Republic Credits Will Do Fine...

My Mind was Racing

Letter to Home 7

SWE09-CloudCarRace-TimothyBenZweifel_2.jpgOh, Jalen! What a race! Do you remember that last charity speeder race at your airbase on Harte Secur? Well, let’s just say it paled in comparison to what I witnessed at Cloud City’s Grand Prix. Perhaps it was because I had more of a candid interest in the event with someone I know being actively involved. I cannot recall the last time I was caught up so wholeheartedly in such revelry.
The race itself was fast paced and heart pounding. I found myself glued to the streaming coverage on my data pad. Zan was amazing! The ships tore out into the open skies like a flock of startled birds. It was chaos as they swarmed, banging and bashing into one another. I heard an onlooker comment that they were “swapping paint”. What an odd but rather fitting analogy. At first it was simply a matter of jockeying for position and taking the lead. Unknowingly, the locals’ anticipation was building as they scroll a text that announced “Weapons Free”. I became alarmed initially, yet a subtext scrolled the rules of engagement and “environmental hazards”.
That, ironically was a misnomer as several exchanges occurred between the racers rather than the hazards they implied. Aside from the knocking out of the competition, there were some natural perils present; large cloud-like forms, winged serpent-like creatures, even part of the cloud banks that ignited and detonated as they plunged through them. Many of the racers were taken out by these elements; however there were plenty of safeguards and safety units present that plucked the endangered crews from certain death.
I admit Zan’s skill at the controls was extraordinary. Being the “unknown” wild card was his forte. He certainly out witted and out maneuvered his competition leading the pack at length for the majority of the race. Needless to say he became the hero of the day. Zan won the race, hands down, took the purse, and was hailed they conquering hero, though he was quite modest about the whole ordeal. As a comrade I was overjoyed for his accomplishment.
After the fanfare subsided the focus was driven to the grand gala and auction at the museum. The showpiece was the “Jewel of Yavin” which was to be sold. I was aware that the others “business” centered around this item or event, though I preferred not to know the specific details. I had reserved myself to wait in the wings, though a gentleman approached me and asked if I would like to attend as his guest. You need not worry; he was an older gentleman and a widower who simply wanted the accompaniment of a lady on his arm. It was not solicited, perish the thought; however he furnished me with attire and was gracious and chivalrous. There were no ulterior motives in his request, I assure you, and I could not in good conscious decline an innocent offer.
My gentleman escort and I attended the gala and he was the perfect gentleman. He enlightened me to the social structure and assumed customs of Cloud City as well as informing me of the repartee being exchanged by the players in the auction. After making soft spoken introduction to the invitees, the auction went into effect. I watched as Zan and Deshaun played opposite of each other as the bidding commenced. One by one, patrons dropped out of the running as the stakes of proposals rose. Deshaun caught the ire of a Hutt that was attending named Kaltho. Soon the bid was over 200K credits! I knew full well Deshaun, let alone Zan did not have the resources to front such expenditure, even combined, yet they pressed the bids to those ends. Deshaun gracefully relented to Kaltho and he won the bid.
After a rather intense barter, the tension still lingered in the air. The gala returned to a melancholic social party like many my mother dragged me to and the night passed relatively calmly. Zan, Deshaun, and the other took their leave and reconvened to continue on with their “contract”. I afforded myself the separation and enjoyed my small self-indulgent moment. I knew that it was soon to be over with the intrigues my fellows were wrapped up in requiring a hasty exit. Oh what tangled webs we weave…

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