Pashk "Silk" V'tikan walked into the dim light of the
lounge, and gave the patrons a quick once over. There were no pilots
here yet; they were still in debriefing, which didn't surprise him
given the fact he had just gotten leave from the bridge. With the
lounge about empty he found himself with a choice of booths. Silk
half sat, half collapsed, into a corner booth near the bar with
a viewport close at hand.
"Hey Mixer, a vodka martini please, and make it a big one!"
Silk called out. It had been a long day. What had started out as
a response to a pirate raid on an Alliance convoy had ended up turning
into a major skirmish. Humph! A pirate band! As well armed as
they were they had to be mercs. They had arrived in system expecting
to find a freighter or two, along with a couple of Y-wings or uglies.
Instead the Liberty emerged from hyperspace to find a Dreadnaught
and two Corvettes, along with close to four squadrons of fighters.
My jaw just about dropped when I saw their fighter complement— those were no pirates! The space around the convoy was swarming
with enemy fighters, at least two squadrons of Y-wings, a squadron
of combined Z-95s and X-wings, and a squadron of uglies. The ensuing
fight had been fierce and bloody. Pashk had found himself nervous
when relaying the Admiral's orders during the battle. I just
hope no one noticed.
By this time Mixer had arrived with his drink, which Silk took
with relief. He had just taken his first sip when he noticed someone
standing at his booth. Pashk glanced up and about choked on his
drink. He quickly sprang to his feet and threw a salute. "Captain
"At ease, Lieutenant. Mind if I join you?" The grizzled
"Not at all sir," Silk responded as he motioned for the
Captain to sit. "Something to drink sir?" Silk asked politely,
then he blushed wondering if he had made a breach in etiquette.
"Thank you. I'll have whatever you are having," Evert
replied with a smile.
"Mixer, another martini!" Silk called.
Mixer returned quickly with another martini. Evert took the glass
then held it up, "To your first large engagement with the Liberty."
The two clinked glasses and sipped. Evert had a quick coughing spell
after he finished his sip. "What in the name of the Force is
this thing?" he asked, staring at the drink like it was poison.
Pashk's fur rippled with embarrassment. "Well sir, it is vodka
with a little vermouth in it."
The captain eyed the drink again. "And just where did you
learn of this thing?"
"Well sir, it is something like this...."
Bothan Martial Academy; one month prior to the Battle
The two opponents stood facing each other with their swords in
identical guards. The two could almost have been twins. They both
wore the same armor and masks, the only differences being in the
appearance of the armor. One set was worn and frayed, while the
other appeared nearly new. The appearance of twins was shattered
once they started to move. The newer-armored figure rushed his opponent,
pulling up at the last second. There was a brief flurry of blows
and then the fight was over. The younger one was flat on his back;
his sword lay about three feet from his hand.
The one still standing sighed and removed his mask, revealing that
he was a Bothan. His fur at one time had been a dark black, but
was now streaked with silver. The one on the ground began to move
again, and with a groan removed his mask. This Bothan was far younger,
his fur still a vibrant black.
Shaking his head to clear away the stars he looked up at his teacher
and asked, "What hit me! I had your sword blocked!"
The older Bothan laughed. "You're right Silk, you did have
my sword blocked, but you forgot about my fists and feet. Remember,
you are at the point in your training where anything is fair. You
need to start combining your hand to hand training with this,"
Kothlis Fel'kay explained as he offered Silk a hand. Once the young
Bothan was standing again, Kothlis asked, "Ready for another
Pashk just shook his head. "I can't. Glain wants to run me
through some more flight controller combat scenarios."
"Well I won't keep you then. But if you could, please come
by my room this evening, I need to talk with you."
"Yes sir," Silk replied with a bow, then turned to go
Kothlis' quarters; 19:00 hours....
"In!" Kothlis called when he heard the knock at his door.
As he turned towards the door he found Silk standing there in his
Academy uniform. "Ah, Silk, glad to see you could make it.
Have a seat. Would you like something to drink?" Silk just
nodded as he sat. A few minutes later Kothlis came and sat, but
first he handed Pashk a drink. "Here's to you Silk," he
toasted as they clinked glasses. Kothlis downed his drink like water
and Silk tried to follow his teacher's example, but he soon found
his throat on fire.
Sputtering, he finally managed to ask, "What is this thing?"
Kothlis just laughed, "I guess you are still a little young
to be enjoying these. It is called a martini. Try it again sometime
when you are a little older— but have a vodka one, those made
from gin are worse." Kothlis smiled for a little while longer,
then his face became serious, "Silk, I've asked you here to
tell you goodbye. I'm being sent out on a mission."
Silk took this well; after all, he'd had several teachers leave
for missions while he was in the academy. His main worry was that
Kothlis wouldn't be there to see him graduate. In his time at the
academy Kothlis had replaced Pashk's dead father as his paternal
figure, and the thought of him missing his graduation from the academy
hurt. "When will you be back? Or are you free to talk about
your mission?" Pashk asked, a serious look settling on his
"Oh, I can tell you some things, and I should be back by your
graduation." Seeing the smile on Silk's face, he continued,
"As you know, our spynet has been supplying the Alliance to
Restore the Republic with information on the Empire. This is the
best we can do for them now, though we hope that will change in
time. Anyway, we have found a lot of material, material that would
be used to build ships, has been disappearing from Imperial warehouses.
We believe that the Empire is shipping it off to some secret location
where they are building a very large fleet. Bothan High Command
has finally decided to try and infiltrate this operation to see
what is happening. I've been chosen to lead the team attempting
"Wow. Is this the reason that this year's graduating class
is getting such extensive field training, in both combat and espionage?"
Silk asked shrewdly.
"You've hit the nail on the head my boy. We believe the war
is going to heat up soon, and we want you young ones ready for it.
Anyway, we are to leave tomorrow, my entire team was given tonight
to say goodbye to their family, and since I don't have any family..."
Kothlis left the rest unsaid.
"Well my teacher, I wish you luck on this mission. Of course
with you in charge no one but the Dark Lord of Sith could stop you,"
Silk said smiling broadly.
"So I hope, so I hope," Kothlis replied, then turned
and reached behind him. When he turned around, Pashk saw that he
was holing his rapier.
"What, not another sparring session. I'm not even armed!"
Silk protested in mock anger.
"No, not another sparring match. This was to be your graduation
present from me, but since I might be gone for your graduation I'm
giving it to you early." Kothlis passed the finely crafted
sword over to his student.
Silk's mouth was open in a silent O. "Wwwwhat can I say?"
"Say you'll carry it with honor my boy!"
"I shall, thank you."
Kothlis watched his student admire the blade for a few minutes
before speaking, "Well now Silk, I have to finish packing.
I'll see you in a few months." Both stood and clasped hands.
"I'll see you then teacher."
Cantina on Bothawui... one month after the
Battle of Yavin...
Today should have been the happiest day in Pashk's short life.
He had graduated near the top of his class today, and he already
had his first assignment, as Flight Controller in a new
task force of Bothan Dreadnaughts. But one dark cloud blotted out all his
joy. Today he had received official conformation that Kothlis Fel'kay
had been killed aboard the Death Star, where he was being held prisoner,
when it was destroyed by the Rebel Alliance.
"So what'll it be sonny?" The old Bothan behind the bar
asked, bringing Silk out of his memories of his teacher.
"Ah.... I'll have a martini." Silk mumbled.
"Gin or Vodka?"
Silk looked up at the bartender, "Vodka of course'."
"And that is how I was introduced to this drink."
"So you drink it to honor your teacher?" Evert asked.
"Well at first yes, but then I've gotten to like them, so
it is just what I order when I get to drink." Silk explained.
Evert nodded, then took a quick look around the lounge. The pilot's
debrief must have ended, the lounge was beginning to fill. "Well
Mr. V'tikan, I need to return to the bridge. Enjoy your drink."
He tossed a half-serious salute to the young Bothan, then left the
Silk leaned back in his booth, staring out the viewport. He then
raised his glass, "To you Kothlis."