12-Parsecs

“Han Solo. I’m captain of the Millennium Falcon. Chewie here tells me you’re looking for passage to the Alderaan system.”

“Yes, indeed. If it’s a fast ship.”

“Fast ship? You’ve never heard of the Millennium Falcon?”

“Should I have?”

“It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.”

“Twelve parsecs, you say? That’s umm… that’s pretty fast, Mr. Solo.”

Pretty fast? We’re talkin’ some serious speed here. I’ve outrun Imper… Hey! Are you laughing at me, old man?”

“Who, me? Oh no, Mr. Solo. Not at all. It’s just I’ve been laboring for years under the delusion that a parsec is a unit of distance, that’s all.”

“Are you callin’ me a liar, grandpa? Because if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s…”

[Wookie babble]

“Who invited you to the conversation?”

[Wookie babble]

“What? You’re taking his side now?”

“I think your first mate has a point, Mr. Solo. You cannot use the distance between one specific star and a random astronomical object with a parallax angle of one arcsecond as justification for the speed of a vehicle, intergalactic or otherwise.”

“What? Is everyone a physics professor now? Look, pops—Kessel’s next-door to a cluster of black holes, okay? You know what a black hole is, right?”

“I believe so, yes.”

“Well I…”

[Wookie grunt]

“…we were able to calibrate the Falcon’s navigation computers to pilot close enough to the black hole’s space-time compaction to cut the distance of the trip down to twelve parsecs. Thirty eight point eight two four light-years, to be exact. So technically, yes, we made the Kessel Run in under twelve parsecs, okay?”

“And this proves your ship is fast?”

“Damn right, it does.”

“I would say it proves your ship’s navigation computer processors are fast…”

“Look, buddy, I’m not going to debate propulsion and aerodynamics with you.”

“Why would you? Space travel is in a vacuum.”

“All right, smartass. Explain how I can hear spaceship engines and lasers and explosions not only through the vacuum of space, but through a damn foot-thick hull?”

“…That’s an excellent point, actually. You’re hired. We can pay you two thousand now, plus fifteen when we reach Alderaan.”

“Forget it, old man. I can barely stand three minutes in your company, let alone the fifty seven parsecs it’ll take to get to Alderaan. Come on, Chewie. Let’s see if UNICEF has any more smuggling jobs.”

12 Parsecs at Tshirtbordello