Evilgrin waddled through the enormous arch and into a riot of colours.
Everywhere he looked, costumed figures stood; some chatting amicably, some dancing, some skulking in the corners.
“Now this is a party!” he exclaimed, throwing his arms wide in excitement and whacking his companion in the chest.
“Damnit EG,” yelled Sparkster, swatting the offending arm away and prodding at his shirt. “You know how long it took me to get these stuffed boobs in the right way? Now look, they’re all coney.”
“Sparks, you’re the ugliest damn chick I’ve ever seen. People wouldn’t care if your tits were concave.”
“Shut up, at least I’M not dressed like an overgrown slug.”
“Hey, these Hutt costumes are all the rage in the Alliance,” defended Evilgrin.
“Yeah, and we all know how fashion conscious the Alliance is. Still, at least you’re not that God-awful orange.”
“Well, har-dee-har-har. Come on, let’s find the others.”
Evilgrin moved into the crowd, pausing every few seconds to search the crowd for the other members of the SOSP. Spotting two of them near the punchbowl, he manoeuvred his way over with all the grace of an R2 droid in dome-high mud.
“Hey guys, what’s – ”
“Shhh!” interrupted Aero, motioning at EG and Sparks to stay where they were.
“Come on Red, we gotta get you to a washroom, man,” cajoled Elladan.
“No way,” insisted the rather obviously inebriated Red9, who was dressed as Batman – a fictional character from a Corellian holovid. “I don’ need no washroom,” he repeated, weaving back and forth. “I’m gonna be jusht…” His voice trailed off, and his cheeks and eyes suddenly bulged forward. Shoving Elladan out of the way, Red grabbed the punchbowl and proceeded to empty the contents of his stomach into it rather noisily. Luckily, the surrounding din drowned out the noise of Red’s retching, and it passed unnoticed by the partygoers. Red then flopped onto the floor, passing out on EG’s leg and starting to snore.
“Geez, we gotta get him somewhere where he can lie down for a while,” commented Aero.
“I know,” said Ell. “We can chuck him down the laundry chute; he can stew down there for a while and sleep.”
“Uh…what’s wrong with a bedroom?”
“Do you honestly think there’s an unoccupied bedroom in the place? We could stick him in one of those, I guess; it’d be more action than Red’s seen in a few months, he’d probably thank us.”
“Good point. Okay, the laundry chute it is.”
The four men picked Red up off the floor and hustled him over to a large chute, which they unceremoniously dumped the sleeping man into. They heard a few muffled thumps as he slid down, then silence.
“Perfect,” exclaimed Ell. “We’ll go get him tomorrow morning or something, he’ll be fine.”
Suddenly, as if by magic, the crowd parted in front of the four of them and a stunningly beautiful woman escorted by a trenchcoat-clad man appeared.
“Stryk, what kind of lame-ass costume is that?” asked Aero derisively.
“I’m a P.I., man!” replied Stryker with a grin as he lifted a glass of punch. “I been walking around all night asking chicks if they wanna find out just how persistent this dick is.” He began to take a sip of the punch – much to the shared amusement of the other 4 – but was interrupted by Mara rolling her eyes and whacking him.
“Yeah, the only thing that’s saved my night from being a total waste is seeing them all shoot him down.”
Stryker clapped a hand over his heart, again stopping mid-sip.
“Shot down by my own escort!” he moaned. “Oh, the pain! Oh, the betrayal!”
“Yeah, yer breaking my heart, Stryk,” interrupted a robed figure who appeared beside them. “Hey, punch for me? Thanks, man.”
Ripper grabbed the glass out of Stryker’s hand and downed the contents in a gulp before Aero, Ell, EG or Sparks could stop him.
“Hm…what’s that chunky stuff? Fruit? Tastes kinda overripe.”
Before any of them could respond, they felt a change in the crowd of people around them. Suddenly, they began streaming for the exits, their once friendly chatter turning into panicked mutterings.
“What the hell?” Ripper started making his way towards a nearby exit. “What’s going on out there?”
“Here, Ripp,” called Elladan, moving over to a small alcove. “We can find out quicker this way.” He turned and muttered something under his breath as he faced the wall, which promptly slid upwards, revealing a security monitor. “Computer, display outer security ring,” he ordered.
A grainy, black-and-white image sprang up, showing several shots of the area around the Mansion – one of which showed a large transport making its way towards them. Painted crudely on the front were the letters SOSS.
“Invaders!” cried Aero. “To the fighters!”
The 7 made their way to the hangar, where they quickly hopped into their fighters of choice; Evilgrin hopped into the only X-Wing, while the others powered up TIE Interceptors and launched.
“Form up guys,” called Aero as he swung his T/I up and around the Mansion. “We all here?”
“Ready and rarin’ to go,” whooped Ripper.
“Bring ‘em on!” interjected Sparks.
“Let’s do this,” said Ell grimly.
“Locked and loaded,” said Mara.
“How the hell do you work this thing again?” asked Stryker. Suddenly, green bolts lanced through space, narrowly missing Sparkster.
“Uh, whoops. I think I got it now, guys. Where the hell is EG?”
“Good question. EG?”
“I’m just trying to get settled in my damn chair…it’s all lumpy and…WHAT THE HELL! YOU’RE NOT A GODDAMN PILOT’S SEAT!”
“No sah, a’hm not!” shouted a deep bass voice. The tearing of fabric echoed over the intercom, followed by Evilgrin’s pathetic cries for help.
“No time to help him now,” shouted Aero. “We can get him some vaseline or something once we’re done with these losers.”
The 6 turned their attention back to the transport. The letters SOSS had been painted in a lurid green colour, adding to the ugliness of its appearance.
“SOSP! This is General Eagle, of the SOSS! Prepare to be ground into dust!”
The transport hatches opened, and out shot several humanoid figures.
“Uh…spacetroopers?” asked a confused Elladan.
“Maybe he wants to laugh us to death,” forwarded Stryker.
“He might succeed, at that. Of course, why would he try and do that when he knows we hang out with you?” countered Sparkster.
“Whatever, let’s just get rid of ‘em so I can get some more of that punch.”
Within minutes, the sadly overmatched spacetroopers had been reduced to their basic atomic structures.
“Curse you, SOSP! I will have my revenge-enge-enge-enge-enge!” screamed Eagle, fading his voice out as his transport turned and hypered away.
“Man, we better get back and check up on EG,” said Aero worriedly.
Suddenly, an unfamiliar voice came over the pilots’ comm systems.
“Sorry to bother you guys, but we’re getting a human life-form reading in the trash compactor down here. Would you like the audio feed from there?”
“Uh…yeah, patch it through,” responded Aero, scratching the side of his helmet in confusion. A tinny voice began to echo in their ears, singing Old Macdonald – badly.
“Oh, hell,” swore Ell. “It’s Red! We musta dumped him down the wrong chute!”
If the space around them could have echoed with the laughter of 6 people, it would have.