Slip aka FN-2003 stood in the corner of the waiting terminal just hours before his first real assault. He faced the wall ‘preparing’ for the battle that lay ahead. While many of his comrades would also undergo some form of mental preparation before a battle, Slip’s method more or less simply involved him repeating “shitshitshitshit”, and occasionally “fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck” in his head.
He shot a look at Eight-Seven (FN-2187) who looked as if he was banging his head against the metal wall. Perhaps he was creating some sort of crude war drums. Eight-Seven paused and started to make his way over to Slip.
Slip noticed that Eight-Seven’s suit was looking extra shiny tonight. Did he always polish so well? Slip remembered just how well Eight-Seven would scrub the toilets back on the Starkiller Base. The rest of the sanitation team used to call him “Buttkiller”, with a shine that bright those toilets were sure to blind even the firmest of butts. Right, he was getting a little carried away.
“Hey Buttkiller,” Slip said, trying to slap Eight-Seven’s butt. He missed and hit the wall.
“Nervous?” How was Eight-Seven so perceptive?
“Of course not. I was born for this. It’ll be a blast,”
Eight-Seven laughed. Oh how Slip wished he could see his pearly white smile behind the pearly white helmet of his.
“It’ll be a blast. Good one. I’ll have to use that on Plasma when we get back. She’ll be fuming.”
Fuming, right, that’s also funny. Wait, that was a joke wasn’t it? I don’t want Eight-Seven to get in trouble because of me, Slip thought.
“You’ll be right,” Eight-Seven continued, “I’ve seen you train when you think no one is watching. Once you’re out there, in a real fight, you will be fine. Just keep shooting.”
Right. Easy for you to say. You’re one of the best. Your suit was practically made for you. All mine is good for is for hiding my saggy ass. The rest of it is too loose. I bet one blast and it’ll fall off.
Slip nodded. Eight-Seven put his arm around him in comfort and gave his shoulder armour a squeeze.
“If I die...” Slip began,
“But if I do, if I do die... I want you to know that I love you. Always have... man,” Slip could feel his face burning but there was no use pretending any more.
“I’ll visit your bunk as soon as we’re back. Then we can sort all this out. Are you sure you’re not saying this because of the nerves?”
“I’ve loved you since I saw you scrubbing the haunted toilet of cubical 918,”
It might have just been his imagination, but Slip swore that he could see Eight-Seven smiling from under his helmet.
“I’ll teach you to shine my suit,” said Eight-Seven.
They looked up, the rest of their squad were already boarding the carrier. Eight-Seven took Slip’s hand and walked on board.
The rest is history.