RocketBoy

(N7 - Wayland - CFS) Mato III: This Your First Time in Hyperspace?

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Mato I: A Death Sentence

Mato II: Fleeing the Stench


Next Post: Mato IV: Along Old Lanes

 

 

Chapter III

 


Mato saw faces and hands, blood and teeth, victims and threats, anguish and rage. With a shout, he lurched up on his bunk, out of his violent dreams.
           

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     He sat still, breathing deep, staring at the gray of the wall in front of him. The air was stale, recycled. Not like Nal Hutta. That was a relief.

The faces swam before his eyes, fading slowly. He would never kill again, he thought to himself. Killing was the Hutt-way. The Hutt-way was the nightmare behind him, but there was a life ahead.
                He remembered what had happened, took in where he was. He was on the girl-spy’s (Yigs, that was her name) ship, they had escaped from Nal Hutta. She had rescued him. Or had he rescued her? Maybe both were true.
                Wiping his face, he looked around and found water. The Weequay gulped down a canteen, and then after a thought occurred, filled an extra one for Yigs. Had she been flying all night? She had to be thirsty.
                He emerged into the cockpit, and nearly stumbled in shock. The blue tunnel of Hyperspace stretched before him, a cosmic swirl of energy, speed, and power. He had never seen such a thing.


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                The girl smiled when she saw him enter, laughed at his open jaw. “Hey there! You’ve been out for hours! Quite a sight, isn’t it? Is this your first time in Hyperspace?”
                “Yes. What a horrifying sight.”
                “Hah! Don’t worry, it’s safe. The odds of anything happening to us in hyperspace are next to nothing.”
                Mato frowned. “’Next to nothing’. Is that supposed to be comforting?”
                “Sure, that was the idea.”
                Bewildered, he handed her the full canteen. She glanced back at him, surprised by the gesture, and took a grateful drink while he fell into the co-pilot’s seat.
                “I think the water has gone old,” he said regretfully. “It isn’t blue.”
                Yigs smiled. “Only water in rivers and streams is blue.”
                Mato blinked. “Is this true? I thought all water was blue, except on Hutta.”
                “Not true, my friend. You should see Mimban. And even where it is blue, that’s only on clear days.”
                Mato scratched his chin, growling to himself. “This is a great mystery.”
                Yigs checked a few monitors while wiping her mouth. “You’ll see. We’re nearly there, you’re just in time.”
                Hyperspace began to recede in a blinding display of shattered white, and a planet—colored a wash of healthy blue-green—rushed to meet them. In moments, it had gone from a tiny pearl to a massive ball that dominated the view screen. Mato nearly fell out of his chair.

 

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                “Wayland!” Yigs declared, swelling with pride. “Home. This place used to be a breadbasket for the Empire. When it collapsed, the people rose up to take control of their homes and farms. That was a little before my time. Now they’re apart of the Confederacy of Free Systems, a group of other colonies in the Outer Rim.”
                Mato watched with great interest, but his attention was grabbed by something else. A dark, still object hovering over the planet, a large spacecraft.
                “And what is that, there?” he asked, pointing.
                Yigs’ expression turned sour. “The Techno Union,” she said, muttering, “They’d ruin dozens of acres of soil if they ever landed that monstrosity.”
                Seeing that Mato was curious for more, she explained. “The Techno Union were a big deal in the original Confederacy. They disappeared when the Empire rose, but now they’re back, and they want a hand in things. They’ve been trying to win the trust of the colonists, trying to sell them ‘new and improved’ farming methods and tech. Personally, I think it’s just a different kind of slavery waiting to happen. Koyode, our leader, thinks so too. We’re trying to get them to leave, but some of the colonists like what they have to say.”
                Mato examined the craft, scratching his chin. “I know this kind of starship. I’ve seen it on Nal Hutta. This Techno Union has dealings with the Hutts.”
                The woman looked at him with wide-eyed triumph. “I knew it! But . . . The only problem is that they can deny it as long as they want. We would need proof. That’s why I’ll be going back to Nal Hutta.”
                Mato spun to stare at her. “Return? Don’t be stupid. You'll die if you return there.”
                “Not with your help, I won’t,” she grinned.
                A pained expression crossed Mato’s face. He shook his head slowly. “No . . . no. I'm sorry, but . . . Yigs, I will never go back to that place.”
                Yigs hadn’t expected that. She thought she’d won another fighter for the cause. “What?” she said, blankly.
                “I’m sorry. I cannot. The Hutts . . . my life before . . . “ he hung his head in shame, struggling to find the right words. “You must understand—“
                Yigs watched him, her expression impossible to read. Finally, she nodded in a stiff sort of way. “I . . . get it. It’s okay. I’ll just keep working on my own.” Her brow twitched, and she fixed her attention on preparing the ship for entry.
“Alright, we’re coming in now, buckle up!”
                Mato felt uneasy. He hadn’t realized she expected him to help. Would she not have helped him escape Nal Hutta had she known? He wanted nothing to do with his old life, but was he wrong not to help her in her cause? He had left to find a new life, not to attack his old one. He just wanted to forget about the whole thing.
                Eager to break the awkward silence that had settled, he asked, “Do you like Wayland?”
                She nodded profusely. “Have you heard me talk at all? It’s the best planet in the galaxy.”
                He looked out on the continents and oceans before them, brimming with the light of their sun. He felt that feeling rising in him once again: hope.
                “You . . .  seem a happy place," he said to the planet. "I should like to live in a happy place.”

 

 

Edited by RocketBoy

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Great story and interior detailing, I’ve been working on similar cockpit detailing for an upcoming piece

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