Thursday, August 25, 2005

Han: Swoop Han B

OH what a day. I was still feeling woozy from my Huttslime o.d., and would have liked nothing more than to spend the day in the sack, recovering. So, what did we do? We had a swoop race.

Now, I was the king of swoop racing. I made a name for myself racing dangerous repulsorlift swoops professionally and on the independent circuit when I was a teenager. They even made an action figure of me!

These guys had no idea what they were about to go up against.

They gave us Mobquet swoops to race. Man, this model was old when I was young, but it's probably the latest thing on Tatooine right now. Lucky for me, I was familiar with it.

Mobquet swoops use TaggeCo chips, of course (Mobquet is part of TaggeCo). And TaggeCo is all about credits. They underclock their chips so they can charge more for regular-clocked ones. A few minutes to take the limiters off the control computer, and I'll have a more responsive swoop. Man, if only I had my tools with me! I could do so much more. That should have been my luxury item.

I mean, I'd probably win anyway, but it doesn't hurt to take extra steps. After all, I heard Anakin was a bit of a racer himself, when he was younger. He'd probably be my biggest competition.

Anyway. I got the limiters off, and if the world would just stop spinning, I'd be set.

Before the race started, Fluke came over to wish me luck.

Fluke: Hey Ham, I just wanna say good luck on the race today.
Han: Thanks, but I don't need luck, for I have great skill.
Fluke: Oh...
Han: Good luck to you though.
All lined up, J.J. started the countdown. Right before go, I shouted:
Han: Do you want to live forever? Hawkmen... DIIIIIIVVE!
Qui-Gon: ...Hawkmen?
Aayla: Is Han STILL that far out there?
We started the race, and I was the first off the block, thanks to the enhanced computer. Man, I missed that feeling! Being in the lead, the wind whipping your hair back, the whole pack of racers behind you. Fantastic.

That lasted for about 3 seconds.

Anakin pulled up next to me. He was zipping around obstacles with a precision I couldn't believe, missing rocks with micrometers to spare. That's impossible, even for a computer. He just grinned over his shoulder as he flew on by me.

Well, there's no points for second place, so I started gunning it. I'd pass him if it killed me.

We passed the Sarlacc pits (Sarlaccs. Why does it always have to be Sarlaccs? I HATE Sarlaccs) unmolested. And the Steaming Pits of Death flew by without incident. Smelled a bit like Chewie's cooking. A wave of nostalgia and nausea hit me.

Anyway, with Anakin cutting the wind in front of me, I was able to keep up but I couldn't pass. We stayed locked in this position until about the Ronto Plateau. My swoop started slowing down. It wasn't pulling as tight around obstacles as it should have, and Anakin was getting farther and farther ahead. I was compensating as best I could, but after we passed Assassin's Arch, it really started to slow.

Around then I had a hallucination. It looked like Yoda zoomed past me and Anakin. Yoda. Now, I know that wasn't really happening.

Zip! Zip zip! The rest of the pack started passing me. This was getting embarrassing.

Just when I thought it would be faster to get off and walk, it died completely and I came to a stop with a jerk. I looked at the jerk and he looked at me and then vanished. Another hallucination.

I could hear the ping ping sound as the computer started cooling. I guess the limiters were on there for a reason. Hmm. Well, win some, lose some, and I had definitely lost.

And then there was Dooku trotting up.
Dooku: Run into a spot of trouble did you?
Han: (sarcastically) No, I just thought I'd stop and give you a lift.
Dooku: (immune to sarcasm) Splendid!
Dooku hopped up and sat behind me on the swoop. When he did, there was an even louder PING! followed by the hissing sound of escaping gas.
Han: What was that?
Dooku: Tuskens. It might be a good idea to get out of here.
I could here whooping, and when I looked back I spotted them: the Tusken Raiders of Assassin's Arch. Reloading.
Han: Yeah, I think your right.
The computer had, I hoped, cooled enough to get us moving, but when I engaged the engine...nothing.

whizz! A Tusken bullet flew over our heads.
Dooku: At your convenience, of course.
Han: Har har.
The diagnostics were saying that the forward thruster was completely offline (possibly, I thought, taken out by that first shot). Great.

Well, I did the only thing I could do. I put it in reverse, turned us around, and got back on course.
Dooku: (shouting over the wind) I hadn't realized swoop bikes could go in reverse.
Han: It's an old racer's trick: bypass the forward thruster and run the energy controllers backwards. You know, see who can go around the course the fastest, the wrong way.
Dooku: Fascinating.
Suddenly, BUMP! we hit something.
Typho: OOF!
Dooku: Looks like we picked up another passenger.
This was turning into a regular shuttle service.
Han: Oy, I pulled a Dengar. Sorry, Typho, didn't see you there.
Typho: ERG!
And that's how we crossed the finish line, backwards. Typho, then Dooku, and me in last place.

Dead last. Sigh.


Blogger Qui-Gon Jinn said...

Oh wow,
Hawkmen! Right!
Flash! Ahh-ahhhh! He'll, like, save every one of us, man! Flash! He'llsavewithamightyhandeverymaneverywoman, it's the mighty FLASH!
QG, the Merciless

10:51 PM, August 25, 2005  
Blogger flu said...


6:31 AM, August 26, 2005  
Blogger JawaJuice said...

"Man, this model was old when I was young, but it's probably the latest thing on Tatooine right now."

Hey, we just got Pong in the local arcades the other day! Yay Pong!

btw, great post!

7:45 AM, August 26, 2005  

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