Wes caught the brown-haired girl before she hit the ground. "What did she mean, she ‘knew’ it? How do you know our names?"
Claire stared suspiciously at Wedge. "Right. You’re the Great One."
Hobbie snickered as Wedge’s face turned bright red. Mar’E stepped forward and poked the blond Rogue in the chest. "Shut up, you. You’d better have a darn good explanation for messing around with my car and freaking us out." She gestured toward Antigone, still unconscious in Wes’ arms. "She’s already convinced that Star Wars is real, she’ll never give it up now."
"I’m sorry," Wedge apologized, pulling out his ID out of the pocket of his trousers. "That’s really my name. This is Tycho Celchu, Derek Klivian, and Wes Janson." At Wedge’s prompting, the other pilots handed their identicards to the angry young women; all but Wes, who had his hands full.
The three girls retreated a few steps and conferred while the Rogues waited anxiously.
"The Great One?" Wedge whispered. "Do people really call me that?"
"Only the ladies, boss," Wes offered, looking down at the young woman in his arms. Antigone was beginning to wake up and suddenly realized where she was. Wes grinned down at her startled face. "Good morning, sunshine."
She blushed prettily. "’Scuse me," she mumbled sheepishly, then slipped away from him and scurried behind the other girls to join their discussion. Combing their knowledge, they came up with a question that only a real SW person, or a real SW fanatic, would know. Either way, they figured, if the guys answered correctly they were people worth knowing.
Claire stepped forward. "On Hoth, what was the name of the senior logistics officer?"
"Tigran Jamiro," Tycho answered confidently. "Everyone had to report to him when we came back from patrol."
The four women looked at each other, their self-satisfied expressions disappearing. Wedge spoke up. "Now answer a question for us. Where are we, and why don’t you think we’re real?"
"That’s two questions," Claire retorted distractedly, trying to wrap her mind around the fact that these were the real Rogues. She gave up and answered Wedge’s question.
"You’re on Earth, in the Sol system. We thought you were just characters in a story." She and Mar’E explained the myth of Star Wars to the incredulous men, careful not to give away anything in their futures, especially anything involving brainless blue-skinned aliens. Antigone and Elizabeth hid nervously behind their fellow Wedge worshippers, unable to believe their good fortune.
"But we’ve never heard of this world, or this system. How could you possibly know all of this?" Wedge asked when the dissertation was over.
"Well, if you’ve never heard of Earth, how did you get here?" Mar’E countered.
"Not that we aren’t really glad to meet you," Claire added. "You’re muchly better-looking than the actors that played you. Well, except you," she nodded at Tycho, "’cause you weren’t in the movies." The other three Rogues burst into laughter at Tycho’s indignant look.
"Who played me?" Wes wanted to know. "Someone short, dark and handsome.. but not as unbearably gorgeous as me?"
"Nah," Mar’E snickered, "He was kinda round." It was Wes’ turn to look annoyed. She grinned evily, then continued, "but you’ll have to ask Antigone here, she’s the Janson specialist."
The men turned toward the flustered girl as she struggled for something intelligent to say. "Eep." Antigone glared at Mar’E.
Elizabeth leaned over to her friend. "You are so dead," she warned, amusement on her face.
Hobbie stepped closer to Mar’E. "Don’t worry, rescuing damsels in distress is my specialty."
A chorus of groans followed his gallant declaration. "Does that line ever work for you, bugbite?" Claire asked. Hobbie’s face fell into it’s usual mournful lines.
"I didn’t think you’d know about that," he sighed. Mar’E patted his arm reassuringly.
"It’s OK; I thought you looked cute in that comic." She was rewarded with an almost-cheerful smile from the blond pilot.
Wedge shook his head in amusement, then sighed. "We don’t know how we got here. We aren’t needed on base right away, but we’d like to know how to go home, if that’s possible."
The four girls looked perplexed. Finally Mar’E spoke up. "Do you suppose if we called George Lucas, he’d know how to send the guys home?" They mulled over that idea for a moment, before Elizabeth pointed out it’s flaw.
"We’d never get ahold of him. They won’t just put callers through to his office, and if we said we’re standing here with Rogue Squadron..." The other three shuddered at the thought. "If we knew how they got here in the first place..."
Antigone finally spoke up. "We could ask the oracle."
"The oracle?" Tycho sounded dubious. "What’s that?"
The three girls looked uncertainly at Antigone. "Do you think it would work?" Claire wondered. "It’s not a real fortune teller."
"Well," the girl answered quietly, "until a few minutes ago, they weren’t real. Maybe it’s worth a shot."
The others nodded. Wedge clapped his hands together. "Alright, Rogues. Follow the ladies and do whatever they tell you."
"Whatever we tell you?" Claire asked, a sly grin on her face. Wedge blushed as she looked him up and down.
"Well, within reason," he amended, prompting a dissapointed sigh from Wes and Hobbie. "So where’s this oracle?"
"In the park," Mar’E pointed, hooking her arm though Hobbie’s. They could just barely see the monorail tracks and hear the screams from the Tower of Terror.
Claire exuberantly threw her arms wide, earning a smile from Wedge. "Gentlemen, welcome to Walt Disney World. The happiest place on Earth." She grabbed Elizabeths arm and hauled her into step between Wedge and Tycho, leading the group toward the tram. Wes fell into step beside Antigone.
"So," he grinned, "you’re a ‘Janson specialist.’ I’m flattered." He slipped his arm around the disconcerted girl.
Continued in Part Three