Thursday, September 22, 2005

Qui-Gon to Han : Han's Odyssey

The late Qui-Gon Jinn stood before the great tower. Fear etched his ethereal face.
He turned to the diminutive Jawa, Jawajuice.
"Uh, JJ, man," he said, "like, we turn into someone else, right? So does that mean that someone else is us?"
JJ shook his head and sighed. "...is us.." he mumbled under his breath. "Yes, Qui, someone else becomes you."
"Then, like, they, like, know what we are thinking about and stuff?" The Force ghost looked nervous.
"Are you worried about your solid-gold brownie recipe?"
Qui-Gon's spectral eyes went wide and he slowly nodded. "Yes. Yes. The brownies. That's it."
The other contestants entered the glowing tower gate. However, Qui-Gon hesitated. "...Uh... I think we left the hamster on fire. I'll just go and put it out." He turned and started floating away.
"Qui-Gon Jinn!" JJ shouted.
The ghost stopped and turned, his head hanging.
JawaJuice pulled out a Ghostbusters Ghost Trap, holding the hanging box up for the deceased man to see.
With a burst of speed, the spectre flew for the door. "I'm going... Captain Bringdown..."
* * * *
It took a moment for his eyes to adjust. He was literally surrounded by himself. Hundreds and hundreds of visions of Han Solo filled the room. His eyes widened and he surveyed the situation.
"Mirrors," he said, almost inaudibly. "My greatest weakness."
He carefully stepped in the direction of one of the images. Looking it up and down, he adjusted his holster and vest and ran a deft hand through his hair.
"Damn sexy."
Something is wrong, he thought. "This looks too long. My face is thinner. As you can't improve upon perfection..."
He stepped right, to the next mirror, This one was comically off, making the man look dwarven and plump. He chuckled to himself and moved on right again. This mirror curved, making his reflection crescent shaped. The next stretched his image out, making him look ridiculously long and sinewy.
On and on he went, wrapping around in what he felt to be a rectangle, as he had to turn at corners. Each image was not as he remembered. Some were very close, others were comically askew.
Finally, he reached one that was a perfect match. "That's right!" He laughed, triumphantly, then ran his hands over his cheeks. "I'll need a shave after I get out of this."
He reached out and touched the mirror. It gave way, the image rippling like water. Han nodded, pulling his hand away. He checked himself one last time, doing some quick adjustments, before stepping through.

Han ound himself in a room lit by torches in sconces. The walls, floor, and low hanging ceiling were wet, dark stone. The room lacked furniture. From the flickering light, Han could make out a tan-coloured shape in the corner. It was too dark to see what the item was, but it rose and fell, as if it were breathing.
Han took the torch nearest him. He took a moment and checked his items, unlatching his blaster strap.
"Greetings, traveler."
The voice caught the man off guard and his eyes leapt to the figure in the corner. He held his torch up, the darkness fading before him.
Sitting with long furred legs stretched out at her side, there was a sphinexu. Han recognised the shape of her body. More than half of her was that of a nexu, mottled fur with four muscular paws. At the chest, she became that of a beautiful humanoid female. Her shoulders broke into, what looked to be, krayt draigon wings. Her head of hair was dark and to the length of her shoulders.
Han stared. She was unclothed. He had merely glanced at the rest of her form, but found himself returning to her lack of coverings. Most of her body was covered in soft tawny fur, but her very human chest revealed two noticeable exceptions.
Her voice was smooth and nearly a purr. "Wish you passage through the lair of the Sphinexu?"
Han uttered a low laugh, his eyes set on her chest.
She looked at him critically. "Hey, buster," she said, clicking her claws together on her right paw, "Eyes up here."
He ripped his gaze away and met her yellow eyes. "That's right, darlin'. I need to get to the top of this tower but quick. Maybe you can help me out. I'll scratch your back..." His eyes drifted downward again. "You scratch mine."
"To pass, you must answer me this riddle." She noticed his gaze. "And stop looking at my chest. Right now."
He looked up again. "A riddle? Ha!" Han laughed, resting his hand on his hip and running his other through his hair. "Bring it on, sweetheart. I'm a master thinker."
She looked nonplussed, giving a small scoff. "All right. You look at me, I look back. Your right hand raises. I my left. You speak, but I in vain. Tell me, o great mind, of what do I speak."
His eyes slipped back to gaze at her chest.
"You know what? If you don't stop looking at my chest, I'm just going to have to kill you." Her rodent-like tail swatted the ground.
Han laughed. "You can't kill me. It's in my contract."
The sphinexu smiled, procuring a parchment from a shelf near her head at the wall. "This contract?" She unfolded the paper, revealing the very contract that Han had meant. She began to read. "... 'as the contestant is protected from most fatal accidents, accept for those inflicted by Hutts, Banthas, strange cursed idols, Toydarians, Jawas, Snyvrens, spiders, hamsters, Sarlacc, Gorgonzola, swoops, sand surfing, cooling droids, scurriers, and Sphinexus. If said contestant is killed in such a way, this contestant's body will be cremated at Big Bob's Cremation and Pottery Barn.'" Smiling, she licked at her first right claw. "At least you'll be in a nice urn."
Han's face fell. He gave a nod and a short grunt, tightening his grasp on his torch. His hand grazed over his left pocket. He reached in, pulling out his pocket hand-held mirror. Flipping it open, he gave himself a quick glance over. Slowly, he began to turn the mirror to reflect the image of the creatures chest back to his sight.
She glared for a moment. "You are smarter than I took you for."
He snapped to attention, looking her in the eye. "Huh?"
"The mirror," she said, her voice flat, "The answer was a mirror."
Han blinked. He drew in a deep breath and smiled. "That's right, darlin'. I told ya' that you can't rival ol' Han's intellect. Like a steel trap." He tapped at his head, looking down at her chest again.
She uttered a growl. "You got it right! Just go!" She pointed to an open door just beyond her perch.
Han smiled, winked, shot her with his hand mimicking a gun and stepped past and through the exit.

The door slammed shut behind him and the sound of something locking echoed in the chamber Han had entered. He still held the small mirror fast and in the other hand was his torch. Glancing upward, he noted an open door.
The room was shorter than the last one. Han's torch was the only source of light, reflecting only a short distance in front of him. Through the flickering light, the room was lined with pillars. Every corner remained dark.
Han took a few steps, ignoring the darkness that wrapped around him. Small red eyes appeared in the corner to the far right of him. Another set then glowed to his left. Two more pierced the blackness, leaving a set in every corner.
"Who's there?" he called, the light wavered as his hand shook.
A beautiful hum swam through the darkness to his ears. The other corners joined the harmonising.
Han felt the vocalisations flow through him, slowing his thought. The sound was that of peace. He stopped, closed his eyes, and absorbed the lilt.
A scurrying broke him from his trance. The clicking of claws closed in and he began to feel warmth on every side. He knew what he was facing. He had learned about the Snyvrens when he was a young boy. They were hideous creatures, resembling Snyvvians, with pushed in noses and stumpy teeth. Their bodies were that of a humanoid, lightly furred, with large grotesque warts protruding in places. The Snyvrens had glowing red eyes with night vision, able to see through the darkest caves. The most important note about the creatures was that, as being far too hideous to find a mate of their own kind, and as there are no males of their species, the females hunted to draw in potential mates with song. They would hide themselves in darkened areas and ambush an unsuspecting male with a hypnotic melody. Once the male was under their spell, the chosen sister would take him. From there, she would get him to sign a prenuptual agreement, consent to a big wedding where all her friends would be invited, and condemn him to be the father of many, many little Snyvrens until he would die of old age and despair.
The song continued, as the sisters inched closer.
"Sing Sweet Home Geonosis!" He called to the glowing eyes.
The melody broke and was replaced by murmuring.
"Come on," Han said, successfully hiding his fear, sweat beading on his forehead. "At least do the chorus. It runs five times a day on the radio!"
The red eyes darted back and forth and more murmuring followed. The voices began to harmonise again. "Sweet Home Geonosis" the voices began. The pitch was on, but the song did not adapt well to the choral effect.
Han held the torch closer, mimicking a microphone. He chimed in, inching nearer and nearer the open door.
"They're makin' a droid for you. Sweet Home Geonosis..."
Han sang garishly, waving his hands and 'playing air guitar,' while still keeping a close hold on his torch. The Snyvrens watched intently, but sang as well. He was mere inches from the door before the four caught on to his ploy and leapt for him.
He was a split-second faster than the leaping daemons, dashing through the open door, and slamming it shut behind him.
With a smile, he sang, "Sweet Home Geonosis, Home to Ol' Count Dooku..."

After thoroughly securing the door he had just left, and finishing the rousing chorus of Sweet Home Geonosis, Han Solo took in his newest environment. The room was the narrowest of those he had visited. It was of the familiar simple stone, with torches in sconces. One thing that Han had noticed was that the room had no echo. His boots made a faint clicking sound, but nothing else could be heard. Han felt nearly claustrophobic from the low hanging ceiling.
The room was filled with stone statues. As Han investigated each, he saw that there were ones that seemed years old. The people wore dated uniforms and held obsolete objects. Others were newer, as the chisel of the stonework was fresher and the lines crisper. There were several Postal carriers, male and female, human and other races. There were two pizza deliverers, both holding stone pizza boxes. There was a Mon Calamarian doctor, with a stethoscope around his neck and a doctors bag in his hand. There was a young looking Zabarak paper delivery boy. There was a human Encyclopaedia Galactica salesman. All had a look of shock or fear etched into their stone faces.
Han felt a trickle of fear as he looked to the closed door. Above the primitive stone door was a tarnished metal sign. He held his torch up and shed light onto the letters. "Mitzi," it read in juvenile bubbled letters.
His eyes went wide. He knew who this Mitzi was. He knew of the fate of all the statues in this place. Mitzi was a Gorgonzola. Gorgonzola were feared beasts in the galaxy. They had the power to vanquish the mightiest Jedi or the fiercest Rancor. With a glance, a Gorgonzola could instantly freeze her opponent, turning them, forever, into a block of stone. They resembled a mix of Twi'Lek and Thisspiasian. The bodies were that of a thick scaled snake, the chest rising to be like that of a Twi'Lek. They had two arms and their heads were covered in tendril-like lekku. Their colour was most often green. Complete reports of the monsters were sketchy at best, as many of the investigators were turned to stone.
After Han Solo's phenomenal success with the Kessel Run, he had developed a strong fan base, mostly females aged 14 to 175. Mitzi was Han Solo's biggest fan. When Han traveled to Mos Eisley and checked his PO Box, there would always be hundreds of letters awaiting him from the young one. He had read the first letter, and was kind enough to send a response in the form of an autographed glossy 8 by 10. Once that happened, she took it upon herself to pen him another letter every single day. Han was once pulled aside by Postmaster General Thrawn and told to tell the girl to stop writing, as many of his postal carriers never returned.
Mitzi told Han all about her species, but even armed with this knowledge, he was terrified. He had no choice but to face her. Behind him he left a pack of angered Snyvrens and a Sphinexu that he imagined to be drawing up a sexual harrassment lawsuit as he stood thinking.
He racked his brain. He recalled the weaknesses of the species and like a ship jumping to light speed, he concocted an idea. He returned his torch to an open sconce. Smiling, he felt his pockets. He pulled out his light shade glasses and slipped them on. From his back pocket, he removed his mirror and flipped it open.
Sliding the glasses on, his image was cool and calm in the mirror. One screw up, he thought, and I'm fine art that couldn't possibly do the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs. He suddenly wondered what JawaJuice would do if Han were turned to stone. He envisioned a monument displayed in downtown Coruscant. "A monument to cunning and pure beauty." He winked at himself in the mirror, though the glasses masked the gesture, and braced himself for the worst.
He knocked on the stone slab door. He heard nothing, but fixed his eyes on the reflection in his mirror, which was turned in such a way to observe the door.
There was a scraping of stone and the room was open. A hideous face appeared in Han's mirror. Mitzi was ugly. Her face was that of a humanoid female. However, her teeth were elongated into spiky fangs, wired together with metallic braces. Her skin was mottled reddish green and scaled, some areas looking swollen and spotted with acne. Her yellow slit eyes were magnified by a gaudy pair of brown plastic rimmed glasses. She wore a t-shirt bearing Han's face. Her eyes went even larger with surprise. "Captain Solo?"
Han had to play it cool, though the fear was like a flock of mynock swarming in his belly. He continued to look at her in the mirror. Flashing a fake gaudy smile, he clicked his tongue at her, shooting her with his free finger. "The one and only, darlin'."
He quickly surveyed the room from the reflection in the mirror. It was a pink nightmare. The oversized bed was dressed in pink ruffles. A fluffy pink shag rug lined the floor. The other furniture, a desk, a dresser, and a small end table, were all shades of pink. A pink fluffy lamp illuminated the room. The walls were draped in posters, many of Solo himself. It was a room that one would mistake for that of an average teenage girl, with the glaring exception of the terrified stone figures, frozen in the corners.
Her squeal startled him and grated his frazzled nerves, like the sound of glass scraping together. She clapped her talon tipped hands rapidly. "Oh. My. Gawd! No-one will ever believe this!"
Han smiled, holding his eyes shut as she slithered nearer. "I am pretty unbelievable." He braced himself and began unfolding the most important part of his plan. "You know what? This would be a great photo op. Me and you. You and me. Mitzi and Han."
She swooned a bit, throwing an over-dramatic arm to her forehead. "Mitzi and Han! You, are, like, so much better than the other losers that I've dated." She gestured to the rightmost corner. There were about a half dozen statues, all in states of fear and shock. Han threw a glance that way, careful to not look at the monster before him. He recognised the nearest and most visible stone figure.
Fear gripped the hero. The statue was of the great pilot Solon'Ha, a dashing young rebel Zabarak. He had gone into the annuls of history when his ship Indiana took out two star destroyers in the battle of i'Ron. It took all of Han's resolve to avoid showing the fear that threatened to overwhelm him.
The young Gorgonzola snatched a small pink metallic item off her desk. "I got this wizard new camera phone. Oh wow, listen to my ringtone..." she said, fumbling with the small device in her large clawed hands. In an instant it began to play an electronic chirping version of Boulevard of Broken Dreams.
Han swallowed a sigh. Listening to this beast play music on her mobile, standing in the repulsive lair of pinkness, he fought to not look the monster in the eye and end it all right there. He thought of the credits. Not just the credits, but a Sith load of credits awaited him at the end of his adventures. For the money and undoubted fame, he pressed on.
He flawlessly faked a smile, eyes still fixed on the mirror. "That is really great." There was more of a sarcastic bite in that statement than he had meant to bleed through. "Ready for that picture, Mitz?"
She looked star-struck again. "Oh my Gawd! You, like, totally know my nickname! I love you so much, you don't even know!"
"Oh, I bet I do. I make sure to read every one of your letters." Han swallowed a gag. "You have the best handwriting."
Mitzi gushed, "I know, it's so cute and I make sure to dot every 'i' and 'j' with a heart. It's just how I, like, totally express myself, you know?"
Han looked at himself in the mirror, overacting his motions. "You want to check your hair? Just so everything is perfect?"
Mitzi nodded, her lekku gently tapping her scaled skin. "You are so awesome! BFF!"
Han bit his tongue. Hard. "BFF!" he chimed in, mimicking her tone. He clenched his eyes shut, handing her the mirror.
"Love your shades, BTW. " She snatched it and gazed at herself.
Her screams were drowned out by the grinding of stone.
The room was utterly still. The Gorgonzola had fallen prey to her own power. The species only weakness was one of Han's greatest strengths, his knowledge of mirrors.
Han exhaled a long sigh and shivered for a moment. He had come close to becoming a permanent resident of this pink nightmare. He reached out to take his mirror for the still monster's hands. It was attached as part of the stone statue. For a moment, he looked forlorn. "With every great success, there are sacrifices made."
He turned away. After opening the next door, he found himself in a tall chamber. The ceiling was twice his height, but the room itself was narrow, with just enough room for Han to stretch out both arms. A grand ascending staircase rose up, lighted by more torches.
He jogged up the stairs which seemed to go on forever. His calves burned and sweat dripped from his nose. He slowed his pace and soon came upon a simple wooden door with a metal ring as the handle. At the top, he took a moment to catch his breath and wipe away the sweat that stung his eyes.
"If this isn't it, I swear..." He tugged the ring and the door swung open, revealing a blinding violet light. He stumbled through.
* * * *
It was a moment before Qui-Gon Jinn adjusted to the sudden change of location. Less than a minute ago he was elsewhere, and then... He surveyed the new view. He could see the vast desert before him. The sky was illuminated by the powdery light of thousands of stars.
He was at the top! With a glance, he saw that no-one else was around. Had he won?
"Qui?"
The tiny jawa voice snapped Qui-Gon's attention back.
Jawajuice looked over his compatriot skeptically. "Guess you're the big winner." He looked surreptitiously around and slipped a hand into a fold of his robe. He pulled out a wrapped brownie and handed it out to the ghost beside him. "There you go, buddy. Good job. Now get me down from here."

3 Comments:

Blogger Captain Typho said...

"From there, she would get him to sign a prenuptual agreement, consent to a big wedding where all her friends would be invited, and condemn him to be the father of many, many little Snyvrens until he would die of old age and despair."

ROFL!

8:25 AM, September 23, 2005  
Blogger Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

Too funny. Truly inspired.

8:30 AM, September 23, 2005  
Blogger Han Solo said...

I couldn't have said it better myself.

2:30 PM, September 23, 2005  

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