alarm came suddenly, and without warning. We must be under
attack, thought Kyle. Slowly, he climbed out of his bunk,
stomping and grumbling at his lack of sleep, as the auto-lights
came on after sensing movement in the room. The still-blaring
klaxon impatiently reminded Kyle of the urgent situation.
That’s when he saw it - an intruder, lurking in the corner.
It must be trained in the Jedi Arts, for it was subjecting
him to Force Blind. Kyle instinctively reached to his side
for his lightsaber - not there - he was still wearing his
nocturnal jumpsuit. Adding to his anxiety was that the intruder
had somehow managed to shield its life signature from the
Force. It must be very powerful indeed. Reaching out with
the Force, seeking calmness, Kyle shot Force Lightning from
his outstretched hand, rendering the corner lamp into a smoldering
pile of debris.
“Kyle! Wake up!”, screamed Jan.
Abruptly screwing up his face into embarrassed understanding,
Kyle sheepishly remarked, “Sorry about the mess.”
Looking him dead in the eye, she silently walked over to the
alarm clock, and demonstrated, again, the simple deactivation
procedure. “It’s an alarm clock, Kyle, not a battle klaxon,
an alarm clock. Maybe it’s time you see someone about this
after-the-fact anxiety syndrome you seem to have? I mean,
the Dark Troopers, Jerec and his gang - they’re long gone.
“Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m really hungry”, he
said over his shoulder as he headed off to the food station.
“Me too”, she sighed, “but first I need to visit the refresher.”
The lights flicked on as Kyle entered the room, flies still
buzzing around last night’s dirty dishes. Yuck, I wish
someone would clean this mess, he thought. “Hey, Jan,
the food station’s dirty.”
Still pixilated on the commode, she yelled back, “Don’t worry,
you’ll have plenty of time to clean it up while I’m repairing
everyone’s starships at work.”
We need to look into one of those hot little maid-bots
to come out here every day, Kyle dreamed to himself.
Shortly thereafter, he was startled from his reverie by the
roaring monster that was his stomach. Okay, okay, already,
he grumbled. Giving the food station a quick survey, he noted
that there wasn’t any free prep-area. He’d have to improvise.
Heading to the food locker, he pulled out a couple cans of
Cold Carbo-Clumps™. This will do nicely, he congratulated
himself. Pushing aside a few dirty plates on the table, Kyle
set down Jan’s can, and mucked around the dirty dishes for
a few spoons. He found one resting in a flask of left-over
Bantha-curds from last night, and another laying on the bulkhead,
the later encrusted with dried Mynock eggs from yesterday’s
breakfast. Giving them both a quick rub on his jumpsuit, he
plopped one in Jan’s can, and one in his own, thoroughly proud
with his resourcefulness.
Jan, freshly decontaminated and donning her mechanic’s coveralls,
strode into the food station, clearly anticipating a tasty
breakfast. The can of Cold Carbo-Clumps™ that Kyle motioned
her toward perfectly embodied Jan’s feelings for Kyle at that
Outside, a thoroughly unimpressive scrap heap fired its docking
thrusters and nimbly settled itself on the landing pad outside
their dwelling, the subtle throbbing of its engines announcing
its presence. “I’m normally not the type of girl to eat and
run, especially when someone goes through all the effort that
you clearly have in preparing this culinary masterpiece, but
duty calls”, Jan dryly remarked as she turned her back on
the can of Cold Carbo-Clumps™ and headed off to work. And
not a moment too soon.
“Have fun at work. See you soon-soon”, he called after her,
as she and her ride lifted off, fading into the Coruscant
Polishing off the last of his Cold Carbo-Clumps™, *burp*,
Kyle briefly looked around the food-station, and then promptly
set his empty container down on the bulkhead. As good a
place as any, he assured himself as he headed to the refresher.
Moments later, Kyle set down his copy of Jedi Party Tricks:
Volume IV, stood up, and looked down to admire his creation,
which remarkably resembled a Calamari cruiser floating in
space. That one’s a beauty. I’ll save it and show Jan.
That out of the way, the new, luxurious Bacta Bath began beckoning
Kyle to its inviting embrace. After a quick sniff under each
armpit, just to verify that a dose of personal hygiene was
in order, he quickly disrobed and settled in. The tub was
expensive, but worth every centi-Credit. He could actually
perceive his own sense of cleanliness and happiness rising
as he sat immersed in the caress of the swirling Bacta currents.
After a ridiculously long time in the tub, Kyle attained an
absurd level of sanitation and cheer, upon which he reluctantly
emerged from the seductive grasp of the Bacta Bath, his shriveled
skin not unlike that of the feared Emperor Palpatine. Noticing
the similarity, he threw on his bathrobe, pulled the hood
over his head, and cackled into the mirror, “Welcome, young
Mara Jade. I have been expecting you. You want this, don’t
you?” Clearly, Kyle’s imaginary Emperor had a different motive
than Palpatine, and his pre-pubescent charade continued for
Satisfied that Imaginary Emperor had proved his manliness
to Imaginary Mara Jade, Kyle finally got dressed, pulling
on his Jedi Knight outfit, complete with lightsaber. Slicking
back his hair, Kyle pointed an imaginary gun at the mirror,
winked, and made that clicking sound with his mouth that cool
alpha males often make. “You da man”, he flattered himself.
Strutting into the main living space, Kyle took a deep breath
and surveyed his domain. It was clearly time to have some
fun. Picking up the Holo-comm, he placed a call. After a couple
tones, the image of a red-haired woman materialized over the
holo-projector, answering the comm with, “Jade here.”
“Mara? Oh, I must have punched in the wrong code. Sorry about
that. Since I’ve got you on the comm, how have you been?”,
“Fine, thanks. Yourself?”, Mara cautiously responded.
“Great, Mara, just great. Say, you and I have a lot of catching
up to do. Would you like to come over this afternoon?”
After a brief pause that felt to Kyle like the passing of
seasons, Mara replied, “Okay, let’s give it a shot”, and shut
down the channel.
In preparation for Mara’s arrival, Kyle turned on the Holo-tube,
and then the Soni-Vibe to some music appropriate for the occasion.
And then he waited.
A few minute later, the door-tone sounded, and Kyle answered
the door, exuding all his manly charm, “Mara Jade, how do
“I’m doing just fine, Kyle. Here, I brought you these”, she
said as she handed him two rare Alderaanian Moon Melons.
“Wow, thanks”, Kyle replied, not really knowing what to do.
“I’ll to set these down over here”, he said more to himself
than to Mara as he set them down on the table next to the
sofa, before returning his attention back to Mara. An awkward
pause ensued, with Kyle and Mara just standing there, staring
at each other.
“Want to hear a joke?”, was Kyle’s solution.
Frowning slightly, Mara nodded.
“Where does a noble Sand Person live?”
“You know what, Kyle? I have no idea. Where does a noble Sand
“In a Sand Castle! Get it? Sand Person - Sand Castle. Get
“Yes, Kyle, I get it. Very funny”, she patronized him, wondering
what she’d gotten herself into.
Kyle too, was not lost on the fact that he was going down
in flames, desperate for anything to reverse the tide. I
know, I’ll give her a compliment. “Hey, Mara, I just have
to say, I really love your melons. They’re so firm and round…”
The cloudy darkness was slowly replaced by small blotches
of light that gradually formed the blurry shapes of both Mara’s
and Jan’s faces. In addition to his wounded pride, Kyle quickly
became aware of the stinging, hand-shaped welt welling up
on the left side of his face. “Where am I? What time is it?”,
“It’s 18:00. I just got home”, answered Jan. “What happened?”
“He came on to me”, accused Mara.
“Nooo….”, Kyle mumbled, “…I was referring to the gift you
brought, your melons.”
“Humph”, was all that Mara had to say.
“I’m sure it was just a misunderstanding”, soothed Jan. “Tell
you what, let me visit the refresher, and then we’ll all sit
down and visit.”
No sooner had Jan entered the refresher, than a blood-curdling
scream filled the quarters. Drumming up all his strength,
Kyle got to his feet and stumbled into the refresher, right
after Mara. “What is it?”, he demanded.
Jan was curled up in the corner opposite the commode, squatted
on the floor, trembling in terror. “There!”, she shrieked,
pointing to the commode.
“Oh ya, isn’t it cool?”, Kyle asked as he walked over to the
commode. “Looks just like a Calamari space cruiser.” However,
when Kyle looked down, he noted that time had not been good
to his masterpiece, leaving it more a cloudy vapor than anything
recognizably spaceship-like. “Hmmm, I guess you had to be
here”, Kyle shrugged.
A chorus of silence was their reply. And then, “Men are pigs”,
"I'll have you konw that I'm a man's man...not an actual man's
man...not that there's anything wrong with that", was Kyle's
“Come on, Jan”, Mara comforted with a tender hug. “Let’s go
out to the living area”, and they exited the refresher, showering
Kyle with icy glares.
“What? What’d I do?! It's not my fault!”, he plead.
Out in the living area, Mara gave the shaken Jan a much-needed
backrub, Jan luxuriating in Mara’s cozy grip. “Mara, that
feels so good”, Jan mewed. “I don’t know how to thank you.”
She turned and gave Mara a big hug, and the two smiled at
each other in their newfound friendship.
Pouting at his misfortune, Kyle stomped off to his bunk, leaving
the women alone, changed into his nocturnal jumpsuit, and
crawled under the covers. As a parting shot before drifting
off to sleep, he muttered under his breath, “May the Farce
be with you.”