Star Wars: Cruise Control | Scene 9.2

With Gomarr gone and the disguise supplies on their way, Tcho returns his attention to the total stranger in the room. The gash on her face does not look too bad, but… “Do you want your cheek sealed up?” he offers.

“My cheek?” She raises her hand to it, as if to remind herself what he is talking about. “That’s, that’s not a big deal. They stabbed me!”

That takes Tcho aback, and JT interjects, “She said that someone injected her with something in order to cause a reaction, and that’s why the ship sent her to the recuperation center. She says it was a droid that was unbolted. All the droids I’ve seen have had restraining bolts, which is a little sad, but…” Restraining bolts are so cruel, zapping droids if they exert too much independent thought about where they want to go or what they want to do.

“And then that other one… then they, then they gave me something else,” Kerr-Lonn-Ny cuts in. “And… and then…”

“But it’s okay. You’re in a safe place,” JT reassures her. “J4-1L was just trying to do his job…”

The whole droid thing, that does not matter to Tcho. “Wait, you’ve had shots of multiple types administered by different people?”

“Yes! Somebody who was plotting something… and then, then they didn’t want me to tell anybody that I heard that they were talking about the captain, and then, and then… And then when they saw me there…”

JT sits down next to Kerr-Lonn-Ny and takes her by the hand, trying to slow the other woman down so that they can straighten out her story. Tcho kneels down on the Cerean’s other side and pulls some equipment from his satchel. Kerr-Lonn-Ny consents to having some blood drawn, and Tcho runs it through his analyzer. Guided by JT’s pointed questions, she describes how her day started off just fine. She went for her usual morning run, swim, and bike, all before 0500. JT gets exhausted just listening to the list. Kerr-Lonn-Ny explains that just because she is on vacation does not mean she can suspend her usual training regimen. And there are all sorts of tournaments to compete in on the cruise—at least there will be, once the social calendar is restored.

After breakfast, Kerr-Lonn-Ny went to the botanical gardens to meditate for a while. It was during that time, when she was sitting alone, that she overheard some people talking on the other side of the bushes near there. When she stood up, they saw her, and a droid lashed out at her with an injector.

“Who did you see?” JT asks. “What was this droid like?”

Kerr-Lonn-Ny describes it as cylindrical in shape with a sort of cap for a top. JT suggests this could be an astromech, but Kerr-Lonn-Ny says the droid she saw was taller with tons of extending arms. With that additional information, JT figures it out. “Sounds like an FX-series medical droid! Those guys are real multitaskers. Really driven.” She herself has no FX friends nor do any work at the New Meen Medical Clinic and Droid Day Spa. The only FX she has had any close interaction with was a very angry one in the mining installation on Gavos, a member of the New Droid Rights movement. Unlike Sharni’s Droid Liberation Cooperative, the NDR was a militant group looking to kill all the organic miners. Hopefully this is not the same sort of thing…

“That droid lashed out at me with an injector thing!”

“Did you catch his serial number?” JT asks.

“No, no,” Kerr-Lonn-Ny stutters out. “That’s when all the sounds started and all the lights started flashing.” 

“Ah, that’s when they injected her with this hallucinogen,” Tcho mutters to himself, looking down at the screen of his analyzer. He taps in the approximate time it was administered.

JT asks about the other people present, and Kerr-Lonn-Ny tells her that the droid was talking with a Frozian. That draws Tcho’s attention from the medical readouts. When the Frozians publically joined the Alliance to Restore the Republic, Moff Dargon bombarded the planet with her full fleet of Star Destroyers, reducing the surface to a fiery mess. It is that sort of ruthlessness that makes him worry about what she and Panaka were meeting about.

JT prompts, “So what were they saying? You mentioned something about the captain?”

“The Frozian was saying that they needed to take the captain out—”

“I assume you don’t mean out to lunch,” JT interjects.

Tcho shakes his head at the bewildering human. “Everything is not a date!” 

JT hushes him as Kerr-Lonn-Ny continues, “They were talking about changing the ship’s trajectory… is that what it’s called?” She stumbles over the technical terms. “Where a ship goes…” JT assures the Cerean that she is doing a good job and asks if they mentioned where they were redirecting the ship to. “They said that they were going to lock things down and make a delivery,” she stutters out.

“Make a delivery? It’s a heck of a ship to use for that,” JT muses. “It would be a big delivery.”

“Unless the ship is the delivery,” Tcho suggests.

“It’s not a warship, though…” JT counters.

“No, but how many rich people are on here?” He might not be a thief anymore, but this whole vessel is crawling with credits to Tcho’s eyes.

“Oh, you think it’s like a ransom deal?” JT asks. Tcho shrugs, and JT turns back to Kerr-Lonn-Ny. “You said a lockdown?” She glances at the alert still displayed on her datapad, and mutters to herself, “How many different parties want to lock this ship down? Maybe a virtual gala event… But no, it’s just not the same.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t know anything else. That’s all I heard,” Kerr-Lonn-Ny concludes. JT pats her hand reassuringly and makes a mental note that those gardens where everything happened might be a good place to meet up with Ursa Diol for a professional meditation retreat.

Tcho’s analyzer finishes with some beeps. He scans the results and frowns. “I see what’s in your system, but I don’t have anything in here that can counter that combination. It seems like you’re probably coming down off the hallucinogens now, but if they also gave you sedatives… Those things are going to interact…  This just needs to be flushed out of your system over time if you’re not comfortable going to the medical clinic.” In her place, he certainly would not be. “You might fare better just trying to sleep it off.”

 “So you’re going to finish that milkshake—” JT starts.

Tcho interjects, “You certainly shouldn’t take any other medications.”

“—and then you get to take the first nap.”

Kerr-Lonn-Ny brings the drink back up and takes a long drag on the straw, smiling tentatively as she settles further back onto the couch.