Ronald Potter And The Gamorrean From Coruscant: Ronald Potter Year 2

Ronald's second year at the Jedi Temple. He finally survived his first year, leaving him to think his second year would be a breeze. He couldn't be more wrong. Ronald feels like he's drifting away from his friends, and it only makes matters worse when Ronald discovers he's not the extraordinary pilot he thought he was. When the school bullies take Ronald under their wing, he decides they aren't so bad...or are they? This year, Ronald will have to survive another encounter with Darth Vadermort, alien poetry tests, menacing robots, cyberbullies, more lightsaber battles, and worst of all, his apparently traitorous crush, Annabeth.

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6. Ronald's Speech To Lackbar

It was the big day. Now educated on G.P.G.I.F.T.M.A.W., the Padawans were ready for their first takeoff.

Standing at the front, Mr. Maulpres said, "Today, you'll have your first turns in the Star Pilot Simulator. You simply have to navigate through a single system." He consulted his board. "First up: Ms. Skywalker."

Ronald Potter watched as Annabeth Skywalker climbed in and shut the door. A moment later, random sounds of engines, laser blasts, and explosions echoed around the classroom. This will be sweet!

Finally, Annabeth stepped out of the simulator, and back into view. "Excellent, Skywalker," said Mr. Maulpres. "20 out of 20--a perfect score. Next: Mr. Potter."

"Yes!" said Ronald, and stepped inside. Inside was a screen and array of buttons and levers. Oh, man! This'll be great! Let's see... Ronald began to toggle with the controls in order. Let's see...flip this...turn this...

The simulator didn't activate. Uh, and I think turn this? Push this in, turn these on? The simulator began to hiss. Ronald's heart lurched, and he blindly pushed two more buttons. Smoke began to rise from the machine, then lightning spurted from the top...and suddenly, an explosion ruptured the vehicle. The plug broke, and the simulator powered down entirely.

Ronald climbed out amid the smoke. "Um, I think this simulator is broken."

Mr. Maulpres scowled. "Hmph. Did you follow the start-up guidelines?"

"Yeah," Ronald replied. "Pretty much. I think."

"Hmph. Zero out of twenty points," Maulpres replied, and marked it.

As Ronald climbed out, Vernon Dudley turned and said, "Hey, Ron, that's a new high score for you, right?"

Ronald frowned.

So far, Starfighter Flight Training hadn't gone according to plan. And Ronald knew the incident totally wasn't his fault. It was already old and broken. A cable was loose, the vent was dusty, and the seat was stripped of worn-down cushions it once had. But nobody believed him because now it was destroyed for good, and besides Annabeth, no one would get their turn to fly until a new one was installed.

Afterwards, Ronald went on Facebook again, only to get more insults from Severus Umbridge and Vernon.

YODA: Which droid, like you more? RW-12 or P-3TO?

BILL R: Personally, I like P-3TO. He knows so much you can get him talking about anything.

  SEVERUS U: Too bad there isn't a way to shut him up. Where's his off-switch?

  VERNON D: Or better yet, where's the closest incinerator?

EEGAN R: I like RW-12; we see eye-to-eye. P-3TO isn't bad, though!

  ANNABETH S: I think RW-12 makes the CUTEST sounds.

  SEVERUS U: He sounds like a broken alarm clock waking up a baby. It's even worse when YOU talk.

  VERNON D: When she talks to RW-12, it sounds like a broken alarm clock waking up a baby!

  RONALD P: RW-12 has better things to say than YOU, Vernon.

  VERNON D: Ooh, looks like another baby woke up! Do you need a new diaper, Ron?

  SEVERUS U: Don't worry, Ronald, we'll help you find your pacifier.

Ronald got off after that.

***

It turned out they were already scheduled to get new simulators, so the simulator Ronald was in was already falling apart. He still didn't know how pushing a ton of buttons could break it. He re-read the G.P.G.I.F.T.M.A.W. and he was sure he entered them all in the right order. He decided to keep studying until he could show everyone he truly knew what he was doing.

He was also starting work on Librarian Lackbar's public speaking class. They all had a solo project where they stood and gave a how-to speech in front of the class. Lackbar said it was so they'd learn about speaking in public and working alone. Ronald had a good idea for his presentation; he planned to give a speech about meditating, another subject he was good at. He also planned to make a mini-comic to hand out afterwards, and check out the Jedi holcrons for more information about meditation, as he had done to learn more about the Sith in his first year.

In the meantime, he continued working for The Padawan Observer. In the first meeting, Tegan discussed the success of the school paper.

"The first issues of the school newspaper have done well, but I think we can do better," said Tegan. "Does anyone have ideas for how we can increase the number of readers for The Padawan Observer?"

"Ronald could draw more comics?" June suggested.

"More classified ads?" said Silva.

"Varied topics?" asked Pansy Lestrange.

"What if we printed it in full color?" Ronald suggested.

"More pictures?"

"Contests?"

"We could have a gossip column. Just for fun."

"Interviews with celebrity Jedi?"

"Write higher-quality articles?"

"Wait, doesn't every student already get a copy of the paper?" Ronald pointed out. "The high-schoolers do too."

"Good point," said Tegan. "Anyone have an idea for how we can get every student to pick up two copies?"

Ronald growled, and Pansy smirked at him.

***

It was finally time to give the speeches. Bill Reggan was fourth, right before Ronald.

"...and after you pull it through, slip it down through the knot! That's how you tie a tie by using the Force!" As he spoke, Bill Force-tied an orange tie he had brought to class with him.

Everyone applauded.

Librarian Lackbar was impressed. "Delightful! Very clever, Bill! Ronald, it's your turn next."

Ronald stepped up and eyed the audience, smiling awkwardly. "So, I'm going to give a speech, like, about how to meditate. So, um, the first step is to like, sit down, and, um..." As he spoke, Ronald consulted the notecards. Suddenly, he dropped them.

"Oops!" He bent over to pick them up. "So, you, like, feel the Force..." He picked up the cards one by one. "Oh, um, first make sure you're sitting comfortable. Uh." He could feel sweat secreting on his forehead as he continued, "And then, um, once your mind is cleared...oh, you need to clear your mind, uh..."

All the Padawans looked at him disapprovingly. Only Ammon and Annabeth looked confused, and not upset.

Ronald held four cards in his hand as he said, "Um, so clear your mind, and, like, meditate, and, um...keep doing it. Um...Can't read this one..." He paused and looked at the audience with wide eyes, feeling half-stunned. "Um, thank you."

There was a smattering of polite applause from everyone except Pansy and Vernon.

"Oh, and I made these to hand out to everyone."

"Thank you, Ronald," said Lackbar. "We'll all have to meditate on your speech, I think!"

Ronald frowned. Can I sit down yet?

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