Star Wars: Cruise Control | Scene 12.1

Tcho and Kerr-Lonn-Ny walk down the night-dimmed corridors of Dame Metropolis together, looking like any other pair of friends chatting on their way to one of the cruise’s late-night activities. What Kerr-Lonn-Ny considers comfortable casual attire would be viewed as activewear by most sentients, but her current tank top and leggings are not quite as sleek and form-fitting as her early-morning exercise gear. Tcho looks a bit more posh in slacks and a sport jacket embroidered with the Dame’s silhouette. However, his clothes have been carefully chosen to provide the same ease of movement as Kerr-Lonn-Ny’s outfit naturally does. His facial tattoos are completely concealed by JT’s cobalt eyeshadow, and his short black hair is parted and brushed, rather than spiked with gel. If it were not for the stim-injector loaded with sedative in his satchel or the holdout blaster hidden on his person, he would be just another passenger. 

Kerr-Lonn-Ny has remembered more of what she overheard in the gardens, including that the disgruntled officer mentioned that the night crew on the operations bridge is somewhat inattentive. If the mutineers are going to make a move, that seems a likely place and time for it to happen. With the ship having deviated from its planned route, they may have already done so. The most direct way to find this out is to observe the operations bridge itself and assess who is in control.

Tcho spent time down on the crew levels prior to meeting JT. While he is not exactly sure where the operations bridge is, he has a pretty good idea of where to start looking. However, it is not an area of the ship where passengers are supposed to be. “How well can you handle yourself if we run into a problem down there?” he asks Kerr-Lonn-Ny as they head to a turbolift. He is confident that he can spin a convincing story if anyone asks questions, but he does not know her tells. So far, Kerr-Lonn-Ny has seemed to be a pretty reputable person to him. Even the distraction she performed on his behalf in the Border Town Cantina was oriented toward getting help with this mutiny issue.

“Can I handle myself? Yeah, I did a semester of boxing. Studied Cerean judo, too.” Kerr-Lonn-Ny flexes her arms and stretches them some, then continues a bit defensively, “Look, that droid got the jump on me. I was not expecting to get attacked by an unbolted droid. Its needles came right over the hedge! And right while I was meditating, too.” She shakes her elongated head, and her white ponytail swishes. “Terrible.”

Tcho accepts the answer even though it does not address the question he thought he was posing. He cannot quite bring himself to explicitly ask this upstanding citizen how good of a liar she is. Ah, well, good to know she’ll be with it if it comes down to a physical altercation. 

“So where is this operations bunker or center or whatever, anyway?” Kerr-Lonn-Ny asks as they near the turbolift.

“The operations bridge isn’t in the public part of the ship like the primary bridge is. I’m sure they can fly the ship from that, but it’s also for show. There are tours of it on the event schedule! No, what you overheard them talking about is down in the engineering decks,” he tells her. With his hands he sketches out in the air the public parts of the ship compared to the working levels. “The crew decks are much further down. We should start on deck C3. After I look around there, I’ll have a better idea precisely where to go.” The doors open to an empty lift, and Tcho immediately steps to the control panel.

Kerr-Lonn-Ny enters and looks over his shoulder at it. “But… but there’s no C3 on there. We can’t get there.”

Tcho flips down the faceplate with his left hand while slipping his right hand into an inside pocket of his blazer. He pulls out some fine-tipped tools and begins poking at the mess of wires. Some sparks fly when he touches a couple of the leads together. 

“What are you doing?” Kerr-Lonn-Ny asks, wide-eyed.

“I’m getting us to the deck we’re not supposed to go to.”

“Right, but how does this…?”

“Oh, how does it work? I’m overriding the level control module.” He begins providing the technical description she seems to want. “These are the power and speed modules. We don’t want to overload those too— 

“Okay, yeah, that’s not how I understand any of that stuff to work. It runs on some kind of electricity; you push a button, and it goes to the floor you want.” Kerr-Lonn-Ny frowns a bit and explains, “On Cerea, technical things just make a lot more sense. This is… a really inelegant, crazy solution. I don’t understand why the rest of the galaxy doesn’t adopt the Cerean system.”

From what Tcho has heard about Cerea, the planet is mostly unspoiled, with technology relegated to only certain areas like spaceports. Since Kerr-Lonn-Ny is a professional athlete, it makes sense she would not interact with it much. He tries to not take offense at her critique of his work. “We’re not using it the way it is supposed to be used.”

“I think I see that,” Kerr-Lonn-Ny observes as he swiftly snaps the cover back in place. The lift starts to move down. “Have you done this before?” she asks.

“Yes. I’m guessing you haven’t.”

“No, I don’t think most people have.”

“Well, that kind of depends where you’re from,” he says, reserved.

“Is this the way it is on Pantora? Sorry, our education system doesn’t cover much of the galaxy; it’s very locally-focused.”

“This isn’t covered in the schools,” Tcho responds, slipping away his thieves’ tools and turning away from her to the lift door.

“All right,” Kerr-Lonn-Ny mutters, filling the silence. “I guess that’s good.” Other parts of the galaxy just work differently, she figures.