Monday, June 13, 2005

On the way to Coruscant

Grumpy Moff here, sitting on a spiffy, not-so-comfortable shuttle on the way to Coruscant. It really doesn't make any sense why the Devastator crew is being sent in waves via shuttle over to Planet Big-Ass Building instead of us just hypering over there en masse, but whatever. I don't run the Empire, so obviously the Emperor knows more about managing infrastructure than I do.

I bet you're all wondering what happened with Officer Hot Stuff, huh? After all, she breathlessly dashed to my office while I unknowingly ran to relieve myself of the bladder-explosion pressures. Well, fate did manage to cross our paths again. This time, in the romantic ambience of the Devastator's main hanger bay. There's nothing that stirs the senses more than a fleet of TIE fighters docking and launching. EHHHHHHRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH go the TIE fighters (and new TIE bombers - technology rules!) as they fly by and suddenly, everyone's in the mood for love - we don't even have to dim the lights.

Anyways, I sought out Officer Hot Stuff because I was ceremoniously being kicked out of my office, thus thwarting her alleged plan to "come by tomorrow." I had to cut her off at the pass and visit her workplace. I've looked stupid in front of myself, my turbolaser crew, and complete strangers, but it would be a challenge not to look stupid in front of her crew.

As I approached, Officer Hot Stuff was busy directing (pointing and waving her arms in a very sensuous manner) hanger crew traffic and equipment. I stood politely off to the side a few feet, hoping that I would get her attention when she finished waving her arms. Instead, she decided to focus really intently on the new TIE bomber off to the left (I think she was trying to levitate it with her mind). Realizing that I looked like either a fool or a stalker standing 6 feet diagonally behind her not moving or saying anything, I gathered up the courage in the pit of my stomach and slowly marched forward.

By the time I was about two feet behind her, she still hadn't noticed. However, a new maintenance crew came driving by in their cart and she decided their appropriate route of traffic would be in my general area. To emphasize this method of traffic direction, she decided to unknowingly thrust her gloved Imperial finger into my left eye socket as I reached up to tap her on the shoulder.

"AAAHHHHHRRRRRRRGHHHH," I said in a very dignified manner. Officer Hot Stuff turned around and turned to see me hunched over with both hands covering my face and weird pain noises coming out of my mouth.

OHS: What are you doing here?

GM: Ahhhh...I uh...you came by my office earlier...but I was out...

OHS: No, I mean, what are you doing standing there? I'm directing traffic in the hanger bay. It's Imperial regulation to stay 10 feet away from me so you won't get run over by equipment carts, maintenance droids, or get stabbed in the eye when I'm telling people where to go.

GM: Oh, um, ow, ah, I didn't know that. I'm a turbolaser supervisor and...

OHS: Look, just stand really close to me and try not to get run over for the next 5 minutes. Just shut up and stay still and then we'll chat.

At this point, Officer Hot Stuff grabbed one of my hands and pulled me close to her. Really close to her. Like body-heat-shared-through-our-Imperial-uniforms close. Suddenly, the fact that my left eye is involuntarily shut and dripping tears doesn't matter. Officer Hot Stuff resumed waving her arms in a frantic manner as droids and carts rush by and the rumble of TIE fighter engines shake the floor. However, she carefully avoided swatting me in the face again.

I think she likes me.

The 5 minutes passed and all hanger bay traffic seems to stop other than the gut-shattering rumbles of TIE fighter engines. Small bits of light finally started to eek back through to my eye. Officer Hot Stuff turned to me and our conversation resumed.

OHS: So, I just wanted to thank you for letting me look at your Death Star plans. I found a problem with the hanger bay design in the section below the main gun and after reporting it, they're letting me do a temporary transfer there. I'm hoping to convince them to stay full time, but I'll be there for at least the next 6 months.

GM: Really?

OHS: Yup. I can't wait. I'm missing the Coruscant briefing because of the short notice, but I'll be there when everyone else boards. I hear they've got Galactic Championship-sized pools there - I can't wait to go swimming every day.

GM: (picturing OHS in a swim suit that's not fit for Galactic Championship swimming) Really?

OHS: Yeah, and a volleyball court. Didn't you read your plans? I think I'll sign up for a Death Star volleyball league.

GM: (wishing I brought my Devastator volleyball league championship trophy with me to the hanger bay) Really?

OHS: Yes. (she pauses while I stand there with my brain running in circles trying to come up with a brilliant response) Did I poke you in the eye really hard?

GM: Oh, um, no, it's cool. Doesn't hurt. Just having a hard time seeing, but it'll pass. No biggie.

OHS: Hmmm, I thought you suffered some damage, like I pushed your eye back into your brain. You seem to only be able to say the word 'really' to me.

GM: Really?

OHS: (a smirk of annoyance/'he's so cute when he's stupid' comes to her lips) Medic! Medic! We've got brain damage over here!

GM: Oh, wait, um, I'm cool. Everything's cool. Ha ha. Really? See, I made a joke about how I just said that cause you said that was all that I said and um...um...anyways...um...maybe when we get to the Death Star, we can join the same volleyball team. (her left eyebrow arches) I mean, cause we both play volleyball - did you know I played volleyball? Devastator champions two seasons running - and it'll be cool to play with people we know instead of just strangers, you know?

OHS: You mean, people like us who've had two conversations, a finger in the eye, and brain damage between us?

GM: Ummmmmm...yeah. Yeah, I mean, you're the only person on the Devastator who's poked me in the eye. That's gotta count for something, right?

OHS: (shrugs her shoulders and laughs) Heh, ok, look me up when you get on board. Now get out of here before the maintenance crew runs you over.

So now, as I sit on board this Imperial shuttle, my back aching from the 90 degree rigid angle of the passenger chair, my eye still a little swollen from being attacked, and my mind a little delirious from the very strange exit interview with Grand Moff Dabow (I'll talk about that later), all is ok. Because Officer Hot Stuff wants to play volleyball with the Grumpy Moff after we get to the "Death Star."

Yup, things are looking up. Off to Coruscant for a few meetings and some R&R, gonna go see the folks, maybe catch my sister at the Galactic Opera. Life is good.

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