Whatever Happened to Hav's Hands? Part 3

by VA Hav Antiel

Commodore's office aboard the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Warrior. Rear Admiral Hav Antiel, commodore of the ship, was "just getting to the good part" in the story of his cybernetic hands. A stormtrooper, several pilots, an R4 agromech droid, and even a holovid of the Hammer's Commodore had gathered in the cramped office to hear the story.

Antiel shrugged, smirking at the small crowd gathered in his office. "That's why I always say never let a Yuzzum hold your chindinkalu."

The stormtrooper learning in the doorway shook his head and walked out.

"What's that guy's problem?" asked Antiel.

"Uh, maybe you should just jump ahead to the 'good part,' Hav," said General Dunta Polo, a TIE pilot in full flightsuit.

"Right. Um. Where was I?"

The Commodore's R4 unit whistled, and Antiel looked down at the datapad for a transcription.

'' WHY ROBOT HANDS '' appeared on the screen.

A miniature puff of pixelated blue smoke rose from the desk. Admiral Miles Prower -- in holovid form, at least -- was seated at his desk, pipe-in-jaw. He appeared to be live streaming Star Trek: Bridge Commander.

"I believe you had just witnessed Kithastas the Klatooinian coldcock your buddy the bass player," the Keplerian said with a flourish.

"It was my drummer, actually, but yes, thanks Prower," said Antiel. "Our bass mando player was actually keeping his cool, but that's not the point."

Antiel scratched his head with a shiny brass metallic hand. Despite the Admiral's help, he had clearly lost the point of his story.

"So picture this," he said, pointing to his temples. "The drummer's out cold on the floor, patrons are quickly leaving the bar, and, to top it all off, it looks like the band's not getting paid tonight. The only thing to do at that point is cut your losses, right? So I start packing up my stuff: my quetarra's already in the case and I turn around to power off my amp when a blasterbolt hits the wall next to my head."

He paused for effect.

"I'm pausing for effect," he whispered to the holovid.

"I spin around, and it's Kithastas with his blaster aimed at the bandstand. He says something like, 'Do we have a problem?' and I'm like 'Nope, no problem.' I'm ready to get out of there, hopefully with the drummer, definitely with my instrument at least. But then the singer does what singers always do: They open their mouths."

Antiel chuckled, and the R4 unit groaned. He decided not to look at the datapad for once.

"What did he say?" asked the NCO leaning on Antiel's desk. "Did he, like, sing something?"

"I wish. That wouldn't have been so bad. Instead, he said the dumbest thing I can think of: 'Do you have any idea who we are?'"

"Oh brother," Prower laughed on the holovid. "You're in trouble now."

"Exactly," said Antiel. "A Hutt-connected tough like Kithastas sees people in two ways: you're either a threat or a profit. Not a profit, I guess. More like a... product, I guess."

"Or a promise?" asked the NCO.

"No, a threat or a meal ticket, he means," said a gunner at the back.

"I don't know," said Antiel. "But in that moment he didn't see us as a threat any more. The singer wouldn't stop talking; he just kept making it worse, and then he said something like, 'And do you know who this is?' and pointed at me."

Antiel looked around the room. He considered for a moment if his royal heritage, a secret he had kept from many in the TIE Corps and a fact that had made him more embarrassed than proud lately, was worth revealing for the point of the story. They don't need to know, he decided.

"The singer said, 'This guy, our guitarra player, is a really important guy!'"

"No," said Prower with a hearty puff. "You told me he said, 'This guy's a royal prince from Dosuun.'"

Antiel groaned, and he could hear laughter around the room. He shook his head and forced a laugh, trying to shed the embarrassment.

"Yes, that is exactly what he said, Prower. 'This guy's a prince!' And just like that, we were tied up, blindfolded, and tossed in the trunk of a landspeeder."