Star Wars: Cruise Control | Scene 10.5

The day after her prison break, JT contacts Lo Strimm about discussing a full setlist in the Kel Dor’s spherical suite so that they can relax together in a place more comfortable than the “chillout zone” where they first met. It is a chance to finalize musical arrangements for the gala but also, of equal importance, to determine if the room can serve as JT’s egress when it is time for the Blue Streak to rescue Tcho from space. Although guests in the round rooms are entitled to waitstaff, JT is greeted at the entrance by a friendly Quarren who introduces herself as Ana Franil, Lo’s manager. She welcomes the human into the central space of the suite, assuring her that it is kept at Imperial standard atmospheric oxygen levels. Ana and Lo each have airlocked bedrooms with environments more conducive to their specific biologies. 

The women all make themselves comfortable on the luxurious couches and get to know each other a bit while enjoying the view. The Dame is passing through a section of space filled with small meteoroids. They are no threat to the huge cruiseliner, but they occasionally sparkle in the inky blackness. As she admires them through the large curved window, JT also happily notes that there is no private skiff docked at the other airlock off this central parlor. There will be nothing in the way when she needs to get outside.

Lo bemoans that one of her gigs was canceled by the suspension of events. JT is pretty sure she has the annoying singer well-figured out, but the manager is still an unknown. As JT tells Ana about the reasons behind the gala, she leans on the Force, hoping to invoke feelings of generosity. She briefly questions her action, wondering if Elaiza would consider what she is doing wrong. JT ultimately decides, though, that she is justified in using the Force to simply help Ana understand what a good cause the War Orphans Fund is. At any rate, Val Isa does not show up to chide her.

Ana listens sympathetically, happy to have Lo Strimm donate her singing for the event. JT makes some careful inquiries about their availability at other times, and Ana tells her that afternoons right now are booked with band rehearsals clear on the other side of the ship. She looks to Lo as she says this, but the singer, sprawled across a chaise longue, just waves off the gentle reminder. JT smiles, not put off. She will need to break into the room, but at least she is assured that it will be empty when needed. She may not have lock picks like some of her friends do, but she is sure she has something useful in her utility belt. And if not, well, there is always her… hydrospanner.

* * *

After leaving Ursa Diol, JT hurries toward the outer edges of the upper decks, wondering if she will be lucky enough to find that Lo has left her door unlocked. When she reaches the fancy double doors, though, she finds that is unfortunately not the case. She pulls out a can of lubricant spray, applying some to her own hair and some to the lock. Then she sets to work with a few of her slimmer tools, but it refuses to yield to her. Feeling time pressure, JT pulls out her hydrospanner. She looks to the left, looks to the right. The corridor is empty, and she does not see any sort of surveillance systems. Letting out a long breath, she flicks the switch, and a blue beam of light extends from one end. The hum of the ignited lightsaber seems overly loud as she brings it to bear, cutting straight down between the doors. It is a clean cut, but once the doors are open, she messes up the edges a bit so that it will hopefully look like it was done by a burglar, not a Jedi. Inside the central chamber, she flips over some of the furniture and throws open cabinets and drawers. Will it look too suspicious if nothing is taken? she wonders. She decides not and constructs a little story for herself where the would-be thief heard a noise and ran off before they could take anything. JT feels a little bad about doing this to a friend’s place, but Lo is a little annoying… and it is for a good cause. She does a quick change and stuffs her bags under some of the mess she has made. 

Then the Blue Streak steps into the airlock, cycles it, and soars out into the endless night of space. She starts wheezing and then remembers to kick on the suit’s air supply. This is the maiden spaceflight for the suit since the post-Bespin modifications. On her most recent trip there, her jetpack kept her from falling from Cloud City into the great gas giant below, but she suffered the same ill effects from its atmosphere as her unsuited friends did when the city was sinking. With the modifications she and her Cupcake have made, though, the whole outfit can easily withstand vacuum. She is pretty sure it can, anyway. Renci tried to talk her into buying some fancy new suit, but that was a ridiculous suggestion. Those things cost credits! No, JT just modified what she had already, and when Renci saw her Muffin would not be dissuaded, the Mandalorian helped by touching up JT’s Clonetrooper-inspired helmet, giving it a vacuum seal and an air supply. JT does a few practice loops and then glances at her timepiece again. She is really late. Tcho might already be floating somewhere, suffocating. No! He’s got a spacesuit; he’ll be fine, she reassures herself. Petey got them that suit, and Petey is reliable. Yeah, it’ll be fine. I’m sure nothing went wrong.