The Gunbear Chronicles: A Bang in the Night

A young woman shook her husband awake.

“It won’t stop. He won’t stop! Why does he have to work on that damn launch pad at this hour?

“I don’t know, Honey. Call the police if it’s bothering you that much.”

“You know they won’t do anything about it. They never have.”

“Just try to drown it out. Here, rest my pillow over your head.”

He handed her his pillow.

“Thank you,” she whispered as she smiled adoringly at him. “He’s so sweet,” she thought.

As the man rustled back into a comfortable sleeping position, resting his head upon the bicep of an outstretched arm, a series of loud bangs rang out. The woman screamed and the man fell off the bed.

***

Galen Leivold was a retired veteran of half a dozen wars. Some thought of him more as a washed up mercenary. He didn’t care. He had stashed enough credits to live the waning-half of his life in one of the more favorable neighborhoods of Mos Eisley and he was comfortable. That’s all that mattered.

He was a pilot back in his fighting days and when he quickly grew bored of retired life he went looking for hobbies. He tried Lugjack, Sabacc, even Blob Racing but each attempt to keep his aging mind agile eventually faded. Until one Dual Noon when he saw the most beautiful space vessel he’d ever seen.

It was a Mon Calimari scout vessel. The kind he’d once seen as a child over 60 years ago. It wasn’t a new model, but a classic. He’d dreamed about owning a ship like it and fixing it up.

He wanted to buy it. He had the money but no place to put it. He would need to have a launch pad installed. He could build it. He was handy and it would be another hobby of sorts.

***

With the shutdown of Tatooine’s government, the Mayor’s hours had grown long. No government employee was allowed to work, but he didn’t care. This was his city. He wasn’t going to let it fall apart just because some out-of-touch politicians couldn’t agree on evaporator regulations or blaster control.

Early in the morning the phone rang.

“Grrrrrrrrgumf?” The Mayor answered.

“Grrrrrruuug Guuurggmmf!”

He slammed down the phone and ran out of the building. There was a disturbance of the peace, and he wasn’t going to let it slide.

***

Galen was laying down some of the thermo tiles for his launch pad. These were supposed to hold up under the extreme heat from the engines of even a mid-sized spacecraft.

*SHMACK*

Part of the fencing near the front of his compound shook then slammed to the ground. A giant bear charged through the opening. Growling and roaring. Saliva falling from it’s mouth like booze being thrown in a bar fight.

As the Mayor charged, he raised a blaster rifle from his coat. Then, becoming fully erect, pulled a rocketed projectile launcher from his fur.

*BANG* *BLAM* *BANG*

All three shots hit Galen. It burned. The blaster had scorched his chest and throat, and the rocket had removed his legs from his torso.

As he lay there, he imagined he was flying in is scout ship. Cruising through the galaxy, impressing those who had told him he was worthless. Galen could feel a tickling sensation in his stomach. It must have been the sand shrimp he had for dinner.

***

The young man and woman looked down through the window into their neighbor’s yard. A large bear was rummaging it’s nose inside the ribcage of their obnoxious neighbor.

“I’m glad I called the Mayor” the young woman said as she rested her head upon the man’s shoulder.

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