Chapter 4
The Journey Begins

What now?  Where do I start?  

It occurred to me that since the ship was Alderaanian, that Kimm might be as well.  You never know what planet a human might be from.  They all look alike.

I should have sought out repairs for the Knight Errant, but Gareb’s funeral had meant more to me than fixing a ship.  He deserved that much.

I took off in the damaged Knight Errant, and set course for Alderaan.

Certainly, I had been a fool for not repairing the ship.  The two-week trip was filled with constant alertness to the engines and the hull.  I used everything available to keep the ship together.

Finally, I made it to Alderaan.  The planet was beautiful from space.  I had heard about their peaceful ways, and admired them.

A red light flashed on the dash of the Knight Errant.  I had a coolant leak.  The temperature of the main propulsion drive was escalating.

Pretty soon, a shower of sparks erupted from the engine room.  I was never given the chance to see if I could make repairs, since I had to pilot the ship as well.

The ship rocked and shuddered, and I knew that I was going down.

I was losing directional control fast.  I had only a short time to set my course and find someplace to land, preferably someplace soft.

I came into the atmosphere of the planet with lightning speed.  The atmosphere burned against the hull, which was not at a proper angle to land.  

A voice came over the comm unit.  

“Alderaanian Control to unidentified ship.  We see that you are in danger and a rescue team is on the way.  Please respond.”

“Graowrrorhraaan!”

“What the!?  A wookiee?  Great.  Okay fella, listen up.  We’ve got airspeeders en route to try to ease your descent.  In the meantime, can you get your nose up?”

I barked out a negative, and fought against the ship as she plummeted to the planet.  I was going to die, along with the ship and Master Kimm’s journal.

“I want you to try something to slow your descent until the airspeeders arrive.  Turn on your lower thrusters, just like you were going to land.”

I knew that the maneuver he proposed would likely tear the ship apart, but it was better than being dead.  

I kicked the thrusters on, and I could feel the vibrations throughout the ship.  I bumped my head on the ceiling of the cockpit and blood trickled into my eyes.  

“Unidentified ship, ETA on airspeeders is one minute.  Repeat, ETA on airspeeders is one minute.”

I would be dead in a minute.  Desperately, I tried to steady the ship.  Looking out the window and checking my sensors, I noticed a large lake.  

Going on a hunch, I turned the thrusters off, and killed my engines.  I was going to glide the ship down.  I used the thrusters sparingly to steady the ship.  Winds buffeted all around, and it was nearly impossible to keep the ship steady, let alone try to land her.  The lake sat in a mountain valley.  The area was sparsely populated, for which I was grateful.  

As I came crashing down, I ignited my forward lower thrusters and pulled up on the controls.  I followed that by kicking in the sub-light engines.  

The effect was all that I desired, as the nose of the ship came up and the engines pushed me forward to a water landing.

An explosion erupted from behind me throwing me forward into the plexiglas of the cockpit.  The plexiglass exploded all around, and I could feel blood and water washing all over me.  I felt lightheaded, as everything went to black.