The day started like any other day. Get up, go to work, work work work. The weirdness didn't happen until lunchtime. I planned to run down to the nearest store to get something - anything - chocolate to get me through the rest of the day. With my purse and lunch kit under my arm, I got onto the elevator and impatiently punched the "Close Door" button. The doors were obediently sliding shut when a hand appeared between them, and they rolled back.
A man got on the elevator, but I noticed his companion first. Normally a good looking guy would get my attention quickly, but not when he was accompanied by a creature at least seven feet tall and covered all over with hair. Hair and nothing else except crossed ammunition belts. I couldn't help it. I blurted, "What is that?"
The man said, with just a trace of a sneer in his voice, "You've never seen a Wookie before?"
I was just deciding I did not want to be in an elevator with a Wookie, whatever that was, when the man punched the "Close Door" button even more impatiently than I did. I slid to the back of the elevator and tried to be invisible. The man was good looking, true, but he was dressed like some kind of poor relation to a Harley biker. He had a piratical swagger to him that went well with the clothes. But what dismayed me was the gun he wore low on his hip, strapped to his thigh like an Old West gunfighter. No way this guy was security, so what was he doing with a gun??
Then I realized the gun was not like anything I'd seen before. "Oh. You're on your way to a costume party, right?"
The Wookie ignored me. The man gave me a look compounded of disdain and humor. "No."
He looked tough. The Wookie looked even tougher. I wanted out of the elevator. But even as I tried to work up the courage to push past them and hit the button for the next floor, the worst possible thing happened. A groaning sound filled the space, and the elevator lurched, then came to a complete stop.
I swore. The man looked at me with a little more respect. I said, "I'm claustrophobic."
With a marked lack of sympathy, he replied, "Well, don't go nuts or throw up or anything on us."
I swallowed. "Uh... push the alarm button, will you?"
The Wookie did so. Its hand (paw?) was so large that it hit several buttons at once, but the alarm did sound. I took deep breaths. They'd get us out of here soon. But the Wookie took up so much room that my claustrophobia was coming on even faster than normal. To distract myself, I asked the man, "What's your name?"
"Han. That's Chewie."
"It has a name?"
The Wookie turned and made a hideous noise in my direction, something between a foghorn hoot and a growl. Han translated, "Yeah, he has a name. And you insulted him."
A crackle on the intercom preceded a calm voice asking if we were all right. Reflecting that it was easy for him to be calm, since he wasn't trapped in an elevator with a Wookie and a half-baked pirate, I said, "Yes, but how long before you get us out?"
"There's some problem with the circuit. Please relax. You're not in any danger. But it may take a little while to get the car moving again."
"A while? Like, what's a while?" I demanded.
"Perhaps as long as half an hour. So just relax." He clicked off.
"Relax?? I can't relax!!!" I shrieked.
"Hey, lady. You heard the man. Calm down."
"I told you, I'm claustrophobic. For me, this is calm."
"At least stop shrieking. You're hurting Chewie's ears."
The Wookie promptly seconded this by placing its two huge hairy paws over its ears. Han grinned.
He had an engaging grin, which made his eyes squint and twinkle. But I was in no mood to appreciate it. "I can't help it. But don't worry, pretty soon I'll be quiet. I'll faint."
"That might help."
"Well, thanks so much for your sympathy!!"
He grinned again.
"But before I faint, I'll have a panic attack. In fact, I'm about to start." I whirled and started banging on the walls. "Let me out!! Let me OUT!!!"
Han rolled his eyes. "All right!" he barked. Then, to my horror, he drew his gun.
He didn't point it at me, however. He pointed it at the door. "Chewie, get back." He didn't have to say that, however, because the Wookie had already done so, joining me in the rear of the elevator. Han leveled the weird gun at the door and pulled the trigger.
I thought he was just playing, to distract me. I couldn't have been more wrong. A bolt of light burst out of the weapon and struck the door. Then it ricocheted off the door, hit the back wall just over my head, and began bouncing all around the confined space, from wall to wall. Both Han and the Wookie fell flat to the floor, and I imitated them. When the charge fizzled out at last, I yelled, "What was that?"
"Haven't you ever seen a blaster before?"
He made a disgusted sound, put the blaster thingie right against the joining of the two doors. The Wookie moaned, and I said, "Wait!", but he ignored both of us and fired again. This time, the blast not only used the walls and door to ricochet from, but the floor and ceiling, too. I curled in a ball and screamed until it fizzled out.
"Shut up, lady!" Han barked.
"Shut up?? I'll shut up if you stop acting like a crazy man!"
The Wookie made a sound that seemed as if he was agreeing with me.
"Crazy?" he repeated.
I got up, brushing myself off. "Yes, crazy. Or terminally stupid. Stop blasting everything! It's not going to work."
The Wookie, also rising, made a mournful sound and pointed to the door. The face plate, just to the left of the door, was a smoking, blackened ruin.
I put my hands on my hips. "Congratulations, idiot. You actually succeeded in destroying something. Now we'll never get out of here!"
"Sure we will. Chewie." He pointed upward.
Chewie lifted his great arm and pushed against the square in the center of the ceiling. It buckled like paper. "Go on up there," Han said.
Chewie shook his head.
"Go on, you big coward."
Chewie shook his head more vehemently.
Han rolled his eyes. "All right, then give me a lift."
"What are you going to do?" I yelled. "Don't leave me here!!"
"I'm not. I'll just get on the roof and open the doors to the floor above us. Then Chewie can help you out, we'll climb on out of here, and you can stop being such a royal pain."
"All right," I said, "but one thing first."
He sounded ticked off and mean. But my life was at stake here. Firmly, commandingly, I said it. "Give me that blaster first."