Story Go Round 02/18/2003, round 1, #1

Almost Home: As the Acid Trickled Down

Coruscant was humming like a pulsar tonight, and it had nothing to do with an Emperor. Absolutely nothing to do with royalty, leadership, government or a Shining Figure of symbolic glory. The Riftelann Legions were coming home. DeLesis would be thrilled - she had been waiting three years for this. Three long, long endless years which had passed quickly for her.

I opened the hatch. Then I closed it again. With millions cheering around me, I found that I could not get the seat belt unfastened. My new prosthetic hand wasn't working properly, because the batteries were shorting out. On top of all that, I had to potty. My worshipping Multitudes would just have to wait a minute or two longer. Ooh. Or maybe ten minutes. My sense of urgency grew.

Fortunately, Mikey next to me was too preoccupied with the idea of unreconstituted grease-popping french fries to be noticing my predicament, and the crowds were too party-drunk to care. I went, and the sting down my inner thigh and calf as the acid trickled down was the best thing I'd felt in ages: gravity. Sure, the ads all tout the perks of high grav travel to the far reaches of the galaxy with the Legions, but that's a lie. Those systems are broken down more often than fixed.

A bosomy Praxilita was climbing a ladder alongside the ship and flirting, pressing her tentacles up against the glass. Others waited behind her. I blew her a suave kiss, wondering about the wisdom of my premature pee, now. No one would see, but there was nothing you could do to stop that swishing, sloshing sound. Mikey repressed a giggle behind me which was cut short by my elbow as Justine squeezed by. The protection droid pulled alongside our transport.

That was when the mile-high vidscreen came on; the first ship was docking. Wouldn't you know it? There, right up against the twined tentacles of the Octopid police squad, was DeLisis looking both deliriously pleased and insanely possessive. I consigned the Praxilita to Mikey with a rueful sigh. Or maybe he and Justine would share, but it was none of my business now. Ah, DeLisis...

"Where do you think you're going, soldier?" barked a canine voice behind my shoulder.

"Home, sir!" I snapped up my elbows to N-position and then waited for the Officer to speak again.

Amber is purple; John is pink; Alan is blue; Terry is orange; Habeeb is grey