Antique Weapons and Small Spaces

Fricking Bantha Sith Spit and Stang! The whole cockpit stinks like a pod-racer caroomed into a nest of Jawas - all burnt rubber and stink. Aaarrggghhh. I feel like I'm going to retch.

R2 was able to scrub the air and vent most of the particulates that were clouding up the place, but there's still this smelly film of funk all over everything in here. I'm going to need to wash this stuff (and me) when I get to Dagobah. I can tell you, I'm going to take a loooooooooong shower when I get there and maybe see if I can use this full-day at the body spa coupon I got from the Generals as a little thank you for the whole Death Star thing. In fact, the whole interior of the ship could use a good cleaning.

Here's what happened. I had taken off my flight boots to give my feet some "breathing time". I just left the boots down by my feet so the smell wouldn't be too bad (those boots can get ripe I'll tell you). Bored as usual I had taken out my father's light saber - just to look at it. Ben had told me that it shouldn't be turned on in tight spaces (no kidding Ben. He could get overbearing sometimes, stating the obvious).

So I was just looking at it. I like the way the emitter plates come up through the shaft of the pommel. The curves of the lens guard are nice too. The black flanges on the grip serve to provide some badly needed color as well as make a comfortable holding area (though for one hand only, not really for two). Ben was always talking about how a light saber is part of a Jedi, how it is a reminder about the light and dark (“dark grips gripped darkly are the fist step on a path to pain” he would say – whatever that means). Ben said he lost the charger cord so the plug near the “business end” is useless, but oh, well, who else can say they’ve got a real Jedi laser sword? Ben was always telling me bits of stuff about light sabers in general. Occasionally he would mention something about this one (“the crystal came from this place”, or “the power cell is made by …” I can’t remember.)

The knurled knobs on the top and bottom have always been a bit of a mystery to me. They're supposed to dial the actual length of the blade up or down – or so I thought. I dialed them (both) all the way down and pointed the saber down parallel to my leg so that the blade would not hit anything but I could still see it and hear that cool thrum when it ignites. R2 must have known what I was thinking because he started throwing warnings and “No! Don’t!” on the readout screen. I told him not to worry and that I was going to turn it off as soon as I turned it on. I just wanted to hear that cool sound.

Well, it turns out the knobs DON’T do jack to the length. I still don’t know what they do. The reality is, I was never instructed in this thing. Sure it was fun at parties, and the Alliance guys got a kick out of it, but stang, Ben, why didn’t you tell me? Aargh. So the beam snaps on and shoots toward the floor of the cockpit. I can feel the static electricity pulling at the leg of my flight suit and making the hairs on my leg stand up. Naturally I react to get my leg as far away from the shimmering blue blade (and - in space – instant negative pressure blood vessel hemorrhaging death) . Well, that jerky motion makes my hand move, ever so slightly, and the tip of the blade sheers right through the sole on the toe of my flight boot. Instant black smoke and rubber burn smell! Luckily it didn’t compromise the cockpit at all.

Of course I turned it off right away but the damage had been done. The smoke filled the cabin – not so much that I couldn’t see but enough that I was hacking and coughing and my eyes were stinging until R2 modified the scrubbers to clear the air. Well it worked well enough on the air but not the smell – and this film still covers everything.

I lifted my boot up with my toes (Aunt Beru always said that it’s a family thing, all of us have ambidextrous toes) and examined it. The interior is intact (thank goodness) but the sole is all melty and uneven near the toe. I’ll be walking with a bit of an odd gait I suppose. At least until I get some new boots. There’s got to be a swanky market district on Dagobah. I’ll land there and get some boots before I go find this Yoda (if he even exists).

Although, I can tell you, I’ll be thankful just to be walking again, no matter if I look like a drunk nerf.


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