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Willrow Hood – The Epic by Justin “The Lich Lord” Lech

Willrow Hood – The Epic
by Justin “The Lich Lord” Lech

The sunset of Dantooine was always a sight to see, Willrow thought. He sat outside his farmhouse like he usually does every night. Willrow himself was a very tan, decently fit individual. The tan was genetic, he knew, but the fit part comes alongside being a farmer on Dantooine. The days can be exhausting, and the local wildlife make sure that farmers who want to stay alive stay in shape.

“You and I both know why you come out here to watch the sunset”, said a voice from behind him.

“I know Tian, I know.” Willrow patted the chair next to him, implying her to join him. “How the sky turns sharp yellow, and how the clouds come out to accent it.”

“Cloud city.” replied Tian. She sat down in the chair next to his. Tian is a thin woman, seeming aged, but she doesn’t show it in her motions. She flips her long brown hair over the top of the chair. She turns to Willrow. “Do you miss it? I mean, you stayed behind to help the miners there when the Empire took control. Just, it always seemed like you were loyal to the place.”

“I do miss it sometimes. But, mostly just the old days. The Rebellion won, no need for me to be there sneaking them contracts anymore. It’s not why I come out here though.”

“Oh? Then why do you come out here?” Willrow looks back up at the sunset and ponders for a moment.

“The view my dear. The view.”

Cloud City- A’roFilter Main Trading Office- 9am (By Cloud City Standards)

As he came in to his office, Willrow took an unfamiliar look around. His office had always been a simple one. In the past, he had thought about having an ‘upgrade’ to the place, to make it look at lot more interesting. And maybe he would have gone through with it, if he didn’t have a window. A window in Cloud City is really all the decoration the place needed. He took a minute to admire the view before sitting down.

Right as he sat down, the console in his desk lit up. A woman’s voice came from it. “Good morning Mr. Hood.”
He tapped the console in recognition. “A good morning to you Darlene.”

“Thank you sir. Your first order of the day is coming in on channel 481 at 9:30.”

“Got it.”

An audible click could be heard as the com on the console went out. There was still a bit of time so he figured he’d make sure the Tibanna gas numbers were all in order before he started making the deals for the day. He took another look outside as something caught his eye out the window. A grey freighter ship was outside heading to the docking bay, being flanked by two Cloud City fighters. Must just be a new trader, he figured, and he turned back to his desk. Today seems like it will be an average day.

Cloud City- A’roFilter Main Trading Office- 12:30 pm

The door to the office opened as Willrow returned from his lunch. During which he heard some strange rumors flying about. Friends of Baron Administrator Calrissian had apparently shown up out of the blue. Things like this never happen too often, and the citizens always spread rumors quickly. One would think that a city in the sky would have more than a few interesting things happen, but no. Willrow shook it out of his head. No need to worry about it, probably just visitors, he thought. I’ve got more important things to take care of at the moment. He sat back down as his console, and it lit up again.

“Your 12:30 is on the reserved channel sir.”

There was an air of seriousness in her voice, but he knew why. “Patch them in Darlene, and thank you.”

A male voice came through, clearly using some sort of voice-changing program to mask the identity of the person in question. “Are the skies clear?” the voice asked.

Willrow, knowing he had to do the same, punched a few buttons on his console to activate his voice-modulator. “The skies are clear.”

Good. With our bases being destroyed left and right, we don’t need anything revealing our position. Or yours, for that matter.”

“I appreciate the concern, but in all honestly, I’d think the Empire would find you first before coming to Cloud City.”

Fair enough, but you know them. They would still make a point to show what happens to ‘Rebel’ sympathizers.”

Willrow paused a moment, considering what would happen if the Empire did, in fact, come to Cloud City. He shrugged the thought off and continued: “Let’s not think about that right now, and let us get down to business. We can have longer chats when it’s safer too when the Alliance breaks through.”

Ah, true. But, before we start, I thank you for your support in our cause. We do need to hear that in this stage of the fight.”

“Well you are welcome then. Now lets see…” A few more taps of the console brings up some info. “There it is. The usual amount is now ready to ship whenever you need it sent. Also, to note, I’ve increased the discount from 20 to 27 percent. A’roFilter has found a new way to mine, and it’s streamlined our process, also making it less costly.”
Call me impressed.

“Think nothing of it. Just use it well.”

We will be sure to. Shall we have it delivered the usual way?

“Yes, this time it will be a Class B Grig Freighter with the shipment. You’ll know it when you see it.”

I see. Payment will be sent to you through multiple accounts as usual. Always a pleasure Mr. Hood

“Same to you. Have a good day.” Willrow tapped off the console and took a look out the window. It would be nice to be able to talk to them openly. We will be able to soon, the Empire can’t rule the galaxy like this. There will always be people to oppose them. One way… He paused his thought as he looked back at the console with the shipping information … or another.

Cloud City- A’roFilter Main Trading Office- 4:45 pm

Willrow turned off his console. He had finished up all of his work for the day, and also did some of the preliminary work he usually does in the morning. He figured he’d use the time to have a talk with some potential new clients. The new process leads to more and cheaper Tibanna gas, which also means more interest in buying.

He stretched in his chair. A good day’s work, he thought. He was about to get up as his console lit up again and Darlene spoke, in a strangely hushed voice. “Sir, we may have a problem!”

“What is it, Darlene?”

“These two men came in, and started asking questions about the Rebels. I think they are with the Empire!”

“The Empire?! Here, now?” Willrow paused a moment, collecting his thoughts. He had to figure out what to do. “Is it just the two of them?”

“Yes I think so. I hear a lot of noise coming from outside though.”

“Wait there, I’ll deal with them.” He clicked off the console, and started looking under his desk for the keypad he knew was there. Finding it, he typed in the code to open it, as a small object popped out into his hand.

A Hold-out Blaster. Willrow was not a man of violence, but when A’roFilter started making secret deals with the Alliance, he knew he needed to obtain a blaster of some sort. A Hold-out Blaster is a very small one, easily hidden on one’s person, although it only contains 6 shots before it needs a new energy pack. I only need two right now. He opened the door and headed to the entrance help his office.

Cloud City- A’roFilter Central Office Entrance and Front Desk – 4:55 pm

Willrow walked out to find Darlene sitting at her desk, looking very shaken up. When she heard the door open she looked to him. He put his finger to his lips, urging her to be quiet for now. He heard talking coming from the Head of Operations office. He moved to the wall and made his way over as quietly as he could. Once he got close enough, he peered his head out to see inside. He saw two men in black uniforms standing in front of Rem Quern, who is the Head of all Mining Operations, and also a Heavy Alliance Supporter. He was staring blankly at one of the men who was leaning forward on the desk asking him questions. The other man was behind the first, taking notes on his datapad. The first one straightened back up and adjusted his uniform. He put his hands behind his back as he made his next statement:

“Now look here Mr. Quern. We know of your involvement with the Rebellion. Our agent was able to find out that much. But what we don’t have is specific information. We know you have it somewhere, and it will be less….” He made a slight smirk as he paused. “…painful for you if you would just give it to us.”

Rem gave him a confused look. “Now sir, I’m not sure of what you are talking about. A’roFilter is well aware of the rules put in place by the Empire about dealing with Anti-Empire groups. I can say with all certainty that we follow these rules to the letter.”

“Continue to play dumb if you want Mr. Quern. I’ll have you know that the Empire is now in direct control of Cloud City and all of Bespin even. We WILL find it. And then once we do, everyone in A’roFilter will be made an example of.” He pauses for a moment. “That is unless you cooperate, of course.”

Willrow quickly snuck behind the Imperial agent with the datapad, quickly shooting him in the back. Hearing the blaster go off, the other one spun around and tried to shout for the guards but all that got out was “Guuuuaaaggggglllll!” as he is shot in the throat. But two blaster shots is more than enough to alert anyone outside, and it’s painful aware someone was out there as two Stormtroopers burst into the entrance area.

Rem yells “GET DOWN!” as he pulls out a blaster of his own and fires shots into the troopers. Willrow gets down and slides for the front desk next to Darlene. Seeing that she was ok and out of fire, he takes a look. Rem was able to get one in the chest, but his other shots went wild. The trooper was firing into Rem’s office. He stands up quickly and fires the rest of his rounds at the trooper. He wasn’t as good a shot as Rem, but luck happened to be on his side. The last shot went straight into the Stormtrooper’s helmet and that trooper slumped to the ground, dead. Willrow peers into Rem’s office to see if he was ok. “You alright in there Rem?”

Rem pops out from behind his now-ruined desk. “Yeah I’m alright. Good timing by the way, I was starting to consider that agent’s offer.”

“Why do you think I acted so quickly?”

“Good point Willrow. And uh… thanks.”

They made their way back into the main office, and they heard something come in over the city’s intercom.

“Attention. This is Lando Calrissian, attention. The Empire has taken control of city, I advise everyone to leave before more Imperial troops arrive.”

Time seems to stop as the information sunk in. Rem was the first to speak. “I thought those agents were just bluffing about the control. How did they occupy the city so quickly and quietly?”

“We don’t have time to worry about that, there are things that need to be done while we have a chance.” Willrow needed to protect A’roFilter employees. Rebel Sympathizers never lived very long after they were found. He also knew that the Rebels themselves needed help and protection. The shipment meant to go to them can last them a while, and if the ship was still in the dock, it could be the way to for all the A’roFilter employees to flee the city. He froze for a second. The contracts in the computer! Encryption protected from outside threat, but it wouldn’t be enough if they were able to just crack the thing open. “Alright, I have a plan. Rem, you and Darlene gather up everyone in the offices. We need to get everyone out of here, they are all in danger of being found out by the Empire.”

Darlene looked at him, a little confused. “What about you?”

“I have to get the main memory core, a lot of good people will be found out by the Empire if they get their hands on it.” Both of them nod in agreement and head into the offices to gather everyone.

Cloud City- Shipping Bay 29 – 5:30 pm

“Alright everyone, listen up!” Willrow’s voice rose above the mixed noise of confusion and panic. “You all are going to get onto this freighter. It’s scheduled to meet up with our Rebel contact. They will protect you. If you stay here there is a good chance of being found by the Empire and detained for supporting the Rebellion. So you need to get out of this city, and out of this system.” Everyone was quiet, but they all seemed to understand the gravity of the situation. They started filing into the ship. Willrow turned to Rem. “Once they are all loaded on, take off.” He looked to the memory core. “I have to dispose of this. Destruction should ensure protection.”

“Good luck then Willrow. I’ll try to send someone back to help you if I can.”

“I appreciate it Rem. And good luck to you too.” Rem gave a nod before heading to the ship. Willrow glanced at the core again, and started running back into the city. He knew where this could be destroyed.

Cloud City- Level 167 Main Thoroughfare – 5:30 pm

As he ran through Cloud City’s halls, the chaos of the situation was quite clear to Willrow. Panic was high in the air as the citizens and miners of this section were running to the shipping and docking bays, hoping to find a ship to escape. This presented a problem to him, as he was the only one going the other way. He tried to stick to the walls if possible, ignoring some of the escapees attempting to convince him to run with them to escape. Eventually, he reached his destination.

One of the Waste Disposal units. It connects directly to one of the city’s furnaces. The memory core should be destroyed, at least enough to be unusable. Willrow took one last look at the core. You know, I always thought this thing looked like an ice cream maker. He shoved it in, and activated the chute to the furnace. A satisfying hssssss noise confirmed the core making its way to destruction. He turned back around to find that the hallway had turned empty. So… what now?

Cloud City- Temporary Empire Interrogation and Prison Facility (Formerly A’roFilter Offices) – 20 Days after occupation 12:45 pm

“Agent Chyler, I think we found one of the targets you were looking for. We found him down in the miners’ quarters, attempting to stop questioning.” Tian Chyler turned away from the window overlooking the clouds.

“Interesting find, officer. Has he been apprehended?”

“Not yet, but we are closing in on him now.”

“Very well, bring him to me when you are done.”

“Of course Agent Chyler.”

Dantooine- Hood’s Farm – 7:35 pm

Willrow turned to face his wife. Feeling the stare, she shifted uncomfortably in her seat.

“You are thinking about when you got captured and I had you interrogated, aren’t you.”

“Maybe.”

“How many times do I need to apologize for it?” Willrow just chuckled and looked back up to the sunset.

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