Lisa took a deep breath, trying to control the urge to either tear her hair out by the roots or vaporize the men that milled around her. Who would have thought being surrounded by so many handsome pilots would be a chore instead of a fantasy turned reality? But instead of being fawned over by the gorgeous beings that lounged near their transports, they were asking Lisa annoying questions, griping about petty inconveniences, and trying to slip into Vegas without their escorts.
Why did I agree to become an ambassador? What bit of insanity spurred me into saying "yes?" I was in my right mind sometime during my life. What happened to me?
"Excuse me," The speaker is a blond farm boy that Lisa didn't recognize from any of the Rogue Squadron comic books. She THOUGHT his name might be Garvin or Gavin or something that started with a G. She silenced him with a glare that set him scurrying back to his transport, ready to return to inviting wastes of Tattooine.
The fact that Tattoine truly existed still amazed Lisa. Who would have thought that the movies were, as a whole, based on fact? Thousands of light years away, there really had been a civil war between the Empire and the Alliance.
And that was the reason why Lisa had agreed to become an ambassador. After spending so many years watching the movies, she hadn't been able to pass up the chance to meet the characters that had inspired the holy Trilogy.
By some strange twist of the Force or luck, a pilot (as expected, Rogue Squadron was involved) had flown into a wormhole that led to Earth. When his squadron-mates followed, they were amazed by the beautiful azure sphere that had filled the viewports of their snubfighters.
The Rogues returned to the fleet with reports of a new world. Or more correctly a new galaxy. Envoys were quickly dispatched to Earth and treaties were secretly ratified. As part of the agreements between the Republic and Earth, certain individuals would be able to travel between the galaxies, strengthening relations between the differing governments and affirming the sincerity of each party's promises. This clause in the treaty meant that envoys and hosts would be needed to travel between the galaxies and to help acclimate the Alliance's ambassador's to Earth customs.
But who would be the needed hosts and envoys?
It seemed that a few individuals, including a certain creator of science fiction movies, had slipped through smaller wormholes, to visit the galaxy far, far away. Since the movies and books were such accurate guides to the customs of the Alliance's universe, the fans of the Trilogy were quickly recruited.
Lisa was still amazed that the obsession her family and friends had teased her mercilessly about had resulted in such a perfect career. Who would have thought spending so much time at the conventions, memorizing the ever-growing collection of SW books, and devouring every scrap of Star Wars trivia present on the Internet would lead to becoming a liaison between Earth and the Alliance?
Since Lisa was well known on the convention scene, she had been chosen as both ambassador and as a recruitment officer. She would find individuals that seemed to have the knowledge and temperament to deal with the strange situations presented by the unusual duties entailed in introducing their visitors to Earth culture. And their respective governments would run the needed background checks to ensure that the person was not a liability to public relations.
After a year of hurried negotiations, all the diplomatic wrinkles were finally ironed out. Travel between Earth and the galaxy now labeled "THX" was more to keep diplomatic relations friendly. Since Rogue Squadron had discovered the wormhole, they were allowed to have downtime on Earth to explore the planet they were referring to as "theirs." As on the planets in their galaxy, the Rogues were paraded around as great heroes, going to one boring diplomatic function after another. Finally tiring of the routine (or more accurately, tiring of having to constantly wear dress uniforms) the Rogues demanded a more leisurely visit to Earth.
Which was why Lisa was surrounded by two squadrons' worth of pilots. By the time various government officials had finished having hysterics over the idea of letting the Rogues loose on the unsuspecting population of Earth, Wedge Antilles was commanding two squadrons that were distinctly HIS: Rogue Squadron and Wraith Squadron. Somehow, the General managed to convince the Powers That Be that despite Rogue Squadron being the official discoverers of Earth, the two squadrons were so closely connected that they were one unit. Somehow the argument worked, and the Wraiths were given the same holiday granted to the Rogues.
Thank you, Wedge Antilles. Lisa thought sourly. As if dealing with one squadron's worth of your misfits wasn't bad enough, you had to gift me with two!
Lisa had been given a week's notice of the Squadrons arrival; forcing her to scramble to find a special group of tour guides fit for the challenge of spending Spring Break with the Rogues and Wraiths. Most of the fans Lisa had recruited only wanted to deal with Jedi, making task of finding a group of X-wing experts at such short notice nearly impossible.
But the Force had been with her. She had somehow found the needed tour guides before the first transport landed. Saving Lisa from having to entertain any of the pilots during the entire duration of their stay in Las Vegas. Thank the Force that Erin knew so many Rogue Squadron fans. If I had had to play nursemaid to these egomaniacs, I would've started an intragalaxtic war.
Erin…Lisa sighed at the thought of her sister by friendship. A year younger than Lisa physically, it seemed that she was twice her age mentally. Looking over the edge of her clipboard, she watched Erin sulk in the shadow of the airport-turned-space station.
The last few months had been harsh for Erin. College life was nearing an end and her professors seemed to be taking grim enjoyment from loading the graduating class with more work than the sadistic teachers could ever possibly grade. Erin had absolutely no idea what to do with her life once she received her diploma. Despite her impressive test scores, no company had responded to her resumes and applications. While Erin's academic life attempted to suffocate her, a string of uncaring boyfriends had steadily eroded away her precious self-esteem. Lisa knew that Erin was nearing her breaking point and she was going to try everything possible to keep Erin from letting her despair get the better of her.
Looks like I'm going to have to drag her into the fray. Lisa walked over to her friend, waiting until she was almost standing nose to nose with her before speaking. "Erin."
The young woman looked up, gray eyes wide with surprise as if she hadn't
realized that anyone was nearby. Surrounded by the heroes she adores and
she doesn't even blink. She NEEDS to be shocked out of this melancholy.
A wicked grin crossed Lisa's face. She knew the perfect companion for
Erin…or more correctly the perfect companions to get through Erin's despair.
Continued in Part Two