Wedge and Janson stared dumbfounded at the fiendish Ewok, and when Kettch raised his glinting vibroblade in Wedge's direction with the cry of "Bleed and die, yub yub!", the two pilots followed Hobbie at breakneck speed through the door at the front of the briefing room.
"We need weapons!" Wedge ordered, and it was all a blur as the three pilots rocketed down various corridors, through the mess hall, down more corridors and past the X-wing hangar until Wedge burst through the door of a nearby 'fresher, and they huddled together to catch their collective breath.
"Right. What have we got?" asked Wedge, the harsh artificial lighting illuminating the battle-ready look in his eyes as he lifted his blaster carbine to illustrate his armament.
Hobbie held his own personal vibroblade in one hand, and had also liberated a heavy frying pan from the mess hall. "Our furry friend's not going to last long if he goes near my stuffed toys."
"What about you, Janson?" said Wedge, and then looked visibly deflated as Janson slowly produced a pineapple from behind his back.
"I didn't have time to look about properly," he said with a defensive shrug. "Besides, maybe pineapples are highly effective against Ewoks."
"Maybe so, but this isn't even a real Ewok we're up against. It's a stuffed one that has somehow been animated, been brought to psychopathic life - we don't know what it's capable of."
Janson looked dubiously at his pineapple.
"Now we begin the hunt," said Wedge, and led them out of the 'fresher. They stalked along the corridors, silent and alert, peering past doors blaster-first into darkened rooms. As they reached the pilot's own quarters, muffled cries for help were heard, accompanied by the sadistic throaty chuckles of an Ewok.
"That sounded like Tycho!" hissed Janson, his knuckles white and flexing round the pineapple.
"How would you know what Tycho's muffled cries sound like?" asked Hobbie, with a hint of mournful jealousy.
Janson evaded the question by striding boldly into Tycho's quarters, pineapple at the ready.
Tycho was seated in the centre of the room, bound to the chair with electrical tape, squirming with fear as his midget captor held onto his tongue and poked it with a vibroblade.
"Step away from that tongue!" commanded Janson of Kettch.
"Make me, yub yub!" retorted the Ewok, and jabbed Tycho's tongue again, invoking a pained shriek from him.
Wedge aimed his blaster at Kettch, Hobbie inched forward with his frying pan raised high, and Janson wielded his pineapple in the Ewok's face, with surprising results. Kettch dropped Tycho's tongue and the vibroblade, fell to his knees in worship and began chanting "Eekee whoh, eekee whoh, rheakee rheekee whoh..."
For a few seconds the room was silent save for the sound of furry veneration. The pilots exchanged bewildered glances.
"Kettch seems to regard the pineapple as some sort of god," commented Wedge.
"Well hurry up and do something before he turns into an atheist," Tycho just managed to wrap his injured tongue round the words.
Hobbie took a swing at the supplicating Ewok with his frying pan, and the deviant was knocked unconscious. He set about securing Kettch with the remaining electrical tape as Wedge and Janson freed Tycho.
"Thanks. I thought he was going to do me some serious damage. After the tongue, who knows what he would have gone for." Tycho prodded the prone Ewok with his foot as the other pilots looked uncomfortable and subtly crossed their legs. "What are we going to do with him?"
"We can lock him up for now, then send him somewhere for testing," replied Wedge. "Look, he's haemorrhaging stuffing. Must have nicked himself with his own vibroblade." He picked up the homicidal toy and headed for the detention block. "Anyone for sabacc?"
"Just as long as pineapple-boy doesn't use his divine intervention to cheat," said Hobbie.
To be continued...
Back to the Birthday Challenges