"Oh, no!" Elizabeth exclaimed, clapping her palm to her forehead. "We forgot about tickets. They are so not going to let the guys in."
Mar'E cast a surreptitious glance at the pilots and Antigone, who was starting to lose that deer-in-headlights look. "We can't leave them out here alone."
Claire followed her gaze and smiled. "We could leave her out here with them. Ooh, better yet, let's tell them about the smut, then leave her out here."
At the sound of their laughter, Antigone looked up and eyed them warily. Walking over to them, she sighed. "Please don't plot against me. I've got enough problems."
"Wes?" Mar'E guessed.
"He's waaay more amorous than I thought he'd be. I knew he was a ladies man, but frick! He's like Lando on speed."
"We've got bigger problems than your hairy little hornball. They have no tickets."
"Oh, that's easy."
"Of course it is, hon." Elizabeth rolled her eyes.
The other girls stared as if waiting for the punch line. Finally Claire spoke. "OK, you just earned baby-sitting duty, 'cause you're completely insane."
Antigone shrugged. "The laws of reality have been suspended so far, why can't this work?"
"'Cause we aren't Jedi," Mar'E explained patiently.
"Pshaw," Antigone waved the objection away. "Hey, it's our turn next. Go keep the menfolks occupied while I work my magic."
Mar'E grinned, then twirled her finger around her left ear to indicate complete insanity and stepped back to the Rogues. Claire threw her arm around Wedge's shoulder and said something that made his jaw drop open and Elizabeth turn red.
"Tickets, please." Antigone smiled and handed the four park-hopper passes to the friendly man wearing mouse ears. He looked at her, puzzled. "There are seven of you."
With a wave of her hand, she intoned, "You don't need to see their tickets."
The man frowned, then remembered himself and put on a happy face. "I think you've seen too much Star Wars."
"Uh, ummm..." Panicking, Antigone looked around her. Directly in front was a laughing group of teenagers. One of them absently shoved some 5-day passes into his pocket. When the attendant looked away, Antigone deftly retrieved them and slid four through the slot.
"Sorry," she smiled sweetly at the man, "bad joke."
"That's OK. You kids have a good time." He handed the tickets back and waved the group through.
Elizabeth beamed. "It worked? Of course it did! I knew it would!"
"Not exactly," Antigone muttered, looking around for her unwitting benefactor. She sidled up to him and returned the tickets to their rightful place.
"You stole them?" Mar'E hissed, disbelieving.
"No, I borrowed them. There's a subtle difference."
Once on the monorail, the girls handed a map over to Wedge. "Which way is the oracle?" asked Tycho, peering over the commander's shoulder.
"It's in the Magic Kingdom," Claire replied.
Hobbie snorted. "Magic Kingdom? Happiest Place on Earth? Mouse ears? What is this place?" The monorail flew over the tracks, giving the Rogues a great view of the parks.
"Don't forget Pixie Dust," Mar'E added. "Or wishing on a star."
Elizabeth frowned as an idea began to form in the back of her mind, then it was gone.
"Son of a hutt!" Wedge leapt to his feet and reached for the blaster he wasn't wearing. The others crowded around to see what he was pointing at. As the train neared the MGM stop, an AT-AT walker was poised ominously on the ground.
"Oh, that," Mar'E laughed. "That's the entrance to Star Tours. It's a ride based on... well, on you." The pilots looked dumfounded. "We said you were popular," she reminded them.
"Actually, I think farmboy is the main character," Elizabeth corrected.
"Farmboy?" Wedge frowned, then laughed "Oh, you mean Luke. What does the ride do?"
The ladies exchanged looks. "It's easier to show than to tell," Claire said.
- - - - - -
"You've never heard of inertial compensators?" Wedge wanted to know.
"Sorry," Elizabeth muttered for the twelfth time.
They stood outside the men's restroom; well, five of them did, anyway. Hobbie was inside with his head in a toilet, and Mar'E had run to the nearest snack stand to get a 7-UP, hoping it would settle his tummy.
"So that's not what flying is like?" Antigone asked. Wedge and Wes shook their heads vigorously. Tycho, seated on a bench with his head in his hands, moaned quietly.
Mar'E returned , a worried expression on her face. "He's still not out?"
Right on cue, Hobbie stumbled out, moving as if he weren't sure that the ground had stopped moving. A chorus of voices greeted him.
"You OK, Hobbes?"
"Oh my god, I'm so sorry."
"Aren't you glad we didn't have breakfast?"
"Want to go again?" Wes withered under the collective glares of his companions. "It was a joke! Help!" He grabbed Antigone by the shoulders and thrust her in front of him. "Save me!"
Hobbie gratefully accepted the fizzy drink from Mar'E, then sat on the bench where Tycho had Claire on his lap. Wedge shook his head, amused at the rapport he and his pilots had with these strange Earth women. Hobbie seemed almost happy under the attentions of Mar'E, and Wedge was secretly pleased that Elizabeth seemed to get tongue-tied around him. Now, if Wes would just stop stalking Antigone like a wampa in heat, everyone might have a good time.
He stretched and looked up at the sun, wondering where in the galaxy he was. Probably in the Unknown Regions, and they'd never be found. They'd be listed AWOL. If they ever did get back, they'd be thrown in the brig for life. Oh, well. As Wes would say, they might as well enjoy it. He pointed to a large, ornate building to his left. "What's in there?"
"The Great Movie Ride," Claire replied. She turned to Hobbie and smirked. "It doesn't bounce."
Wedge smiled and took Elizabeth's hand, wondering if the poor girl woud spontaneously combust. "Look, if we're here, we ought to have some fun. If it's OK, we'd like to put off finding the oracle and just enjoy ourselves."
Tycho looked at his commander as if he'd suddenly sprouted another head while the girls subtly indicated their approval with gleeful cheers. Sighing, he stood and followed them toward the next disaster. - - - - - - -
Wes grinned. As far as he was concerned, they could stay on thrill rides all day. He got more attention from Antigone that way. She'd practically jumped into his lap when a huge, toothy alien jumped at her on the Great Movie Ride. And she'd held onto him for dear life on the Tower of Terror. She'd even smiled at him afterward. Then she'd scurried away.
A straw wrapper hit him in the face, and he threw it back at Mar'E. "Food fight, anyone?"
"NO!!" Well, then; 7 against 1. Wes shrugged and studied the map. They'd managed to avoid the lines and got through most of MGM in a couple of hours. Now they were seated in the Backlot Express for lunch.
"What's Epcot Center?" Tycho pointed to a section marked with a huge geodesic dome.
"It describes Earth," Claire explained. "There's the World Showcase, which depicts a few nations. Over here is Future World, which shows some recent scientific developments and plans for the future."
Wedge raised his eyebrows. "It sounds like a valuable learning tool."
Tycho nodded. "I bet the Alliance would be interested in this planet. We should take a look at that."
Claire nodded, then looked around the table at her companions. They presented a pretty odd tableau; four men who didn't exist and the women who were convinced that they did. What if it was all a figment of their diseased imaginations? What if the other patrons were carefully ignoring them as they talked to thin air? What if Mar'E was dropping grapes onto the floor instead of into Hobbie's mouth?
She chuckled and tossed a crumpled napkin at the pair. "Damn, we don't need to see that. If you're done feeding each other, we'd all like to go now."
They wandered toward the gate, past the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. Looking at the sign, Wedge remarked, "I just can't get over how much that guy looks like Han."
Mar'E broke away from Hobbie and gestured to the other WAASers. "Do you want to try another sleight-of-hand up here?" she asked Antigone.
The girl sighed and crossed her arms. "I'd rather try the mind whammy again. If that fails, I'll procure some means of sneaking them through. I kind of like this renegade stuff."
Claire groaned. "Fine. Mar'E, you try it."
"No. You do it."
"Just pointing out that I'm not a Jedi..."
"Is something wrong?" Wedge asked. The pilots stood a few paces away, watching the argument.
Immediately the women chorused "No," with their most innocent expressions.
Claire turned to Antigone. "You pick who goes."
"OK. Mar'E, your turn."
"Hey, why me?" Mar'E was outraged.
"Because," Antigone smiled devilishly, "you unleashed the Janson libido on me."
"Oh, you love it. All right fine, I'll do it." The frustrated girl marched toward the curiously short monorail line, the others trailing behind her. - - - - - - - -
"Boo-yah," Elizabeth yelped.
"That was bloody amazing," Antigone declared, her eyes wide.
Mar'E stood in the monorail, staring at her hand. She swished it about a few times.
"Hey! Watch where you're pointing that thing!" Claire grabbed her friend's hand and inspected it. "Who'da thunk it?"
The Rogues sat, eyeing the girls with apprehension. Finally Wedge spoke up. "Uhh, what's going on? What are you squealing about?"
Claire turned to him. "Dude, she just mind-whammied the ticket lady. She just waved her hand and boom! 'you can go about your business; move along.'"
"You could be a Jedi," Antigone added in an awestruck voice.
Mar'E grinned, then rummaged about in her daypack. Finding a small tube, she tossed it at Hobbie. He caught it, confused. "You will put that on." Eyes glazed, he obeyed.
Antigone cracked up. "Body glitter? That's too mean!"
"Now we match." Mar'E shrugged, then took the tube back from the sparkling Rogue with a predatory smile. "And it's edible." He sank back into his seat more mournful than usual.
Wes stood and whispered to Mar'E. Antigone backed away from the mischievous look on the other girl's face and stuck her fingers in her ear. "La la la la, I can't hear you!" she sang while Mar'E waved her hand frantically. The group laughed helplessly as the would-be Jedi tried in vain to work her powers.
"Your feeble powers are no match for a determined v..." Claire's eyes grew wide and she shut her mouth quickly.
"A determined what?" Wes asked.
"Nothing. Oh, look. We're here." The doors slid open and the group descended upon an unsuspecting Epcot.
Continued in Part Four