‘Star Wars: Outbound Flight’ – Chapter 14 (Part 9)

Friday.  Well, we ended up waking up pretty early this morning, and it was entirely my fault!  For some reason, my allergies went insane at about five this morning (we would find out why later).  I ended up waking up in a sneezing fit and had to grab the box of Kleenex.  Well, I sneezed so much I ended up waking up everyone in the room; everyone except Charles who was already up for some odd particular reason.  Charles said he was going to take a shower and then go over and get in line for the Con.  He did that and the rest of us tried to get some more sleep.  We all ended up in line by seven o’clock in the morning for Pre-Registration when the line opened.  We were about the second or third group in line and were able to walk right in and get our tickets.  I would like to point out that Charles, Jeff, and Karen all crawled under the pylons to get to the ticket booths.  Not me, I was the man of patience and I walked all the way through the “maze” so there was no mass chaos behind me ;).  We got our tickets and some free-bees and then headed back to our hotel room.  On our way back, we decided to stop at the front desk to see if Charles’ vest for his costume had arrived and sure enough, it was there!  As soon as we got back, I took a little nap while Charles and Jeff insisted upon “kitting up” (that’s costume talk for suiting up).  They all got ready to go and I took about a fifteen minute snooze.  I then got up and got into costume myself.  Ironically, I somehow got myself together faster than Charles and Jeff and ended up in the hall before the three others.  I no more than closed the door behind me till I ran into a fellow custom Mando who wanted to take a picture with me.  Man, I KNEW this was going to be an awesome day!

Once Charles and Jeff got together, the three of us headed downstairs.  Karen said she had a lot to do to get her costume together and a her friend named “Xian” said she would help her out, so Karen would be heading up to their room.  So, the three of us set out on our own.  We had a blast in that first hour.  We tried to find the 501st and Dented Helmet tables to hang out near, but it was so crowded it was hard to get anywhere near those tables.  Not only that, but everything was “pic happy” now.  It was only about ten o’clock or so, but everywhere we turned people were asking if they could take their picture with us.  Man, we began to understand what “celebrity status” does to your ability to socialize with others.  I couldn’t see or hear anything even with the amplifiers in my helmet, so we all just kind of followed each other’s lead.  We were downstairs for about an hour and then ran into some problems with new costumes (Jeff and Charles’ costumes mainly).  So, we decided to head up to the room and fix the problems we were having with the costumes.  Well, Jeff’s problem wasn’t much of a problem and Charles was able to adjust some things rather quickly.  While we were there, I asked if we could adjust my cod piece as it seemed like it was falling off.  Sure enough, I have lost enough weight over this summer that my cod piece wasn’t fitting properly.  So, we decided to adjust the cod piece so it was tighter.  As we pulled on the piece to pull it tighter, the Sintra snapped into two pieces.  CRAP!!!  So, we decided we needed to PVC glue the two pieces together and then secure them in place with a pop rivet. We got that done which took us about twenty minutes and then I tried to put on the other side of the codpiece and the same thing happened again!  DOUBLE CRAP!!!  So, we adjusted the other side the same way.  Ultimately, we took off about one to two inched off my codpiece and it now fits just about right.

Well, by the time we got done with all of our repairs in the hotel room, Karen joined us and we needed to head downstairs for the grand entrance of the Mandalorian Mercs into Dragon Con.  We hoped it would be a big deal, but somehow it really wasn’t.  But, it was cool to walk alongside that many custom Mandalorians.  We all gathered at the Mezzanine Level and then walked down the stairs together to the Lower Level.  Unfortunately, the crowd didn’t want to cooperate with us and some people ended up between us all.  It was a great attempt, however.  After that, we all broke off and went in our own separate ways.  We trooped till about one o’clock and then the four of us decided to head up to the room “de-kit” and get some lunch.  We ate some of the food my wife and I bought and decided now would be a good time to get into civilian clothes and find the Dealer Tables.  We headed out and asked some people where the Dealer Tables were and were able to find them.  As we headed downstairs to the dealer rooms, I told everyone we could split up, but to stay in the room we were in.  Ironically, the room that I thought was split into four was really all ONE BIG ROOM!  There were so many dealers it was almost totally overwhelming.  I could have spent two days in that room alone!!  It was awesome!!  We spent about two hours in that dealer room till we had to leave.

In the meantime, I had been trying to figure out what was going on with my debit card.  Sure enough, I only had $25 accessible on the card.  It was a good thing that I had a couple hundred dollars in cash on me, or I would have been screwed!  I called Heather while in the dealer room to try and discuss the situation and she half cared about the situation and half didn’t care thinking that if I had access to less money, I would just spend less money.  Thanks dear, you left me in a lurch; was my reaction to this situation.  I was mad because she promised me that if I worked all summer I could use all the money at the Con.  Obviously she lied to me!  Anyway, I got a lanyard to keep my Dragon Con pass on and of course I got a Star Wars lanyard!  We got done and headed out for the Mando Mercs dinner.

We met up with the Mercs that night around five o’clock or so and then headed out to find the pub that we had set aside for our Mercs dinner.  It was awesome to meet up with and then hang out with all these people that we have been hanging out with on the boards and knew only by name.  Now I was able to put a face alongside many of those names.  We went to some small pub in Atlanta not too far from the hotels and we had a BLAST at the dinner.  We met “Jardon” and well, it was all downhill from there!  The dinner was very good and the company was even better.  We got done with the Mando Mercs dinner and got back to the room.  Charles and Jeff kidded around about wanting to “kit up” but I convinced them not to and we decided to try and get over to the Dealer’s Tables while they were still open.  Well, the Dealer’s Tables were closed early (something that seemed to be a theme acrossed the weekend), so we goofed around at the Hilton for a while and then came back to our hotel and hung out in the lounge for an extended period of time and then came back to the room and got ready for tomorrow.  We decided to head to bed by about midnight because we knew tomorrow was going to be a HUGE day, starting with the parade in the morning.
Okay, so a long day followed by a discussion of Part 9 of Chapter 14 of “Star Wars:  Outbound Flight” by Timothy Zahn…..

Chapter 14 (Part 9):  After several minutes of silence, C’Baoth told Kenobi that he should not have argued with him in front of the civilians.  Obi-Wan countered by saying that antagonising civilians is also against the Jedi Code, especially when you try to take their kid in the middle of the night.  Then Obi-Wan points out that by keeping people in fear, he’s breaking the Jedi Code about not ruling over others.  C’Baoth argued that they’ve argued over this earlier, but that he believes that this Jedi Code is centuries old and out-dated.  Kenobi said that seeking power is a path to The Dark Side, and C’Baoth questioned whether that’s true.  He pointed out that they would never know that path unless they were given the chance.  Kenobi said that the Code tells them they are here to guide but not rule.  C’Baoth said that rules and regulations simply dictate rules over the others that are there.  Kenobi countered saying this was playing on semantics.  Then C’Baoth points out that anything they do to seek personal gain is a path to the Dark Side, but if they give guidance, that guidance is based on personal gain.  C’Baoth then states that he thinks Yoda and Windu could run The Republic more effeciently than Palpatine ever has!  Obi-Wan agrees, saying that this would be true if they could avoid the temptation of The Dark Side.  C’Baoth points out that they are always resisting the temptation and Kenobi says that all of this is risking chaos.  C’Baoth said the chaos will be minimal in the long run and points out that all the people in Outbound Flight are involved in the project because they’re upset over the corruption they see in other worlds.  Obi-Wan tells C’Baoth that he’s surprised that a fellow Master no longer believes in The Code.  C’Baoth says he believes in The Code, but believes is is misinterpreted.  He tells Obi-Wan to meditate on these questions tonight as he, himself will.  Kenobi asks if he can join the meeting tomorrow, but C’Baoth denies his request and tells him he has other duties to attend to tomorrow, so he best get his sleep…..

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