Human Pilot


Okay, I guess I might as well just get everything out on the table. It’s not pretty, it’s not tragic, and in all honesty, it’s not even that exciting. But it’s about as close to the truth as I can remember it, anyhow.

I grew up on a little swamp moon in the Mid Rim called Rori. Not really known or famous for anything other than circling around Naboo, which is where the Emperor used to be from, I guess, but it’s not even known very much for that. Point is, it’s a backwater little spot in the middle of nowhere, and I loved it. I spent most of my childhood laying about with my friends, racing skiffs and speeders across the flats with other troublemakers, not really expecting much excitement or anything out of life, really.

Rori has a decent spice trade, and when I was grown I took a job flying freighters for a small company not too far from where I grew up. I figured it’d be a decent enough gig, go out and see a bit of the galaxy for a while. Didn’t really have a crew, just me flying the ship, someone to track inventory, and a couple droids. I liked it a lot, plenty of space to myself, both in and out of the ship. One day, the owner of the company starts chatting me up when I’m surfaceside, calling me “dependable” and “steadfast.” Now, it wasn’t exactly a big company, but even then I didn’t really ever hang out with the boss at all before this. In any case, he offers to bump my pay if I help him out with some special trade runs, so long as everything stayed discreet. I may not be the sharpest tool in the box, but I knew what he was all about with this offer. Still, I wasn’t about to turn down all those credits for what I figured was just doing my job anyway.

As I started my career as a professional smuggler, I didn’t really think much had changed. In addition to the usual stops, we just had some extra loads off the books and dropped them off at a couple ports that we erased from the ledger when we were done. No need for shady back alleys or hidden cargo bays—like I said, it was pretty much just doing the same job like normal. A little less than normal was that for these special runs, the boss had his own daughter on board to handle the inventory personally. I figured rightly that he was trying to keep things close to the chest, as it were. Big ship, small crew, lots of downtime; I’m pretty sure you can figure out what happened from there.

And for a while, things just carried on like that. I’d pick up a list of ports to call from the boss on Rori, Janna would handle the cargo, we’d be out in space for a while and fool around between landings, and then we’d fly back down to base to start everything over again. Life was good.

But, as they say, nothing good can last forever.

As any medical professional will probably tell you, two folks bumping uglies enough times will usually turn results sooner or later, and our case was no exception. I’m not gonna lie, when I heard the news I panicked more than a little. But Janna kept her head and came up with a plan. Basically, neither of us wanted the kid to grow up as a criminal, so on our next flight out we were going to bring everything we had to the authorities. Luckily, Janna had kept pretty detailed recordings of everything we had smuggled and who we had sent things off to. Her dad would take the fall for everything, and I had plausible deniability as just the pilot. Everything was set to go smoothly, so you can imagine my surprise when I found that it wasn’t Janna in the cargo bay, but some meathead the boss hired to take me out once we’d cleared the atmosphere. I was never the best of fighters, but you’d be surprised what you can pull off with your life on the line. Somehow I managed to not lose my life in the struggle, and my would-be assassin ended up stuck by his own vibroknife. I’m not especially superstitious, but I know a sign when I see one.

I kept the knife and crashlanded the ship on the other side of the moon, then burned everything and headed to the nearest outpost. I managed to get back in touch with Janna, who turned out to be safe, but her dad was definitely not going to be letting her out of his sight. He found out about our little plan to turn him in, and while he wasn’t going to kill his daughter or grandchild, I wasn’t exactly afforded that level of protection. She promised to convince him that both I and his thug had died in the crash, but I wouldn’t ever be able to see her again. We said our goodbyes, and I stole a ship to get as far away from Rori as I possibly could.

It’s been about five years since that day, I figure. Every now and then I’ll do a little digging and see if the old man has croaked yet, but no luck so far. Janna and the kid both seem to be doing alright, last I checked. I do want to go back, one of these days, to see her again and meet my son. I figure if I can scrape enough cash together, maybe I can convince her dad to let them leave with me, and the three of us can head off for the other side of the galaxy together. I got some word about a guy down on Coruscant looking for a pilot, and there’s the promise of a huge score to go with it…


Edge of the Mighty Empire draco24