Star Wars: Cruise Control | Scene 8.2

As he passes the Pantoran student and enters the hallway, Gomarr mutters, “You gotta be careful who you address as professor. Bad things can happen. Things might be different at C of C, but…”

“Don’t you take any pride in what you do?” Tcho asks, confused at Gomarr’s attitude. “You earned the title of professor. Why wouldn’t you use it?”

Gomarr lets out a long breath. “I earned that title literally through blood, sweat, and a few tears, okay?”

“That should make it all the more meaningful,” Tcho insists.

“It was other people’s blood. When you’re the only one left—” Gomarr suddenly realizes what that sounds like. “I don’t mean that I cut them down! No, no, no! Oh, geez! It’s like the succession plan in a kingdom…” He goes on to explain how when all the other grad students have been crushed by rocks or cut down by blade traps or crazy droids, suddenly one can find oneself at the head of the class.

Gomarr’s university experience is sounding cutthroat in a different way than Tcho’s was. Right now, though, he is claiming to be a current student at the same establishment, so he should probably express some concern over what the professor is telling him. “So, College of Corellia, maybe not the best school choice?” Tcho asks.

“Well, I’m going to be alive. That’s the most important thing.”

“You’re not doing a good job of selling me on taking your class next semester.”

“You’ll survive,” Gomarr says flatly.

“Can you guarantee that? You just described a very shaky course load.” Gomarr insists there will be no field trips; now that he is a professor, Intro to Archaeology will involve just studying from books. Tcho lets the topic go for now, as they have just exited the lodge and he has far more immediate concerns than his adopted persona’s academic pursuits. He glances around, quickly verifying there are no Stormtroopers up on the hilltop. Then he looks down the slope, trying to see what the situation is like down there. He makes no effort to hide this from the Gamorrean since it is reasonable that a trampled student would have an interest in this matter. There are more than just four Stormtroopers down below now; reinforcements have arrived. Tcho does not see any exits from the Snowscape near the restaurants and begins scanning the hillside for entrances to the ice tunnels. I can’t have them look up here and see me! He shrugs off the coat, abandoning the blaster-scorched jacket, and fiddles with his scarf, pulling it up over his face a bit more. 

Unfortunately, Gomarr notices that there are some EMTs down below and changes his tune from insisting they head to the hospital to something far worse. “Looks like the Stormtroopers broke up the fight and medics have arrived. We should take you down there. We’ll just ride the chairlift; it’ll be fine.”

“No way! No way am I getting back on one of those chairlifts. Are you crazy? That’s not safe!” the student responds. Gomarr nods. He’s got a point; that trap did mess him up pretty good. “And those are the people who shot me to begin with!”

“Buddy, you being hunted by Stormtroopers?” Gomarr asks. “Those are in the top five of things I don’t want to be hunted by. Not number one, but still top five.”

“Then you certainly don’t want to go down there. It was some sort of crazy mistake. They were shouting about… about…” Tcho searches for reasonable lies, “about aliens. You know how some Stormtroopers are…” A humanist conspiracy is really scraping the barrel as far as lies go, so Tcho abandons that in favor of admitting partial truth. It is the best foundation for lies, after all. “I can’t go down there. I got mixed up in some stuff, and they are legitimately looking for me. But I don’t want to put you in danger. We don’t need to go down there at all; we don’t need to get into any trouble. I’m not asking you to risk yourself or anything like that. I just need them to not find me. Can I just lay low with you? Make it look like we were here together? Then they won’t know that I’m, you know, me.”

“Oh, man,” Gomarr sighs out. “You need a break, man, I understand. I’ve been mixed up in things before, okay? Let’s go another way and set you on a different path. You don’t want to get mixed up in that stuff. You ever work for Hutts? Worst job in the galaxy.”

So this Gamorrean has a criminal past of his own. That could make things easier or more difficult, depending. “No,” Tcho replies, “I haven’t worked for Hutts.”

Gomarr does not pick up on anything in Tcho’s comment, so distracted is he now by the current topic. “Trust me, Hutts are worse than the Pikes, worse than Crimson Dawn, worse than Black Sun…” He continues rattling on criminal organizations that pale in comparison to Hutts. “Hutts are worse than them all.”

Tcho tilts his head a little, and murmurs, “Mmm, I’m not sure about that.” Gomarr seems to not even hear him, and Tcho realizes that he has found the Gamorrean’s droid-equivalent. He begins moving them towards an entrance to the ice caverns while the professor is absorbed with the topic of organized crime. 

“Things that Hutts are worse than? So many! So many!” Then the professor pauses in thought for a moment. “Worse than Eriadu University? Ahhh, maybe? At least the Hutts were honest about it: yeah, you’re probably gonna die.”

Tcho is not sure why this other school is being dragged into the mix, but he makes a guess. “Yeah, hate our rivals,” he says.

The ice caverns, while chilly, are not dangerous in any way, having been designed for passenger entertainment. At the exit, though, ship staff wait to look over everyone headed out that way. Tcho takes notice of this and offers to carry the Gamorrean’s bag. Gomarr is momentarily taken aback, never having had his own assistant before. “I still need that credit for next semester. Let me help you out, professor,” Tcho insists. The Gamorrean hands his satchel over to Tcho, who wraps his arms around it in a high carry to further obscure his face.

“Yeah, they gave me that bag when I graduated. It’s kind of a silly thing,” Gomarr says. “Hey, you want to be an archaeologist? This hat will fit you way better than me. Here you go.” He removes the dusty brown peaked hat from his own head and sets it atop the younger man’s white and lavender hair.

Behind the satchel, Tcho grins as his hair is concealed. He reaches up and pulls the brim further down, putting his facial tattoos in shadow to complete the disguise.