Thursday, June 08, 2006

Chapter Five

Author's note: Chapter 4 is a little short, so I am posting Chapter 5 at about the same time as Chapter 4.



2.5 hours later, Sentinel signaled Lord Vader. About 15 minutes later he appeared, wearing a huge robe over his normal clothing. The cowl of the robe was large enough to cover his mask.

Sentinel herself had changed her attire to match the contemporary fashion of Thaadra. Her white dress exposed her arms entirely, but was otherwise discreet. With no folds of cloth in which to hide her lightsaber, she had concealed it in a white purse that matched her dress. The purse was baggy enough to make it difficult to deduce what it contained. Inside she had hidden her favorite bag of tricks: a small kit she had put together containing both explosives, electronics, and various tools. Included was an old fashioned, unpowered knife with an elegant, carved handle, and a wickedly sharp serrated blade. It was her favorite knife... her lucky knife.

When in doubt, pack for everything.

Vader stopped short to look at her. With her hair pulled up in an elaborate style only in fashion currently at Lanari IV, she reminded him for a moment of...

“M’Lord, we are 13 minutes out.”

“I will take us in”, Vader said as he sat in the pilot’s seat. He brought the ship out of lightspeed, and expertly guided it in with Lanari VI between the ship and Lanari IV. The ship seemed to hug Lanari VI so closely that Sentinel was sure she could barely discern the ship being buffeted by the high, cyclonic winds of the gas giant.

When they were on the sun-side of Lanari VI, Vader made for a large cargo ship. He gave a sharp push on the thrusters, then powered down the entire ship. Using discreet nudges from gas jets about the ship, he coasted the ship up close and personal to the cargo ship’s underbelly. With more nudges from the gas jets, the ship eased itself closer to the belly of the cargo beast.

Sentinel started to cringe. We’re going to hit it... we can’t keep just off the belly the entire way... the cargo ship’s gravity will pull us in and...

*Thunk*

Vader had activated magnetic docking clamps that were on the TOP of the ship.

“I didn’t realize this vessel was outfitted with topside docking clamps”, Sentinel said, relief obvious in her voice.

“Did you think I intended to tap the underbelly the entire way down?” Vader commented dryly.

“I, uh, wasn’t certain what your plans were, m’Lord.”

They rode in silence as Lanari IV came into view. She noted, according to the navputer, that Lanari V was currently on the other side of the solar system.

The cargo ship was huge, larger than she was used to seeing. She was wondering what other ship(s) they might have to hide behind, or under, to make planetfall, when she realized that the huge cargo ship itself was making the planetfall for them.

Most large cargo ships never enter the atmosphere during their entire life. They are built in space, and operate only in space, with their cargo being carried down to the planet, or loaded from the planet, by smaller ships. She had a sudden hunch, and switched on the rear view screen. There, behind them, was the actual mother ship of all cargo ships; the ship they were attached to had just visited it to swap cargo!

What were they transporting that they required a ship double the size of any Imperial Star Destroyer in order to carry it either to the planet or from the planet?

The ride to the surface kept her gritting her teeth the entire time, sure they would either be shaken loose in the rough ride down, or swept off by the winds and friction caused by the speed of their planetfall. Just when she began to think she should be worrying about the skill of the cargo-ship’s pilot, the behemoth leveled out and landed expertly on a platform not much larger than the ship itself. The maneuver brought the cargo ship to a hard stop, with a large blast of it’s lower jets. Just as it started this final maneuver, Vader restarted the engine, disengaged the docking clamps, and hit full reverse. Their relatively small ship was completely missed in it’s escape from the cargo dock platform.

Vader brought them to a landing in a small clearing just outside the city limits. The planet was largely undeveloped, in spite of what the cargo ship would normally have implied. Sentinel realized their ship was not likely to be spotted... especially when she watched Vader slide the ship completely underneath the huge canopy of trees to the South of the clearing.

Vader powered down the ship, and turned to face Sentinel.

In awe, Sentinel said “You HAVE to teach me how to do that manuever...”

With a pause that suggested that Vader might be smiling in response, Vader stood and said “Come on. We have work to do.”

Sentinel rose to follow.



Goto Chapter Six

3 Comments:

Blogger Radioactive Jam said...

Still great, no complaints. One part did seem out of place: "...she reminded him for a moment of..."

I haven't reread earlier chapters, but has this been a "3rd-person omniscient" perspective? If so no problem but if we've been limited to the inside of Sentinel's head thus far, not sure adding Vader now is a good fit.

I think I understand what you want to accomplish with the paragraph, and it might be tricky *without* dipping into Vader's mind. It's not like she can see the "reminded of" look on his face.

Maybe Sentinel could pick up some less-than fully guarded thoughts from Vader. These fragments would leave her puzzled at best, but plant the necessary seed of connection for the reader much like it does now, without shifting context to Vader's perspective.

6/09/2006 9:57 AM  
Blogger Kenya Starflight said...

Am I to guess that next chapter, the action is going to pick up?

Love Vader-flying scenes of all kinds. Cool trick he pulls with the freighter.

Anxiously awaiting chapter six!

6/09/2006 7:11 PM  
Blogger Sith Snoopy said...

Raj,

Yeah, Vader seeing Sentinel dressed up the way she was, with her hair up, was reminding Vader of Padme. That was the effect I was going for.

As to 3rd person omniscient perspective, I ended up flipping back and forth on both of them. I'm in both of their heads... alot. :)

If it becomes unclear whose head I'm in at the moment, please let me know.

This isn't being written from Sentinel's or Vader's perspective, but from both person's perspectives. I hope I'm not making it confusing... :P

Kenya, yeah, things get a little busier later on. Glad you liked the flying trick. :)

I need to do a little editing, but chapter 6 should be up tonight before I go to sleep. :)

6/09/2006 7:34 PM  

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