Unfinished Business (Star Wars)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Laura Cynthia Chambers, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 1, 2016
    Takes place sometime after "Solo" but before "A New Hope".

    "That's what I like about you guys." Lando Calrissian smiled, throwing an arm over the shoulder of the fat Solgye, even as the man's fishy odor caused his nose to wrinkle. "You've got guts," he added, squeezing and releasing his new acquaintance's fin-arm. He moved back to his side of the table and leaned back in his chair, arms folded across his chest. "Personally, that's not what I would have done," Lando continued, eyes closed and downcast to project an air of false humility. "But then, as I always say..." He looked up and made eye contact with each of the people seated around the gambling table, some of whom smiled in recognition, while others rolled their eyes. "...risk much, win much."

    He studied the colored pyra-dice, which the Solgye had placed on top of his mocan cards. If the color facing up on the dice matched the highest color on the card beneath, he'd take the entire pot, which by this point consisted of a significant amount of astercreds, the deed to a Huenufan vineyard, and an entire shipment of Jopar'Ugan fire rods. Lando's fingers tapped slowly on the table, watching the Solgye's bulbous eyes flick back and forth. "Noooo..." Lando trailed off, reaching for his own set of dice, "I would have done...this." He set his marker dice in the correct order above the Solgye's turned cards, then flipped each one over in turn, placing the Solgye's dice on his side for comparison.

    His opponent let out a little squeal of protest, which was all but drowned out by the loud cheers and laughter of the spectators. "I guess...that makes me...the proud...owner," he continued, reaching for each of the stacks of astercreds, then the deed, and finally the data card containing the shipping documents for the fire rods, "of all of these."

    Lando placed his winnings inside a metal strongbox and leveled a stern gaze across the table at his vanquished opponent. "I expect you to stow the rods in my storehouse by first light. Until then..." Lando grabbed a small square pendant that hung around the Solgye's neck and pulled on it, breaking open the clasp, "you don't get your passage chip back." He tossed it in the air and caught it with one hand. "Shame it's so hard to counterfeit one of these babies," he added, grinning. "You're not getting past the Eoko border without it." He kissed the chip, then dropped the chain, chip and all, into his box, and walked away from the table, cape swishing.

    The Solgye grunted and reached for his drink, then tipped back his head and emptied the glass. Shaking his head, Lando smiled and closed the lid on the strongbox, tucking it under his arm. "Mabheki," he called over the noise of the crowd, tugging on the barmaid's elbow as she passed, "lower the proof on Jeenbe's drinks, will ya? He's got a ship to unload tonight."

    The petite Human smiled back, her slight overbite showing. "Finally put him out of his misery, an' did ya?"

    Lando nodded. "Be sure to charge him full price, though. If he thinks we're giving him a pity discount, he might not come back the next time he flies through our neck of the galaxy."

    Mabheki tucked her empty tray under her arm. "What you won't do to save a cred." She glanced over her shoulder. "Hey, I just put a guy in your office a few minutes ago."

    Lando followed her gaze to a door in the back of the barroom that led to a short flight of stairs. "That's where I was headed," he explained, showing her the box. "Did he give his name?"

    "No." Mabheki frowned, thinking. "Asked to see you and I told him you were in the middle of a game, that he could wait in your office. He just grunted and pushed past me." She balanced the tray against her hip and stuffed one hand into her belt purse, pulling out a handful of coins. "Found these enoen in my purse after he left. No idea how he did it. You want me to put 'em in the tip jar?"

    Lando reached out and closed her hand around the money. "Keep 'em, Mab. If he's got coin to toss around like that, this should be a very interesting meeting." He patted her on the shoulder and headed for the stairwell door, passing several customers who, understandably, were more interested in their drinks and games than their host's activities.

    After jogging up two flights of stairs separated by a landing, he stopped in front of his office door and glanced through the frosted glass. Seeing no people shaped shadows lurking inside, he shrugged, tucked the box under his arm, and turned the doorknob. "Welcome, friend," he spoke to whoever was waiting inside. "Just let me get this strongbox tucked away, and I-" He barely had time to register his visitor's presence before a pair of hands grabbed his arms and flattened him against the wall. The strongbox crashed to the floor as the back of Lando's head made contact with the solid metal panelling, causing him to cry out in pain. "Argh! Hey, what's-" An arm came up against his neck, cutting off his air. Lando choked, eyes tearing up. When the pressure eased off, he gasped for air, blinking to clear his vision. "Han?"

    "Surprise." Han Solo grinned angrily at his victim. "Hey, this is fun." He shot a glance over his shoulder. "Chewie, why didn't you tell me how fun this was?" he laughed, pressing Lando against the wall again.

    Lando rose up on his tiptoes and spied the Wookiee, who was currently occupying the chair behind his desk. Shrugging, the Wookiee said something in his language and removed a piece of candy from the bowl on the desk, unwrapping it with a delicacy one wouldn't have believed possible from one with such large, hairy hands, then popping it in his mouth.

    Sliding back down the wall until his feet were planted on the ground, Lando locked eyes with Han, who returned the stare. "Han Solo," he chuckled nervously. "If I'd known you were coming, I'd have baked a cake."

    Han's lip twisted. "I don't want cake." He released his death grip on Lando's arms, then backed up until he was sitting on the corner of the desk. Reaching into his jacket pocket, he pulled out a handful of folded papers and slapped it down on the desk. "I want this."

    Lando crossed his arms over his chest, rubbing the sore spots with his hands to get his blood flowing again. He reached up and touched the back of his head, wincing. "It would help if you'd tell me what 'this' is," he muttered, reaching for the papers. "If you wanted information, you could just ask..." His face paled as he studied the documents. "Oh. These."

    "Yes. These."

    Lando laughed half-heartedly, setting the papers back on the desk. "I can explain..."

    "Explain what?" Han picked up the document on the top of the stack. "'Official Citation, Kianna Territory, unlawful route change, 5,000 astercreds', overdue."

    "Hey, I wasn't even flying the Falcon that time," Lando protested. "Chewie, stop eating all my candy."

    "Wrooo!" The Wookiee thrust his hand back into the bowl. Green flecks coated the fur around his lips.

    Han shoved the document against Lando's chest, then grabbed the next one. "'Hieranze System Traffic Authority, docking without a permit, violating the transport safety codes, refusing to stop for an enforcement craft, 6,900 yulekters,' also overdue."

    Lando half-smiled. "Funny story. I-"

    "Ha, ha." Han threw the ticket at Lando, who caught it, and picked up the next one. "'Arum's Moon, transporting hazardous material unsafely and without declaring it, landing on a protected wildlife zone, 440 pincia, overdue.'" Han grabbed the rest of the documents with one hand, shaking them in front of Lando's face. "And about 30 more of the same. You couldn't have told me about these little tickets of yours before we set off?"

    Lando's head cocked to one side. "I didn't want to spoil the surprise." He shook his head. "Now I suppose you think I only let you win because I couldn't pay off my traffic debts." He picked at his fingernail. "That's not why I did it, just so you know."

    "Right. You let me win." Han snorted. "As if." He crossed his arms over his chest. "Just wanted to let you know that as of now, none of these tickets are outstanding."

    "I wouldn't say that." Lando took the tickets from Han and shuffled through them, pulling out a blue slip of paper. "Not everyone can violate all thirteen sections of the Oanqius Trade Accords in one trip," he boasted. "I'd say that's pretty outstanding in my books." He glanced up, the meaning of Han's words slowly dawning on him. "Wait...you paid off all of these?" he asked, spreading the documents apart like a hand of cards.

    "Paid. Bribed. Threatened. Same as." Han shrugged. "Now, you only owe one person. Me." He stabbed his chest with a thumb. "So we can do this one of three ways." He held up one finger. " 1) I walk out of here with a signed IOU, or 2) You give me whatever that is," he pointed at the items spilling out of the strongbox, "and we'll call it even."

    Lando sighed. "Give me a moment to think it over." He dropped into the chair across from his desk, head in his hands. "What's number three?" he asked, glancing up at Han.

    The smuggler grinned and clapped a friendly hand on Lando's shoulder. "Chewie gets to pin you next time." He looked over at the Wookiee, who grunted in agreement and slammed his massive paws down on the desk. The candy bowl bounced onto the floor with a loud crash and shattered into several pieces.

    Lando smiled weakly back at Han. "No, thanks." He stood up and began to collect the items which had fallen out of the strongbox, pausing with his hand poised over the vineyard deed. A slow smile crept over his face. "Say, Han. Have you ever played mocan before?"