The Rampaging Dog
Vroom vroom, I'm a racer
Creepy Teddy Bear
Garrick Farrell is
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Mos Espa, Tatooine
Re: The Tatooine Redemption
Nothing was said in the lift leading up to the luxury suites. A strange tension hung in the air. Garrick stood just behind the stormtroopers, their buckets staring straight forward. He opened his mouth to say something, you know, just to lighten the mood a little but thought better of it. He would just fall further into trouble. Wait a minute, was he in trouble? Garrick was pretty sure he hadn’t actually done anything wrong and yet he stood here, incredibly uncomfortable and confused. Maybe it was worth throwing a question out there, even if it meant a rifle butt in the stomach.
“So...Why am I here?”
“Quiet, citizen,” the trooper on the left said.
Garrick smiled and nudged the trooper on the right, “I’m glad the nice stormtrooper was on duty today,”
Both trooper’s helmets turned slightly toward Garrick, a sure sign of annoyance. The racer held his tongue for the remainder of the ride.
The lift reached the suite level of the main grandstand and the doors opend with a satisfying whoosh.
“This way,” one of the troopers said. They led Garrick around a tan colored corridor. The hallway was decorated with fancy looking art and sculptures, every few yards or so sat an exotic looking plant. Shiny servant droids carried trays of drinks and delicacies from the on-call kitchen to their respective suites. Many rich-looking folk, including more than a few in snappy Imperial uniforms, chatted with each other. Cool purified air poured in through filters while soft stringy music played in the background.
This place was awful.
They reached a suite with Imperial guard posted on both sides of the door. They postured up as soon as Garrick’s group approached them.
“Is the senator ready?” the left trooper asked.
“Yes sir,” the guard answered crisply. The suite’s door opened swiftly. Left and Right led Garrick inside. The suite’s sandy interior had been decorated rather well with as much glossy black as they could manage. Couches, vidscreens, rugs, even the art on the walls had been replaced by vapid images of Imperial ships and a gawdy oil painting of a scowling gray-haired white man. It didn’t have a name on it, but it could have been any aging Imperial officer, really...
Garrick was greeted by a gleaming silver protocol droid. “Hello sir. My name is A-2TY, human cyborg relations. Is there anything I can get for you?”
“I don’t think so...”
“We have a fine selection of wines and liquors, as well as a fully staffed kitchen that can prepare you whatever–“
“...Not a good idea to drink before a race...”
“–From anywhere in the Galaxy,”
From the adjoining room of the suite, a well dressed man in a tailored suit walked in, flashing a million credit grin. “That’s enough, TY. Give our guest room to breath at least,”
The droid piped down and moved out of the way. The man thrust his hand out to Garrick.
“Randyl Corra. Pleasure to meet you. I’m a big fan of yours,”
Corra? The senator? Garrick shook his hand, still trying to process this.
“Are you sure TY can’t get you anything?” Corra asked.
“An explanation would be nice,” Garrick said.
The ex-senator grinned and turned to his droid. “Get him something non-alcoholic,” The droid bowed slightly and scooted out of the suite. Randyl turned to Left and Right. "Will you excuse us?"
"Yes sir!" they said, offering a sharp salute before exiting right behind the droid. Garrick watched the door slide closed behind them.
"Have a seat, Mr. Farrell," Corra said, taking a seat of his own on a long stretch sofa. He laid his arms across the back, crossing his legs, like a king relaxing on his throne.
"If it's all the same, I'll stay where I am,"
"Well, how do you expect me to explain anything to you unless you take a seat? Relax! You're about to go out there and compete in a very dangerous race. More dangerous than dangling a piece of raw meat in front of a starving rancor. Take a load off!"
Garrick hesitated for a moment before finally conceding and sitting down on a small sofa across from Corra. He sank into the soft fabric. It actually was quite comfortable.
"I suppose you're wondering why I asked you here,"
"Asked? That's what you call sending armed stormtroopers after me?"
"Well we didn't know if you still had bounties on your head. You could have run,"
"And you would have killed me for it?"
"I assure you their weapons were set for stun. Garrick, I need to talk to you about the race,"
"There's really nothing to talk about. The only thing left to do is race,"
"See, that's where you're wrong. You have a very important decision to make before said race,"
Garrick frowned as A-2TY reentered the suite, a pair of glasses in hand. He handed one of them to Garrick. The other went to Randyl.
"There you are sir. Will there be anything else?"
"No thank you, TY. That will be all," The droid bowed and went into the adjoining room. Garrick looked into his glass, a thick dark red liquid swirled inside. Smoky sweetness filled his nostrils. He restrained the urge to drink it. Randyl took a long sip of the light brown drink in his hand. He took a long look at Garrick. "So, Mr. Farrell. How do you feel about your chances today?"
"Chances of what? Winning or living?"
Randyl smiled, "Let's assume the odds of both are about the same. Which would you rather succeed at?"
Garrick cocked his head, "Is that some kind of threat?"
"No, no! Not at all. Let me rephrase that. Would you rather contend for a win, and possibly bring the full force of a private army down on you? Or be given enough credits to live comfortably for an extended period of time to sacrifice your pride and finish outside the top four?"
Garrick shook his head, "You've got to be kidding me. You want me to throw the race?"
"Finishing fourth is nothing to be ashamed of," Randyl ignored the question. "You'll get a substancial amount of the purse as well as what we'll pay you,"
"It's not...in my nature to lose deliberately,"
"The same can be said for me. Luckily I have the funds to find the people that do,"
Garrick rubbed his face, bewildered. "I can't believe Kaz was right. Why are you even out here? The Empire doesn't have any interest in outlaw sports like this,"
"Well, normally you'd be right. This time around though, some of the Imperial higher-ups got a bug in their ear about a semi-legitimate way to raise funds quickly. At this point, we don't care where they come from as long as they do and no one blinks an eye. And what other event in the Galaxy would people be less surprised that it was fixed than the Boonta Eve Classic?" Randyl took another sip of his drink.
"There's no way this will work," Garrick said, "You can't get all the favorites to buy into this. We won't throw the race if we're favored to win."
"We don't need all of them to. The four racers with the lowest odds of winning very graciously accepted our help in modifying their pods, assuring they'll be running up front by the end of the race. We've bet on all of them, a Superfecta in fact. They'll finish in the order we've instructed them to, while making it look competitive of course. Their low odds plus the extreme difficulty of the Superfecta means upwards of a billion credits secretly being awarded to the Empire. And with it, my acsent to the upper echelon of Imperial advisors. It's a fantastic plan, really. I may even get to dine with the Grand Moff,"
"But better racers won't let this happen,"
"You'd be correct if we hadn't taken the proper precautions. You, along with all of the other favored racers have been informed of what's to happen. The ones who have decided to coopperate are in fact being paid. But if someone else, let's say you, decide to interfere with the outcome of the Superfecta, then no one gets paid. So if they have to, they'll take the proper steps to making sure that doesn't happen. You have to look at this with a level head, Mr. Farrell. There's really only one right decision,"
Garrick glared at the disgraced senator. So on one hand, he could be killed trying to stand up for what he believes in. Or he can be given a handful of credits in exchange for looking the other way and helping the Empire stockpile a huge amount of credits and possibly jumpstart their rebirth. That sounded about right.
"You'll give me time to think about it?" Garrick muttered, looking down.
"There's no need to think. You'll do the right thing," Randyl smiled, "You'll do the right thing for Olivia,"
That made Garrick look up. The ex-senator sat there in his expensive suit, flashing his pearly white teeth, drinking his fancy drink. This smarmy arrogant bastard. Garrick smiled back.
"You're right," he said, "There is nothing to think about,"
He set his untouched drink on the floor in front of him and stood up, making a beeline for the door and not looking back. Randyl Corra watched him storm out and sighed.
"TY? Can you come here a minute?"
From the adjoining room, his protocol droid appeared.
"How may I serve you sir?"
"Contact Oneisha. Let him know I've talked with the other racers. Farrell and Rizik appear to be the only ones who are going to be a problem. Tell him to do what's neccessary,"
The droid nodded and scooted to the comms terminal near the door. Randyl stood and walked to the panoramic windows looking down on the start-finish line.
"Lovely day for a race, isn't it TY?"