The infamous Cantina on the spaceport Mos Eisley is known for space pirates and the like. The comic ‘Mostly Automatic’ is based in the cantina. It was first published in Star Wars Galaxy Magazine # 3. The creative team includes:
Story by: Bruce Jones
Art by: Bret Blevins
Lettering by: Michael Taylor
Coloring by: Perry McNamee
Editing by: Peet Janes
Bezzem is holding a drink and trying to find a place to sit in the overcrowded cantina. He sees an empty chair next to an old man (Tem Chesko). He asks Chesko if he can sit on it. The old man says yes.
They start a friendly conversation. Tem Chesko says that he is a 90 years old cargo jockey. He points outside the window to his spacecraft and tells Bezzem that he just arrived in that ship. He also tells him that he is on the last leg of his last syntonium crystal haul.
Bezzem looks at it and says that it looks old. Chesko agrees and says that it’s 71 years old and it came from Cirus II. Bezzem asks him about how long did it take for him to get here in that. He calmly replies 71 years.
Bezzem chokes on his drink and says that his friend Greedo made the same journey in his ‘junk-heap’ of a ship in less than five cycles. Chesko asks him to relax and tells him that he has spent almost all his life on that spacecraft. He tells him the story of his life.
He tells Bezzem about how it all began almost a century ago. It started in the crystal docks of Cirus II, when Chesko was 22 years old. A mine operator loads the ship with cargo. The ship is supposed to deliver the cargo and return in two weeks time. Chesko is the space pilot; he thinks that it would be an easy relaxing two-week run.
He couldn’t have been more wrong. On his trip he gets hit by an asteroid. The ship is severely damaged but still operational. The accident causes the hyperdrive and the comlink to fail. Chesko tries to calculate the distance to the nearest service planet.
The nearest service planet turns out to be ten parsecs and more than sixty years away! He is desperate. He thinks of his girlfriend and starts crying.
Later on he puts the ship on automatic and deliberately goes out of his mind. The first few years are a little easier but then he runs out of doze tablets. He goes crazy. By his thirtieth birthday he is completely insane.
Then one day he discovers a ‘in case of emergency break glass’ sign in the cargo hold. He breaks the glass and finds a service droid!
He is overjoyed to see her. Her name is MILL–247–EE. He switches on her steel heart and starts talking to her. He starts calling her Millie. She cleans up the ship and helps him return to normal.
Chesko and Millie get into a routine together. Life seems much easier on him now because he’s found a mate. She does all his chores. She plays games with him, prepares food him and even wakes him up in the morning. One day they fly close to an uninhabited planet. They decide to stop for a while.
Tem Chesko is delighted to be out of the ship and on a planet. He takes his gun and starts walking around. He sees wild life. He sees birds and trees. All of a sudden a green monster comes out of nowhere and grabs Chesko. He tells Millie to run; instead of running she kills the monster and saves Chesko’s life.
The begin their journey on the ship again. As the years pass by they get very fond of each other. Chesko still keeps thinking of his girlfriend. Millie gets jealous and lands the ship on another planet. When Chesko wakes up he finds her sitting by a pool wanting to commit suicide.
He tells her that she means more to him than any other woman he’s ever known and that she would always be there in his heart.
Life returns back to normal. They continue on their journey again. The years pass by; when Chesko turns 61 he starts having heart problems. Millie takes very good care of him. She never ages or gets tired. Decades go by and Chesko turns eighty six. Millie bakes a cake for him and wishes him happy birthday.
Chesko is bed ridden. He hands her a laser knife and asks her to kill him and continue on with the mission……
Chesko’s mind returns to the cantina. Bezzem looks completely baffled. He asks Chesko that how did he make it to Tatooine and what happened to Millie. He opens his shirt and says that she is right there in his heart. Millie had saved Chesko’s life by replacing his worn out heart with her steel heart!