"On the Floor"
“How did I let you talk me into this?” Wray’s voice was distorted by the speaker in the chest of the armor. It made it sound like he was talking into a tin can. He liked that. Less a chance for someone to recognize him. If he was being honest with himself, Wray didn’t think this was so bad. The trooper costume fit him pretty well and it was sort of thrilling to be walking along and have people not notice him.
They had a few people stop them for pictures, exchanged friendly jibes with some Star Trek Red-shirts (“You can’t hit us!” “You’d still still die anyways), saluted some of the other Storm Troopers they saw, and in general got to ejoy the con. Wray couldn’t believe it. He was actually enjoying himself.
“Lighten up, Nerely! Have some fun!”, crackled Jerry’s voice. “Hello, ladies!” he said as he approached a group of cosplayers dressed as a smash up of Star Wars characters and Disney princesses.
“Jerry! Keep it down. I don’t want people to know who I am”, Wray hissed. Or meant to hiss. The speaker in the armor projected his whisper to a tinny shout.
Wray backed away and glanced around nervously to see if anyone had heard him. He felt himself back into someone and just outside his helmet near where his ear was he heard.
“Aren’t you a little short for a storm trooper?”
This had only been the fourth time he had heard this line today and he was all out of cute responses. He turned to cast a withering stare at this person for being so unoriginal, forgetting that while he was wearing the helmet any facial expression would be wasted. He saw her then and writhering stare deflated into a gape.
She was in her late-20’s or maybe early 30’s and she wore a Storm Trooper costume too, but it left her midrift exposed and high-lighted her other femine features. She didn’t wear a helmet and Wray could see the mischief in her green eyes. She was the prettiest girl he’d seen on the “Rust Tour”, but she wouldn’t have been out of place on a magazine cover.
“I- uhh” Wray’s brain was temporarily stuck.
She leaned in conspiratorially, “You’re someone famous aren’t you.”
Thoughts of being outted on the con floor had vanished. Wray looked back into those green eyes and nodded. He held a finger up to wear he thought the lips on the helmet were. “Shhh”, his radio voice fizzed.
She lit up, about to scream, but calmed herself with a, “OK. Breathe, Amanda, breathe”. She regained her composure and fixed her eyes on him again. “Are you in something from Sci-Fi?”
Wray nodded again.
“Something that’s really popular?”, apparently-Amanda asked.
Wray shurgged and nodded with as much false modesty as a storm trooper can convey.
“Something with Wray?”, her excitement was building again.
“Yeah.”, said Wray starting to get annoyed.
“Are…are you the pilot?”, she asked breathless.
“You got me.”, said Wray.
“OH MY GOD! YOU’RE OSCAR ISAAC!”
“What?! I-” The rest of his sentence was crushed out of him as she hugged him as hard as she could. Storm Trooper chest plates don’t stop compreshion as well as Wray thought. He managed to pull himself out of her embrace.
“I LOVED you in the Force Awakens!”, she continued, but Wray didn’t hear her. He saw the crowd. All eyes in every direction were trained on him. The world went incredibly quiet like the moment between a flash of lightning and the clap of thunder. The mob exploded and rushed in on him.
“Oscar! You were amazing in Ex Machina!”
“Yo! Poe Dameron!”
Cellphones flashed as they pulled at him.
“Can I get a selfie with you?”
He felt one of the guantlets snap off, then part of a glove.
“They’re going to pull me apart.” Wray thought, “I always wondered what it would be like to die as a rock star.”
The loose pieces of armor were held aloft as trophies, emboldening the crowd. Wray felt a rush of air and the room went white.
Someone had pulled off his helmet. The horde stopped abruptly.
“That’s not Poe Dameron! That’s some old white dude!”
“You said you were Oscar Isaac!” Amanda angrily demanded.
“What?! No I didn’t!” At least this time Wray managed to finish his sentence before the helmet was thrown back at him, making solid contact with his head. The room went black.