As far as days aboard the Reclamator I went, this was one of the worst that Sloat could recall. The young man, already in his boss's bad books for bungling the name of the Dawncaller, had fallen asleep at his post and awakened to embarrassing alarms and the order to go and bail out a flooded compartment on E-deck. Now, he wished that that was all he was doing. Ambushed and bashed about by an intruder, pushed, prodded, and forced to give the guy the guided tour without so much as a please or thank you, and now, on the run from said intruder, Sloat shuddered to think what would happen if the man caught up with him again.
Still, maybe he could salvage the situation. Find Rammo. Report the intruder. He might even be a hero! Then, Kroff could take care of the guy. That was his job, after all. Sloat longed for the comforts of his own job; sitting, bored out of his mind, in the pilot's chair.
The day became just that much worse, then, when he rounded a bend in the corridor and found two women, Fiola Shaku and Jyllis Tromso, standing in his path and pointing their blasters directly into his face.
"Who are you?" Fi demanded.
"Who are you?"
"We asked you first!" countered Jyll.
"I work here!"
Fi nodded. "Ah, right... the pilot. 'Sloat', yeah?"
Sloat looked back and forth between the two girls and their pet fabool that he'd run into before. "And I suppose one of you two must be Miss Tromso. Shouldn't you guys be at a wedding right now?"
"We're looking for someone," Fi said.
"Someone's looking for you!"
Fi held a hand flat in the air above her head. "About yea high? Brown hair? Probably in a bad mood? You've seen him?"
"Sure, I seen him. He just beat me up and took me hostage, but I got away!"
Fi considered this. "Well then, it's a good thing you've had some practice, 'cause now you're our hostage."
"Aw, come on!"
"We have to find our friend fast, and you know where he is."
"I don't wanna see that guy again, he'll clobber me for running off!"
"We'll talk to him for ya," Jyll interjected.
The man sighed. "Heard that one before."
Fi waved her blaster in the direction Sloat had come from, back up the corridor. "March."
"Oh, and incidentally," Fi added, "if you try leading us directly to Rammo, you'll regret it."
Sloat shrugged. "I don't much want to run into him, either. He sees me being led around by you two, he'll fire me and dump me on the next rock, for sure."
Fi studied the gangly young man as they walked along the corridor. "You know, Sloat, you don't look to be much older than I am. Did you ever think about, I dunno, maybe going back to school? Getting yourself a career that's a bit more legit?"
"Said the girl waving the blaster around," Sloat retorted, rolling his eyes.
"Shhh!" Jyll interrupted. "You hear that?"
They listened. Booted feet, quiet but audible, coming closer from around a bend ahead of them. With Sloat thrust out in front, the girls and Mr. Mace rounded the corner to find...
Their friend stood there, blaster at the ready. Then he lowered it and, looking thoroughly nonplussed, stood with a fist on one hip and pointed a finger at them.
"Fi, in the future, it'll be a lot easier for me to rescue you guys if you would resist the urge to go sightseeing."
"Sightseeing? We came back to rescue you!"
Sloat smirked. "I can see you guys are a real 'elite unit'."
"Shut up!" they all chorused.
"You got a ride off this scrap heap?" Fi asked Reil.
"Cali's on her way," Zealos Reil nodded. "We should-"
At that moment a stun blast shot out of a connecting corridor, barely missing them all...