Enter Mr. Alexander
(16 years before Star Wars: A New Hope)
The next few weeks, I began training on how to work on a speeder. While I’m a good all-around mechanic, I learned all the specifics to working on a speeder.
Cade and I worked well together. He was a good teacher, and we became good friends. He had a back room in the shop that became my new home. He took the rent out of my paycheck. In return, I got the shop ready for opening in the morning, and cleaned up after we closed.
Cassie was another matter entirely. She was enamored with her “big teddy bear” friend, and came around to ask many questions, although she didn’t understand Shyriiwook.
“Do all wookiees have brown hair? What is Kashyyyk like? Are there smaller Teddy Bears there?”
I tried to seem fierce around her so that I could do my work, but she saw right through my ruse. I eventually gave up, and went on to answer her questions.
Eventually, I would see Cassie as sort of a niece. Certainly, I had found a peaceful place to call home.
One day, a man walked in the door. He seemed to be a bit out of place. Mind you, you see all types in a speeder shop, but this man was different still.
He stood very tall, was thin and muscular, and had silvery-blonde hair. He had the stench of arrogance and money about him that even a human could smell.
Cade looked over at the gentleman and asked, “Can I help you?”
“I’m just looking around, thank you,” the gentleman said. He began looking around the shop.
There was something about him I couldn’t identify. Perhaps it was just paranoia or just a suspicion. This man wanted more than a speeder, and he wasn’t the most truthful individual.
He looked around for about 20 minutes, and I could tell Cade was getting a bit suspicious.
“Sir, you’ve been looking for quite a while. Is there anything I could interest you in?” Cade asked.
“Tell me, Mr. Frevlin, have you ever worked on racing speeders?” the gentleman asked.
“Racing speeders? I work on all types of speeders, but there are specialty shops for racing speeders. I would be happy to work on one for you, but I would think that a specialty shop would be able to assist you better.”
“I’m not looking to repair a racing speeder,” the man said.
“Well,” Cade said, “if you aren’t here to have your speeder fixed, and I doubt you’re here to buy one of my speeders, what exactly do you want?”
“I want you to build a speeder. A racing speeder, to be exact. I need to have it ready for the Corellian Inferno next spring.”
Later, Cade would tell me that the Corellian Inferno was a prominent speeder race held every spring.
“Sir, I have never designed a professional speeder before. I’ve worked on a few back in my youth, but that was all,” Cade was flushed with nervousness at this point. Sweat dripped from his forehead.
The man stood tall, and walked over to Cade, looking down his nose at him. “I’ve heard about your repair work back in the racing days, and have seen the quality of your shop. Trust me, Mr. Frevlin, I’ve done my homework on you. You are the man for the job. I would be willing to pay, say, 100,000 for your services for the next year.”
Cade was ecstatic, I could tell. Pride was beaming off of his face. Cassie was hopping up and down with excitement.
“Daddy, are we going to build a racing bike?” she said.
Cade looked down at his daughter. “It appears so, honey.”
The gentleman smiled. “Very good, then. My name is Mr. Alexander. I shall leave my business card with you. I want you to call me weekly with your progress. Bill the cost of all parts to me. I shall be in touch, Mr. Frevlin.”
With that, he turned around, and walked out of the door.
Cade and Cassie cheered with glee, and began dancing around the shop.
I didn’t join in on their celebration. I looked out the window at the gentleman, and watched him walk off.
Something was terribly wrong here…