!"
Stryker sat at the bar. "Yeah, give me a canister
and a glass Mixer, I've got a fair bit of work to do," he said with
a rueful grin. He grabbed the insulated canister and glass and headed
over to his usual table. He placed the glass down and stood to undo
the lid of his Ion Sucker. After the smoke and confetti cleared
and he found himself sitting on the floor he glared around. All
the crew that had been openly laughing and smiling suddenly found
table tops intensely amusing.
Blindman was still chuckling about Stryker's indignant
ranting as he walked back towards his cabin. He'd heard this mystery
prankster had caught out a few Renegades, and although accusations
were aplenty, they were well short of proof. "Oh well, no real harm
done," he thought with a wry chuckle. He palmed his door open, walked
into his cabin and the world turned upside down, inside out and
shot through with psychedelic swirls.
"What the?" His perception all wonky, he reeled backwards and
the world returned to normal. The door of his cabin remained open
and everything appeared fine. He gave himself a shake and stepped
across the threshold and reality fled again. Another stagger back
and all was well. "Hmm, I think I've been got!" he said to himself
as he turned off his visor and sensed his way into his cabin.
Guardian made his way into Stryker's office for the
hastily called Wing CO meeting. He acknowledged Stryker, Vidster
and Blindman and pulled the chair closest to the entrance in with
him. He positioned it near the desk, turned and sat. "Brrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaap!"
The look of astonishment on the others faces mirrored his own.
"Well," said Stryker, "that was fairly juvenile considering what
he's pulled so far..." Guardian stood to inspect his seat...
"Fwoof!" Vidster failed to hide his smirk as the powder cleared
and a chalk white Guardian coughed once to get it out of his mouth.
Stryker lowered his head to his hands.
"What have I done to deserve this?" he asked rhetorically.
"The question is," interjected a grim Guardian, "what are we going
to do about it?" All three looked at him, intense eyes staring out
of a dead white face, and broke up laughing. Guardian was slightly
miffed, then saw the funny side of it and joined in.
Two Ensigns overheard the gales of laughter coming from Renegade
CO's office as they walked by. They stopped and listened for a moment.
"I haven't heard anyone on this ship laugh like that in a long
time," one said to the other.
"You're right you know, It's good to hear though!" And both stepped off again, little smiles on their
faces and a lift in their stride.
Hellcat was amazed at all the things this loose prankster had done
aboard the Liberty and was sitting in the Lounge pondering over
who could be so brash that they risked getting the CO's and Rogue
XO involved in a prank.
Just then Paladin walked in and looked at
Hellcat quizzically, and thought to himself, Hellcat looks like
he's thinking about something... The thought left his mind just
as fast as it entered when he roared with laughter.
at Paladin and asked, "What are you laughing at you lug head"?""
"Just the fact that you actually looked like you were thinking
about something," continued Paladin, still laughing.
Hellcat was clearly annoyed. "Well for your information wise
guy, I was thinking. I'm wondering whom it is that is coming
up with all these pranks. Whoever it is doesn't seem to care too
much about getting caught by the brass. Did you hear what happened
to Stryker, Vids, Blindman and Gman?"
Paladin stopped laughing at this point and answered seriously,
"Yeah, now that you mention it, what d'ya think they'll do to the
prankster when they catch 'em?"
Hellcat thought a moment longer. "Make him clean out the garbage
chutes, run tug duty for a couple months... I know what I'd do."
Hellcat trailed off with an evil grin on his face.
"Well? What would you do, you furball croaking critter?" Paladin
asked with a smirk starting to form on the corners of his mouth.
"I'd send him into heavily fortified territory as bait." Again,
Hellcat smiled an evil grin, but this time Paladin joined him. "All
I know buddy is that someone is better than us at doing pranks it
seems," Hellcat said with a bit of worry in his voice. Paladin only
nodded his head in agreement, and both pilots then began to question
who it could be on the Liberty that was doing these things. And
not only were they wondering that, but they were both wondering
who would be next... the tech crews, maintenance teams, other pilots?
One could only wait.
Alli Ralter flung herself onto her bunk and started going through
her messages as soon as she got into her cabin. She was distracted
by her little yellow furball bouncing up and down gesturing at her
"Pikachu, Pickachu, Pik-A-Chu!!" it cried.
"What's your problem Pika?" Alli whined as she got up from her
bunk. "It's a robe, you seen it before... Alright Pika!" She placed
her finger on the actuation pad.
Alli found herself sitting on her backside squinting to see through
the cold glutenous substance running down her face. She looked around
to see a thick layer of the stuff over everything, including her
pet, who was happily licking the stuff of its fur.
"Yes Pika, I know you like Jello!"
Allista growled slightly to herself as she brushed the last few
tangles from her wet hair. She was going to smell like raspberry
jello for weeks and Pika was getting on a sugar high. "All right who ever you are," she snarled underneath her breath,
"This means war..."
Silk's sense of paranoia was working overtime. It seemed that all
of the pilots, as well as Command Staff, had suffered from practical
jokes. Silk was one of the few remaining that had not suffered from
the prankster. Using his espionage skills, Silk was able to slip
into the Lounge unnoticed, except by the sensors of the droid behind
"Good day Silk, would you like a martini?" Mixer asked as Silk
approached the bar.
"Nah, just water, I need to keep my wits about me."
Silk grabbed his glass and left the lounge. He was walking by the
pool when it happened, out of one of the halls a stuffed Ewok came
flying. It caught Silk full in the chest, sending him flying into
the pool. When Silk surfaced he found a small group standing around
laughing. Playing it cool he asked, "So does anyone have a towel?"
Kallysto moved to the front of the small group that
was helping Silk out of the pool.
"Did you see who threw it?" he asked the Liberty's FCO.
"Nope, heard a faint 'fwoom' then 'Bam' and I was in the pool,
any of you guys see anything?" Silk directed the question to the
pilots standing around admiring Silk's drowned rat impersonation,
a response wet Bothan fur tended to elicit. The others, Locker,
Darklighter, Mighty, and Prowler were unable to help either, but
Mighty was able to identify the corridor it appeared to come from.
All six moved along the edge the pool until they were able to see
in to the darkened corridor, which revealed nothing.
"Where's the lighting? It shouldn't be that dark." Locker voiced
Then they all heard it, faintly at first, then increasing in volume,
a slow, laboured respiration, accompanied by a dark, bass fanfare.
"What the?" asked Darklighter.
Suddenly the light came on further down the corridor, silouhetting
a tall cloaked and helmeted figure with lights flashing over its
chest. The figure's hands came up and its fingers spread towards
"You puny rebels cannot stop the Empire!" A deep bass amplified
voice washed over them at the same time as blue lightning erupted
from its fingers and writhed towards the group.
"AAaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh" As one they screamed and backed away
from the ominous figure, and straight into the pool.
The lightning stopped and the figure doubled over with hysterical
convulsions, finally catching it's breath. It turned and ran back
down the hallway, a faint "Yes, got'em!" echoing back down to the
six soaked crew.
Hellcat had walked into the gym deck just as the group flew backwards
into the pool. At first Hellcat started to smile but it faded when
he heard "Yes got 'em" echo out of the corridor and he quickly gave
pursuit hoping to at least catch some sort of detail. Whoever He
was chasing, he was gaining some ground, because he heard the sound
of running boots start to get louder. "Whoever this guy is, he sure
is out of shape," Hellcat concluded with a smirk on his face and
increased his pace. Rounding a corner, he started to make out the
build of the prankster, but it was only a back-view and anyone on
the Liberty could look like that...he had to gain more ground. Things
turned, however, when the figure turned his/her head around and
noticed Hellcat giving chase... this caused the figure to increase
its pace. Seeing the figure increase speed, Hellcat knew
he had been noticed and broke out at top speed to catch up... the
distance started getting smaller and smaller as he continued to
gain on the figure, however he was going to fast to notice the turn
coming up. By the time he could react, it was too late and Hellcat
careened right into the bulkhead with his left shoulder, sending
a painful shock through his entire body. The last thing he saw as
he tried to regain his composure was the figure getting away. His
"Hellcat, this is Mighty. Did you catch him?"
"Negative, these damn corridors are so dark and I was so intent
on grabbing this guy, that I failed to notice the turn I had to
make.... so now I'm nursing my shoulder, while running images of
the figure, from the back, through my mind."
"Come up with anything?"
"No Mighty Mouse, 'fraid not."
Jalb stealthily moved down the corridors to
his quarters to put away the helmet, cloak, and lights he just used
to get the last 6 pilots. Jalb was delighted at the fact that
he had not yet been discovered. Once he got to his quarters and
put away his possessions, he decided to go down to the port side
hangar bay to see whom else he could pull a prank on.
He entered the hangar bay and immediately a short Bothan, easily
smaller Jalb's 6'1" frame by a good margin, came
up and sternly asked him if he was Rogue Nine.
"Excuse me?" asked Jalb.
"I SAID, 'ARE YOU ROGUE NINE'!" yelled the Bothan so loud that everyone
in the hangar could hear. The Bothan appeared to be quite agitated
about something. Jalb took a mental step back and composed himself.
He decided on cheerful confidence to hide the little stab of fear
"Well, yes I am. How may I be of service... Captain?"
"Shen'ryu," The Bothan replied icily. His voice lowered to a dangerous growl. "What
did you do to my ship?" Jalb got a confused look on his face then
asked, "What do you mean?".
The Bothan growing even more agitated yelled. "You know damn well
what I mean, and if you don't make it right I'll toss your butt right
through the hangar and off into space!"
Jalb started to get slightly anxious and answered the Bothan. "Honestly
sir I have no idea what you are talking about."
a piece of paper from his pocket and showed it to Jalb, who read
the note which said:
Dear Sir or Madam,
I was playing with a Solar Frisbee in the hangar bay and unfortunately
it struck your ship leaving a rather nasty dent on the hull and
may have damaged some internal circuitry. Please contact me so I
can make the proper reparations to pay for the damage.
Jalb_k, Rogue Nine
Jalb's jaw nearly hit the floor when he read the note. He regained
his composure and said to the Bothan. "I'm afraid sir that we have
been the victim of a prank. I did not write that note and I doubt
that there has been any damage caused to your ship."
considered this and finally proposed, "You and I are going to check
every inch of the hull of my Shuttle just to be sure." Jalb quickly agreed
Three hours later the Shuttle was inspected to the Bothan's satisfaction. He and his absolutely massive Bothan partner that ahd been waiting in the shuttle cockpit left the Liberty. Jalb wearily found his way to the
Lounge where he ordered a sundowner and wondered who could be the
one that just got him. He also nodded a silent thanks to himself that he had to deal with the shorter of the two Bothans, as the partner in the ship dwarfed him in size.
He nursed his drink as he stared out into space, his mind rapidly
going over evidence, trying to correlate facts and pin the perpetrator.
Hellcat? No, too subtle for Josh, and he wouldn't have had time
to set it up after slamming into the bulkhead like he had. Jalb
smiled to himself. Increasing his speed like he had, but staying
well off his top pace had just reeled Hellcat in, and the sidestep
to the right had been perfectly timed. Jalb could still hear the
'Ooommpphh' Josh made when he hit the turn. He made a mental note
to send him some bacta spray anonymously, that impact had to have
left a mark.
He knew whoever had done it was canny, and sly, much like himself,
however involving the Bothan Captain had been a bad mistake. The 3 hour
delay to his departure had incensed him further. Although most contrite
and apologetic after realising they had indeed been the brunt of
a joke, he had left Jalb with a firm handshake and a solemn promise
from Jalb to let him know when he found the person responsible.
Jalb chuckled to himself and knew he did not want to be responsible
for what that short-syndrome Bothan could do to someone, but they'd
brought it on themselves.
He'd come up with a short list of names by the time he went to
see Lt. Koernig, the Liberty's security officer. If anyone had records
of people's handwriting, it was he. A quick scan of this note and
it should have a match in seconds.
"Hehehe, let the fun begin!" he said to himself.
A lone shuttle traveled through hyperspace to its destination on
Corellia. Inside the shuttle, Shen'ryu mulled over the prank
pulled on him and Rogue Nine earlier. The Bothan considered the
possibility that the prank was solely intended for Rogue Nine, but
he quickly dismissed it.
"Trying to figure out who caused our delay?" his larger Bothan counterpart asked from the seat next to him.
"Yes," Shen'ryu mumbled. "Unfortunately I'm coming up dry. Blasted pilots and their lack of discipline..."
Toban smiled at his partner's disdain for pilots. While he didn't quite share that level of dislike, he certainly abhorred delays in their important covert schedule. However, their next informant meeting wasn't for another few days, and they'd have plenty of time still to embed themselves properly beforehand. "Let me think on it," he purred. "Take the controls while I think on it." Over the years he had know dozens of people
that are now in the Rebellion. He wondered if any of them would
want to get back at him for something.
Who could it be, pondered Toban. A pilot? A passenger? A crew member?
Then he seemed to recall that 2 years earlier that he underpaid
a mercenary for a job. The mercenary was discontent at first but
since he found something useful in the rubble of his kills he said
he'd let him make it up to him later. But that was two years ago
and Shen'ryu was never very good with names. He tried to recall
that mercenary's name but couldn't think of it. All of the sudden
he realised that he kept logs of all his expenses. He grabbed the
strong box from under his seat and procured a data pad from it.
"Got something?" Shen'ryu asked, not looking away from the controls.
"Let's see," Toban mumbled to himself. "This job was
about two years ago. It must of been one of the ones in the Outer
Rim Territories." He pushed a sequence of keys on his data
pad and in came up with a list. The Bothan eyed the list carefully.
Half way down the list he recognised the name! It was . . .
"Tolle! Michael Mighty Tolle, you sly, devious little bugger."
Jalb laughed and slapped Gemini on the shoulder.
The rarely in uniform, serious security officer breached his façade
and grinned, caught up in Jalb's ebullient mood.
"Thanks Kev, that's another I owe ya, tell ya what, how's
Bob's appetite these days?"
Gemini arched an eyebrow in response.
I've got a few kilo's of prime Macquarian beef steak on the
way, planning on a bit of a BBQ, and I think I could spare some
for him. I'd guess it's been a while since your sting-ray had any
real red meat." Jalb finished with a grin.
Gemini smiled back sincerely. "Thanks Chris, I'm sure Bob
will appreciate it."
"Major Toban, I got your holo and agree, having found the same identity.
I've got a little something planned and would like your help."
"Better be a plan that drums that undisciplined prankster right out of the Rebellion!" Shen'ryu growled, still angry.
Toban waved his angry subordinate off with a dismissive hand. "You forget the stress these men and women are under, Thram," he responded. "Letting off a little steam now and then is a healthy thing, and something you should think about doing as well, Captain." The large Bothan sat back and watched and listened as Rogue Nine
detailed his plan, and was openly laughing when he recorded his
After he sent the message, he looked back at his subordinate. "Change of plans, Thram. I'm taking the controls."
Mighty was bored. He hated sitting around on sprint
team. He tried to keep himself amused by correlating data to directly
pin all the pranks on Jalb, but the leads all turned into dead ends
and he was rapidly losing interest. He knew in his gut that
it was Jalb, yet... wherever his fellow Rogue had learned the art of subterfuge
he had learned well. Suddenly his comm pinged.
"Mighty, it's Silk up in Flight Control. I want you to take
out the Alert 1 A-wing, we've got a strange shuttle just come in-system
and it's not answering our hails. It's making sensor sweeps, so
get out and ID the sucker would you?"
"Roger that Silk, I'm on my way," Mighty responded, already
with helmet in hand and halfway to the eggshell fighter.
Jalb smiled and turned to the Bothan as he shut down the narrow
beam transmission from Silk. "Phase 2, Major Toban. He's on his way!"
Mighty goosed laser power to engines to increase his intercept
speed and started tracking the mysterious interloper. He intended
to make a high-speed run past the shuttle to get the readings he
needed for Silk, but was shocked out of his complacency when the
shuttle turned towards him at 3 klicks out and started locking him
"Liberty, this is Rogue Ten. The Lamb is aggressive! Do I have
"Negative Ten," Silk's voice came back. "Evade and
track, do not engage in this sector!"
Mighty screamed in frustration internally but followed orders.
He neatly shook the shuttles lock and got in behind it, all the
while painting it with laser tone. The shuttle suddenly decelerated,
swung 90o and shot into hyperspace.
"Liberty, Lamb has jumped. I'd say it's a short unplanned
hop out of system. I have a solid solution for hyper track. Orders?"
"Roger Ten, you are clear to follow and engage. It appears
to be a leftover from Vorkin's lot, launching the rest of the sprint
team for backup. Good Hunting!"
Mighty smiled inwardly as he keyed in the hyper track solution
and made the leap to hyperspace, and into his worst nightmare.
Jalb sat back and watched the sensors. Twelve red blips indicating
T/A Avenger arranged in a loose semi circle around the space where...
"Bingo!" A lone green dot, designated A-wing Alert. Jalb
hefted the small module in his hand and flicked the switch...
Almost instantly lock tone echoed throughout Mighty's cockpit.
"Holy sithspit!" Michael was in deep shab, and he knew it. Sweat
drenched his suit as he evaded vertically and punched for hyperspace,
to be met by... nothing. He watched in horror as his systems shut
down, laser, shield, and engine indicators fading to nothing. All
he had was life support and targeting, his comms being jammed. He
was no fool, he knew he'd been trapped, he just hoped his backup
got here soon. Then again, it would take another four Rogues to
deal with Avenger in full. His mind was racing, unable to comprehend
the presence of the Empire's elite here! His comm crackled.
"Michael Tolle, you are under arrest! You are a Rebel traitor
and a spy! You will be taken away! Initiate personal magcon and
exit your craft. You will be tractored aboard."
Mighty considered just popping his canopy and letting vacuum do
the job, but he couldn't end it like this. He knew he was in for
a rough time, but he would escape. Somehow, sometime, he would get
away. He unstrapped, turned on his magcon and prepared for the icy
chill as he opened his canopy. As an afterthought he tried the self-destruct
timer. "Dead too, damnit!"
He pushed away from his disabled craft and after floating 100 or
so metres he was caught by the implacable grip of a tractor beam.
It was then that he noticed the movement at the shuttles open hatch.
One by one he watched twelve very familiar probe packages entering
followed by a black-suited figure exiting with a hand held nullgee
thruster, getting closer. He grimaced and thought, Jalb, you bugger!
as Jalb sailed by with a wave and a big grin. Then he heard a familiar
Bothan voice through his personal comm.
"Ah ha Michael. He who laughs last laughs hardest! I believe
that is the human saying?" Toban guffawed heartily. "Myself. Captain Shen'ryu,
and the esteemed Rogue Nine offer our compliments on your little
joke, however, we believe some time in contemplation of the error
of your ways will suffice as retribution."
Jalb had strapped
himself into the couch and enabled the A-wings systems, and added
his own cheery laugh and heartfelt sentiments. "Indeed Mighty! You have forced my hand. I had to let a lot
of people into the loop on this one so I believe my days as the
'Mystery Prankster' are numbered. But I feel that this one has been
my best and you can float here awhile, calm in the knowledge that
you have been the brunt of the finest, and look forward to your
deck reception when I let Hyl know where you are. And I am SO looking
forward to that party!" He added with a big chuckle. "Cheers
mate. I'm not going away angry, I'm just going away!" Followed
by, "Yes, got him!"
"I'll consider not putting you up on charges of 'hampering an Intelligence operation' as sufficient recompense for my earlier underpayment for your services, Lieutenant Tolle," Major Toban chuckled. "If it was up to my partner, you'd be drummed out of the service in your skivvies. Consider us even."
With that the two craft leapt past
him into hyperspace. Left adrift, he could do nothing but appreciate
the scale of the prank that had been played on him. He floated calmly
awaiting a pickup. Mighty was bored.
"Chief!" Hellcat yelled out towards the technician crew working
on Jalb's fighter.
The chief technician, quickly strutted over towards
the pilot, "Something I can help you with Lieutenant?"
"Yeah, Jalb told me to give you these orders for his fighter,"
Hellcat handed the technician a datapad and the technician looked
up with a puzzled expression shown across his face.
"Reynolds ordered for this to be done to his fighter sir?"
the technician asked with a hesitant voice.
"You see his signature right there at the bottom don't you?" Hellcat
pointed towards the bottom of the data pad.
With a sigh of acknowledgment
the technician said, "Well if that's what he wants, then that's
what he'll get. Guys..." was all Hellcat could hear as he walked
away smiling proudly to himself.
*ONE DAY LATER*
Jalb was walking towards the hangar, relieved that he was finally
getting off the ship and doing some flying, even if it was just
a patrol assignment. Whistling as he walked towards the hangar he
ran into Hellcat, whose smile alone could make a man suspicious,
but Jalb wasn't until...
"WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO MY FIGHTER?!?!" He screamed out, causing
an echo within the large hangar bay of the giant Mon Cal Cruiser.
"Chief, just what do you think you were doing when you did that
to my fighter?" Jalb asked pointing towards the freshly painted
pink fighter that caused a bit of attention in the hangar
"Sir, Lieutenant Kinney handed me a datapad, with your signature I might
add, asking for a repaint of your craft into that colour."
"I should have known something was wrong when I saw that fiendish
smile of his," Jalb said letting out a low growl indicating he was
not too happy. He had expected something now that his secret was
out, but this was beyond what he had envisaged. Just then, Condor
and Krayt entered the hangar hearing that there was a commotion
going on. As soon as they saw Jalb's fighter, they couldn't help
but burst out into tears of laughter pointing at the poor man's
ship at the same time.
Krayt cupped his hands to his mouth and shouted. "Hey Jalb, nice paint job buddy! I'm sure you wouldn't need to
kill the Imps, they'll die laughing just looking at that thing."
"Pink Five, reporting in," Condor added mockingly between fits of laughter.
Jalb was a little miffed at the attention his fighter was getting,
and he remembered that he had a patrol mission to fly in less than
5 minutes, "Chief when I get back I expect that...vthat...vpink thing
to be painted back to it's original colour."
Then Alli walked in and commented, "Hey I think it looks nice Jalb.
It shows your feminine side." Again the hangar burst into laughter,
even if Alli wasn't trying to make a joke out of the comment she'd
Out on patrol Jalb couldn't help but notice the fuselage in front
of him, it was so bright but, something about pink teased his memory.
"Hey Skippy," he called to his astromech droid. "Did you download
all that stuff on Macquarian history like I asked you?" He smiled
as he heard a couple of beeps and an indignant bwoop! He didn't
need to read the screen to understand that!
"OK, OK. Do a search on camouflage, a couple of centuries back.
I recall reading something about pink being used by the armed forces
of the day."
A few moments later text started printing out on the screen.
"During trials of the new armoured fighting vehicles several accidents
were caused by ground vehicles failing to notice the large tracked
vehicles sharing the public highway with them. Ironically, the colour
pink, thought to be least associated with warlike activities is
also a colour that the eye tends to ignore, as it blends well into
"Woohoo! I knew it. All I have to do is tone this down a bit, add
a bit of grey and black on the edges like those holo's there and
we have a perfect paint job. Haha, you have SO made me happy Hellcat,
talk about yer backfire. Skip, do up a holo of our ship here, dull
the pink and add the grey and black." Jalb watched as a small holographic
depiction of what he described appeared near his right hand.
"Bingo, that's perfect. Save and log that for maintenance. It might
look out of place on the deck, but we are gonna be near invisible
The Lounge was full. Nearly all the fighter wing, and quite a few
fleet types, had responded to the anonymous invitation, and all
were openly curious. The excited babble of the gathering quieted
as Jalb stood up on a table near the bar. With
a wink to, and a nod from his CO, he began to orate.
"Ladies and gentlebeings, most of you will by now know that
I was the perpetrator of the string of pranks and practical jokes
over the past few weeks. Fortunately, everyone I got saw the funny
side and, in some cases, were able to give as good as they got."
A light chuckle rippled through the crowd. "Yet, I had to be
unmasked at some stage, so, instead of waiting for an intensive
investigation to unearth my nefarious urging, I let a few people
in on my secret and went hat in hand to the CO to turn myself in."
This was met by a united groan of condolence at which Jalb laughed
out loud. "Oh ye of little faith," he quipped. "Colonel
Rambo is far from the Ogre some of you would portray him as. Apart
from a little extra duty, of a nature I won't explore in this forum,"
to which he added an exaggerated grimace, "he ordered me to
recompense those that suffered my wit in a way in which I saw fit.
So, to continue in the frivolous vein that inspired me to boost
ships morale, I have managed to talk the Wing and Fleet CO's into
giving us 36 hours downtime for those not on essential duties."
A huge cheer met this news. Jalb raised his hands to try and settle the
glowing throng. "We're gonna fire up the barbie and have a
few steaks and, Mixer, Sundowners all round!"
A few hours later, most of the Rogues were standing around reminiscing
over some of the better pranks and sipping free Sundowners when
Stryker spoke up.
"Well Jalb, I think you can cancel those last few refuse Tug
duties," he looked around. "You've done a good thing here."
He finished with a smile and took another pull on his drink. "Mmmm,
while I'm at it, although it lacks the finesse of an Ion Sucker,"
this was met by guffaws all round, "these Sundowners are quite
mellow. I've been meaning to ask the story behind these for a while,
is there one?" A shadow seemed to briefly cloud Jalb's face
but his effervescent grin was soon back on.
"Well Sir, there is, but it's rather long and deep and, well,
I guess it's another tale Sir!" He finished with a roguish
Animal laughed and said "I'll drink to that,
but, then again, I'll drink to anything when it's free!"
Krayt broke through the ensuing laughter. "Speaking of which,
how are you paying for all this, Chris?"
Jalb looked up with a sheepish grin. "Heh heh! Remember Animal's
little device?" he said holding up a datapad. All present knew
of the slice that Animal had worked on Mixer with his datapad and
"Aw no, tell me you didn't" Josh Kinney whined.
Jalb laughed again. "No mate, not you, but everyone bar Rogue
Squadron is going to be a couple of credits up on their bar tabs!"
Stryker tried to pin Jalb with a stern stare, but couldn't quite
pull it off. "Reynolds, you're incorrigible!"
"Ha ha! That I am Sir, that I am!"